SXSW 2014
7:49 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

SXSW Filmmaker Spotlight: An Intense Texas Thriller With 'Two Step'

The Texas drama "Two Step" debuts at SXSW Film. It is Austin-based writer/director Alex R. Johnson's first feature-length film. It has a "No Country for Old Men" vibe – along with a memorable villain who you're better off not running into.

Johnson is pretty new to Austin. He talked with KUT about "Two Step" and how moving here inspired him to make it.

On "Two Step":

"It's about James who has just come home from college to his only family, his grandmother, who passes away pretty quickly after he gets there. You realize that he suddenly has a bit of an inheritance and he's all alone. He's looked after by Dot, who is played by Beth Broderick, a neighbor of the grandmother. Then, meanwhile, you've got this other storyline happening with this con man working the grandparent scam. And their two worlds collide in kind of a violent fashion."

On the Texas Flavor of the Film:

"I didn't write it until I moved here and I just moved here about a year and a half ago. It just definitely influenced me massively... Just a lot of research and listening, watching a lot of southern Texas cinema. Just listening to the rhythms of it and just knowing that Texans speak with analogies. And I just did a lot of research, looked a lot up."

On the Film's Opening Title Sequence:

"We wanted to give people clues as to what's coming later, that there is kind of a pulp-y aspect to it. There is going to be a little violence. And there is going to be, I think, some style in how it's done."

On Premiering the Film at SXSW:

"I can't express how special it is. This is going to be my third or fourth South by... But it's just incredible. It's about SXSW and it's also just about the filmmaking community here. It's incredibly supportive. I'm going to annoy a lot of people in New York but... From my circle of experience in New York, it's not as supportive as it is here."