Studio Focus – Ugly Duckling Films

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Today I am going to continue looking at small production companies and today I have pick Ugly Duckling Films because I recently watched and enjoyed their latest offering Coherence.

This company goes out its way to bring eclectic mix of contemporary films. Founded in 1995 the company gather success with short films with ‘Cashback’ being nominated for an Oscar. They made their first feature film in 2002 and this leads us to look at the feature films they have produced.

Boxed (2002) boxed The IRA, when executing an informer, calls on certain ‘tame priests’ to secretly provide last rites. Boxed is the story of what happens when they get the wrong priest.

Stealing Rembrandt (2003) – Mick and Tom are an unlikely father-son team of petty thieves. They’ve been hired to steal a painting from a museum. By accident, they steal the wrong painting: Denmark’s only original Rembrandt masterpiece, worth millions. Which starts Nikolaj Coster-Waldau from Game of Thrones.

Oh Happy Day (2004) – A Baptist preacher from Harlem gets stranded in a provincial Danish town, after a bus accident involving his touring gospel choir. Alone amidst suspicious Danes, he teaches the local church choir to sing gospel music and touches the life of one bored housewife in particular.

Cashback (2006) – After a painful breakup, Ben develops insomnia. To kill time, he starts working the late night shift at the local supermarket, where his artistic imagination runs wild. This was a feature film based on their Oscar winning short film.

Broken (2008) – In London, the radiologist Gina McVey organizes a surprise birthday party to her father John McVey with her boyfriend Stefan Chambers, her brother Daniel McVey and his girlfriend Kate Coleman. On the next day, she sees herself driving a car on the street and she follows the woman to her apartment, where she finds a picture of her father and her. While driving back, she has a car crash and loses parts of her memory; further, she believes Stefan is another man. Gina decides to investigate what is happening and unravels a dark reality. This also stars a Game of Thrones star in Lena Headey.

Flashbacks of a Fool (2008) – A fading Hollywood star looks back at the days of his youth as he returns home from his best friend’s funeral. This features the current James Bond Daniel Craig.

Coherence (2013) – Strange things begin to happen when a group of friends gather for a dinner party on an evening when a comet is passing overhead.

Each of these films offers something different and shows that they are willing to work with other companies from different countries to bring a fresh approach to cinema. Having only seeing one of these films I would like to see this rest I feel they will all offer something different and all be very rewarding.

Which of these films would you most like to see?

Studio Focus – Silvatar Media

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This is the latest look at the indie film studies that are starting to make an impact on the film industry. I have picked this company because their latest piece of work is currently out at the cinemas.

First I am going to look at the three films they have had made

Prototype (2009) protype Growing up in the shadow of Sin City Alex Mackendrick lives a pretty ordinary life devoid of excitement. Alex has never had the power to stand up for himself. Since the death of his mother, he has been floating through life letting people take advantage of him, clinging to the hope that one day he will find his calling in the world. Lately he has been seeking that calling in the way of church with his mentor Father Bruce. He desperately wants to do something great and he knows stocking the shelves at the local warehouse store is not it.

Removal (2010) remonal Gothic horror meets industrial-strength cleaning products in this spine-tingler about a pill-popping cleaning service employee and a sprawling mansion with secrets of its own.

The Pyramid (2014) pyramid An archaeological team attempts to unlock the secrets of a lost pyramid only to find themselves hunted by an insidious creature.

Having The Pyramid in the cinemas is showing the success this company is having and with three more picture in production things look promising for this company.

Bad Kids Die First, Ark, Eiffel.

With many of you having heard of The Pyramid how many of you will be going to see it and how many of you will go and watch their previous work?

Studio Focus – StrongMan Pictures Entertainment

Today I am continuing my look at the Indie studies after looking at an English one, an American one I am going to go for this Australian one ‘StrongMan Pictures Entertainment’. This group of film makers aim to make very film a new film genre and aim to make for that fans will enjoy.logo

They only have two feature length films so far and I have actually been lucky enough to see one of them.

MurderDrome (2013)murderdrome Roller derby dames go up against supernatural evil. This is actually the one I have seen you can check out my full review here. This is a fun film with a kick ass soundtrack and plenty of action, it shows you don’t need to spend much money to make an enjoyable film. The budget here according to the IMDB is 6,000 AUD.

From Parts Unknown: Fight Like a Girl (2014) from parts This is their newest release which has a release date in their home nation but not overseas yet. The plot goes as a young girl Charlie sees her Daddy, a Pro Wrestling Champion, die in the ring. It starts her quest to become a wrestler in his memory. No easy task in the face of disapproval from her boyfriend, a pesky day job, and a psycho boss who runs her into the ground. It doesn’t seem like Charlie will ever find time to chase her dreams.

When Charlie’s psycho boss steals unstable military technology and unleashes homicidal minions on an unsuspecting world Charlie has no choice but to bring the body slams and take these murderous Jabronis for a stroll down smack down boulevard.

Fight like a girl, it’s the end of the world.

These two movies are a great example of taking a sporting world and adding in a horror element and making it work to be entertaining.

Now I ask my fans would you watch either of these films?

Studio Focus – Twitchy Dolphin Flix

I am continuing to look at small independent movie production companies. I want to help spread the word of their work and see how much their work is different to the mainstream material we always end up seeing and disliking.

Today I am looking at Twitchy Dolphin Flix, This company is an Austin, Texas based and founded by two friends who met at University James Christopher and Chris Copple. With the first film being released in 2008 the production company continues to make micro budget films using plenty of different genres.

