Filmmaker Mickey Reece may be his own harshest critic.
In three years, the writer/director has used a handpicked circle of friends and acquaintances to make about a dozen movies around the metro. He’s lost count of the exact number, but that’s OK, as some aren’t as memorable as others.
On their debut, “Le Corndog Du Desespoir”: “Our first movie was horrible. I can’t believe we showed that!” On his spaghetti Western, “Bury the Gold, Eli”: “Our flop in every sense of the word.”
On the drama “Mythical Creatures”: “There was some vulgar shit all around in that.”
No worries, however. “Each film gets better and better,” said Chanel Roady, star of Reece’s latest, “The Seducers Club,” a dark, collegiate comedy that debuts Saturday at City Arts Center as part of a double feature, with Reece’s noir-flavored “Stay Low.” As with the premieres of his other work, held in past at Opolis in Norman, the evening begins with some music, this time courtesy of Ali Harter.
A growing fan base maxed out space at Opolis, forcing the move to City Arts Center. “The Seducers Club” is such a polished effort with wide appeal, the Reece faithful are sure to grow. He admitted “Seducers” is the crowd-pleasing half of the night, while “Stay Low” is more experimental. It’s an homage to Alfred Hitchcock, taking place in a motel room, whereas “Seducers” is akin to Mike Nichols’ “Carnal Knowledge.” Said Reece, “It’s about two dudes who want to get laid.”
Whatever the reaction, Reece is ready move on. Once he’s held a public screening, he throws it up on YouTube (username: momoskinnybrother), and he’s already onto the next project. That many of the same people keep coming back is a testament to his talent.
“I’m not really an actress,” said Barb Hendrickson, “Stay Low”’s female lead, “but I do it to support to Mickey and his art, and to watch his work progress. I’m proud and excited and believe in him. This is just the beginning.”
Other cast members are just as effusive in praise.
“Mickey makes you feel like you should be doing this,” said James Paulsgrove, the male lead of “Stay Low.”
Said Sean Thomasson, the star of “Seducers,” “We’ve done some crazy shit to get what we’ve got, but it’s all Mickey’s doing, and we’re willing to do it.”
Kameron Primm of “Stay Low” tagged Reece’s quasi-improvisational, experiment-friendly approach as “rogue amateur filmmaking.”
“There’s no screen direction, no onepage-per-minute thing,” Primm said.
“We have a passion for film. We love movies.”
That’s good, because nobody gets paid. The budget on some titles — such as their sci-fi effort, “Time Machine” — amounts to exactly zero dollars and zero cents. Not that it matters.
“Everyone’s so focused on the technical aspects. All you need is a camera and a good actor,” Reece said, “If it all comes together, who cares?”