One of the real exciting announcements to come out of this year’s San Diego Comic-Con is the fact that Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut (review) is finally making its way to video. Michael Plumides is a filmmaker who was instrumental in making this happen.
Plumides recently sat down with Dread Central and talked about his experiences helping Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut finally see the light of day.
Dread Central: What was your role in this venture?
Michael Plumides: Well, I live in Charlotte, North Carolina. Although I’ve lived in Georgia and South Carolina I was born and raised here. And though my 4808 Club was shut down by the city after the infamous GWAR show of 1990, I still consider this my home – even if they tried to run me out on a rail. I wrote a book about it entitled, Kill the Music that someday I hoped to turn into a film. But I didn’t really have an idea how to break in and make an impact Then I thought, what better way than to make some low-budget horror? Horror and heavy metal fans are THE most loyal. So I came up with this concept called Ghost Trek (the second episode screening in Atlanta at Gwinnett Center International Film Festival – July 27th at 7 PM to promote my Kill the Music project.)
We had a few screenings of the pilot episode called The Kinsey Report in 2011 winning “Best Comedy” at Fright Night this year and I was working on a production deal with ThinkFactory Media – that incidentally went nowhere. I was also working in an unofficial capacity for Morgan Creek as a consultant. When Mad Monster Party announced their first convention in Charlotte, I contacted them about playing my Ghost Trek pilot but my requests fell on deaf ears. Eben McGarr and Joe Moe were from California and didn’t know me from Adam. But they asked around, and when I heard they needed help getting permission from Morgan Creek to screen Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut at Mad Monster Party but to little avail, I stepped in and contacted now President, David Robinson and told him, “We need to support this. I think it’s got some legs.”
It took me one phone call to do what they were trying to get done for months. Last summer I received a pitch package from Morgan Creek for a possible Nightbreed TV show, that had been put together by Matthew Venne (Fright Night 2, Bag of Bones) who had several meetings with Clive and Mark Miller taking notes, Clive’s agent represents Matt as well. Morgan Creek asked me what I thought. So I reworked it a bit, and then contacted Mark Miller and Russell Cherrington to talk a little about it. I worked on some new character designs with Tate Steinsiek appearing on “Face/Off” premiering August 13th on Syfy. Morgan Creek liked my feedback and put me under contract as a “Creative Consultant” on the TV show. Then nothing. I was given no directives so I was kind of on my own – but I’m on spec so nothing can really happen for me unless I make it happen. I knew the film needed distribution and we weren’t going the Hollywood route because those folks are often clueless about pop culture and really wouldn’t give a shit – they would be like, “That movie was a bust. Nobody cares about that movie!?!” They have no understanding of groups like Occupy Midian – and crowd sourcing. Street promotion. They don’t know anything about their own business – you can’t just throw money at something if you don’t understand it. So, knowing what I know about fan boys and geekdom- – I went the indie route.
I hit Tim League up from Fantasticfest and Drafthouse Films on Facebook about a Nightbreed screening and incidentally asked if he might be interested in distribution for the Cabal Cut. I needed people that would understand it. Drafthouse Films – COO, Jim Shapiro is a huge fan – he sent me a pic of his life-size “Decker” head. Although they were fans, to do what we needed to do wasn’t really their wheelhouse. So, on the eve we were supposed to close, they suggested we go to Shout!Factory, introducing me to Cliff MacMillan, who I in turn introduced to Morgan Creek–we got the deal done minutes before the announcement. Literally minutes. And, here we are.
DC: What does this victory mean to you?
MP: A BIG VICTORY. I’ve been working on all things Nightbreed for over a year. When I received the call yesterday, I was euphoric. I have really been pushing Morgan Creek to stay on top of everything so we didn’t miss that Comic-Con opportunity – to give back to the fans. They deserve it. Everyone has worked really hard on this. Mark Miller, Russell Cherrington, David Robinson and I talked daily getting this thing together – Jose Leitao’ and Ryan Danhauser keep everyone informed on Occupy Midian. And Clive is ecstatic. It really feels satisfying to say, “We got it done – corralling cats and getting all of them to sing the same song in unison.” I feel like we pulled off the impossible. The fans made this happen. No doubt. We owe the fans for their support. The actors have all come out and supported the movement – Anne Bobby and Craig Sheffer have been delightful. It’s just been really great to see it finally come to fruition. Now we will work on worldwide distribution, the comic reboot, and the TV show. I think we have a lot of momentum now. Nightbreed deserves to be a recognizable brand – “Meat for the beast!”
DC: What steps needed to be taken to make it come to fruition?
MP: Russell will be flying in with the VHS tapes and other necessities from Derby, England to meet me and Craig Scheffer in Atlanta on the 26th for the Gwinnett Center International Film Festival. He’s hosting a screening of the Cabal Cut. Also on Saturday, July 27th, I’m screening the new fully-completed Ghost Trek: Goomba Body Snatchers Mortuary Lockdown episode at 7 PM – we are currently #2 in “Horror” behind the Clive Barker penned Zombies vs. Gladiators currently on Amazon Studios. Plus Russell and I are on a few panels. Atlanta is the new Mecca – we want to bury a flag down there. My old stomping ground. Morgan Creek may have a feature filming there in 2014 as well so I should be in Atlanta a lot of next year. We will also have a huge panel at DragonCon so stay tuned to Occupy Midian for news on that or go to Dragoncon.org for more information.
DC: What can fans expect to see with the Cabal Cut?
MP: Well once I made all the introductions everything else is kind of out of my hands. But the VHS work print elements will be delivered to Shout!Factory – they do excellent work and add lots of extras and behind-the-scenes stuff. I think everyone will be very pleased. There’s also a documentary in the works. With the limitations as far as the so-called “lost footage”, I think fans will be forgiving.
DC: Approximately when will the release date be?
MP: I don’t have a release date yet but keep an eye out for more screenings. A biggie should be announced very soon for the Lone Star State. If you are on the East Coast, come and meet us in Atlanta this week at Gwinnett Center for the party of a lifetime. It will probably be the last time we will all be this intimate – my instincts tell me it’s gonna get crazy. 2014 should be a great year for the “Tribes of the Moon.”
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