The “Thrillumentary” Educational Journey and How “Night of the Living Dead” Inspired it

Judith O'Dea, star of the original 1968 version of "Night of the Living Dead" that inspired the movie process experiment "Thrillumentary"
Judith O’Dea (pictured) as Barbra Blair in the original 1968 version of “Night of the Living Dead.” Our in person speaking with Ms. O’Dea about the movie’s low budget filmmaking approach is what inspired the development of “Thrillumentary.”

If you wish to contact us after reading this post, we encourage you to do so through Lights Camera Read.

Lights Camera Read and the Inspiration for “Thrillumentary”

And speaking of Lights Camera Read, we did an in person video interview for Lights Camera Read (and its New York Public Library workshops) of Judith O’Dea (pictured). O’Dea played Barbra Blair in the original 1969 version of “Night of the Living Dead” which notably was an extreme low budget movie. While conducting the interview of Ms. O’Dea we became fascinated as she told us about the low budget filmmaking techniques used to make the feature film. This inspiration eventually lead to us taking on the movie process experiment known as “Thrillumentary.”

The DocuMystery known as Thrillumentary

To begin, the Thrillumentary project is perhaps best known as as being a 2016-2017 documystery experiment. An experiment done to explore the making of a feature film that is primarily filmed with a cell phone, with no crew and a budget under $500.00.

Thrillumentary Was Partially Facilitated by a SUNY and a CUNY

State University of New York Empire State College stepped in during the phase following the development process of the DocuMystery Methodology. SUNY Empire State College students were initially going to be filling the positions of a small film crew that would shoot the piece if the screenplay got the green light. Although at this point in the production nothing had been yet spent yet, there was still the thought that some funding might be raised.

The “Thrillumentary” project during this check point in the chronology had a focus on the all-important aspect for fillmmakers today which is to “Create An Audience.” In fact, the primary filmmaker of “Thrillumentary” was asked to speak at an event entitled “Funding For Artists” that was being held on May 19, 2016 at 325 Hudson St in NY. At this event, one of the key topics covered included “How to Build and Audience,” a very important component.

During this stage of the evolution of “Thrillumentary” it was thought that the project might initially be done as an Empire State College web series. But that was soon to change.

Table Read and Platinum PIAs Inclusion

A work-in-progress cast was assembled on February 6, 2017. A table read was done by the actors. The plan was to have members of the ensemble appear “in character” at the 8th Annual Platinum PIAs Awards for ArtisticPreneurs. Also, the filmmaker was now receiving college credit in regards to “Thrillumentary.” He had integrated Thrillumentary into being a part of a Baruch College class he was taking in pursuit of getting a Masters in Arts Management.

Lights Camera Read was Involved

Helping to promote Thrillumentary was the nonprofit sponsored organization Lights Camera Read who announced the table-read in their blog. Lights Camera Read, since 2010, has been producing the annual awards show, the Platinum PIAs.

Movie Process Documents the Process

By the time April, 2017 had arrived, Thrillumentary was in production. As the blog entry of Movie Process attests, at this point Thrillumentary was being shot primarily with a cell phone using a “selfie” approach. Some of the actors were being filmed with a digital camcorder providing a different “look.”

The lead actor was filming himself, a fact which made sense in the context of the Thrillumentary plotline because he is communicating with others by speaking and gazing into his mobile throughout the motion picture.

The Movie Process article went on to say that the key to “no budget” is for the filmmaker to draw upon tapping existing resources. In other words, use what you have. Write your script around locations and props you have easy access to.

But the thing that really makes the “Thrillumentary” Movie Process unique, is that the three-steps-a-day approach that the film used was simultaneously being documented on the Art Gush website. Art Gush, which had been documenting the process on their website since August, 2016. Weekly installments were being produced in the form of courses. It should be noted that during this period, Art Gush was then an educational membership site featuring weekly “How To” videos but is currently transitioning into being an eBook-only provider.

