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Movie-making isn’t all parading around with Angelina Jolie and accepting Academy Awards. In fact, director Benjamin Cooper is here to tell us that on the low budget end of filmmaking it’s all about being shrewd, making good decisions about everything and playing to your strengths. And Cooper is hoping with all this, and a little luck, his film Primitive can turn a profit.
Primitive is a pure creature feature. It’s got the beastie with the claws and teeth, as well as the bloody wounds caused by them. Judging by what we’ve seen, it doesn’t look like Cooper holds back too much on the gore. Kudos for that, Benjamin.
Cooper has a sneak preview for his film scheduled for October 8 at the inaugural Black October Art and Film Invasion in Vegas, as well as a limited theatrical run in its hometown of San Luis Obispo beginning on October 20. In the release below Cooper talks about what it’s like to take a film like Primitive theatrical and try to make some coin. Check it out.
From the Press Release
Benjamin Cooper put it all on the line to make Primitive, and now he’s doing it again to put the creature feature on the silver screen. Following a sneak preview on October 8th at the inaugural Black October Art and Film Invasion in Las Vegas where it is a special selection, Primitive will kick off a limited theatrical run in San Luis Obispo, CA where it was shot.
“Working on the fringe of the business I figured theatrical had become pie-in-the-sky. Those low-budget success stories you hear about like Paranormal Activity are exceptions to the rule. Most of my stuff is direct-to-DVD and that’s fine, except the whole industry is changing. The brick and mortar stores are vanishing, digital VOD is growing, but too slow to fill the void. Meanwhile I’ve made my biggest picture ever and for the first time I’m obligated to investors, not to mention the cash and sweat I put in. I’m not putting Primitive into theaters out of vanity. I just can’t afford to leave any stone unturned for revenue.”
The hometown red carpet premiere on October 20 will be followed by four theatrical dates with an option by the theater to hold it over if it’s a big success. After that, Cooper plans to take the picture on tour to various cities for single night engagements. “A one off show with a packed house can be more profitable than a week of mediocre turnouts. I’m trying to be smart about it. I have horror legend Reggie Bannister (Phantasm) in the picture and he did a great job. Tom Devlin (SyFy’s “FaceOff”) did the creature effects. You know I’m going to be exploiting their names for all they’re worth. I’m targeting cities where I may have an edge. Fresno for example is where co-star Jeff Ryan lives and grew up. That’s got to be good for some “local boy makes good” free press. Same with Pittsburgh, leading man Matt O’Neill’s old stomping grounds, though that’s probably the farthest we’ll go. I don’t want to blow my profits on travel costs.”
In this horror tale, Martin Blaine (O’Neill), a Hollywood effects artist who makes monsters for a living, must confront his own inner demon made flesh before it destroys everyone he comes in contact with. Bannister plays Dr. William Stein, the hypnotist whose unorthodox therapy inadvertently conjures Martin’s Id.
Primitive is currently shopping for distribution. Also starring: Kristin Lorenz (Evil Eyes), Jeff Ryan (Death Factory), Gregory Paul Smith (Dino Wolf) and Rachel Riley (8213: Gacy House).
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