LOS ANGELES — The James Deen-produced steampunk-inspired Western short film “Cowboys & Engines” is set to premiere at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 14 at the Landmark Theatre in Los Angeles.
Set in an alternate 1876, the movie follows Cade Ballard, the former Texan ambassador, as he encounters Guinivere Wheeler, a sexy gunslinger and con artist. Together, they form an uneasy pact to stop Dr. Clay, a would-be conqueror who wants to unleash the destructive power of the Temporal Engine, a machine that threatens to lay waste to the entire city of San Francisco.
The project was developed by director/writer Bryn Pryor as a proof of concept or as a pitch piece to show that well-done steampunk adventure is as fun and engaging as any other genre. Adult star and filmmaker James Deen was brought on as a producer; Deen was previously an associate producer on “The Canyons,” in which he co-starred.
As stated on the movie’s official site, the filmmakers said it is a very personal project and an attempt to create something completely original, visually stunning and an exciting ride that never becomes silly or tongue-in-cheek.
“Personally, ‘Cowboys & Engines’ has been a labor of love,” Pryor said. “Dozens of people have put in an enormous amount of work on this film, but the original concept was something I came up with, and if it fails, that's my burden to shoulder.”
The cast is led by actors Malcolm McDowell (“Star Trek: Generations”), Richard Hatch ("Battlestar Galactica"), Walter Koenig ("Star Trek," "Babylon 5"), and newcomer Libby Letlow.
Screen veteran McDowell is known to fans for his seminal role as the violent Alex in Stanley Kubrick’s classic “A Clockwork Orange,” and also for his portrayal as the evil Dr. Soren who kills Capt. Kirk in “Star Trek: Generations.”
Hatch is known for his leading role as Capt. Apollo in the ‘70’s classic TV series “Battlestar Galactica.” Koenig is recognized for his portrayal of iconic Russian starship helmsman Pavel Chekov in the original “Star Trek” series as well as for his recurring role as the scoundrel Bester in the series “Babylon 5.”
The project was financed in part through a successful crowdfunding campaign via Kickstarter.com that raised awareness and more than the $100,000 goal set by the filmmakers.
"'Cowboys & Engines’ is special because it is proof of what heights can be reached through crowdfunding and determination. I would love to see the short fully developed into a mini series or feature for the world to enjoy,” Deen said.
Pryor added, “We’re extremely thrilled that after almost two years of Kickstarter campaigns, months of preproduction, and extremely complex summer shoot, and a year of post production and special effects, ‘Cowboys & Engines’ is finally getting its big-screen cast and crew premiere in West L.A.”
The screening will be attended by Deen and Pryor as well as the film’s cast and crew. A short presentation will follow the screening.
“Cowboys & Engines” is an 1876 Productions film, produced by James Deen, Kevin Alexander Heard, Charles Mead and Paul Pilcher, directed and written by Bryn Pryor, cinematography by Hollywood Heard, Music by Vitaliy Zavadskyy and production design by Kylie Ireland.
“Our hope for the project is to take it to the next level, either as a feature film, or as a television series. This is a huge, fascinating world we've created, and the potential for it is endless,” Pryor said.
The Landmark Theatre is located at Westside Pavilion Mall, 10850 West Pico Blvd. in West Los Angeles, California.