Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Gargantuan Genesis

Beginning Wednesday, September 8th, the Somerville, AL based makers of the independent anthropological thriller A Genesis Found will launch a mightily ambitious 2010-2011 tour at the University of West Alabama. When all is screened and done, they will have touched down at dozens of different campuses across the southeastern United States, offering grassroots marketing support in exchange for a modestly sponsored room, hall or auditorium.

It's just one of several ingenious different ways Wonder Mill Films is aggressively trying to support the $14.99 DVD availability of their DIY enterprise. Others include a bi-weekly companion online comic strip, Southern Truths, about the further adventures of lead flashback character John Patton Jr. (Bennett Parker), and a $19.99 vintage flip book Film Companion featuring a novelization of the movie by mystery writer Wilson Toney

Following a different path

Writer-director Lee Fanning is under no illusions about the film's captive campus audiences. After a test run at the University of Montevallo in late July, he had this to say jokingly about the experience:

'Got to see some old friends and my cousin (writer-poet Matt Avery) and his wife who live in the area, in addition to some highly interested locals and some less interested students. But I still gave them kudos for completely committing to ignoring the movie, and smiled at the fact that I had now become one of those boring presenters I suffered through for extra credit back in school myself. And with a two-hour flick about Alabama archaeology, those guys really had to earn it. They are thanking God for iPhones.'

The gang at Wonder Mill Films are already on to their next production, The Nocturnal Third, a horror film slated for April 2011. They say they have learned much from the process of making A Genesis Found, and certainly, the package sent to me by Fanning reflects both their enthusiasm and thoroughness in opting to avoid the traditional film festival model. There were seven DVD discs, a half-dozen press releases and an oversized print companion sample of the aforementioned online comic strip.

[A Genesis Found]

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