Rick Cowan, film producer and director, has died

Kansas City film producer and director Rick Cowan has died.

Cowan’s wife, Wendy Thompson, posted the following tribute to Cowan on her Facebook page Monday.

“Goodbye, my love, my friend, my # 1 companion. I will miss those intense brown eyes of yours and the sound of your voice. Rick Cowan 1955-2016

Cowan was one of the first people who I wrote about when I moved to Kansas City (Ball Busters, September 2005). He had a magnetic personality — friendly, funny, talented and brutally honest. He was instantly recognizable by his mullet, but it was his personality that made him unforgettable. I was profiling Cowan and filmmaker Kevin Willmott. They had just gone to the Sundance Film Festival for their faux documentary, C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America, a jarring look at what life would have been like had the South won the Civil War.

Here’s one of my favorite excerpts from that story:

“Born in Macon, a small town in north central Missouri, he could easily play the clichéd part of a gun-loving redneck — he’ll happily show off his ATF license, which allows him to buy explosives, and he’ll tell you about the time 25 years ago when he and a friend split a case of hand grenades and spent an Independence Day playing ‘chuck and duck’ in the woods.”

In that conversation, Willmott and Cowan made it clear that they were shooting for the stars.

“Our expectations are that it’s going to be the biggest film of the year,” Cowan told me. “Those aren’t realistic expectations, but I don’t know of any way of walking into it without having those expectations.”

“We’ve always joked that we could be lost in the shuffle or we could be on the cover of Time magazine,” Willmott added.

“The truth is probably in the middle,” Cowan said, “but we’re going to choose to believe [we’ll be on the cover of] Time.”

I was really pulling for Cowan and Willmott to make the cover of Time magazine.

RIP, Rick Cowan.

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