The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Screening product of student connection

By Joshua knopp/tr news editor

Some fathers simply chase away a daughter’s gentleman callers or awkwardly fail at giving “the talk.”Others screen their homemade movies at their daughter’s college.

That’s what happened to NE student Monica Clark when her father’s movie, Skunk-Ape Hunters in Texas, screened on TR Campus last month. Clark said she was delighted to see her dad’s work come to fruition.

“I think it’s really awesome to see it come to life,” she said. “Seeing the stories that he used to tell us become kind of solid was kind of creepy, but also funny.”

The movie is partially based on scary stories that John P. Clark, the writer/producer and Monica’s father, used to tell Monica and her sisters and cousins when they were young.

“All of this is based on memories, both real and imagined,” John Clark said.

John Clark said his director, Adrian Santiago, told him that his original script would have translated into six hours of movie, so he pared it down. The movie follows four mechanics as they hunt the eponymous skunk-ape through the Texas woods to win a bet. There, they encounter Uncle Jerry (Phil Curtis), the Texas Boogeyman, who tells them of his ghostly endeavors.

“The Uncle Jerry story was always the scariest,” Monica Clark said. “They would basically tell us that story to keep us from running around at night and misbehaving. And they would always say it was real, but, you know.”

TR student development services director Mike Baumgardner, who organized the event, said he was glad the school screened the movie.

“We’re very happy to have this opportunity,” he said. “A lot of colleges don’t.”

John Clark spent $20,000 on cast and crew (found largely via Craigslist), 12 days of shooting, six months of editing and ongoing distribution efforts. He’s trying to go through film festivals, but because the target audience is college students, he’s doing as many screenings as he can on campuses. The film has already been screened at Central Texas College in Killeen and the University of Houston.

Clark said if students take away anything from seeing his movie, it’s to not let anyone tell them they can’t.

“If you think you can make a movie, you can,” he said. “Don’t let anyone tell you ‘no.’”

Clark says he’s working on putting together a sequel that would have the main characters hunting zombies in West Texas. For shooting, he needs a two-story house with a “long farm lane with woods in the backyard,” along with a large group of extras. Interested students may contact him at skunkape@skunkapehuntersintexas.com.

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