AracAttack! IN 3D!!

Nearly 5 years ago I was a budding film maker, and one that loved the thrill of tackling challenges. And challenged I was when I was tasked with making a horror film for Bryan Enk’s Sinister Six Film Festival. The theme that year was exploitation, and I was a director that had never made a horror film, or really anything as long format as this 10 minute movie.

So I challenged myself. I decided early on that I wanted to make my exploitation an exploit of a gimmick first and foremost. I didn’t feel strong enough to exploit violence or sex, plus I really wanted to make some budget practical effects. At first I thought I would try my hand at a POV film, but I quickly learned that another film maker had his sights set on that – so I decided to increase my challenge by making a 3D movie.

There were a few tutorials online, but all required fairly complex or expensive rigs. I was still new to all this and mostly broke, so I set to work creating a wooden rig that would allow me to attach 2 Flip Camcorders side by side to create the stereoscopic image I needed to edit the film. I bought 2 flips (one black and one white so I could keep track of which held the footage of the left and right eye respectively) and measured and cut the wood myself. I even painted it black so it would look a little bit better while shooting, despite the fact that it was just wood and wingnuts holding it together.

The amazing thing was that it worked.

So with a successful test under my belt and about 128 dollars worth of plastic spiders, I shot AracAttack! In 3D!!

I even William Castle-ed it, by tossing plastic spiders on the audience at the last part of the film. It was a hilarious success that was one of the highlights of the festival run.

And I thought that was the end of it. I parked it on a dusty corner of Vimeo and barely looked at it again.

That was until this past weekend, where I dusted it off (along with a bunch of custom 3D glasses I made for the event) and screened it as part of the 1st Annual Bad Film Festival!

It was a huge success again, and that’s why I’m proud to present for the first time publicly AracAttack! In 3D!!

This film DOES require anaglyph 3D glasses (red/cyan), but there’s a few places online you can get a single pair from for free or for very cheap. Namely the AMAZING folks at Rainbow Symphony which offer one free pair of 3D glasses through the mail if you write to them.

THE ORIGINAL BLURB:
Ace exterminator, Deuce Johnson, has been hired to to take care of a spider infestation at a residential laboratory, only to discover the deadly truth – a truth so terrifying, only screams can describe it! Come experience the startling story based on scientific fact, proudly presented in Emerge-o-Vision – a groundbreaking new film making technique that will bring the thrills and dangers of the motion picture into the theater itself! All those attending this once in a lifetime event will receive a free pair of high tech Emerge-o-Vision glasses from film maker Douglas MacKrell himself!

Starring:
Josh Lay as Deuce Johnson

Stuart Metcalf as Dr. Archimedes Martin

Sarah Bisman as Gert VanLandingham

and

Betsy Sanders as Molly Martin

AracAttack! In 3D!! Theme by
Brynen A. Sosa
and
Noah Luogameno

Original Music by
Brynen A. Sosa

Written, Directed, and Edited by
Douglas MacKrell

Assistant Writers
Jenelle Sosa
Becky Byers

Special Effects created by
Douglas MacKrell
with special thanks to www.indymogul.com

Lighting, Sound, PA, Grip and Effect Support
Ming Chin
Ivy Hong
Devon Riley
Terese Jordan
Alexander Diaz

Produced by
Douglas MacKrell

ST. MIRACLES HOSPITAL

Sometimes, when you need a little faith or magic or wonderment or not-bad-stuff, pop on down to St. Miracles Hospital. The place where all your dreams come true.

St. Miracles Hospital only accepts those with insurance.

http://about.me/douglasmackrell

A Dream Come True – Entry for Poptent’s Creditcards.com Video Assignment

This is my entry for Poptent’s video assignment for Creditcards.com, a website designed to help people find better credit, better rewards, or a lower APR.

With any luck, I’ll win this thing!

I’ll know better by March 15th.

I created this with Lucy Goldstein

Starring:

Erica Swindell

and

Kyle Page

Review: Piper McKenzie’s Dainty Cadaver

Piper McKenzie’s Dainty Cadaver
The Brick Theater

Reviewed By
Douglas MacKrell

February 6th 2012

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when I first met most of my newfound friends in the theater community. The process seems to be that I see them a few times and slowly become better friends with them over time – so remembering the exact moment that the friendship switch is thrown is always kind of muddled. Clearly, I need to start keeping proper charts of my friend activity.

I believe the first time I was introduced to Jeff Lewonczyk and Hope Cartelli (jointly Piper McKenzie) was after seeing Willy Nilly, a show produced for the 2009 Fringe Festival. Bearded, fatigued, and swimming in a sea of slick brown polyester, Jeff took the stage to stall for time. There had been Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark levels of technical difficulties early on – complications of the new theater they had been moved to in an extension of the run – and Jeff handled the setback with the care of a charismatic bear, grumpily awoken from a nap. He openly chatted with the audience and shot caustic jokes, while darting his attention about making sure everything was prepared to start. Hope was in the show – but afterward I discovered a living ball of happiness formed into woman. She’s the kind of person who never has an awkward introduction, because even when speaking to her for the first time, you feel like you’ve known her your entire life.

There are few people out there that are not only charismatic, but also leaders. Creative fonts that not only produce work, but inspire others to do their best. They create a positive group that everyone seeks membership to, but hold such power easily and comfortably – admitting all who seek admission. Kermits of people, who have found their rainbow connection and help others reach it too. Hope and Jeff are such people – and I’m as proud to know them as I am to have worked with them.

This year marks the second annual Piper McKenzie’s Dainty Cadaver, an event themed after a Surrealist drawing game, where artists created a work in turn – each artist taking over for the last, but never seeing the work of the artist before the one they were continuing from. That same process was devised by Piper for playwrighting process where one writer passes off to the next. The whole thing is rehearsed and produced in roughly two weeks time, and performed only once for an audience. And what makes it truly amazing, is that Piper McKenzie has been able to attract the best and brightest writers, directors, and actors in NYC to create not only a zany night of theater, but also one of the best community building exercises I’ve ever bared witness too.

The tickets are cheap and designed to get butts in seats. The plays are produced with whatever is on hand. It’s equally a challenge to everyone involved as well as a chance to creatively show off. For example, this year I was part of Team C (each year they write 3 full plays this way and produce each – preforming one nightly over a Friday-Saturday-Sunday), directed by the incomparable Patrice Miller. Patrice was given a rather bizarre piece that stretched from a 90 year old’s birthday party, to India, to a Wizard of Oz style adventure – and she chose to take these surreal points and produce a full musical.

With original music.

And a massive cast.

And choreographed dance numbers.

ALL IN ROUGHLY A WEEK AND A HALF.

The world “talent” or “skill” doesn’t always properly describe the work that some can magically accomplish.

I had originally set out to review this years Dainty Cadaver today. I quickly discovered that you can’t easily review a show that’s designed from the ground up to make very little sense – But you can hopefully spread the word about it’s creators. Piper McKenzie has done more than just create an event. It has given the community an outlet for it’s creativity. It has given us an excuse to work together. A simple idea that crosses lines and breaks down cliques. An event that introduces people and distills friendship.

As we finished, a few performers (Steve Burns and Morgan Zipf-Meister) who I had the pleasure of performing with in the previous Dainty Cadaver, stopped before we left after our performance. We each had a genuine “same time, next year” moment, looking forward to the next time we could be a part of one of these crazy things. I’m proud to have been a part of this. Proud to be a part of a community this creative. And prouder still to call Hope and Jeff friend.

In the next few days I’ll be editing together the performances into sharable videos that highlight some of the best parts of each team’s show.