Some people are born to fade into the background. Others are born to shine. Remember the film Dazed and Confused and that awesome scene where Parker Posey and her pals humiliate the freshman girls by shoving pacifiers into their mouths as they sit captive in the back of a classic truck?
That fourteen-year-old girl in glasses and a ringer T, who gets used and abused and later covered in ketchup and mustard, was meant to shine. She loved every moment of the filmmaking process. The creative fire had been set.
Fast forward a few years, and this sweet kid in the cut-off shorts went on to become an internationally known Pin-Up model, gracing covers of magazines, playing lead roles in several Independent films, making guest appearances on shows like ER and Gilmore girls, writing for the Houston Chronicle, producing commercials and music videos, and photographing cars for magazines like Garage and Car Kulture DeLuxe. Miss Heidi Van Horne even graces a deck of playing cards. While many of you may know her by name, others may simply know her face, because it’s a face that has been seen around the world. Not so bad for a simple girl from Texas.
But her talent in front of the camera isn’t what I want to talk about, that’s been done a million times before (seriously… just Google her name). I want to talk about her latest project behind the camera, MAKING OVER MOLLY. In 2012, Heidi said goodbye to the madness of Los Angeles and headed home to Houston. Life had gotten to a point where she needed to hit the reset button. So why isn’t the film called MAKING OVER HEIDI? And who is this MOLLY stealing Heidi’s limelight? Ladies and gentlemen… I give you MOLLY, Heidi’s 1960 Ford F-100.
There’s something special about the love between a girl and her pickup, but after years of cruising with a “Frankenstein-Drivetrain,” Molly took a turn for the worst. It was the breaking point for Heidi too. L.A. can be an amazing place, but it’s also expensive and crowded and challenging for a girl to find space to wrench on her classic.
The constant struggle became too much, so Heidi hit the road for home, not only to make Molly right again, but also herself; a classic Hero’s Journey set against a backdrop of…
[quote]…killer hot rods, customs and classics; beautiful pinup girls and burlesque gals; gritty shops; glamorous photo shoots; family-friendly car show appearances; and parties with rough and tumble bikers and hot rodders. Just the average mix that makes up my daily life.[/quote]
It was a story Heidi felt compelled to capture on film, and thanks to the accessibility and quality of todays “Pro-sumer” cameras, that dream came true. But it wasn’t easy.
I can relate to Heidi’s frustration with the process. I’ve worked in television for almost twenty-years, and have thought of doing my own longer format work. That’s how MOTOR DOLLS began, just my pal Jefro, me, and my camera gear shooting a show about two girls dream of building a vintage-inspired motorcycle. I quickly learned how tough it is to DO IT ALL, and after finishing the first segment, took those “characters” and turned them into a novel instead. Heidi, however, stuck with it, through the insanely challenging yet rewarding process of having her hand in every step along the way.
So what made Heidi persevere when so many fail? Her passion for the project. Not just her goal to push her filmmaking skills to the next level, or her desire to get her truck going again, but for love of family. Three generations came together to bring Molly back, a time Heidi will always treasure. Regardless of the film’s success, they have this visual heirloom to pass on for generations to come.
It’s one thing to see old family photos, but to see family interact and how they talk and move- that is something that we as a generation have at our fingertips (literally!) and past generations just didn’t.
Plus, she got time in the garage with her Dad, which was, in Heidi’s words…
Frustrating. Awesome. Tiring. Annoying. And something I will cherish for the rest of my life!
Heidi hopes the film will make the viewers laugh their assess off and shed a few tears.
The bigger and tougher the gearhead, the more I wanna twist their heart. These are my people, and this story is as real as it gets. I’m not some network or studio trying to rope you in with bullshit, I’m telling you a story you can understand and relate to. I’m as down home and nerdy as they come. No pretense here. I’m making it with an honest and open heart, so I hope my people view it the same way.
Once distribution is secured, the film will hit the market, and is poised for award and festival submissions. Ideally, Heidi would love for it to find a home with HBO. But first, she needs to put the final touches on her film, and even with the advances in production for the independent, it still isn’t cheap. So yeah… here comes the pitch.
There’s a cliche in Los Angeles about everyone being a filmmaker. Well you know what? Heidi didn’t just talk about making a film… she did it.
And now she’s asking for the public’s help to get it off the computer and onto the screen. I’m writing this because I believe in the power of the independent. There are a few more days left on her crowd-funding campaign. If you want to contribute to this very cool project, please check it out, and help make her dream come to fruition. In exchange, she has some very cool perks, like her latest, a PERSONAL delivery of one dozen Kolaches to your door, wherever you live. But you don’t have to donate big. Every little bit helps, from $1 and up!
HEIDI MET HER GOAL!!
I don’t know about you, but the stories that move me most, are the small stories, the ones told by filmmakers like Heidi, and MAKING OVER MOLLY is one this fellow Ford-Truck-Loving-Girl certainly wants to see.
So did Heidi and Molly achieve their transformation? I reckon you’ll just have to watch the film and find out for yourself. In the meantime, go LIKE the film’s Facebook page to keep up on the latest.
Until next time…
UPDATE: NOVEMBER 18, 2013 – Heidi not only met her goal, she exceeded it! Many thanks to everyone who helped get her there!