Sky's the limit, says Texan who sees Dallas as the
Al Brumley / The Dallas Morning News
Cosgray has a vision.
the kind that can drive a man to spend nearly all
of his free time not to mention a good chunk
of his own change working to make it come
Cosgray, a Delta Air Lines pilot, wants Dallas to
become the new Hollywood.
movies get shot in and around Dallas. But Mr. Cosgray
wants to see local filmmaking become a full-time,
big-business venture, the way it's conducted in
he sees no reason it shouldn't happen other than
that people can't seem to wrap their West-Coast-oriented
minds around the idea.
just need somebody to get on board who's willing
to take a little bit of a chance," says Mr.
Cosgray, 52. "And it's not even much of a chance.
There are extremely talented people here, and we
can create a lot of jobs in Dallas.
doesn't take a genius to figure it out. I can do
a $50 million movie for $4 million ... and we can
come in, hell, $46 million under Hollywood."
Unusual talk for an airline pilot. But Mr. Cosgray's
heart has always been wrapped in celluloid.
recently kicked off Marengo Films, a DVD company
that buys masters of classic films and redistributes
them, two movies per disc, with original packaging
and about the cleanest prints to be found anywhere.
company named after Napoleon's horse
currently has 16 movies out, including Angel and
the Badman, Blue Steel and His Girl Friday.
Cosgray is also about to kick off a "Killer
B" line of double-feature DVDs with such titles
as The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, The Harrad Experiment,
Carnival of Souls and The Boob Tube.
1995, a film he wrote called A Matter of Honor was
released, and he has a new script that has earned
high recognition at several writing seminars and
Cosgray studied journalism in college, and after
graduation he joined the Air Force and served as
a pilot in Vietnam. He stayed in the Air Force seven
years and then joined Delta. But he never lost his
love of film, and it was about that time that he
began writing scripts.
on A Matter of Honor taught him about all facets
of the film industry from editing to selling
the American Film Market in Los Angeles, he met
a man who owned a large collection of master prints
of public-domain classic films.
the DVD format was just coming on," Mr. Cosgray
says. "And I thought, 'Wow, that's an interesting
concept putting classic movies on DVD. But
how do I sell it?'" He eventually met a distributor
interested in the idea, and they formed Marengo
about a year ago.
Cosgray says that he'd like to put out about 20
movies per quarter but that finding good masters
is hard and the company needs more investors. Also,
he says, to ensure high quality he has to watch
each movie at least five or six times to make sure
that the audio and video have been cleaned up to
his satisfaction. (The final screening can be nerve-racking,
the company has already made half its money back,
he says, and he hopes that eventually it will earn
enough to allow him to put a new classic-movies
channel on cable TV.
ultimately, he hopes Marengo will be the seed from
which a film industry in Dallas grows. The biggest
key, he believes, is distribution, and he's trying
to solve that problem with Marengo.
talent galore in this town, and if somebody will
give us a chance, we can take it and run and never
look back," he says. "My God, we're like
a nation in Texas, anyway. If France can make their
crappy little movies, why can't we do it?"
article © 2001 Dallas Morning News. All rights
reserved. Reprinted by permission.
Classic Movies List