Pole Vaulting Sharks: Acadiana’s Bi-coastal Filmmakers

All musicians want to be actors and all actors want to be musicians. That’s how you get David Bowie in the Labyrinth and the Bacon Brothers.

To be fair, everyone wants to be in the movie business. Over the last couple of decades, changes in technology and tax incentive programs by state and local governments have made that somewhat easier for folks to do, without necessarily moving to Los Angeles full time.

Wherever you do it, it’s not going to be easy though. And it can be lonesome too, if you’re embarking on a passion project.

Lafayette native filmmaker Brennan Robideaux

Lafayette native filmmaker Brennan Robideaux

Brennan Robideaux has spent years pouring his time and life savings into one project: a documentary about pole vaulting Armand Duplantis, said to be perhaps the best to ever to do it and who grew up here in Lafayette.

The movie is called Born to Fly and Brennan tracked Duplantis before he won gold and set records in the 2020 Olympic games, following him around the world to document his rise in a candid feature built on 700 hours of footage.

Brennan grew up in Lafayette and opened a production company — Robideaux Creative — in 2018 to take on commercial work and other projects.

Brennan’s name might sound familiar to you because of his dad: former legislator and Lafayette mayor Joel Robideaux. Film maker Griff Furst credits the former mayor’s cultural economy program with helping his company Curmudgeon Films make a home here in Lafayette.

Bicoastal filmmaker Griff Furst

Bicoastal filmmaker Griff Furst

Griff grew up in Van Nuys, California and in the entertainment industry, tagging along with his dad, actor Stephen Furst (a successful film producer though best known for his early work as an actor as “Flounder” in National Lampoon’s Animal House), onto sets from a young age.

Today, Griff makes movies both behind and in front of the camera. Griff has acting credits in films like the Magnificent 7 and Terminator Genysis and has directed several sci-fi thrillers under the Curmudgeon umbrella — movies as diverse as Ghost Shark and Cold Moon.

Louisiana’s production tax credit first brought Griff to Lafayette in 2008. He met his wife, a Lafayette native. They now split time between Lafayette, New Orleans and L.A. And he continues to run productions both in Louisiana and around the country.

Christiaan Mader Zooming it wtih Lafayette filmmakers Brennan Robideaux and Griff Furst

Christiaan Mader Zooming it wtih Lafayette filmmakers Brennan Robideaux and Griff Furst

Conditions compelled us to record this edition of Out to Lunch Acadiana on Zoom. Next week we hope to be back at our regular lunch spot, Tula Tacoson Jefferson Street in Downtown Lafayette.

Photos by Astor Morgan. And here’s another interesting lunch table conversation about the Acadiana entertainment industry, specifically how the live music biz had to adapt to living with a pandemic.

Liaten to Out to Lunch Baton Rouge