documentary

Freestyle Digital Media Acquires a “Demon House”

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Ghost Adventures creator Zak Bagans is entering a Demon House.

Demon House documents what happens when Zak Bagans – the host, creator, and executive producer of The Travel Channel’s smash hit series Ghost Adventures – and his crew are overwhelmed by a demon possession case some have called the next Amityville, the most authenticated case of possession in American history. After buying the haunted home in Indiana over the phone, sight unseen, Bagans and his crew are unprepared for the demonic forces that await them at the location referred to as the “portal to Hell.”

Written, produced and directed by Zak Bagans, Demon House features Bagans, Father Michael Maginot, Dr. Barry Taff, and Captain Charles AustinDemon House was produced by Joseph Taglieri and Mike Dorsey, and was co-produced by Jay Wasley.

Freestyle Digital Media, the digital film distribution division of Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios, has acquired the film and will debut it in select theaters nationwide, and will also be available to rent and own on VOD in digital HD across cable, internet, and satellite platforms through Freestyle Digital Media on March 16, 2018.  

H/T: Katrina Wan PR

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Interview with Kevin J. Burroughs, Director of “Smash: Motorized Mayhem”

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Kevin J. Burroughs is a local commercial filmmaker from Florida who has worked primarily as a cinematographer. However, he has made his documentary directorial debut with Smash: Motorized Mayhem, which takes a look at Bithlo’s Figure-8 School Bus Racing.

World Film Geek spoke to Burroughs about the documentary.

First of all thank you Kevin for taking the time to talk about Smash: Motorized Mayhem.
Thank you, thank you so much.

So, before we talk about the documentary, can you talk about how you got involved in filmmaking?
Wow! I can go back to middle school. I think I was in sixth grade and my social studies teacher had told us, “Think about your electives in middle school, and high school, and college, because they will determine what you want to do in your life.” And I thought to myself, “All I want to do is play soccer!” (Laughs)

No, but I wanted to do something where I didn’t want to wear a suit and tie because that’s not who I am. I started shooting small commercials for the middle school and continued doing it in high school and eventually I went to school for film. I work primarily in commercials first in the writing department and but really love being a cinematographer.

I actually have been living in Florida for nearly a decade, but yet this is something I never heard of until I saw the documentary. What led you to do a documentary on school bus racing?
Well, it all started when I was a UCF (University of Central Florida) student and the Orlando Speed World is just a few minutes from there. You would see signs there as well as Route 520 on Cocoa Beach for this event and I just would go, “okay”.

The first time I actually saw it live was with my wife and a few friends because they had been there for a few years. And I couldn’t believe what I saw. I thought this was the craziest thing to see. And at the time, I wanted to do a documentary on something and I decided to do it on this because It’s a part of America that is rarely ever seen and I think this is something everyone should know about because yeah, it is crazy, but it’s so much fun as well. So I decided to meet some of the guys who race and even learn who is behind the races and it was quite an experience.

Are you a fan of the sport?
Oh definitely, yeah. After I saw it, I mean I sometimes will go out there as they do this twice a year. The focus in the film was a race known as the Crash-O-Rama and well, they hold events on the weekends. But, I have to be honest, the weekend races don’t do as well as these big events that they pull off.

When it comes to the big races, I mean these guys are great. They charge $20 a head and they actually will make up their money for the year in one night as opposed to the weekend races. I think everyone, even people who are visiting in the area, should have at least one experience live. It is definitely worth the $20 and you get to spend at least four hours seeing what these guys do best.

The documentary focused on the likes of racers Chuck Rush, Ben Craft, Butch Pierce, and Don Cerone, who is in charge of the races. What were their reactions when you told them you wanted to do a documentary on school bus racing?
They were initially shocked (laughs). Chuck is the type who loves the spotlight and it has been a dream of his to make a movie about this so to have accomplished this is great for him. The other guys were shocked as well but they had a calmer manner and would just be like “okay, let’s do this”.

My intention is to make this a real documentary, not a reality production where they would force certain things. I wanted to showcase these guys not only on the tracks, but at home, their everyday lives. And I wanted to make this as comfortable as possible for them. So there were times where I would hang out with the guys and not even shoot unless it was something important. It wasn’t where I had to force the camera in their faces. I wanted to be there as a friend and that’s exactly how they had treated me when I was making this documentary.

