Director Marketing | Arts & Entertainment | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Director Marketing 

“Superindie” filmmakers offer their unique work straight to your DVD player.

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The Internet has made it an exciting time to be a movie fan.


And I’m not just referring to how the Web has taken film fandom into whole new realms that encompass geekboy ecstasy as well as serious, thoughtful criticism, the likes of which the mainstream print media hasn’t embraced in decades. I mean this: Filmmakers now can sell directly to audiences on DVD, completely bypassing the grubby fingers of corporate studios, and hence completely bypassing the selling-your-soul-to-the-devil thing that becoming a successful filmmaker'even a successful indie filmmaker'used to require.


If you know where to look, there’s a slew of straight-to-DVD films available online. Few are available to rent at NetFlix; some are available to buy at, either through individual merchants who set up their own marketplaces or via the main Amazon store (much as self-published books can be sold through Amazon, as long as the author acquires an ISBN serial number). Almost all can be purchased through the official Websites of these movies. But ya gotta know about them in the first place.


How do you find these films? Well, at the moment, that’s the tough part. Studio involvement guarantees advertising, marketing, mass publicity; guerrilla filmmaking without corporate backing makes it a lot harder to get the word out. But here are a few to start with:


• Filmmaker Brian Flemming may be the best known'relatively speaking'of this new breed of filmmaker who’s going his own way. His documentary The God Who Wasn’t There ( is an atheistic antidote to the Evan Almightys mainstream filmmakers dish out, and his mockumentary Nothing So Strange (, about the assassination of Bill Gates, is a postmodern gloss on conspiracy theories and'appropriately enough'contemporary mistrust of corporate media. Both are available on Amazon.


• A Texas Tale of Treason: Writer-director Matthew C. Walker’s “almost making of” the film Waldo’s Hawaian [sic] Holiday (which “is no more,” according to the Website, is the epitome of “punk filmmaking,” a wild and aggressive documentary about the experience of everyone involved in the not-making of a film that never quite got off the ground. The film’s trailer on YouTube is an excellent example of guerrilla marketing, the kind of viral word-of-mouth that will fuel the incipient online venue for indie filmmakers.


• Ascension (available on At the other end of the short spectrum of online indies is this serene, beautiful-looking science-fiction flick from writer-director John Krawlzik, about an investigator who travels to the outer solar system to solve a mystery. Dating from 2000, it was recently taken under the wing of the indie movie mavens at, who sponsored the DVD release.


• Waterborne (available on This sophisticated-looking contemporary thriller'about a terrorist attack on Los Angeles’s water supply'was shot on a ridiculously low budget of less than $200,000, but easily looks 10 times as sharp and sleek. Even better, writer-director Ben Rekhi knows how to tell a tense tale.


• The Call of Cthulhu (available on Horror/fantasy is a particular influence on superindie filmmakers, and H.P. Lovecraft in particular. This haunting modern silent film from Slamdance 2007, by writer Sean Branney and director Andrew Leman, tells a modern spin on Lovecraftian paranoia in a wonderfully old-fashioned way, proving that silent film doesn’t have to be dead'or undead.


• The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (available on One film is an anomaly; two just might be a trend. Employing bluescreen and other technology for a daring re-creation of the 1919 German Expressionistic classic, writer-director David Lee Fisher is a talent to watch.


• The Altruist (available on Writer-director Mick McCleery takes social speculation to an audacious new level with this look at what might happen if we hooked up the tens of thousands of people who commit murder every year with the tens of thousands who commit suicide. You certainly won’t see the studios come within a thousand miles of an idea like this one.

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