From scream to screen in just over 8 months V/H/S is causing the same ruckus in the film world as it did at Sundance. V/H/S became #1 on iTunes Horror, it was listed in the top “20 Movies to see this Oscar Season” by the Atlantic, Rolling Stone calls V/H/S the FALL’S *GNARLIEST* HORROR MOVIE!! And “The scariest movie of the year”. V/H/S was named one of the 30 most exciting fall films to keep your eye on by Time Out New York!! The ever popular horror blog “Bloody Disgusting” can’t get enough, its already been pirated numerous times, it even has it’s own Amazing Fan art featured on MTV’s movie blog. It also seem our girl Hanna now has her own following of Horror infatuated teen age boys. “I like You” too.
And I like Chris Krapek of the HOFF POST description of the genre and V/H/S
“The found footage genre has become stale, like, bread-in-the-dumpster-behind-the-bakery stale, man. The Paranormal Activity franchise keeps lazily offering its annual outing, scaring teenagers with oscillating fans and various household appliances. Project X was a hellish cesspool of highschoolers getting hella wasted while dubstep reverberated in the background, destroying the souls of America’s youth. And The Devil Inside, the leading candidate for the worst film of the year, took the gimmick and flipped the bird to the entire moviegoing public with an ending that preyed upon our stupidity. Then along comes V/H/S, a found footage movie about found footage movies that takes the stagnant genre and makes it snort a line of bath salts as big as the Mason-Dixon.”
Koodos Chris, if there’s any movie that allows a ‘snorting bath salts’ reference in the description, it would be this one. Well played.
And the pirated thing? A friend was trying to explain to me why that was good. “If someone is stealing your movie and sharing it, that’s awesome! That means you made something good, something worth stealing.” I guess, it’s a crazy world and since none of my friends who were involved in making the film seemed to have made any money I guess it’s better for it to be circulating then not.
It’s been pretty exciting to watch the whole thing go down, from testing head cams, to fake bar scenes, to Sundance snowy madness to seeing it listed On Demand.
Atlanta based film director and good friend David Bruckner was asked to participate in a horror anthology (VHS) this past fall with a few other like-minded filmmakers from around the country. With a quick rush of inspiration, Dave and Nicholas Tecosky banged out a script, called in the local indie talent (all our friends) and with a shoestring budget cranked out a brilliant little horror flick. Next stop, the Sundance Film Festival.
I didn’t have time to help out with the making of the film much other then lending some gear and popping in to be an extra, but I did go to Park City for moral support and to experience firsthand all the magic that surrounds Sundance. So with a house of 18 people, 2 feet of fresh snow, and a whirlwind of events to attend, we hit the streets. Now I’m sure it’s one thing to go to Park City and watch all these experimental and amazing films, but to go with a group of creatives whose film became all the buzz and hottest ticket in town is quite a different experience. To be standing in line and hearing random people talk about VHS, then looking over at the restrained smiles of Victoria Warren (Cinematographer) and Elizabeth Davidovich (Stunt Double & Coordinator) as they lean in to hear more while trying to hide their obvious eavesdropping is certainly a different experience altogether. Things like “Holy Sh**, have you seen VHS yet?”.. “I’m not going to be able to sleep for weeks”.. “Did you hear someone fainted while watching the film?”.. the trip became very surreal and extremely exciting.
The film itself falls in the Found Footage genre (like The Blair Witch Project) where much of the film is shot from the point of view of one of the actors, so there’s a lot of kinetic camera movement and ‘home movie’ feel. This type of shooting, while a little hard to watch, makes the movie seem more organic and real. David’s short “Amateur Night” was the first of 5 in the anthology and seems to have the most punch out of all of them; Of course I’m a little biased but it certainly seemed to be the most written-about in the reviews. What was really cool about the whole film is that, none of the directors shared any notes or had any conversations with each other about their particular part of the film.. in fact, the premier was the first time that most of them had ever met, and yet the movie seemed to flow really well. I won’t give anything away, but the beauty of every section was its unpredictability; it’s not what you might expect.
Film in Atlanta has certainly changed over the last couple of years and in a big way. When asked where we were from the responses have been overwhelmingly positive and full of curiosity. So many things are happening here. We’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of a collective called Studio Outpost, a collection of amazingly creative filmmakers, producers, writers, animators, and post house that can pull together to make something like this happen. We are so proud to be a part of this group and very eager to see what will be brought to the table next. Currently, VHS was sold to Magnolia after a late-night bidding war that involved three prospective buyers. Magnolia bought it for over $1,000,000 and is scheduled for VOD as well as theatrical release in the fall, exciting time!
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