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Confessions of a Working Director - Sept 23rd, 2009

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When my last film, Deadwood Park was released to DVD, a lot of positive and a lot of negative things hit us.  On the positive side, the movie was very well-received critically around the globe.  Deadwood Park gathered glowing reviews from U.S. critics at www.PopMatters.com (Bill Gibron), www.AVManiacs.com (Ian Jane), www.Mondo-Digital.com (Nathanial Thompson), and Carl Lyon of this very website, to name just a few.  The longest-running horror podcast in the world, www.DeadPit.com named Deadwood Park "the best independent film of the year - by far."

More great reviews for Deadwood Park popped up in the U.K. (Carnival Of The Grotesque), Holland (Cultuurschok), Germany (Virus Magazine), and in various other pockets of the globe.

When Deadwood Park premiered at the Freak Show Film Festival in Orlando, Florida, we came home with the Best Feature and Best Cinematography awards.

So how can anything negative come of all this?  Well, as one might guess, the honeymoon ended when the poor decisions made in distributing the movie dug in like a tick and started sucking away money that should have compensated us for our effort, time, and achievement.  Certain forces behind the distribution and marketing of Deadwood Park put up a good fight and did everything possible to make the movie a financial success.  These forces were, however, crushed by the incompetence of others.  In terms of its production and its critical success, Deadwood Park is one of our greatest accomplishments.  Simultaneously, the movie is one of our worst financial failures.

Imagine spending three years and many thousands of dollars on a feature film, then receiving the awards and press to indicate that you indeed did your job right, and then watching the film's profit potential dissolve almost immediately upon entering the distribution phase.  That's a major hole punched right through our revenue.  Such catastrophic events have shut down companies bigger than mine.

So what's it like at the Wicked Pixel Cinema offices in these months following the release of Deadwood Park?  Yes, there are problems.  Yes, there is a lot of debt.  Yes, every difficult thing we do is now dramatically more difficult because money problems are piled on top.  But that's not the end of the story.

In the wake of Deadwood Park's release, I've seen some truly amazing individuals on my team rise above the setbacks and exhibit impressive tenacity.  This perseverance has not only kept Wicked Pixel Cinema moving forward in these dark financial times, it has also served as a source of inspiration for me.  When these members of Wicked Pixel Cinema show such dedication and tenacity, I can't help but feel more motivated - and unstoppable.  Hopefully my own resolve in turn inspires these great people to continue fighting for our goals.

I can see the dawn of a better day glimmering on the horizon.  We've got big plans in the works and I know all this hard work and tenacity will pay off.  Our current film, Ratline is only one part of this big picture.  We can weather this storm.  Partly because we are strong, but also because we know there is a small army of fans who support us.  Super-fans like Genie in Florida, Alyson in New York, Chad in Las Vegas, Ryan in Pennsylvania, Phil in Pennsylvania, local fans, supporters in the media, and friends in the horror convention scene all contribute to Wicked Pixel Cinema's perseverance.  Each advance we make is amplified by the support of our friends / fans / supporters.  Trust me, everyone here at Wicked Pixel Cinema understands and appreciates this.

If you've seen Deadwood Park, you now have an opportunity to get to know us a little better.  Exclusively available on www.amazon.com for download, we've just released the feature length documentary Welcome To Eidolon Crossing: The Making Of Deadwood Park.  This documentary, directed and edited by Jessie Seitz (the production designer of Deadwood Park) pretty much delivers every story spoiler possible, so it is best to not watch the documentary until after you've seen Deadwood Park.  The documentary not only shows all that hard work and sacrifice that went into making Deadwood Park, it also indicates our general attitudes about making independent films, or at least what our attitudes were at the time of that production.

So check out Welcome To Eidolon Crossing: The Making Of Deadwood Park.  You can download it here.

This is a great documentary if you want to see what an ambitious, but completely independent film - with zero studio or corporate support - looks like as it is taking shape.

If you have not yet seen Deadwood Park, you can get your hands on it here.

We worked very hard to make Deadwood Park as awesome as it could be.  And Jessie did a great job on her documentary.  So, if you check 'em both out, I'm sure you'll find something to like about both projects.  And, obviously, a purchase of one or both is a show of financial support that everyone here will appreciate.

More details about Jessie's documentary in the next blog.

Thanks for reading.

- Eric Stanze

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