A message from the editor
The Indie Digital Buzz is a new feature from Monsters at Play and Horrorview that allows our readers to get the inside scoop straight from the source in the world of indie horror. I felt that indie horror was an untapped medium and not given the proper respect it surely deserves. Yes, there are those indie horror flicks out there that are slapped together in a heartbeat and passed off as quality cinema, while they remain complete and utter garbage. Then there are those who really enjoy the craft of filmmaking and pour their heart, sweat and tears into each production. Most of these people work normal 9-5 jobs and make movies on the weekend as a hobby. They spend little money on these flicks and they make little money from them, but the films speak for themselves. I felt our readers could benefit from some inside knowledge including anecdotes from the indie movie set and info on upcoming titles that may be of interest. I hope you enjoy reading these articles as much as I have. Expect to see 3 or 4 of these a month, enjoy!
...and don't forget, Beware the Monsters!!!
Lawrence P. Raffel, Editor-in-Chief, Monsters at Play
The idea of this column is to bring to light some of the great independent movies that are coming to DVD. Now when I say independent, I am not talking about movies that were financed by Tom Hanks or Drew Barrymore or any other high profile celebrity. No, none of these. I am talking about the people who slave over a script for months or years, finance the project them selves or through family and friends, shoot it themselves, and sometimes act in the project. These titles have budgets that would not even cover catering on one day of a Hollywood movie. A typical budget on a true independent project could range from $100 to $500,000 and they've been shot on anything from VHS to 35mm film. The thing that sets these movies apart is the amount of love, blood, sweat, tears and dedication that goes into an independent production. The hard work is evident when the finished project is viewed.
A lot of these great movies are coming or are already out on DVD. I have an inside track to quite a few of these titles and I really hope to open some eyes and draw in new fans to these fantastically entertaining movies.
There have been great strides made in recent years in the distribution of these titles. Sub Rosa Studios has been able to get titles like these all over the world and in many major retail stores. The Internet and sites like Monsters at Play are another major reason why indie movies are gaining popularity at a terrific rate. These factors coupled with the fact that the current slew of indie moviemakers grew up in the age of the camcorder make the recipe of success definite.
I have 15 years experience in the independent movie scene. I have performed the duties of everything from grip to director. Each week I would like to share a story with you about my time in the scene. This story may be about something that happened on the set or during any stage of the production process. I feel as if I have a lot to share with budding filmmakers and fans in general. In addition to my story I will also bring to light a few of the great indie titles that are on DVD.
A Story from the Set: The Cistern
So, I landed this fantastic location for the movie ICE FROM THE SUN. And while at this location the entire cast and crew almost gets lynched by a group of church camp goers. After that situation calmed down another problem at this “perfect location" occurred.
I left the cast and crew at the location and went back to St. Louis. The cast and crew were to stay there for a week straight. About 2 or 3 days into the week I got a call at home. It was Eric Stanze, the director of the movie. He told me that the water cistern went dry at the location. No more running water. He was worried because they had another few days to shoot and a lot of those shoots involved blood and other effects. Not to mention the fact that it was a VERY hot summer ...lots of sweating. No water meant some REAL stinky people.
I immediately contacted the owner of the property and told her of the dire situation that the cast and crew were dealing with hours away. She told me that it would take a few days to get water delivered to the location. I called around to different water supply companies in that area and all of them confirmed what the owner of the property had already told me. It would take a few days to get water.
So now I have to call Eric at the location and tell him that I could not do anything to help. I had exhausted all of my possibilities. When I called Eric, he took the news like a trooper and said that he absolutely WOULD NOT cancel the shoot because of the current situation. He was going to find another way of handling it.
So the week went by, I was in St. Louis and the cast and crew were hours away in the middle of nowhere, dealing with excruciating heat with no water at all. I felt helpless and guilty. Yes, it was a fantastic location, it had all the visual elements needed for the scenes scripted, but not only did they almost get lynched, they were now out of water. It was the longest week in the world for me. I waited and waited. Finally the cast and crew came home after a week of torture. It was then that I found out that the entire cast and crew had been bathing in a nearby lake. They would load up in vehicles and make the trek to the lake where locals were playing and having family fun. Once there, they would get out the soap, strip down and bathe in the dirty lake water. While all of this was happening, I was showering in my home and enjoying every warm water minute of it. I do wish that I could have been there with all of them. A community bath with friends is an experience that I have missed out on.
This weeks featured title(s):
This week we will take a look at the world of Eric Stanze and Wicked Pixel Cinema.
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