Berndt Mader Debuts Scripts At the Austin Film Festival

The Austin Film Festival starts Thursday, but more writers are finding new opportunities when they leave the big screen behind.

“I’m not sure if they change the way we approach things so much as there’s just more opportunities,” said Berndt Mader, a director, writer and co-owner of the Austin production company The Bear.

Mader is debuting two scripts during a reading at the Driskill Hotel for AFF on Friday. Actors will read the pilot and second episode of a new series (called “Last Looks”) he’s working on with co-writers Bill Wise and Chris Doubek, two Austin actors who originally pitched Mader on the idea of making a movie loosely based on their lives.

“They kind of just pitched me on their world,” Mader said. “Kind of living off of Airport Boulevard, in this little old bungalow, beat-up bungalow house and kind of living their dream, but not having a lot to show for it.”

“They want great characters, and they want to stay with them for a while,” he said. “So a lot of great ideas for movies are now becoming TV shows.”

Richard Linklater appears in a scene in the “Last Looks” teaser the production team shot to help sell the show. Linklater signed on as an executive producer and will help get the script in front of streaming services, Mader said. 

The production team plans to pitch the idea to streaming companies — Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO — before they start producing it. Austin filmmaker Richard Linklater signed on as an executive producer of the show and will help sell it to streaming services, Mader said.

‘There’s just so much being made’ Mader and crew are benefiting from the expansion of the digital content landscape. A decade ago, “Last Looks” might have been a one-off indie film, he said. But now, with so many options — TV, streaming, online platforms — writers have a much bigger hole to fill. “There’s just so much being made,” Mader said.

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