Imagine being on set with your favorite movie director, and being able to document the process for posterity purposes, and just for fun! You would get to see a glimpse of movie magic and how things come together. You could see actors get into character, the film crew setting up for all the important shots, and the director freaking out because no one takes things as serious as he does. But what if things got a little too serious. What if something which should be enjoyable and rewarding turned deadly! What would you do as the documentarian… would you get involved or walk away?
Back in July of 2009 we received a copy of Scott Feinblatt’s independent horror flick Summer People. Everyone at IB immensely enjoyed the film and we had a feeling we’d be hear from Feinblatt in the future. We were right, and he recently sent us a copy of his latest creation, Outtake Reel. Outtake Reel revolves around the murder of Ashley Swan while filming Tom Grayson’s latest horror masterpiece, “My Brother’s Keeper”. Feinblatt decided not to tell the story, instead he lets the story tell itself using a series of behind the scenes clips from Danny Wilson and personal video diaries from the cast and crew. It took a lot of persistence on Danny’s part before he was allowed to film the making of the movie, but that persistence paid off, and he was given full access to the set and the actors. He started out with an inside look at his idol’s latest feature, and ended up with footage that was the basis for the murder trial of Tom Grayson.
Having never been on a movie set I can’t imagine what the director goes through, but I’m sure it isn’t easy, especially when you have written the movie and are so invested in it. As Danny shows even before the first day of shooting, Grayson is on edge and irritable. But thankfully he is able to find a terrific actress for the lead role, Ashley Swan. She has some movie experience, but this is her first leading role. The first few days of shooting go well, but Grayson isn’t happy with Swan’s counterpart Joe and his “Tom-foolery” (pun intended)! Joe is fired, and things on set take a turn. Ashley becomes difficult to work with, and changes her mind about an implied nude scene where she was only going to show her back. Grayson is beside himself and contemplates firing her too. Even though Danny is a big fan of Grayson, they don’t share the same ideas about that makes a great horror movie. Danny enjoys the shock value and gore of today’s movies, whereas Grayson believes subtlety is the key to scaring the pants off people. Now it’s time for Danny to show the director just what it takes to get an award winning performance out of his star. Hold on to your seat because things are about to get quite disturbing in a hurry!
One of the biggest compliments you can give to a film writer/director is to say they have made an original movie. It rarely happens these days as we all see with the remakes which continue to flood theaters. It’s not that I hate all remakes, but having the gift to do something new is a wonderful thing. Well, Feinblatt and his co-director Jeffry Chaffin have done that with Outtake Reel. I can’t think of any movies, independent or Hollywood, that were built around a documentary of a movie that never got made. Having the ability to take seemingly random clips and put them together to tell a story is not an easy task, but Outtake Reel nails it! They treat it as a last look and dedication to Ashley Swan. It isn’t a horror movie in today’s definition of the word, and a big part of the story revolves around that. It’s not terribly gory just to be gory, there are no unstoppable slashers hiding behind doors, and no magic spells turning people into demons. It’s just a sick and twisted look into the mind of movie makers! On top of that it stars one of the most adorable ladies I have seen in a long time, Ava Santana. She’s cute as hell, and has no trouble pulling off the scenes where she needs to be a complete bitch. Hopefully this is just a taste of things to come for her.
Unfortunately at the time of this review you can’t get this movie at your favorite retailer, but I suspect it will be available soon. I’m sure Feinblatt will give us a heads up and we’ll pass that along to you. I think you should definitely give this one a try, especially if you are a fan of documentaries and independent films. I give Outtake Reel 3.5 tied up leading ladies out of 5!
Outtake Reel: [usr=3.5]