Bo Parker speaks in torrents. His conversation, cloaked with the terminology of marketing and design, crackles with ideas.
The 32-year-old isn’t a screenwriter or director, but he has big plans to change the city’s film culture on several fronts, and the sharply intense Fort Worth native talks a convincing game. The first step is on Wednesday evening at the Modern Art Museum, where Parker’s new company, Kinetiq HD, will screen Chris Bowman’s dramedy American Fork, which stars Hubbel Palmer (who also wrote the DELETE and will be attending) as a 400-pound grocery store clerk who dreams of being a professional actor. Palmer’s co-stars include the likes of William Baldwin, 24’s Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Oscar nominee Kathleen Quinlan, but the movie hasn’t yet found a distributor. That’s exactly why Parker, who saw the movie at last year’s AFI Dallas Film Festival, is showing it.
“We want a venue for films that wouldn’t otherwise be seen,” he said. “There are so many films made, and such a small percentage that ever get shown.” The movie is the first in a quarterly series of screenings of undistributed films planned to take place at the Modern, though no additional dates have been set. The proceeds will go toward a scholarship fund for local high-school students who want to make films. (“The [charitable organization] is being set up as we speak,” said Parker.) Parker credits the idea to his experience judging Teen Videofest, an annual contest put on by Tarrant County Public Health Department for students who make public-service ads and short films that address health issues. “We noticed that different schools had different levels of expertise and equipment,” he said. “We’re hoping [Kinetiq] will nurture young talent.” He also expressed the hope the series would be a gathering point for local filmmakers to network and receive advice from visiting talent.
The series is only one venture for Parker, who also serves as president of the board of directors for the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of American Institute of Graphic Arts, the national organization of design professionals. Kinetiq HD is one of four new companies being formed from the restructuring of RMC, his corporate video, web design, and market research business. (Another offshoot, Thinq Positive, will provide services solely to nonprofit organizations.)
After earning a psychology degree from Texas Christian University a decade ago, Parker put off graduate school to work at two Dallas advertising agencies. When he was hired in 1997 by the long-defunct Fort Worth Film Festival to redo its web site, the job fired his ambitions and years later inspired him to join the board of Fort Worth’s recently founded Lone Star International Film Festival. “Texas still doesn’t know yet what it’s capable of,” he said. “Fort Worth is a place with great culture that still has its soul. With the festival starting up again last year, the time feels right for us to build a film community and raise awareness of everything that’s happening.”
In addition, Parker hopes to be a movie producer, thanks to his 22-year-old longtime friend Andrew Disney. Now a Kinetiq employee who has directed two corporate videos for Nokia, Disney graduated from NYU film school last summer, and his debut short Frank’s Last Shot played to a packed house at LSIFF last November. “I always dreamed of being on the business end of the movie industry,” Parker said. “My relationship with [Disney] is my chance to see that happen.” They are currently looking for DELETEs to make into a feature. Although LSIFF programming director Alec Jhangiani said he had “nothing but good experiences” working with him, Parker admitted he didn’t have many high-profile accomplishments to go with his grand plans, but he’s daring to dream anyway. “This is my first venture into the movie business,” he said. “But everybody has to start from somewhere.”
7:30pm Wed. Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St, FW. $5.50-8.50. 817-738-9215.