Art Sunday wants you ... to get excited about the Tulsa creative community. He's been busy convincing artists, fans and entrepreneurial enthusiasts that there is a golden thread uniting all facets of the community, and there might be more to that than you'd think.
His chosen catalyst arrives this weekend in the form of the Tulsa's Underground Horror Fest.
After organizing the Tulsa Sci-Fi Horror Weekend--where genre fans got a chance to meet the reunited casts of A Nightmare on Elm Street (tellingly without Tulsa native Heather Langenkamp) and Return of the Living Dead--at the Tulsa Convention Center last October, Sunday said he learned a few lessons that informed him of what he wanted to do next. He wanted to make a show that's accessible to fans, vendors who are turned off by high costs and, most importantly, that emphasizes local talent.
"After going out on the road, and I came back, you know I really had a desire to do these kind of shows, but I also kind of broke away from the Walmart versions like Texas Frightmare and all these big million dollar corporations with tons of sponsors," Sunday said. "Once you start getting major backers and major sponsors, then you start breaking away from, 'Well you're an independent film artist ... we're going to need at least $600 or $700 for you to showcase your movie here, or we're not going to let you do it at all.'"
To that end, he's eschewing the Convention Center for a smaller cornerstone of the Tulsa landscape--the resurrected Rose Bowl--and making it easier for local artistic talent and ancillary businesses to get noticed and more apt to try with a mere $50 to rent a table or booth.
"There's festivals charging $350 for tables, and $20 a day, $60 a weekend [for admission], and you know, traveling to a lot of them and being a vendor, I realized the vendor has to sell $1000 or $2000 at a festival, and they may or may not make it. But the guy doing a show for $50 or $60 is going to make it," Sunday said.
And while it's called the Tulsa Underground Horror Fest, that doesn't mean it only caters to one genre or even art form. The keyword is "underground," which means a big tent and, in many ways, describes the Tulsa scene.
"There's such a hunger for these vendors, actors and writers that want to get their stuff out," he said. "If you're in Oklahoma and you have a book that's say horror, where are you going to take that to? I welcome all that."
So what's on tap for fans? The festival has an eclectic line-up ranging from national stars such as Tulsa's own Lucky McKee, whose films May and The Woods have received international attention, to local luminaries John Wooley and Brian Parton as well as a myriad of vendors representing everything from local film, music, arts, gaming even sports and burlesque.
There will be a couple of surprise guests, as well as awards for Best Film, Cosplay Costume and Vendor Table.
Horror might be the banner under which he's rallying, but bringing people together from every corner of the creative community is the goal. Not to mention to have a lot of fun.
Sunday calls it a "mini-Con," but that doesn't mean his plans for it are small.
"It may be one day, and it's only $7, but I want to make it the biggest $7 event to ever hit this town," he said.
The Tulsa Underground Horror Fest runs from 3pm till 2am (with an after-party for those with true grit) on Feb. 6 at The Rose Bowl, 7419 E. 11th St. Admission is $7 dollars for the day. Parking is free.
For more details visit, myspace.com/undergroundhorrorfest.
Share this article: