On Saturday, Westword celebrated its ninth class of MasterMinds -- artistic adventurers who are changing the landscape of Denver. Here's our last winner:
The Nix brothers got their start as filmmakers in high school in 1999, when Evan, the older brother, got a VHS camcorder for Christmas. They were living in Las Vegas then, but in 2006 they moved to Denver, where their father had attended the University of Denver and the family had vacationed. "It's the kind of place we were always looking at, always wanted to move back to," says Evan. "We've been making films here for the last six years."
And Denver's been lucky to have the Nix brothers. When they're not working their day jobs -- Evan at a small video company, Adam at an ad agency -- they've been making award-winning short movies and music videos, working with some of the town's most talented comedians and musicians. In addition to making films, they direct Denver's annual Laugh Track Comedy Festival (it will be back in summer 2013, though the date is not yet determined) and perform in their own (fake) band, Total Ghost.
They're not only doing good work, they're having fun. "The thing that we really feel we've been able to thrive off is the fact that Denver's small still, and that makes it fun," says Evan. "It's genuinely a creative, collaborative sort of thing that's not ego-driven or career-driven; people are doing it because it's a passion they have, and we're lucky to be a part of it. We're not standup comedians, but we're embraced by the community and have so many friends involved." And have become friends with so many more. The work has "technically been pro bono," Evan notes, "but I would call it collaborative." And recently, certain more lucrative opportunities have come up, including a pilot with the Grawlix (featuring this week's cover boy, among others).
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Says one MasterMind who's pushed hard for Nix Bros. to win this award, "They're doing so much that the only argument against them is that in a year or two, they'll be too big for us. Giving them this award now may help keep them here." And help keep Denver looking good.