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Like many of you, I’ve been watching this season’s Project Greenlight with degrees of amusement, empathy and recognition. But it wasn’t until just now that I flashed on the tidbit of trivia that ties PGL director John Gulager and his dad Clu to today’s indie film scene.

Father Clu, a veteran character actor who plays the bartender in his “contest-winner” son’s PGL horror movie Feast, has only one directing credit to his name, but it’s an evocative short that inspired the career of one of today’s most interesting filmmakers. In fact, Gulager’s 1969 A Day with the Boys, which d.p. Tim Orr discovered one day lying around the North Carolina School of the Arts and went on to show his friend, director David Gordon Green, influenced Green so much that he included it on the Criterion DVD release of his first feature, George Washington.

Here’s Orr in IndieWIRE: “[A Day with the Boys] was actually a good influence on George Washington. I found this short film made by Clu Gulager, who was a character actor (The Last Picture Show) in the ’70s and ’80s and he directed this short film that Laszlo Kovacs shot. It’s a very wild and great picture called A Day with the Boys about these kids who take this businessman guy in the woods and they kill him. We watched it three times in a row. It filtered in, in a way, among other things.”

The kicker? One of the boys is played by none other than a nine-year-old John Gulager.

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