Indie Corner


By • Apr 15th, 2005 •

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When you make a movie, you rarely have time to watch movies. As I wrap up post-production on my new film, I managed to finally catch some new indies. It seems the flavor of choice for indie film-makers is either horror or romance. So, in my mind, chalk one up for the indies. They realize audiences come to a theatre to have their emotions toyed with. They want the audience to say say “awww, that’s nice…” or “Yeah, scare me to death!” to the screen.

BABY FAT is a New York based romantic comedy about a brash young man who uses the movie audition process to find a girlfriend (recall Tikashi Miike’s AUDITION. Hmmm. However, the modus operandi of Miike’s film is not present here). There are some fun surprise twists in the film, and technically, it has a sharp very look for a small budgeted feature shot on video. The most enjoyable part of BABY FAT is in the film’s centerpiece, where our hero rents studio space and holds a cattle-call casting for his hopeful lady love. Actresses auditioning for the part range from the serious well-trained thespian to the starry eyed kook off the pavement. You’ll probably hit the rewind button over and over just to catch the bits of hilarity here. My only problem with BABY FAT is the lack of locations. I wished director Joshua Nelson had used more locations than the suburban house where most of the film takes place.

Locations are easy. Lightweight video cameras can go anywhere, and grab a sharp image in most existing lighting conditions. These little cameras can be clamped onto anything. I filmed moving shots of the nighttime Manhattan skyline from my car cruising along the FDR Drive for my new film, SILVER NIGHT last August. I clamped a video camera to the sun-roof and drove up and down, getting the shot. When I got back home, my producer told me the police called, and were looking for me. It turns out another driver on the FDR called Homeland Security, explaining there are “two suspicious males” filming the skyline. I called the police, and explained to them I’m not Al Queda, just a local guy trying to make a vampire movie.

ACNE was another digital indie we saw. Like the LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA, it mimics 50’s B-sci-fi film. Two slacker siblings, Franny (Tracey Hayes) and Zooey (director/writer Rusty Nails) wake up one morning to find that the top of their heads are now big slimy looking zits. Like the old drive in shockers Rusty amusingly imitates, there is much mileage put on actors in military costumes. The best part of the film concerns a Sergeant who tries to solve the local mystery while his girlfriend, a Major, mutters endlessly about his receding hairline.

A more serious, somber indie horror entry, NIGHT OF THE VAMPIRE HUNTER comes from Germany by way of debuting director/writer Ulli Bujard. It’s a gritty vampire shocker that uses sly humor as well as a downbeat atmosphere to tell the story of pulp writer Jens Feldner (Stephen Keseberg) who finds inspiration for his vampire tales through his girlfriend, Selin (Nicole Bujard). The reason why Selin is good at this is because not only is she a vampire, but she’s a vampire hunter, seeking the Master Vampire who bit her centuries ago. Indie vampire films are generally way too serious. Some of them make dramas about World War II seem light-hearted. Most of the time, if an indie vampire film injects humor, it’s way too goofy. Movie fans will soak up Bujard’s blood-sucking treat. It maintains a strong dramatic sense, and allows for on-target “giggling in the cemetery” macabre humor.

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