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iW's Project of the Day: Detroit's Illegal Halloween Masquerade, Theater Bizarre

By Indiewire | Indiewire July 7, 2011 at 2:09AM

Here's your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you'll have the chance to vote for your favorite.
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iW's Project of the Day: Detroit's Illegal Halloween Masquerade, Theater Bizarre
An image from the Theatre Bizarre documentary. [Image courtesy of filmmakers]

Here's your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you'll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

In the meantime: Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.


Theater Bizarre Documentary (working title)

Tweetable Logline:
The untold story of Theatre Bizarre – Detroit's legendary illegal Halloween masquerade. Bullets, burlesque, freaks & fire - BANNED!

Elevator Pitch:
Theatre Bizarre is an underground, illegal, fire-spewing, burlesque-filled, rock and roll masquerade – at least it was until the city of Detroit ended its decade-long run by shutting it down in 2010. Up until that time an army of volunteers had toiled year-round (and often around the clock) to create an otherworldly setting for a single night each year that has inspired a rabid following of attendees and wannabe-attendees. The documentary will utilize hundreds of hours of behind-the-scenes and performance video from the show's history to tell the story of this outlaw production and its leader, (Kresge Fellow) John Dunivant.

Production team:
Co-Directors: Gary Bredow, Per Franchell
Art Director: John Dunivant

About the Project:
Theatre Bizarre has never been properly captured, despite attempts by media outlets like The Detroit News and the New York Times. It's like lightning in a bottle - loud and flashy with a whiff of danger, but even that description fails to recognize the humanity of it all. This is an outlaw theatrical production staged in a crumbling neighborhood by unpaid laborers who risk life and limb to create genuine magic. It is unique in the world and is currently threatened by a city government with bigger things on its plate and no idea how to handle this dark diamond.

Current Status:
The film is currently in production, fundraising.

For more information and to support this project:
Film Website
IndieGoGo Page

If you have an in-the-works project and you'd like to be profiled in an upcoming iW Project of the Day column, submit yourself by filling out this form!

This article is related to: Features, Filmmaker Toolkit, In The Works, Project of the Day






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