Blood flowing in Heavy Hitting Films B-Grade Horror Film Festival
What: Second Annual Heavy Hitting Films B-Grade Horrorfest
Where: MY (Millennium) Place
When: Thursday, Oct. 30, 10 p.m.
Tickets : $9.99.
Like all of the best ideas, it started for fun.
Last year, local indie filmmaker Feet Banks, notorious for his 2000 ski flick Parental Advisory, produced by his own Heavy Hitting Films company, gathered together a crew of creative-minded cohorts to make a no-budget slasher flick. Knowing they werent the only horror movie fans in Whistler, they encouraged others to do the same.
Plans were made to screen the rotten fruits of their labours at the start of Shits n Giggles Productions annual Halloween party at the GLC. Artist and DJ Chili Thom, organizer of the GLC party, was also a collaborator on the film.
Not knowing whether or not anyone else would follow through, they went ahead and named the event the Heavy Hitting Films B-Grade Horror Film Festival. It was, says Banks, mainly an excuse for the two of them to make their own movie.
But people did follow through. When the projector started rolling, there were 10 flicks lined up for judging. And it wasnt Banks and Thoms film, but a gory spectacle called Hagridden made by a punk pixie named Lauren Graham that took home the mounted skull trophy.
Because of last years success, this years fest gets its own night and its own home. The 15 expected entries screen at MY Place on Thursday, Oct. 30 with the Shits n Giggles GLC party on the following night. The separation, says Banks, is nice, but as they learned last year, its also necessary.
"By the time the last movie played it was past 10 oclock," Banks remembers. "Some people were really juiced, not paying attention, kicking the plugs out on the projector and stuff like that. It was a little too long, and that was only 10 movies. This year we decided wed have to do something different."
While last year MY Place seemed way out of their league, this year its a natural fit.
"You never know how many movies youre going to get. Last year, we didnt know if wed only have two movies, if anyone was going to be into it, or what was going to happen. So we went small," says Banks. "We knew we were going to be able to fill Millennium Place this year because its almost doubled in size."
Along with the menacing-looking trophy, Banks is trying to secure a cash prize for this years winner, something he hopes can result from the inclusion of event sponsor Base Energy Drink.
"Its nice to win a trophy but you cant make a movie for nothing," he says. "Youre spending a couple hundred bucks to make even the lowest budget movie. So for the winner, its nice to get even a little bit back."
Its that attitude that guarantees the festival will continue to be a success. Banks is a filmmakers filmmaker and the festival is as much for him as anyone else. He considers it a contribution toward an alternative to the already strong sports action video scene that Whistler supports. And he says hed like to see others step up and create an even wider variety of forums for independent films, alongside events such as the 72-Hour Filmmaker Showdown at the World Ski and Snowboard Festival in the spring.
"Yeah, Id like to keep it going as long as we can," he confirms. "The independent movie scene up here is totally growing and I dont know about everyone else, but Im sure getting sick of pointing my camera at skiers and snowboarders. Its good to have another outlet to put your energy into."
Those with strong stomachs will want to be sure to catch the Second Annual Heavy Hitting Films B-Grade Horrorfest at MY Place this Thursday, Oct. 30. Tickets $9.99 through MY Places Ticketmaster outlet. Call 604-935-8418 for more information.