And The Winner is… Close To The Line

van loan camera picAustin is known as the music capital of the world. But it is also known for wonderful film festivals. In September Austin moviegoers enjoyed the second annual Capital City Black Film Festival. It was a weekend of movies, documentaries, educational sessions and speaking with filmmakers about their film. The Best Short Story Documentary Category winner was “Close To The Line.” This film was written and produced by Van Loan Production. Ujima spoke with Chris Van Loan about the film and winning a category at the film festival.

Ujima: What drew you to film making and when did your son become involved?

Chris: It actually started with my son. He attended UT in 2010-11,as a radio/TV film student during that time he had an assignment to do a student film. We then did the 48 Hour Film Project, and this became a family affair. We had to take a genre, a prop, a character and a line of dialogue and within 48 hours create a short film containing all the elements given. It was a fun time for the family and a fun experience.

Ujima: Congratulations on winning the Best Short Documentary at this years Capital City Black Film Festival. Tell me about the film.

Chris: The film Close To The Line came from an event I did four years ago. I was asked to play a show in San Antonio. I am a guitar player. The ladies group had heard me play and knew about me, I felt good and decided to play. But I was terrible. My playing was so bad the singers asked me to stop in the middle of the show. I didn’t know what happened. On my way back to Austin, a friend asked me to help him play another show. I decided to help him out. I was feeling bad about not doing well at the earlier show, but I did really well at this second show. I went from very bad to very good in over four to five hour. I let my ego get in the way because the ladies had heard I was good.

Ujima: So, the film is based on that moment?

Chris: Yes, we told the story straight through. I even asked the young ladies who asked me to stop playing to be a part of the film. They agreed. The filming went well and this is the film audiences saw at the film festival. We sat in during one of the screenings of the film and it seemed to resonate with the audience. We ended up answering questions for about 15 minutes.

Ujima: What’s happening next for Van Loan Production?

Chris: We plan to do a full featured film, more short films and more of the 48 hour films. We are entering Close To The Line into more film festivals. It should be ready in three to four months for viewing but right now we are entering into different film festivals.

Ujima: What should our community know about Van Loan Productions?

Chris: We are filmmakers, storytellers, viable entertainment and we tell good stories. My advice to anyone who wants to make a film is get yourself affordable equipment, there are a lot of options now. Make your work available on YouTube, use your internet resources. Take classes for an extra foundation and get involved with groups that can help you find your inspiration.

Van loan logoFor more information and to view their videos, visit Van Loan Productions.

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