March 5, 2011

High Hopes for BONG OF THE DEAD

Bong of the Dead, Thomas Newman's essentially one-man zombie production, has finally finished post-production and is nearing release, and I have high hopes for this ambitious and gory stoner action-comedy.

Bong of the Dead is obviously a labor of love for Newman who -- with a budget of only $5000 dollars and one camera -- created a feature-length movie basically on his own. Newman had to be writer, director, director of photography, cinematographer, music composer, and the film's sole visual effects artist. For over two years of post-production, Newman says he composited over 350 digital FX shots by hand, on his Mac, all in his basement. With help from his friends, such as Mike Fields (a special makeup effects artist on such films as The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian as well as the TV series Masters of Horror), Newman is ready to unleash Bong of the Dead on the world. To see what Newman has accomplished, you need only check out these two promotional trailers for the film.

I, for one, am excited. I have tremendous respect for filmmakers like Newman for being able to do so much with so little. With the release this year of Gareth Edwards's Monsters, in which Edwards like Newman also wrote, shot, and composed all the digital effects himself, it is clear we are living in an exciting time for independent film. Technology has reached a point where a sole individual outside the Hollywood system has more access than ever to film making technology. All it takes to make one's dream a reality is money, time, ambition, drive and commitment. If these trailers for Bong of the Dead are any indication, Newman is going to deliver a film leaps and bounds above high-profile technical flops like Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus or Birdemic without losing the wild and crazy excesses offered by independent horror film.

I'm going to call it now: keep your eyes on Bong of the Dead. Even if the film doesn't end up being your cup of tea, keep your eyes on this film and its creator, Thomas Newman. I fully expect him to join the ranks of this generation's upcoming and resourceful independent filmmakers.

Find out more about Bong of the Dead: