Lyric Cinema Cafe in the midst of producing a VERY Fort Collins-y fiction film

Lyric Cinema Cafe
Lyric Cinema Cafe (Photo credit: charkesw)

“The film culture has to start somewhere,” said Ben Mozer, owner of Lyric Cinema Cafe in Old Town.

With the idea of creating a fiction film based on the premise of a time traveling bike, Mozer decided to bring film producing to Fort Collins.

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The time traveling bike, a sort of main character for the film, was made by Panda Bicycles, a local company that builds bikes out of bamboo.

“We wanted to make it as noticeably Fort Collins as possible,” Mozer said.

To cement Fort Collins as the backdrop to the film, the company has been using local businesses as locations and props from the businesses, which has the added bonus of working as a promotion.

Cody Oliver, a sophomore student and Lyric diehard, believes the film will have a lot of appeal to the Fort Collins community. However, he is skeptical of the response from a wider audience.

“People love the Lyric, and they love Fort Collins, and I feel like the two combined, especially if they do something like they did in “Be Kind Rewind” and involve a bunch of people in the community, it’ll be huge,” Oliver said.

In regards to a film culture, Oliver doesn’t think that Fort Collins needs one. He feels, however, that it would be a prime location to begin one.

“We have a ton of support for every other type of art, such as Art Walk and a ton of concerts,” Oliver said. “I think if there was an easy way for people to get into film, it’d be really popular.”

The soundtrack is going to be made up completely of local bands as well as a score done by Greth Ligon.

“Since we’re shooting this on the fly, the plot changes and morphs,” said one of three directors of the film, Tomas Herrera, from GNU Experience Gallery, a local art gallery and music venue. “It’s designed so nothing is static.”

“We designed the script so one actor wouldn’t have to carry the whole film,” Mozer said.

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There are around 20 different characters, not including the bike, who put in their time to film when they can.

The film is being shot with equipment from all around Fort Collins that local people and businesses are willing to contribute.

“We can make whatever the hell we want. That’s the point: it’s not the normal stifling controls,” Mozer said.

Since the film strives to be embedded in the community, Mozer believes that they know instinctively what people would want to see, with an intrinsic knowledge of local values.

Filming began in August, and is projected to wrap in January, placing the release date in May. Mozer estimated that around half of the shooting is done.

While the Lyric plans on switching over to digital recording in February, the switch won’t necessarily hinder or help the project since the movie will most likely just be transferred from the producer’s computer’s to the projectors for viewing.

“Every day it’s just getting a little bit more bizarre,” said Herrera. “The plot is thickening.”

Other things happening at the Lyric:
How to Survive a Plague — Nov. 9
Samsara — Nov. 9
Aviation Cocktail (produced in Fort Collins) — Opens Nov. 21