The Films

Littlefield (2008)

This was a romantic comedy about getting over an unsuccessful romance made with a budget of $7000.

Scarlet Waters (2008) – a compilation of four horror shorts; including SCORNED. SCORNED shows the downfall of a family through lies, deceit, and infidelity as Sara watches her family torn apart by David’s cheating. In attempt to save her family, she makes a deal with an old friend that threatens her very life. WRITER’S BLOCK is the story of Melissa who is struggling with her screenplay. Facing a deadline, she can’t seem to focus her plot, premise, or characters. But, as her script starts to take shape, so too does the crime in her story – all too close to home. DETOUR, chronicles a creature who stalks a small town, feeding off lawbreakers. After killing all the murderers, drug dealers, and rapists, the creature turns to violators of the smallest, most innocuous laws. Now Joanne, stranded alone, must negotiate her way to safety. VAMPRESS tells of a young woman bitten, haunted, and pursued by a night stalker. In a film described as “hauntingly erotic,” Victoria lay helpless as her boyfriend and doctor battle a vampire for her life and her soul.

Funny Books (2009)

Comedy – Funny Books is a comedy, lovingly told by comic fans for comic fans and non-fans alike, about an unassuming dreamer named Wally who finds himself, and true love, while juggling a nefarious boss, a manipulative girlfriend, and a universe of elitist fanboys and eccentric characters at the friendly neighborhood comic book shop.

Snatch ‘n’ Grab (2012)snatch n grabRom Com – Tired of being treated poorly by men, four frustrated women devise a game of social conquest to reclaim their destinies. But each is soon challenged to face herself and her relationships while also battling a jealous psycho and sexist boss.

Look as Me Again (2010) – Drama – Three sisters torn apart by tragedy, infidelity, and heartbreak must now fight for their family, or lose it forever.

Turkey Day (2011) – Rom Com – Tommy loves Andi. Andi isn’t sure she loves Tommy. Andi’s family hates Tommy. So when Andi, secretly pregnant, runs home for Thanksgiving and Tommy follows, her dad and older brother have a serious bone to pick.

Abram’s Hand (2011) – Horror Thriller – Seven friends fight to escape a violent death and struggle with the knowledge that their death’s might be punishment from the hand of God.

Goin’ Guerrilla (2013) – Rom Com – All Jeff wanted to do was make his own movie. He didn’t realize he just declared war on the whole industry. Now he must take his script, his rag-tag group of filmmakers, and all the gear they can scrounge up and go guerrilla.

3 References (2013) – Rom Com – Nick was always kind of a dirt-bag with women. Then he falls in love with Michelle. But before he can have a chance with her, he must get her three letters of recommendation and face the full fury of his chauvinistic past.

With all those films being released already they have three more on the way

  • Co-Ed Campfire Carnage
  • Quad X: The Porn Movie Massacre
  • Quad X: Rise of the Beaver Slayer

This company has shown a range in the work they produce for us fans, I ask all you readers how many of these films would you watch?

Studio Focus – Mycho Entertainment Group

I have decided that I want to look at small independent movie production companies. I want to help spread the word of their work and see how much their work is different to the mainstream material we always end up seeing and disliking.

First up as recommend by Gary Baxter the man behind ‘Dr Death’s Cinema Surgery’ is Mycho Entertainment Group. They focus on making horror films which started with shorts before making the first feature film ‘Creepsville’ in 2010 followed up by ‘Slasher House’ in 2012. Following on from that they made ‘Legacy of Thorn’ which is a sequel to one of their short films ‘Thorn’. They also have ‘Cleaver: Rise of the Killer Clown’ due out in 2015. All of the films are directed by MJ Dixon who also initiated the company.

Creepsville

Linden and Amy’s relationship is in big trouble and after a night out they get into the wrong Taxi and their night out soon descends into a night of terror when Linden finds himself waking up in park in the middle of a very dangerous estate.

It is now a race against time to save Amy and to make matters worse Linden is being pursued by blood thirsty, mask wearing maniacs. Time is running out… and the meter is ticking.

This plays to very simple horror, showing us that we don’t need to have an over the top storyline for a horror, it shows we just need suspense.

Slasher House

When RED awakens in a prison cell within an old abandoned Madhouse, she has no idea how she got there and why she has been placed there. As her cell door opens she soon discovers that she is not alone. Trapped with the world’s most notorious serial killers she finds herself caught in a deadly game with no escape as one by one the other ‘inmates’ are released to stalk her as their own prey. RED must now battle impossible enemies as she tries to find her freedom and soon realizes that there is a bigger plan for all this than she first realized. Will this ‘Final’ girl have what it takes? Or will she see the last of her days in the endless corridors of SLASHER HOUSE!

Legacy of Thorn

Four years ago, Jess and her friends lived a nightmare that has left her almost killed by the unstoppable killer ‘Thorn’. Four years later, Jessica and the survivors make an attempt to stop him once and for all.

Each of these films puts a heroine in danger against masked killers. Now we ask the question when was the last time we had a decent masked killer stalking victims? We had the lacklustre ‘See No Evil’ and we have the non-suspenseful ‘Halloween’ & ‘Friday the 13th’ Remakes.

So I ask the horror film fans out there, would you give these films a chance? Or are you still into the overplayed found footage, false jump scares filled horrors or butchered remakes?

If you were given a chance to watch these three films would you?

I personally would watch all three, they all look like they would offer a horror experience that would be enjoyable. now let’s all get behind the indie horror films that usually offer more than the run of the mill Hollywood film.