What would happen if the witnesses of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral were able to tell us their stories? Who would we believe and how would we know the truth? “Tombstone Rashomon” might help find these answers.
“Tombstone Rashomon” is the newest feature film from independent filmmaker Alex Cox and will be shown as part of this year’s Loft Film Fest on Friday, Nov. 11. The screening will not be the official premiere of the film, as not everything is finalized, but it will be a sneak peek for the Tucson community and locals who were able to work on the project.
“The Loft [Cinema] work-in-progress screening is a real opportunity for us filmmakers,” Cox said. “The producer/editor, sound designer and I want to watch the film with an audience and find out what they thought of it—then we have a chance to make adjustments.”
The entire feature-length film was shot on location at Old Tucson Studios this past May, a place that helped inspire Cox to make the film.
“I shot part of a film called ‘Walker’ [in Old Tucson] and have two more scripts waiting on the runway to be shot here,” Cox said.
Several film and television students and theater students from the UA were able to take part in the production process as well—some worked with the costume department or were a part of the sound team, while others functioned as production assistants.
UA graduates and faculty members were also part of the process.
“I’m having the opportunity to be in a place where not only am I actively working on the shoot, but I’m also learning, too,” said Michael Mulcahy, an associate professor in the School of Theatre, Film and Television.
Mulcahy has worked on a number of documentary features, shorts and fictional shorts, including works of his own, although fictional feature films are more difficult for him to participate in because of his time constraints as a professor. Mulcahy was able to work as the production sound recordist on the set of “Tombstone Rashomon” and is currently helping Cox finish the film as the rerecording mixer.
As a longtime fan of Cox’s work, Mulcahy said he was thrilled to be able to work on the film when the opportunity arose and tried to learn as much as he could from the successful director.
“[Cox’s films] tell the stories of these characters who find it difficult to get through the world in the way that most people do, and so they come up with these really intriguing ways to try to make sense of the world and their place in it,” Mulcahy said.
Cox’s past work includes films like the critically acclaimed “Repo Man” and the biopic cult classic “Sid and Nancy,” among many others. Cox said he relishes in every facet of filmmaking and can’t choose a favorite part of the process.
“The whole thing is a trip and I’m delighted by it,” Cox said. “Raising money and distribution can be difficult, but the rest? Paradise.”
Cox has had resounding success over the years in independent film and suggests that current film students follow their passion right here in Tucson after graduation.
“There are amazing and original stories to be told here,” Cox said. “As a group of talented co-workers, you are already prepped to make your own films and tell your own stories.”
Cox also mentioned how independent projects like “Tombstone Rashomon” have definite perks when it comes to the control filmmakers have over their story and how it is told compared to bigger budget productions. He said he believes if this film were to have had a bigger budget, the studio would have pressured him to film in New Mexico.
“This is an Arizona tale and Arizona is one of the most beautiful places in the world,” Cox said. “Films should be shot in the right place with the right actors and the right crew, and for me on this—and I hope the next—picture, that place is Arizona.”
“Tombstone Rashomon” tickets are available online or at the Loft Cinema box office for $10. Not only is this a special work-in-progress screening of the film, but Cox himself will be in attendance and accepting this year’s Lofty Achievement Award from the theater after the screening.
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