NEW YORK — Mythos Studios, the independent filmmaking arm of hot Austin, Texas-based ad agency GSD&M, has begun production on its first documentary feature. Tentatively titled “Slam Channel,” pic follows a team of poets from the Texas college town and their New York counterparts preparing for the National Poetry Slam.
Doc will follow rival teams during the runup to the so-called Super Bowl of Spoken Word, to take place Aug. 3-8 in St. Louis; 80 teams will compete for the national title.
Over the past decade, Austin has developed a thriving slam poetry scene, with the local team placing third in last year’s national event.
Austin slam poetry producer Mike Henry and Kyle Fuller of digital content provider Confessions Multimedia will co-direct the film and share producing duties with Chris Ohlson of 824 Pictures. Mythos Studios founder Tim McClure will serve as exec producer.
“I’ve seen incredible growth trends in poetry slam over the past few years,” said Henry. “This is no longer a ragtag bunch of poets performing for tiny audiences of their friends. It has become a true zeitgeist of American culture.”
The filmmakers have raised more than half of the $300,000 budget from Austin investors.
In a bid to heighten awareness of the feature with slam fans, performances featured in the doc will be accessible online during production on a designated Web site.
“We’re really looking to explode a new media model of filmmaking,” said co-director Fuller. “We’ll be the first independent production to distribute portions of the film while it is still in the editing stage.”
Founded by six college students in 1971, GSD&M has created ads for DreamWorks, Wal-Mart, Southwest Airlines and Krispy Kreme. Film arm Mythos is in post-production on its first feature, “Drop Dead Sexy,” starring Crispin Glover, Jason Lee, Pruitt Taylor Vince and Melissa Keller.