Beef and Pie — The Formative Films

Growin’ a Beard, Something’s Brewing in Shiner, The 72oz Steak, The Tuesday Nighter and Life is Marbleous. Our original series of short documentaries are, frankly, painful to watch due to MiniDV quality and 4:3 framing, however, they still have heart. With great characters, original soundtracks and killer movie posters we got to showcase all the elements of filmmaking we are passionate about. Each one premiered at SXSW, which was super-fun, and more than enough reason to throw epic première parties. And thus we completed the filmmaker’s cycle: taking a project from conception to having thousands of DVD’s in the back of the garage. By the way, would you like a copy of Growin’ A Beard? How about a box?

Design by Craig Denham
Design by Derrit Derouen

These films also influenced the way we made commercials. To complete any length movie you need to be scrappy, efficient, and know how to run all the rides at the film carnival. Commercial production at the time was quite the opposite — you moved into the Mirimar in Santa Monica for a month, spent a cool quarter million and brought home a Macaroni Grill commercial. That was not going to work here on the banks of I‑35. We were going to have to do something different. So, for starters at Beef and Pie, we brought editorial in house — quite avant-garde for 2005. We embraced the digital revolution and invested in the RED platform. And then, subsequently, dropped a lot of cash upgrading the aforementioned in-house edit suite just to get the footage to play. Needless to say, we evolved out of necessity. But this indie attitude is what still drives us to get the shot,’ make it work for the budget’ and overdeliver every time.

Design by Craig Crutchfield
Design by Craig Denham

In conclusion, did a short film following the beard growing contest in Shamrock, TX shift the paradigm of commercial production in America? That is for historians to debate. In the meantime you are welcome to watch them here and see how we started. We’re still mighty proud of them.