Reel East Texas Film Festival brought an opportunity for filmmakers, students and community members to rub elbows with a Hollywood producer.
Lee Supercinski, producer of “Futurama,” “Murray Saves Christmas” and his current Netflix project “Disenchantment,” returned to East Texas for Kilgore’s first film festival.
The Longview native brought with him behind-the-scenes footage regarding the making of “Futurama” and took questions in a roundtable discussion Saturday afternoon.
“I really appreciated being invited to it,” he said. “I do consider myself to still have very strong East Texas roots, and it’s good to come back. I like to try to encourage people because I always tell people I’m definitely by far the second or third most famous person – Matthew McConaughey and I, we went to high school at the same time; he was a senior when I was a freshman… There’s a much stronger artistic community out here in Kilgore and Longview than I think people give it credit for. I think it’s good to give people something to come out for.”
The best part about the festival, though, is the renovation of the buildings.
“I love downtown Longview, I love downtown Kilgore,” he said. “I love to see them when they’re utilized, so bringing people down to the Texan Theater I think is really the best part about it, bringing some economic revitalization.”
His advice for aspiring filmmakers or producers is to go to Los Angeles as a student and work through internships, which is how he found his way into his first paying job as a production assistant in Hollywood. Instead of having to work various odd jobs, he said, he graduated from the University of Southern California and the following Monday he started working.
The most successful people have peaks and valleys when it comes to their careers, but the key is to be persistent and to treat people well.
Supercinski’s career proves that Hollywood careers can start anywhere, his dad, Frank Supercinski said.
“They just need to do their thing where God puts them,” Frank Supercinski said. “The thing I realized about him, my philosophy as a parent was let the kid be who the kid’s supposed to be, so I would come in from work and he would be on the floor watching television and eating his chips with his hot sauce, and he’d be about five or six years old, and he’d jump up off the floor and say, ‘Dad, dad, let me tell you about this.’ He wouldn’t say, ‘I like this show.’ He’d say, ‘Let me tell you how they do this.’ He never got off of it. He was passionate from an early age, and he kept following it, so when he told me he wanted to go out to USC, I gulped and sent him out there.”
He hoped for the best and it turned out his son was one of the lucky ones who made the right connections to establish a career as a Hollywood producer.
“It is a business of contacts,” he said. “There’s no production jobs advertised in the want ads. It’s based on people wanting to get recommendations from people that they’ve worked with for people that they’ve worked with. I think it’s really great to bring film and television production here to town to give people someone that can kind of mentor them and they can look up to.”
Even though he does live and work in Los Angeles, Lee Supercinski said, he still considers East Texas home.
“I like coming back to Texas,” he said. “My parents still live here. I think it’s a vibrant part of the country. There’s some beautiful locations for shooting, and I think there is, even though it’s small and you don’t see it every day, there’s certainly a community here that supports the arts, and I think people here almost maybe appreciate it even more because it’s rare to find opportunities… I’m very proud of my Texas roots, it’s definitely a part of me.” In addition to his parents, his younger sister Lauren Cammack serves as executive director of the East Texas Treatment Center.