overview of Road To Austin director and producer Gary Fortin
Gary Fortin is a 30-year veteran of the visual arts and entertainment world. Starting with a Hassleblad still camera in the late 70s, he quickly made a mark for himself as an international fashion photographer crisscrossing the garment industry landscape throughout Europe and NYC. He formally studied lighting design and advanced composition, but is quick to reveal that most of what has trained his eye is spending countless hours staring at masterpiece paintings in the world's foremost museums - "If you stare at a Rembrandt long enough, the storyline and script will slowly unfold before your eyes like a magic trick"!
Gary's career has spanned the gamut and reads like the resume of 10 people! He is equally comfortable and formidable behind the camera as he is directing or screenwriting. To make the dichotomy of Mr. Fortin even more complex, he is also extremely adept in his business and strategic thinking and is frequently asked to consult and keynote speak on a myriad of diverse assignments - many taking him very far from the world of entertainment and often into industries that he has no prior experience in!
Gary is typically referred to as a quantum thinker and is usually three moves ahead of the current conversation he is presently having. His creative mind is often tapped to help shed light on or solve difficult subject matter, and not only help break down the topic to an understandable narrative, but actually craft the plan of a strategic solution - and he does!
Gary Fortin's body of work is immense - whether conceptualizing a never-been-done-before musical event for 20k people complete with an opening documentary, crafting and filming speeches for International business moguls, developing the necessary software to make a philanthropic project function properly, or having fun conceptualizing and making music videos for the A-list performers that have befriended him along the way over his storied career.
Gary took on his current project "Road To Austin" after his close friend and colleague Stephen Bruton lost his battle to cancer back in 2009. The two of them have a long reputation of creating "spectacle-scale events" and tying them to a purpose in order to make a difference in the world. After Stephen's passing, Gary set out to honor his friend and make a measurable difference in his name. After conversations with Kris Kristofferson, Delbert McClinton and numerous other close friends of Stephen, Gary set out to learn everything he could about wellness and the prevention of life threatening disease. Stephen Bruton once told a friend during his long battle with cancer, "It makes no sense to wait until someone is sick before we try to help them". Through the echo of these words, Gary and his crazy band of raconteurs called the FORMAX Group created the "Artist Wellness Program" in Stephen Bruton's name.
Gary next set out to write, produce, and direct his first feature film with Kris Kristofferson and John Paul Dejoria that chronicles how Austin, Texas became the Live Music Capital of the World...and married it to the last major performance of Stephen Bruton and Kris before Stephen passed away. All the proceeds from the release of this film will go to establish the initiative to provide testing for the early detection and prevention of life threatening disease - all for free to the Artist community!
The film was finished in the late summer of 2013 and is quickly being lauded as a triumphant and compelling documentary with performance footage that is simply mesmerizing and heart felt.
Gary often uses the phrase "every second is a new chance to change the world" - his newest film "Road To Austin" is a massive testament to his words.