Randy Spendlove and Kevin Rubio both graduated from Gilroy High School

Published in the March 14 – 27, 2018 issue of Morgan Hill Life

Photos courtesy PJIFF
Randy Spendlove with his Grammy Award.

Two Tinsel Town filmmakers with roots in the South Valley will return to the region to celebrate the art and craft of movies at the Poppy Jasper International Film Festival April 5 to 8.

Randy Spendlove, a 1982 graduate of Gilroy High School, serves as president of Motion Picture Music at Paramount Pictures. Some of his film credits include “Hugo” and “The Adventures of Tintin,” which both received Oscar nominations for Best Original Score, and “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,” which brought in $73 million at the U.S. box office. He will give the festival’s keynote speech at Morgan Hill’s Granada Theater at the opening gala 6 p.m. April 6.

Kevin Rubio, a 1986 graduate of Gilroy High School, studied theater and photography as a teenager, and made his directorial debut at the age of 17 with a stage adaptation of Robert Redford’s Ordinary People. In 1997, he released a short comedy video on the Internet called “Troops,” a Star Wars/COPS parody that went viral. The film was later recognized by Lucasfilm with the Pioneer Award at the 2002 Official Star Wars Fan Film Awards. Rubio will be a guest speaker at the gala.

Kevin Rubio

Morgan Hill Life asked Rubio about his film career and returning to the South Valley for the Poppy Jasper.

You gained acclaim with “Star Wars” fans with your hilarious parody “Troops.” Why do you think that short film hit a home run with so many fans of George Lucas’s series?

It had the virtue of being the first in a time when people were hungry for “Star Wars” and not sure if they were going to get any more. I also think (in my humble opinion) that it was a good story.

“Troops” helped start the short-film trend on the Internet. What advice might you give young filmmakers in producing a short and putting it on YouTube or other online video distribution sites?

Do what you’re passionate about and keep doing it. Very few people score a goal their first time out. This is a kind of a way to learn.

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What other projects have you focused on recently — such as writing comic books for the “Star Wars Tales” line as well as the “Clone Wars” television series?

I am currently developing several shows with my creative partners for streaming companies like Amazon and Netflix. I’m also working with Randy Spendlove on a project.

Are you excited to come to this year’s festival and what wisdom will you share with fans?

Well, I grew up in the South Valley, so I’m quite familiar with it. I’m just looking forward to seeing some good films.