Movie Process Experiment Inspired by the 1968 Version of "Night of the Living Dead"
The filmmakers behind the documystery movie process experiment known as "Thrillumentary," wish to thank Judith O'Dea for generously giving of her time in person to speak with us regarding the filmmaking process used on the movie she starred in which is the 1968 version of "Night of the Living Dead."
We’re not the first to get wind of this story out but we may be the most passionate. Very exciting news: USAcreate.com is emerging. It means that all those who have an American Dream will, via USAcreate.com, be able to use marketing online to get closer and closer to realizing that dream. The slogan by USAcreate.com sums it all up: “USA Create Your American Dream Online.”
Breaking out the News After Around Eight Months
It’s incredible how quickly time passes but it’s already been around eight months since last we last left a post. We took a much needed rest after being in the thick off creating a movie using our special process. But we had to break the silence to give you the news that USAcreate.com is finally here!
We have the Inside Track
We have to admit we had an inside track regarding USAcreate.com. We know one of the members of the Blogger Coalition that is working with them. You see, USAcreate.com has partnerships with various bloggers and blogs to get out a message of positivity and hope for America. And they’re doing it by supporting blogs in ways that include hosting, marketing and other services at no cost. They are doing so because they believe that it is through unified movements like the Blogger Coalition that it becomes possible to get the word out.
The Blogger Coalition
You may know that the founder of USAcreate.com manages the Blogger Coalition which consists of over 30 blogs. Some of these blogs are for clients and others are designated for community purposes and in house projects. What you may not have heard about is that the mission of the Coalition is to not only to give visibility to those who are making a difference, but it is also one of the most direct pathways to becoming nominated for a Platinum PIA (the event that is now called The USAcreate.com Awards Show)! So much changes in just eight months!
Thrillumentary Filmmakers are ArtisticPreneurs Too
Even though it goes without saying, the filmmakers who make Thrillumentaries are ArtisticPreneurs also. They have to be to keep their productions running smoothly from development clear through to distribution and marketing. The following piece was originally written for the ArtisticPreneur Newsletter and is shown again here with permission.
A Scary Phrase
Do you know what is one of the phrases that ArtisticPreneurs don’t like to hear? Quite simply it is “We are experiencing technical difficulties.” And at present we ARE experiencing a technical difficulty that is not our fault but is instead that of one of our vendors.
It’s All About Your Response
Without describing in detail what kind of technical challenge we are experiencing, it is suffice to say that it is quite a major one in terms of our art and business. And as is the case whenever an ArtisticPreneur comes up against an obstacle, it is more about what she or he does in response to facing a wall than the wall itself.
Do What is Needed
In our case we are captives of a situation of which we ultimately cannot do anything about other than to maintain communication with the person who built the wall and rally for her or him to do away with the obstruction. That’s our strategy and it is the only one that makes sense to us.
A Quote from “Shark Tank”
As Robert on “Shark Tank” says “Poopoo will happen.” And what we’re going through is definitely poopoo.
Focus on Being Productive
Of course there is also the option to scream out and chastise the perpetrator but this is counterproductive in terms of resolving the circumstance. So instead we are waiting it out and planning our solution.
The problem has been fixed. It took 3 days. It’s such a relief. But why is this our topic for this week? The reason is that it is a living example of the importance for ArtisticPreneurs to bounce back from difficult situations.
We used this cliche earlier but what we do with an obstruction is more important than the obstruction itself. There’s usually a work around for any situation in the arts and business, the two domains of ArtisticPreneurs.
The Manhattan Magician blogged on the Movie Process website about the procedure that was undertaken to produce a film. That film is Thrillumentary! Here’s an excerpt:
“The Manhattan Magician’s idea was simple. He would do 3 steps a day until he had a finished film using the Multi Media Movie Making Matrix and Methodology. Things went swimmingly. He would do 3 steps and then his students would do 3 steps. He would do another 3 steps and again his students would follow his lead doing those same 3 steps on their movie projects.”
Additional Blog Coverage by DocuMystery!
The prestigious DocuMystery blog also did a post about us! DocuMystery explores the Filmmaking Methodology for “Thrillumentary” as well as speaks about the inspiration that the original 1968 version of Night of the Living Dead had on Manhattan Magician. In the DocuMystery piece they speak of an in-person interview they had with Judith O’Dea who played the lead role of Barbara in the motion picture. Here is a bit regarding the topics that Ms. O’Dea covered in that interview.
“Ms. O’Dea had lots to say about a number of different topics that included how to break into the industry as an actor, why “Night of the Living Dead” has remained popular for so long, as well as of course some of the filmmaking process strategies that were implemented on “Dead.”
“It’s hard to believe that the Platinum PIAs Community Awards Show for ArtisticPreneurs are tomorrow! Wow, this came quickly.”
Do You Have a Creative Project that is Relevant to the ArtisticPreneur Mission?
So what have we learned from this coverage? Good projects get noticed! So if you have a creative project for which you’d like to get the word out and that you think is relevant to the ArtisticPreneur community, you can do what we did which was to contact the ArtisticPreneur website!
ArtisticPreneur.com acts as a kind of publicist for other sites that are a part of the ArtisticPreneur Movement.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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 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.
“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.
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” 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!