Hogan, a 2008 music composition graduate of Oklahoma City University, has presented several of his short films in deadCENTER Film Festival and has also worked on television projects. But he wanted The Fable of Shannon Cable to serve as his feature film debut because it marries unlikely genres, includes a music video, sports his “awkward ass in red spandex” and ultimately results in a film most audiences have not seen before.
Or at least the audiences of Austin Film Festival haven’t.
“We really took on a big risk in taking on many genres that normally aren’t mixed together. It’s a horror comedy musical with superheroes and fart jokes,” Hogan said. “There’s even a part where they go back to the 1920s, and they create a period piece.”
Hogan submitted the film in June and got word in mid-September from officials that it would be featured in the festival.
“I’m also excited to be a part of a film festival that’s really excited to help promote writers who tell stories either in a way we’ve never seen before or in a familiar way but taking the clichés and turning them on their head,” he said.
The weeklong festival, which starts Thursday, celebrates not only its 20th anniversary but also continues to celebrate independent productions, such as Hogan’s film, which is one of two Oklahoma films screening, said Kristin Phillips, Shannon Cable herself.
As the lead actress, Phillips plays a high school junior who watches an old house haunted by the Funky Soul Retrievers, a trio of singing ghosts, and all four band together to bust the real ghosts and spooky spirits threatening the house.
Phillips, who is based in Chicago, will not attend the festival but is thrilled for the close-knit Shannon Cable team that has been producing and promoting the film for over a year and a half.
The team also includes co-producer and cinematographer Jacob Burns, who has collaborated with Hogan since their filmmaking days at OCU.
“When he first presented the idea to me, I knew it was wacky, and I knew it was ambitious,” Burns said. “But I also knew that Vinnie Hogan was someone that finished things that he started and made sure they were as good as they could possibly be.”
According to Hogan, the film was shot on nights and weekends, totaling 59 days of shooting over the course of a year and a half. Shooting ranged from three-hour stints to 12 and 13-hour days.
Burns hopes Austin audiences and those in Oklahoma later this year see the “emergence of an artist” in Shannon Cable because directing a feature film is difficult and producing a quality feature film is an even greater feat.
“The film’s budgetary limits may come across onscreen at times, but what outshines them is Vinnie’s strong directorial voice,” Burns said. “Vinnie managed to create this wacky — at times cartoony — world and make it seem real.”
With a budget below $5,000, Hogan credited the generosity of friends, family and fellow filmmakers for making Shannon Cable possible.
“It was funded through the generosity of the people of downtown Oklahoma City who tip their Jimmy John’s delivery drivers,” Hogan said, referring to his day job.
Burns hopes to network with potential collaborators and supporters while at the festival.
“We are excited that we get to premier our film at such a prestigious event, something that seemed impossible at times as we were filming,” he said. “But as great as Austin is, we want to bring the film home to Oklahoma so all of our friends and family can see it.”
Hogan confirmed the first in-state screening, 7 p.m. Nov. 16 at The Paramount OKC, 701 W. Sheridan Ave.
The Fable of Shannon Cable screens 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at Galaxy Highland 10 Theatre in Austin. For more information on schedules and the festival visit austinfilmfestival.com.
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