The Endeavor Cinema Group, based in Fort Worth, has been around several years but has recently seen a rebirth.
Board member Vicki White explained the beginnings of the group that started with founder Carlos Aguilar.
“It was started several years ago,” she said. “He started out highlighting independent film artists. He picked it back up last year with a board and advisory group. “It’s a platform for artists just staring out.”
White explained that the group not only features the work of those just starting out, but also offers education programs, writing workshops and other events to further the skills and opportunities of those wanting to make their living in movies.
She said the whole vision is to put people together – sound people, writers, camera people, actors, directors, producers – to offer the connections to help with education and careers.
“For me, I’m a playwright,” said Chuck Latham, a registered nurse and a member of the board. “I have a number of plays that are Christian. When I heard about this, I wanted to be a part of it. I had all these plays in my head. There’s no place out there for people like me.”
He said it is not only a place to receive encouragement, but also a place to give back.
“It’s for the community,” Latham said of the organization. “We hope talented people can see this as an opportunity to give back to the community.”
I am a long-time musician and I have written and directed a lot of shorts,” said Aguilar. “My passion has always been film.”
He said part of the impetus for the group he founded was because he had never had the opportunity to pursue his passion for film.
“It’s actually been my passion for about 10 years to bring the community together,” he added. “Something to organize every facet, to create – set design, photography, digital photos …”
To showcase the work of those involved in the program, ECG held a screening in Fort Worth to highlight the creativity of three directors – Dennis O’Neill, Aaron Kirk and Jason Baumgardner.
O’Neill showed his latest venture, “Bail Out,” while Kirk screened “Night Job” and Baumgardner presented “The League.”
“Bail Out” was filmed in Mineral Wells, Cool and Fort Worth, using local talent and some who better known for their acting skills.
The proposed television series follows New York detective Jimmy O’Neill to Fort Worth after he gets cross wise with the mob and his bosses. There his uncle asks him take over the bail bond company. But he calls his long-time partner, played by veteran actor Terry Kiser, to come to Texas with him. Together they begin private investigations.
“Night Job” is about a man who sees too much pain and suffering and wants to fight crime – on his terms.
“It started out I wanted to write about a man who wanted to fight crime, wanted to do it on his own,” said Kirk. “The main character works in ER, he wants to try to get out there and counter it.”
But he needed a mentor, someone who knew the ropes.
“Dennis’ (O’Neill) character’s daughter was attacked,” he said, adding that the main character learns, they find criminals and “take care of business.”
“The League” is a different story – one about fantasy football.
Baumgardner explained that the main character enjoys fantasy football but ends up getting involved for a $1 million gamble. He’s short on money, his wife is expecting but the main difficulty was watching his father lose his fortune during the crash of the ’80s and finally gambling in Atlantic City.
“We’ve had good support on YouTube,” said Baumgardner, adding that there are about 24 episodes.
O’Neill plays the father.
“He’s an ex-stockbroker with a gambling problem,” said O’Neill. “There’s danger he doesn’t know about.”
And O’Neill has another project working. He has a role on the USA network’s series “In Plain Sight.”
“I go back to New Mexico March 22nd for more fiming,” he said. “I’m hoping it’s more than one episode.”
“It’s a passion, I have a passion for the arts,” Aguilar said.