REVIEW: In Production (2016)

inproduction

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2016, Tot Film Productions

Director:
Mikhail Tot
Producer:
John Spalding
Writer:
Mikhail Tot
Cinematography:
Dave Hall
Editing:
Dusty Tendergooch

Cast:
Victor Gabriel (Vincent Pequeno)
Brandon Bell (Donny Johnson)
Danny Waz (Kister)
Mikhail Tot (Micky Thompson)
John Spalding (J.J.)

A ragtag bunch go to extremes to get their independent film made in this funny well, independent film from Ohio-based filmmaker Mikhail Tot.

College graduate Vincent “Vinny” Pequeno has been given a chance to become an intern with a local film crew, who are working on their first indie feature. At first, Vinny is met with a cold reception when he accidentally walks on the set during a pivotal action scene. However, the film’s director Micky, along with actors Donny and Kister, warm up to Vinny when he learns they plan to get the film done.

Meeting the film’s producer J.J., the group attempts to find a way to bring money into the film so that they can get it done. When three prospective sponsors have interest in the film, the meetings don’t go as planned and along the way, Vinny slowly spirals downward while Micky contemplates qutting when they can’t seem to catch a break in terms of funding. However, the maniacal Donny and Kister plan to do something extreme in order to make their dream of getting this film done come true.

Cleveland-based filmmaker Mikhail Tot has come up with a pretty funny film that can be said to be similar to the Kevin Smith classic Clerks in terms of both the visualization of using mainly black and white (wish some funny animation to complement) and the story of some ordinary guys who just want to do something about getting their job done. In other words, this film could do for making indie films what Clerks did for the world of quick stop corner stores.

Victor Gabriel is great as the new intern who finds himself a chance to help out a local film crew and learns that it is not all it is cracked up to be. Danny Waz is insane as Kister, who seems to be more passionate about the project perhaps because even though he has a girlfriend, finds the film as a way to get more women in his bed. This is clearly evident in one hilarious scene of the film, in which Kister gives conflicting stories of his breakup with said girlfriend. Brandon Bell is funny as Donny, a former adult star who is looking to go mainstream and not the brightest tool in the shed.

The filmmaker himself, Mikhail Tot, plays director Micky who has a bit of maniacal sense as Kister but it is because he has his heart set on finishing the film the same way Clerks’ Dante wants to make his life better and in a way finds himself trapped to the point where he wants to quit. This film’s producer John Spalding gives comic support as producer J.J. (also Micky’s probation officer), who finds himself in a pickle when it comes to having to be caught by his wife doing she feels he should not be doing.

The film’s central characters attempt to get funding to complete are the highlight of the film. The meetings with three prospective sponsors do not go as planned and in one scene, Micky finds himself having to defuse a situation when some loud mouths are interrupting a scene the film crew is shooting. The final act shows a last-ditch effort to get that funding as orchestrated by the maniacal Donny and one can only wonder if this effort will be worth going to extremes.

In Production is a funny and wild look at making an independent feature from Mikhail Tot. This film does for indie filmmaking what Clerks did for quick stop corner stores: just getting the job done.

WFG RATING: A-

This film is currently playing at various film festivals. A special Thank You goes out to Mikhail Tot for allowing WFG to screen the film.

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