The lo-fi sci-fi movie I wrote and co-produced last year is now coming out as a DVD, complete with commentary from all seven directors with DIY no-budget filmmaking tips and tricks. To launch it we’re having a screening at the Royal Cinema, one of the last grand independent theatres in the city, Thurs. May 15th at 9pm (608 College, $10). This’ll be the first time it’s screened in Toronto since the amazing advance screening we did at Innis. There’ll be a q & a with the directors afterwards and as a bonus we’re also showing the premiere of “Luggage”, Craig Macnaughton’s new short. Craig did a great job with the design of the DVD and revamped the Infest Wisely trailer with all the great quotes we got from the media. Check out the official press release and the cover art below.
There’s a new, chewable nanotechnology that lets you take photos with your eyes, cures cancer and eliminates body odour. But the early adopters are realizing they got extra “features” they didn’t count on. And no one told them once they spread through the bloodstream, it’s harder to uninstall than your average computer virus.
INFEST WISELY is a lo-fi sci-fi no-budget feature in seven episodes, each with a different director and intertwining characters. Click for a closeup of the front and back covers
Includes a commentary track from all seven directors who reveal do-it-yourself tips and tricks on how they shot the movie for $700.
Acclaim for Infest Wisely
“Infest Wisely is a great lo-fi sci-fi nanopunk flick” -Wired.com
“The film is chock full of interesting ideas and images.” -The Toronto Star
“If only there were more people like Jim Munroe making movies like Infest Wisely.” -The Globe and Mail
“The production values are inevitably scrappy but Infest Wisely gets by on the cheeky vitality of its ideas.” -eye weekly
“killer” -Cory Doctorow, boingboing.net
“One millionth the budget of Spiderman 3. One thousand times the smarts.” -Peter Watts, Hugo-award nominee
The Vancouver International Digital Festival, with the intriguing catchline of “reminiscing about the future,” is hosting the Canadian premiere of Infest Wisely at Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour, 4pm, $10) on Sunday, September 23rd. I’ll be presenting it and also participating in a Vidfest panel on Monday called “The Wisdom of Crowds: Web 2.0 Democracy or Mob Mentality?” that should be pretty spirited: I already know I completely disagree with one of the panelists.
I’ve also just confirmed that there’ll be a free sneak preview screening as well in Montreal on Friday, Sept 21 8-11pm in Dare-Dare, a gallery situated in a park with no name. Myself and Craig will be there to present it and there’ll also be vids by two other excellent community moviemaking projects, The Assembly and VideoHymn. Click through to see Rickie’s sweet bilingual trippple films flyer. Update: Warren Frey did a videoblog interview of me in Vancouver.
One of the things I thought would be easy — as I know a fair amount of musicians — was getting Infest Wisely scored. What I discovered was that people who write and perform songs aren’t necessarily able or inclined to compose music to order. I’ve seen this before with illustrators that aren’t good designers, even though both are visually-based skills. (Though Marc Ngui, whose hilariously dead-on fake ad was used in this week’s ep, can do both. He also did this anti-milking public service announcement for ep 2 that ended up being cut.)
General Chaos, the penultimate episode of Infest Wisely, was posted yesterday. A lot of people have cited the talking cat scene in it as their favourite part — which wasn’t hugely surprising, I mean, talking cats are quantifiably awesome. What did surprise me was that Shannon wrote me that her six year old son Willy now suspects their cats Boo and Lucy of talking to each other in British accents when they’re not home. I’ve never written anything that both six and sixty year olds can enjoy on some level, so it kind of blew my mind.
We posted the fifth episode of Infest Wisely, Sublime Algorithm, yesterday. (It’s the one I directed.) I liked the idea of Digger becoming legendary and people spraypainting his image over the city, and after I saw posterchild’s stencil of Alan Turing I knew I wanted him to make it. This led me to the one ethical conundrum of the whole shoot — using public or quasi-public spaces for shooting didn’t bother me at all, but I didn’t want to use real spraypaint to put up the stencil. If the content of the stencil was somehow political, I would have felt fine about it, but I felt that it wasn’t really meaningful outside of the movie context.
So I looked for another way to get it up there. I thought I was onto something with fake hair colour (and Exile stayed open late so I could buy a few cans) but it was way too watery and completely unusable. Then in a last hour save, Susan suggested the fake snow in a can we had from another project. It worked perfectly.
One of the funnest moments for me on the Infest Wisely movie was getting to see a song I wrote the lyrics for get performed on stage. It was nothing like I imagined it — it was so much better. At the time I was writing the script I had a half-assed idea my pal Maggie and The Republic of Safety might do it. Maggie was on tour, however, but Chris and Anthony stepped up to the challenge: they put together a band from scratch, got them to practise the music Chris’d composed, got them glam-punk wardrobe and tattoos, and then booked the Cameron back room for us to rock out in!
It’s hard to communicate how surreal and fucking awesome it was to see this stranger belting out the words I’d written just two months before:
Get out of our bodies/ you sneaky parasite / if you think we’re your new home/ you’re in for a fight!
Our leaders and rulers our rights have traded/ but I’m fuckin human and I won’t be upgraded!
Just try not to sing along! (Though if you haven’t watched it yet, it’s better to see it in context in episode four of Infest Wisely, “Spawning Rebellion“.)