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The Big Screen: Reel FX Makes A Movie

by Stephen Becker 31 Oct 2013 8:20 AM

This week, we talk about the creative studio’s first feature film with its CEO, Steve O’Brien.


In the animated feature Free Birds, Owen Wilson a Woody Harrelson play a couple of turkeys on a time-traveling mission to the first Thanksgiving. Their goal: To get turkey off the day’s menu.

If you’re a regular Big Screen listener, that might sound a little kiddie for our tastes. (And quite a contrast from last week’s show.) But my co-host, Dallas Morning News movie critic Chris Vognar, and I were interested because it’s the first movie produced completely in-house by Dallas creative studio Reel FX. So this week, we spoke with Reel FX CEO Steve O’Brien about the process. And he told us to expect more of the same.

“We’re already half way through our second film, actually,” he says. “Our second film will come out Oct. 17 of 2014, so we’re less than a year away from that release. And then we’re in the process of setting up our third film for distribution as well.”

It sounds like a hectic schedule. But O’Brien says the pace is important to keeping Reel FX running smoothly.

“We employ 350 people down in Deep Ellum. And a big part of our job is making sure that we don’t have big breaks in production, because those people aren’t utilized and that’s money down the drain.”

Be sure to subscribe to The Big Screen on iTunes. Stream this week’s episode below or download it.