Just a Bunch of Knuckleheads...
In the spirit of the fine art of low-budget guerilla filmmaking,
Philip Chidel, Dean Stapleton & Christian
Oliver decided one day to absolutely, definitively make
an indie feature movie of their own, despite having no script and
no financing. To make matters more difficult, they decided to shoot
in Aspen, Colorado, at a height of 12000', atop
Aspen Mountain in a back-country hut that was eight
miles from civilization and required an arduous 1.5-hr
snowmobile ride just to get to the location. There was
no electricity, no running water,
and no contact with the outside world —
not even by walkie. So with that in mind, they said, 'Sure, why
not?' — and in 3-1/2 months, they were done.
In 3-1/2 months. The script was written, complex
production logistics planned, and photography was completed. Chidel
wrote and directed, Stapleton and Oliver played the leads, and Director
of Photography Rich
Confalone captured the magnificent Rocky Mountain scenery.
Mother Nature also helped out by snowing on command. And it was
all done in 3-1/2 months.
After shooting in the winter and editing through the summer on a
home Final Cut Pro system, our trio of knuckleheads sent a work-in-progress
DVD to the Sundance
Film Festival on a wing and a prayer. Three months
later, Sundance responded with a phone call — Subject
Two had been selected as part of their Park City at
Midnight lineup. The now-completed feature (including a terrific
score by Erik
Godal) premiered on January 20 in Park City to an enthusiastic
capacity crowd. Soon after, First
Look Studios picked up worldwide distribution rights.
And currently, Subject Two continues to
tour festivals and theatrical screenings around the world, being
recognized with such honors as the Audience Award
at the Silver
Lake Film Festival and Best Feature
at the London
Sci-Fi Film Festival.
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