Flying high off interest from the 2011 Texas Comicon this summer, a short local comedy film about a down-in-out superhero is getting the feature treatment.
Writer/Director Mark Cantu of San Antonio said his film, “Now Hiring,” is being expanded into a feature film after a screening at the Texas Comicon last month and interest from local comic creator Kris Kidd.
“Kris Kidd emailed us and asked if we’d need help in possibly moving forward with the feature-film version of it, so I’m quite sure that’s a good sign that the need for homegrown superheroes is there,” said Cantu, 32, a native San Antonian, freelance filmmaker and graphic designer. Cantu added his team is in the process of writing a new expanded screenplay to present to Kidd, who owns Kris Kidd Productions and publishes the “Big Epsilon” comics.
“Now Hiring” tells the story of an unemployed man who, on the advice of his wife, lies on a job application for a children’s party superhero character. The job, however, turns out to be an actual superhero job. With no superhuman abilities to speak of, he is thrown onto a team of heroes in order to fight crime.
Cantu said the idea came from the real-life job seeking situations.
“Our hero, Average Joe, is different because he’s not trying to be a hero to save the planet or anything. He’s trying to save his marriage first, and we’re not even sure he’s capable of doing that,” he said. “
The 2010 short film, which has been screened in San Antonio at the Alamo Drafthouse and Short Shorts Film Festival in June, cost $600 and was filmed in San Antonio.
The cast includes San Antonio actors Paul Scofield, Hayley Burnside, Jason Lee Boyson, Joe Rios, Christopher Viltz, Heather Guckian, Philip Lobo and Michael Cantu. The crew consists of producers Michael Cantu and Joe Rios, and is written by the team of Mark Cantu, Michael Cantu andScofield.
“There is a lot of passion for this project, but it will take a decent amount of money to get it off the ground. Hopefully, we’re headed in that direction,”said Cantu.
Cantu hopes his film will bring more recognition to San Antonio and its filmmaking community.
“We are nowhere near the top tier of filmmakers in town, but we’ve earned some respect in little pockets here and there. So hopefully we’re lucky enough to keep getting chances to push the level of quality that’s expected of us, and help the rest of the community in any positive way we can,” he said.
Even though the San Antonio film scene has been “booming,” not much attention has been given to the city.
“We’ve got directors here who have won multiple awards, been to international festivals, and they should be recognized as community leaders,” he said. “It seems like every month or so, someone’s having a showcase, festival or screening, and that’s awesome. I think in some respects we’re still finding our way a bit, but there’s no doubt the talent is here in the community.”