The Blog “Artist Steps” Endorses the Art Gush Documentation Process

A blog entry on the “Artist Steps” blog details the three-steps-a-day approach that is being documented by Art Gush of the Thrillumentary endeavor. Art Gush tracks the methodology.

In Conclusion

Thrillumentary was a whirlwind project from its start in August, 2016 to its early end toward the latter portion of 2017. If nothing else, the filmmaking process of Thrillumentary proved that a feature length movie could be pulled off by working only three steps a day, seven days a week.

Some have asked what has happened to the video documentation that was done by Art Gush. It has been archived offline because Art Gush is now reinventing itself as an eBook publisher. They are completely changing their topic focus and will soon be making eBooks available as instant downloads for small businesses and ArtisticPreneurs who want to get more customers, clients and fans. We wish Art Gush well on this fresh venture.

As we stated in the opening of this article, if you wish to get hold of us you can do so through Lights Camera Read.

And finally in closing we wish to give a special thanks to Judith O’Dea, star of the original 1968 version of “Night of the Living Dead,” for generously giving of her time to talk with us and ultimately inspiring us to take on the “Thrillumentary” project.

Movie or Other Creative Project

Sponsorship for Your Creative Project
Sponsorship for Your Creative Project

“Thrillumentary” was a movie, the producing of which was done to explore a new filmmaking process. But whether you are producing a motion picture or another creative project, a form of financing to consider is sponsorship. The idea of sponsorship is detailed in the latest Art Gush course as well as in an article found on the website “ArtisticPreneur.”

The info piece seen in “ArtisticPreneur” covers in detail the steps to take to achieve sponsorship. Also included in these steps is a look at how to leverage eBooks for the development of your creative project. So if you are doing a creative project of any kind this article is worth checking out.

NYC Create Gives Insight into Movie Budget Strategies

NYC Create gives insight into movie budget strategies meaning our prior given concept regarding raising funds for your motion picture are now outdated. You still need to think like an artistic entrepreneur or artisticpreneur, but now with the new tax law going the small nonprofit arts organization may not be the way to go. The new tax code will likely cause the collective loss in the billions of dollars especially for small nonprofit arts organizations that rely on middle income donors to stay afloat. This is because these donors will no longer have the motivation to donate due to now not itemizing deductions and using instead the standard deduction. This means the filmmaker of today, if he or she wants to get a budget for the film, will have to rely on another strategy. NYC Create, the new information site for artisticpreneurs to “create their creative career” has informed Thrillumentary that a suggested approach for moviemakers to raise financing is to look first at digital distribution. You may need to look at digital distribution and assess it from the standpoint of what you think you can do in terms of driving traffic to online venues selling views of your film. This means you could consider coming up with a number based on views you think you can achieve and then backtrack to form your budget. In fairness, your budget should be less than what you think your movie can bring in. This final number is what you can seek as an investment from investors. Of course, we’re not lawyers and cannot give you legal advice or otherwise, so if you are considering taking this path it is best to consult with experts before doing so. Also, if you would like more information on how to promote yourself, build your audience and ultimately monetize your art check out the newsletter available at NYC Create.

John Yianni Stamas Says The Fans Have Spoken

“Fans” is a curious term in contemporary times. It really means supporters – to whom we are very grateful.

And the “fans” have spoken. We feel pretty lucky to have the list of creative individuals that we do. After our message last week discussing the challenges we were having with the production “Thrillumentary” we got all kinds of positive feedback from our newsletter and blog subscribers. Essentially they were encouraging us to stick with it and letting us know they are looking forward to seeing the web series and subsequent pilot.

Also from the responses, we became very excited by the sheer volume of projects that are going on out there in cyberland. Those who wrote to us are doing everything from live theater productions to full fledged feature films with major distribution deals. Quite a remarkable artistic community!

Thanks to all the awesome “fans” who have spoken. After checking out all of the myriad links you have presented we are “fans” of you as well.

Being a “creative” in this day and age can be tough. But on the other hand there are so many funding/making/marketing/distributing options that it balances it out. There is a perfect fit for any endeavor. You no longer have to depend on others to give you the “thumbs up,” because you can use technology to make those opportunities for yourself.

