Can a Thrillumentary Be Funny?

First Things First

Before attempting to answer the question whether or not a Thrillumentary can be funny, let’s initially define what a Thrillumentary is. To us, a Thrillumentary is part thriller and part documentary, hence Thrill-Umentary. We are dealing with a genre that in a sense could involve both the serious thrilling storytelling of a thriller, as well as the compelling content of a documentary.

Maybe Develop a New Genre

So that in itself could be transposed into being funny because of the juxtaposition between overly serious thrilling storyline and documentary’s (some would say) less than stellar subdivision known as the clearly not real “reality” of a reality show. Merging the two humorous offspring could be considered a so-called thrilling unreality reality show.

The So-Called Thrilling Unreality Reality Show

The thought process that brought us to our new merged genre known as the “So-Called Thrilling Unreality Reality Show” is just one way of reaching a premise that can potentially produce comedy. Use your imagination and you will be able to come up with many more.

Merging Two Ideas

But for our purposes we need now to convert the idea of an Un-Thrilling Unreality Reality Show Thriller into something comedic. What does this premise suggest to you? For the sake of demonstration we will attempt to do our own merging of the two ideas.

Our Quickly Put Together Premise

We came up with the humorous (not) premise of someone who is in denial, mistakenly thinking they are living the life of a thriller hero on their own, totally not real “reality” show. A character like this might be always telling people how thrilling his life is and then in private tries to set up “real life” thrilling situations to prove to others that he is indeed partaking in a thrilling lifestyle, which clearly it is not (for one thing he still lives in his mother’s basement).

Comedy Born of Premise

The comedy then comes out of him not being thrilling at all but trying to push this idea onto other people, which leads to him accidentally revealing something for all to see that proves otherwise. But even when this happens he attempts to cover it up and continues trying to convince people that he is thrilling and that the show he’s on is “totally spontaneous” and real with no part of it planned out (though he is seen planning it continually).

Maybe Not the Funniest Premise Ever

Hopefully from our quickly written premise you get the idea which is that funny can come out of someone believing one thing and not being that thing at all.

A General Winding Down

Or even more generalized, comedy can be two things that normally wouldn’t be seen together, somehow coexisting as explored in the latest NYC Workshops post that takes a look at creating comedy. If it amuses you, you might want to play around with this stuff and see what you can come up with.

How to Start Making Your Feature Film Quickly

Removing the Barriers of Entry

Thrillumentary is the movie that was made by one person (in conjunction with our video, film web production company), with the only other people being required were actors. Why do this? Because we believe everyone is creative and everyone has a movie in them that needs to be made. And by removing the barriers to entry, we create a doable path. In other words, the less things to worry about the more easily you will have it to pursue your filmmaking goals! But don’t stop there. You can even create your own awards show like we did as seen here, enabling us to give awards to our cast and crew (if you have one).

Taking the Leap

Hence when doing Thrillumentary from concept to script to casting to shooting, we gave students interested in the process a window into our system, hopefully inspiring others to take the leap into feature film-dom.

A Secret Process

We had folks from all over the country tuning in on a weekly basis for approximately 78 weeks to our latest “behind-the-scenes” of making a micro movie. Those taking the 78 episodes “course” were each given a secret code.

The Code Leading to Dream Realization

With this code they would be able to log in, just like an online course, because it was an online course, be it a very LONG course. We used the Thinkific platform to track our journey and connect with students along the way. Of course we did have the edge of having access to video, film and web equipment.

Just Start with No Excuses

At any rate, we learned a lot, some of which we’d like to share with you. The first and most important thing is to start right now. If you don’t have a script write one. If you don’t have filmmaking equipment then find an aspiring director or DP who does. We not only apply this philosophy to our movies but also to starting things like the earlier mentioned awards show. It’s also the approach we used when founding our video, film web production company.

Make the Movie YOU Would Want to See and are Passionate About

Another thing is to stop worrying and obsessing on whether or not you are making a movie that is “commercial.” You don’t want to make a “one glove fits all feature.” No, you want to make a film that has a VERY specific audience.