Are you working on any new projects?
I am working quite a lot. That’s my thing, I love working and I am always working on things. I am shooting a lot of commercials and have some things I can talk about and some I can’t (laughs).

I am trying to get three more documentaries developed. One involves a woman whose dream was to travel the country with her father by motorcycle, but her father had since passed away. However, she wants to keep her dream and father’s legacy going, so she is trying to gather some friends to keep that dream alive.

The second one is also another motorcycle one, this one about the café racer, which was a popular type of bike used in England. So I met with a British man who came to Florida about thirty years ago and he still races motorcycles and in his sixties, and he loves the café racer, so I’m trying to get that off the ground.

Finally, I am developing one on innovation. I’ve been working with various companies and going to these conventions that revolve around innovative technologies. To show how important innovation is everywhere, from governments to states, to countries. Everywhere. So I am trying to get these developed but in the meantime, I’m always working.

Smash: Motorized Mayhem will be coming to iTunes and VOD on Tuesday, March 21. I hope everyone gets a chance to see what it is like to see this interesting sport here in Florida. Thank you so much again Kevin for taking the time out of your schedule for talking about the documentary.
Thank you so much.

A Special Thank You goes to Katrina Wan PR and Kevin J. Burroughs for making this interview possible. You can follow Kevin on Twitter @KevinBurroughs

Thug (2016)

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Part-found footage, part-crime film, New Jersey-based indie filmmaker Franklin Correa brings his latest, where we see him take on a very dark role.

Randolph Waters, a filmmaking student in New Jersey, is planning a documentary on urban anthropology. He has found the perfect person to document for this project. The man’s name is Gino and he lives in the basement of his family home. He agrees to the project on a few conditions: no governments and do not talk about his child. Randolph agrees to Gino’s conditions but makes the mistake of accidentally calling him by his real name. When Gino brings Randolph back to his apartment to “finish” the documentary, he ends it by killing him by asphyxiation.

Gino himself takes over the documentary, directed by and starring himself. He realizes he loves killing and vows that if anyone does him wrong, he will have no problems killing them. When Lamarr Redstone, a Seton Hall University filmmaking student, is given $5000 to film Gino, he is excited and goes along with the plan until he makes the same mistake that Randolph had and he finds himself shot. While Gino’s rage soon becomes uncontrollable, he learns that an old friend may be out of prison and that those he had trusted may no longer be trustworthy. Will Gino be able to handle things the right way or will his rage become so uncontrollable that his own worst enemy will be himself?

If it is one thing about Franklin Correa’s films that must be said, it is that he can make any story work even with low budget values. While usually noted for his indie action films, where he showcases his martial art talents in realistic mode, with this film, he takes a different route. Deciding to take the found footage film and mesh it with a dash of crime with a touch of horror, Correa does quite well both behind and in front of the cameras.

Correa shines as Gino, the titular “Thug” of the film, who goes on a killing spree when filmmakers make the mistake of calling him by his birth name, or as he calls it the “government” name. Correa brings a sense of realism when he takes over the camera himself. Sometimes, when he goes insane when the other cameraman does wrong, it is unintentionally funny. However, the killing scenes are something that are well done and the film ultimately leads to an unexpected twist that makes this a watchable indie film.

Thug is a wild ride in the life of a man who will kill you if you do him wrong and say the wrong things no questions asked. Franklin Correa is the driving force of the film, both in front and behind the camera in this found footage indie thriller.

WFG RATING: B

A Pantero Productions Film. Director: Franklin Correa. Producers: Franklin Correa and Emilio Pantero. Writers: Franklin Correa and Legend Damion Simmons. Cinematography: Franklin Correa, Legend Damion Simmons, John Byrne, and Dayvonne Bussey. Editing: Franklin Correa.

Cast:
Franklin Correa, Legend Damion Simmons, James Brown, Dayvonne Bussey, John Byrne, Marilyn Tolentino

Thanks to Franklin Correa for allowing WFG to see the film!