AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas Film Institute and Burnt Orange Productions will begin principal photography on “The Cassidy Kids” in and around Austin on July 21.
“The Cassidy Kids” follows five friends who solve a murder mystery in 1980 and are shot to fame by a children’s TV show based on their real-life adventures. Now, 25 years later, the estranged friends are brought together for the show’s DVD release. As the reunion unfolds, the mystery they thought they solved begins to unravel.
Written by University of Texas at Austin alumni Bryan Poyser (BS ’96), Tasca Shadix (BS ’95) and Tom Willett (MA ’99), “The Cassidy Kids” will be directed by University of Texas at Austin alumnus Jacob Vaughan, and produced in-house by Poyser and University of Texas alumna Megan Gilbride (MFA ’04). Seth Caplan (BS ’99) will co-produce, while Thomas Schatz, Ph.D., executive director of The University of Texas Film Institute, and Carolyn Pfeiffer, president and CEO of Burnt Orange Productions, will executive produce.
“The Cassidy Kids” marks Vaughan and Poyser’s follow-up to their award-winning debut feature “Dear Pillow” (2004).
“It’s a layered, imaginative script,” said Schatz. “Jake and Bryan’s partnership has proven very successful, and we’re anxious to see what they can do with the University of Texas talent involved.”
’It’s exciting to be making our second feature so soon and even more exciting to be doing it with some of Austin’s most capable people," said Vaughan. "Projects like this are still infrequent in Austin and Burnt Orange Productions is giving us a tremendous opportunity to tell an unusual and exciting story."
Other attachments include director of photography PJ Raval (MFA ’04), editor Kyle Henry (MFA ’99) and production sound mixer Chris Keyland (BS ’03)—all University of Texas at Austin graduates. Casting for the film is in progress in Los Angeles and Texas.
About 30 University of Texas at Austin graduate and undergraduate students will work on the film in all stages of production as apprentices and interns respectively, from accounting and office management, to set production, props and costumes, to casting and publicity.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) of Austin will donate its high-end AMD OpteronTM processor-based workstations and servers to equip students with world-class digital film resources during the production of “The Cassidy Kids.”
The William Morris Agency’s Cassian Elwes and Rena Ronson represent Burnt Orange Productions on domestic and international sales.
The University of Texas Film Institute and Burnt Orange Productions are in post-production on “The Quiet,” directed by Jamie Babbit and starring Elisha Cuthbert, Camilla Belle, Martin Donovan, Shawn Ashmore and Edie Falco. “The Quiet” will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival® in September.
The University of Texas Film Institute
Introduced in September 2003, The University of Texas Film Institute is striving to revolutionize the film school model in higher education by providing specialized training in various aspects of feature film-making and incorporating a narrative component to give students experience on high-quality, low-budget independent feature films with viable commercial potential. Based in the College of Communication, the Film Institute involves faculty, graduate students and advanced undergraduates from the Department of Radio-Television-Film and other units on campus. The Film Institute also draws on the considerable film-making talent in the Austin community and on alumni and others involved in the entertainment industry.
For more information contact: Erin Geisler, College of Communication, 512-475-8071.