Finding Shared Passions

Think about what kind of person would enjoy the film the most. Start this thinking even as you write the script. Write your screenplay about something you’re passionate about. Next, search for people who have the same passion for the subject that you do.

Reaching Your Audience

Figure out how to reach them and get their email addresses via having a newsletter. Make them into your “collaborators” in the sense that each week you email them with behind-the-scenes news. This can start even before you have a script! If you do this correctly you’ll have a big audience ready to eventually pay for and view your movie on sites such as Amazon.

Just Do It

But the most important advice is to JUST DO IT. Jump in and don’t stop.

You Have Options

Oh, and another thing, if your film is no budget and you have to beg borrow and steal for things like cameras and locations, it’s okay to bring in more people. You can still be the main force and helm the film! You don’t necessarily have to be the only person working on it! It’s all optional of course!

Important Media Elements


All Forms of Motion and Animation

The original Thrillumentary mission had to do with doing the film experiment for which documentation was done daily in the form of an eCourse, lasting over a year and a half. Now that, that’s been completed successfully, the new goal is to use the power of video and other forms of animation (animated GIFs etc.) to make a difference in marketing.

Animation Can Sometimes Mean More Sales

One form of animation that exists as of this writing, is the animated logo and slogan of USAcreate.com. This has proven to be an eye catcher and seems to have had a part in increasing engagement with the site visitors.

People Love Quizzes

So now Thrillumentary has joined forces with USAcreate.com and USAeLearning.com (eLearning) to explore all forms of engagement that are possible. One such success story is the interactive quiz on the USAcreate.com site.

Tongue Firmly in Cheek

This quiz asks you 10 questions about you and how you are with website companies and then lets you know at the end if you’d be a good fit with USA create. Of course all of this is meant to be tongue in cheek, and it appears it is being taken as such.

The MultiMedia Movie Making Matrix and Methodology

The reason for USAeLearning.com’s involvement is that ultimately there is an interest among all participants in being able to make USAcreate.com projects such that they easily convert into online courses.  This would be similar to the way that Thrillumentary was on making documentation into installments of the MultiMedia Movie Making Matrix and Methodology.

Solutions

Most solutions coming out of this partnership are more likely than not to be marketing and promotion oriented. This will be done with lessons taken from the website “How to Get New Customers” (HowToGetNewCustomers.com).

Evolution

We at Thrillumentary are, well, thrilled to be a part of this collaboration. We think it is very important that marketing evolves as changes in technology occur. Ever day there is a new way to be in touch with potential customers as well as existing ones.

Getting in Touch

If you have any questions regarding all of this feel free to get in touch with us by subscribing to the USAcreate.com Newsletter.

Thrillumentary Deemed a Success



Thrillumentary Did What it Was Supposed to Do

After much analysis we’ve returned to our original determination which is that despite the audio and editing not being completed, Thrillumentary did was it was supposed to do. And not only do just we think so, the Stamas Bros do as well. And not only the bros, so does the think tank from USA eLearning.

An Idea Whose Time Has Come

The real goal of Thrillumentary was to study the process that had been developed to enable an individual to be able to do a full length motion picture with no crew and only actors. This means that one person is a writer, director, producer, actor and so forth.

Remote Viewing by Students

The entire year and a half of the experience was documented both in audio and written form which was a class open to the public online. Participation occurred with folks from all over the world including Australia.

You Do as I Do

The idea being that by seeing how the Thrillumentary filmmaker was doing a movie, the viewer of the process could learn how to do it as well.

Thinkific for Phase One

Thinkific was employed as the L.M.S. of choice (Learning Management System), meaning that audio recordings and PDFs were uploaded to later be downloaded by course participants such as the Stamas Bros.

USA eLearning

Some members of the think tank that spawned the project have gone on to start a new entity known as USA eLearning that will be offering services, eBooks and courses to hand picked people from the general public or inside recommendations.

An eBook is Coming

USA eLearning is slated to release an eBook first. The topic will be Internet Guerrilla Marketing. They are also working on a complete eCourse, but as of this writing there is no sense of when the release date will be.

And the Search Continues

What is known is that there is a lot of enthusiasm for this endeavor. Our best of luck to all concerned!

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.

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.