More and more in the future we are going to be focusing on making this newsletter and blog a place that recipients can get “Artist Steps” toward having success in the arts world. Stay tuned for surprises. And climb the colorful stairway one step at a time.

Yianni Stamas Lets it Be Known that Thrillumentary will be Filmed at the Platinum Pias Tomorrow

Let it be known that “Thrillumentary” will be filmed at the Platinum Pias Community Awards Show tomorrow. If you’ve never attended the Platinum Pias and would like to, this will be a good one to visit because we will also be shooting the “Thrillumentary” motion picture there. For more information on attending, go here for info.

Thrillumentary Presence at the Platinum Pias Awards

“Thrillumentary” has a presence at this year’s Platinum Pias in a couple of different ways. The first is through mentions during the show as well as in the program. The other is via the fact that a scene from “Thrillumentary” will be filmed at the event!

And not only that, the show is in just over a week! If you are in the New York area and would like to attend the Pias this year, check out this blog entry on MovieProcess.org.

How to Get Funding for Your Movie or Creative Project

We will be giving a university lecture next month as a part of a State University of New York, Empire State College clinic on arts and entertainment. The topic will be “How to Get Funding for Your Movie or Creative Project.”

This will be ushering in the new wave of funding for movies working with nonprofit rather than for-profit organizations.

Although it is a bit of a spoiler (though there will be much more information at the lecture), we are going to give you the 3 steps you need to take to raise funds for your project if you are a nonprofit or have a nonprofit umbrella.

Remember, getting a nonprofit umbrella is easy working through such service organizations as Fractured Atlas. This will mean that you are able to accept donations for your movie or creative project and the donor can write off the donation on his or her taxes.

Here now are the three steps:

  1. First off take care of old while you bring in new. Now find the right fit because you need to be presenting what it is you do to an appropriate like-minded audience.
  2. Next engage that audience in something interactive. How do you somehow get them involved in what you are doing?
  3. Now interact with them. Figure out a way to continue to interact with them. Develop in the mind of the potential donor a reason why they would want to be involved with your project. Listen to their needs and desires. Remember, be a solution to their problems and you’ll be able to make “the ask.” Next repeat the 3 step process.

Hope this was helpful.

Documenting Our Filmmaking Process

May 21, 2016 at 11am it all started – the reading of the very first draft of the theater/web/film undertaking, “Thrillumentary.” The script, which was written earlier that month (in a just a few short weeks), was read by some talented union actors. We wanted to use these actors in the actual project, but unfortunately, due to budget constraints and the fact they were union, this didn’t seem possible.

So instead, on June 4th, 2016, we embarked on the Art Gush Method of Digital Filmmaking with an emphasis on doing the production nonunion. This was a process of taking the steps to make the film, then documenting our steps on the newly created membership site artgush.com.

The Art Gush membership grew quickly and soon we were developing a movie, sharing the three steps a day that we were using, and in turn having folks apply these same steps to their own motion pictures in development!

The great thing about the Art Gush Method is that it simplifies the filmmaking process for those who have a basic understanding of using camcorders (or mobile phones) and have a bit of knowledge about editing apps.

Sometimes, people talk about making feature films but never undergo the steps to do it. By taking just three steps a day, lasting a half hour to two hours a day (most days), we look forward to having a finished full length movie within only two years!

Can a theater piece become a web series and then a feature film all within two years? Stay tuned!

“Thrillumentary” Thrilled to be Mentioned in Lights Camera Read Blog

“Thrillumentary” is thrilled to be mentioned in a recent Lights Camera Read blog entry. We were also commented on in today’s NYCmakeAdifference.com Newsletter.

We’ve been asked about our relationship with the Platinum Pias Community Awards Show for Artists and how we fit in together.

The Platinum Pias and “Thrillumentary” are both being produced by Lights Camera Read.

In fact, there is a literacy aspect to the plot of “Thrillumentary” in that one of the characters is a librarian.