How an Indy film maker killed my passion for the art.
Well people here we are at the tail end of January 2017. Time flies when you’re depressed AF and struggling to make sense of the world. Only thing is that world we yearn to understand never stops to gives us the time we need to process. So here we are on the 22nd of the month and I am just now getting to post on the brainbusteronline. I could blog about my daily yadda yadda that frankly no one gives af about. And if they do, they know where to find my workout updates, pics of my son and dog etc. That would be my instagram and facebook accounts.
I am writing today to tell a story. One that I am excited to finally get off of my chest so that I can maybe move on, find closure and enjoy being a creative human being again. Last January I attended the premiere of a little film called “Zombie Beast of the Confederacy”. Although limo’s and red carpets were promised, none were in sight at the local hotel conference room in which the film was screened. In fact few promises were kept at all by the man in charge of this production.
I will now preface this story with a little information about myself. For as long as I have been a self aware creature, I have been in love with movies, art, and story telling. And my particular genre that I have always loved just *this much* more than any other is HORROR. I wrote my first screen play in the fourth grade. The name of the film was Predator 3. That’s right, a complete film with three acts. Following the events of the first two Predator films.
This creativity and excitement for scripting films never subsided and I have, what I believe an impressive portfolio. Eventually I picked up a camera and decided to film. Now I am a kid, (ya’know teenager) with no money or resources hanging out with other kids with the same amount of diddly squat to their name. And with a little bit of effort and a lot of creativity we film a 45 minute feature in the span of 3 days. One digital camera. A script no one could remember lines from, and bag full of special effects that didn’t work, a night of running from police, and a passion to create led to our film.
We did a commentary track, dvd box art, wrote sequels, filmed segments for them. And practically no one has ever watched it. It’s been added and removed from youtube a few times. And to be completely honest it’s a dogshit movie. What else would you expect a couple of teenagers to make with literally 6 dollars to our name? Dogshit was the best we could do and by God we did it.
And I am proud of that dogshit. I will gladly, and all the while shamefully share this film with anyone. Both Mr Shaws 1 and 2 of this website were my partners, in the madness that is “Of Dice and Men” and I am not sure they feel the same way. Perhaps one or both would prefer to sweep it under the rug. Life pf course happened and we haven’t been able to do much in recent years. So when the opportunity to work on a “actual independent film. To be distributed on dvd in stores” came along you know I jumped right in.
The director of “ZBOTC”, whom I will not name, was also the producer, script writer and doofus Hollywood Hulk Hogan impersonator on set. A former pro wrestler, nazi and *shudders* police officer who one day decided to make some fucking movies. Now the thing about pro wrestlers, eben the completely fameless ones who have to start their own promotion to even work for 25 dollars per show is some of them have grandiose illusions of who they are and what they are doing. And they are carny shiesters who will work you “the mark” for everything they can.
So as a former pro wrestler he of course hires his pro wrestler friends for the main roles. *And I am not knocking him* I would much rather have my friends be in my movie too. Except my movies are put online for free so we can laugh together. Not too sell at Target for Christ sake.
And despite having literally more film experience then every actor on set I was relegated to “zombie” and I was one hundred percent cool with that. I am was in fact thrilled. I was going to be made up as a Civil War era zombie and that was the coolest thing in the world.
Now I have some skills in photoshop and Bollywood Hogan needed some GFX work done so I offered to do it. Unlike his wrestling buddy actors he didn’t offer to pay me. For any of my time, but like being a zombie I was willing to do it for the fun of it.
The artwork, which is not artwork I would have charged for anyway, I am self taught and not a professional can be seen here below.
In total I logged about 9 hours of work into them, making adjustments based on his notes. And for the record I assumed none of these would actually end up being used. I figured he would use them locally on social media and what not and be done with them. Because after your product is shipped to the distributor they obviously have their own professionals to take care of this stuff.
So the time comes to film and we end up just doing our own make up with wal mart brand halloween cream. Which was a bummer but I did what I could to at least look decent. And then we sat from 9am until 2pm before he found the time shoot us. Whic basically meant that in the summer sun our make up needed re done before we were camera ready. While I watched the pro wrestler actors stumble over their lines I was a zombie.
I was completely method zombie walking through the woods waiting to be filmed. Ultimately I had fun. Even when a diva actress stole my chair, not one provided for me, but my own personal property. I went back for a second day of shooting and played another secondary character who was killed as part of the confusing and ridiculous plot. Once again I did my best to outshine everyone and prove my worth.
I was never paid, but was promised a much larger role in their next film. I was even given a description of the part and a treatment of the script. I ended up doing GFX for that project as well. And I hooked them up with some people I know to better enhance their production.
Then the script never showed up. And my part didn’t exist. And then the movie was finally released. And fuck if it didn’t piss me off. You see the distributor completely stole my design concept. Furthermore the yeti was made out of a pic of a Halloween mask. It would be impossible to take my yeti by chance. it was theft.
I called the distributor, no answer, I emailed no reply. I pleaded with Amazon to remove the image as it was infringing on my work, no luck.
I was robbed of my concept, used and belittled. That is of course as close to Hollywood as I will ever come. But damn did it kill any interest I have in the art. I would like to prove myself. I would like to demonstrate that with zero resources I can make a better movie in my sleep, but yet the desire really isn’t there.
So kids remember, anytime you are working on a film, even one as low rent and shitty as this one. You’re gonna be bent over and shafted like you just got off of a Greyhound in LA.
And if that certain *Diamond* ever reads this, I ant him to see this article end as such;