Bryan Pixler is a local filmmaker, who produces and directs the show “Superheroes 101” on the channel RTV, which is RetroTelevision. It is channel 39 in the Canton area. In a recent email interview with Bryan, he talked about his work and his filmmaking endeavors in Akron.
Which classic movies and or television have influenced your career as a filmmaker?
Originally I loved stuff like Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Flash Gordon. I got into some other great films like Shane, Mr. Smith goes to Washington and High Noon. I grew up watching Wizard of Oz every year around halloween. When I would get home from school I would watch tv until bedtime. I loved shows like “Leave it to Beaver”, “TheBrady Bunch”, and Donna Reed. On Saturdays after cartoons I would watch “Batman” with Adam West, “Wild Wild West”, “Man from U.N.C.L.E.”, and “Star Trek.” Today I watch “NCIS” and “Castle”. I love a good story.
How long have you been making film projects in the area?
In 1998 , Wizard Magazine had a contest for a superhero “fan” film, with some outdated borrowed equipment and the help of some friends and family I wrote, directed , and edited my first project. A lot of problems surfaced but with every problem I was able to come up with a creative solution. After completing the film I realized even with the problems I would rather be doing this than my job as a mechanic, so a filmmaker was born. I have produce several films since then and have even seen my work at some festivals.
When did you start producing this show?
Superhero 101 started airing on WIVM in March of 2009. We actually started filming the first twelve episodes in August of
Has Retro Television (RTV) been a good venue for your series and should more people watch the channel?
RTV is great, it’s probably my favorite station. I miss television. Most of what you find on the 200 stations available are reality
shows. Whatever happened to sitcoms and dramas. I was even sad to see soap operas disappearing in favor of talk shows. I
have been introducing my kids to the great shows of the past, for one thing I don’t have to worry about the adult content or the l
anguage on RTV.
What channel is it on in Akron?
I haven’t broken into the Akron market yet but I am on several stations in Canton, Massillon, and Wadsworth. You can also
watch the current episode online at www.superhero101.us.
Who are you competing with? TCM? TVLand?
Television is specialized now. I don’t think I really compete with anyone. There is not a show on that is anything like Superhero
101. It’s been described as Elvira meets Superheroes.
What do you hope to gain as a producer and director of this series?
I have always love the serials and I was just hoping to bring back their popularity. There are many things that resemble them
today, television show like “Heroes” and “Lost” are modern day serials. I hope that this show will bring to light some of the
great imagination that the writers and filmmakers had to create such works.
How did the actresses who play the Silver Bullet and Marvelette get involved with your production?
Sharon is a member of Little Hollywood Ohio. I told her my idea for the show and she was onboard from the beginning. After
our first shoot we had an opportunity to do a 48hr. film challenge for Akron Film. We wrote a script revolving around
Marvelette, which became the opening of the show. That short did not win the contest but it did make it to several other film
festivals including the Superman Festival in Metropolis, Il. We took a roadtrip to see it play with several other films. Holly joined
us this year. She has been a blessing. I do some acting myself occasssionally an we met at a shoot for weirdness really bad
movie. She agreed to join the cast and the Silver Bullet was born.
What is Little Hollywood Ohio?
Little Hollywood Ohio is a film community. During the first few years of my persuit of being a filmmaker I had a hard time
finding anyone else out there. I took several courses as I found them to help me like scriptwriting, film discussion courses, and
even some acting classes. I located a couple of film clubs, the cleveland indie club and then a massillon film club. There was
nothing in Akron. My brother Jeff and I decided that there had to be some filmmakers in Akron so we started this group to give
people a chance to try different jobs in filmmaking for free. We do projects as a group and several of the produciton companies
who have joined offer positions in their own productions. I’m hoping to make it a little easier to transition into a film career,
easier than I had.
You are recently covering the Gene Autry serials on your show, have you covered any other serials as well?
The Gene Autry serial, “The Phantom Empire”, is one of the most inventive serials with futuristic cities and cowboys. We have
also done two of the three John Wayne serials, “Shadow of the Eagle” and “The Three Musketeers”. Our first serial was “The
Green Archer”. We have traveled to Mongo with “Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe”, to the lost city of Atlantis with “The
Undersea Kingdom”, to Mongolia with “Ace Drummond”, and we traveled with Zorro in “Zorro Rides Again”. I have plans to
visit with some great serial heroes in the near future with “Dick Tracy,” “Zorro’s Black” Whip and “The Clutching Hand.”
For more information about Superheroes 101- visit their website at www.superhero101.us
For more informantion on Little Hollywood Ohio- visit their website www.littlehollywoodohio.com