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Local filmmaker putting a new spin on Good Records

Posted 3:10pm on Monday, Mar. 04, 2013

I stumbled across the teaser below earlier today, which features Good Records owner Chris Penn talking generally about something called GOODRECORDS: The Series. I'd also found a link outlining a casting call for the proposed series, set to take place at this year's South by Southwest. Intrigued, I tracked down the series creator/producer Christopher Telles for a quick chat about what he's planning to do.

First things first: GOODRECORDS is not a reality show, nor is it meant to evoke any memories of the goofy 1995 film Empire Records. Telles, who arrived in Dallas three years ago as part of the wave of TV shows set in and around the area (Chase, The Good Guys, etc.), says he began developing the concept last year.

"Imagine a scripted series with characters that live and work around Good Records as their home base," Telles says, who also explains he'd take advantage of the frequent in-store performances on the Astroturf stage to incorporate a live music element to the series. "It's still really early in pre-production, but there's a script that exists for a pilot [episode]."

His "pie-in-the-sky" hopes for a series would be to land on HBO (Telles cites Girls and IFC's Portlandia as the kind of vibe he's aiming for, while also name-checking the film adaptation of High Fidelity), although something web-based would also be a possible avenue. The SXSW casting event, which is being held live with casting director Beth Sepko, is designed to give fest attendees a peek at part of the filmmaking process, although it also helps Telles, who calls GOODRECORDS pretty "grassroots," spread the word about his project.

Telles, who currently works on the TNT series Dallas with the locals casting director, is a self-described "big record geek" who began getting back into collecting vinyl a few years ago. ("I'd always wanted to work in a record store," he says.) In reading about how the resurgence of LPs was helping mom-and-pop stores thrive, Telles thought it would be an ideal setting for a fictional show, and Good Records owner Chris Penn agreed: "He's signed off on everything," Telles says.

Calling Dallas "a better place to hatch" his idea, Telles points to the universal appeal of not only music, but record stores.

"I was there just yesterday, picking up a vinyl copy of a New Order singles collection," Telles says, "and there were college kids, young kids -- there was a really old guy in there. It runs the whole gamut and everybody seems to think it's a great idea."

For now, GOODRECORDS is in something of a holding pattern, waiting on what Telles calls "a lot of if-then scenarios," although he did allow that he is "talking to some people [and] setting up meetings at SXSW." His hope is that the SXSW visit generates some buzz.

"If I can get the right people excited about it, we can move forward quickly," Telles says. "If not, we'd shoot the scene we're casting [at SXSW] in April, and use that to spin it into excitement."

For those wanting more information on the project, Telles directs folks to the GOODRECORDS Facebook page: "My plan there is get people interested there," he says, providing "updates on how things are going and other casting info that comes up, get people excited about being extras in the show."

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