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‘Celluloid Wizards in the Video Wasteland’ Goes Inside the Downfall of a Short-Lived B-Movie Empire

'Celluloid Wizards in the Video Wasteland' Goes Inside the Downfall of a Short-Lived B-Movie Empire

[Editors Note: Project of the Day is presented in partnership with Blackmagic Design, one of the world’s leading innovators and manufacturers of creative video technology.]

Here’s your daily dose of an indie film, web series, TV pilot, what-have-you in progress — at the end of the week, you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

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Celluloid Wizards in the Video Wasteland

Logline: An epic documentary about the rise and fall of the most ambitious B-movie studio in the 1980’s, Empire Pictures.

Elevator Pitch: 
“Celluloid Wizards in the Video Wasteland” is a feature documentary about Charles Band, a young, enigmatic horror film producer in the 1980’s who created the ultimate monster… his own motion picture studio. Utilizing the talents of special effects wizards and rising film directors, Band reinvented and reinvigorated the independent horror genre scene. But, in less than five years, his B-movie machine mutated into an uncontrollable beast! What led this youthful mini-major to crash and burn upon the sticky floors of empty movie theaters? 

Production Team:
This feature documentary is edited, produced and directed by Daniel Griffith. Griffith is the owner and operator of Ballyhoo Motion Pictures, an independent film company based in Atlanta, GA. Over the past eight years, Griffith has produced and directed more than 50 bonus feature documentaries, including material released by Universal Pictures, Legendary Films, Synapse Films, and Shout! Factory. He is also the documentary producer for the Mystery Science Theater 3000 television series. His recent projects include an 80 minute documentary on the legacy of “The Twilight Zone” television series, and a feature-length documentary on the making of “From A Whisper to A Scream,” featuring Vincent Price in one of his final horror film appearances.

About the Film:
The documentary follows the life of producer Charles Band leading up the creation of the most ambitious B-movie studio of the 1980’s. While other film companies were targeting the growing VHS market, Band was producing low-budget horror and fantasy features for drive-ins.

The runaway success of “Re-animator” and “Ghoulies” paved the foundation for Empire’s wildly imaginative slate of motion pictures. But Band’s unbridled passion for marketing and distribution clashed with scandalous banking practices, causing company to crumble beneath him.

This thrilling saga is told through the eyes of the innovative team of filmmakers who worked together to reinvent the independent film industry.

Current Status: Fundraising for Post-Production, a few final interviews needed, orchestral score needs to be recorded, etc.

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Project of the Month: Blackmagic Design will award Indiewire’s Project of the Month winners (November, December, January) with one (1) Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 12 License each. DaVinci Resolve 12 combines professional non-linear video editing with the world’s most advanced color corrector so now you can edit, color correct, finish and deliver all from one system. 

Project of the Year: Blackmagic Design will award Indiewire’s Project of the Year winner (announced in January) with one (1) Blackmagic URSA Mini 4k, the world’s first high end digital film camera designed to revolutionize workflow on set. 

For more information about Blackmagic please visit: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com

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