Some very exciting news! Our film MacLeod will compete in the 2021 Toronto Independent Film Awards. The short documentary about composer Kevin MacLeod has been nominated and the winners will be announced in August 28th! The TIFA competition was started over a decade ago to celebrate Independent film both in Canada and International as well. This mean a lot to me personally, I’ve entered this festival before and it is all the more rewarding to be in competition now. More news to come soon!

Photos from previous Toronto Independent Film Awards

Pre-production on my new feature American Expendables: The film of North American Pictures.

I started taking baby steps toward starting my next film. It will be in preproduction for a long time. I have permission from Troma Entertainment to make a documentary about the films North American Pictures. A fascinating catalogue of films ranging from Maniac Cop, Basket Case 2, TC 2000, Tiger Claws and Red Scorpion. I started a new show on my podcast network entitled VHS Massacre Project Lab. It will serve as kind of think tank. I need to discover what is important, profound or true about these strange films. These action films starring Cythia Rothrock, Billy Blanks and Jalal Mihir are important to me for some reason. They were an important part of the Video Store era but it’s more than that and I need to investigate them further. I’m recruiting Tim Kulig, Debbie Rochon, James Richardson and Thom Demicco from Troma to talk shop. The first episode of the podcast is about the film TC 2000 and I recorded the show Solo but last night I recorded a second show with Tim Kulig that I’ll put out later this week. The podcast will be a good way to organize our thoughts and document our impressions. Episode here, we discuss the legacy of action star Cythia Rothrock! Last weeks episode is below about Billy Blanks as well.

My last film VHS Massacre Too is still competing in the festival circuit, winning 20 awards to date and has an upcoming screening at the famous Chicago Horror Film Festival. I mention this because it’s the best festival performance I’ve had in my entire career and it seems like I’ve finally stumbled onto some kind of success. Sure it’s in the middle of a pandemic but I’ll take what I can get. So in constructing my next feature I just want to make sure it’s not a huge misstep. There has to be a story in all of this for the film to be interesting. I know that I want to interview the folks at Troma and talk about how they came to acquire the films so I may shoot that in mid to late September but beyond that I’m still feeling things out.

One concept that might be interesting to explore is that the modern viewer no longer sees a film as a work of art. The don’t want to interpret it that way. They see it as a content often viewed thought an ideological or political perspective rather then looking at the film as art. For example, did it accomplish what it set out to do? Did it entertain in the time it came out and why was it celebrated then? Is it well constructed is the story sound, whatever it may be? Another mistake the modern viewer sometimes makes is to put 2021 ideals or morals on to an older film. Rather than appreciate the film as an artifact they view it as a booked to be burned or a film to be omitted from a streaming site. It’s an idea to consider at least. More news to come!

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