We just got back from the Toronto Film Festival and we met World Famous Film Critic Roger Ebert from the Chicago Sun-Times. He did a review of BROKEN on his site (we are still trying to revive Jorge ; )
A festival like Toronto attracts hopeful filmmakers eager to pitch projects and find financing. Here, for example, are Alex Ferrari and Jorge Rodriguez, the director and producer of Broken, a 19-minute, $8,000 horror film containing, by their count, more than 100 visual effects.
Were here to talk about a development deal for a feature based on the short, Rodriguez tells me, before the screening of Twelve and Holding. Who you talking to? I ask. Wed better not say, Ferrari says.
He gives me a DVD of their short: Weve already sold 1,000 copies online. It contains six commentary tracks and like three hours of information on how to shoot low-budget digital films and how to do the special effects. Its like a training course. They refer me to their web site, http://www.whatisbroken.com, and back at the hotel I view the film and visit the site.
The film is effective and professional and the ominous sound track works with the images to create the desired effect. Whether the plot quite rises above the level of it was only a dream I am not prepared to say. Whether the short will someday grow into a good film we will know only if the development deal goes through.
But thats not really the point. The point is that gifted and ambitious young filmmakers can, with very little money, use the new digital technology to make a presentation that gets attention from industry pros. Kerry Conrans Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004) was floated the same way, with a home-made demo made on his Mac. Whether this is better than the old-fashioned method of submitting a screenplay is a good question; Broken is essentially a demonstration of the mastery of horror imagery and techniques. A screenplay has to also have dimensional characters (one, two or three dimensions, depending on its ambition) and a story. In an industry so impenetrable for newcomers, any way you break in is the right way. Then it depends on what you do. Looking forward to Broken: The Feature.
We are truly amazed! We were sooooooo excited that we had to share the news. Thanks again for all the support from everyone!! Good Luck with all your projects.