In just its second year, the Tibs SciFi Awards have already become very popular. Maybe it’s because, unlike many awards in entertainment, we let the fans pick the nominees then the fans vote – and vote they did. This year we had over 25,000 votes cast in those fan-picked categories. You can see the full list of winners in our post TiBS Second Annual Scifi Award Winners Announced.
I have to admit that my favorite category is Best Independent Film or Short. The variety and creativity of independent filmmakers is really impressive; doubly so when you consider the budgets they operate on, which is often no budget at all. We’ve seen comedy, horror, science fiction, psychological thrillers, and animated stories – each of them uniquely fascinating because they offer a clearer look at what the filmmaker intended than you’d get from a large scale production. The great thing about seeing someone’s passion turned into a pure representation of their imagination is we as viewers tend to relate better on an emotional level than we do to Hollywood’s pre-pressed formula films.
This year’s winner, Beyond the Basement Door, comes from the small, but impressively talented group over at Ten Wing Media. All it takes is a quick visit to their site to see that they’re the very embodiment of independent filmmaking. Beyond the Basement Door is a Lovecraftian horror tale, but they’ve created science ficton, documentary-style films, and music videos. These guys make stuff they’re passionate about, not something that was run by focus groups and bunches of executives first
Alistair, a genetic researcher, saves his own life from cancer by making a pact with some dark and dangerous people. The secret lies with whatever is making the odd sounds in Alistair’s basement. The deal he made forbids him to go down there for three days…no matter what he sees or hears. His sanity, his life, depends on it.
As the line between reality and delusion fades, Alistair struggles with nosy neighbors (Richard Pryor Jr.), a rival ex-boss (Daniel Roebuck, LOST) and haunting images of a lady in blue. Getting out of the house only makes his anxiety worse. With each passing hour, an urge to open the door slowly chips away at him…
Will he be able to resist? What’s making all that noise beneath the floorboards? How is Alistair connected to the lady in blue and what is beyond the basement door?
The film has just been released in its entirety on YouTube so you now have the opportunity to watch it for free. So sit back, relax, and see for yourself why this project won out over all the other truly great projects on our list.
A while back I was fortunate enough to interview filmmaker Jason Huls and one of his partners in crime, Chad Burns, whom you may remember from the phenomenal “L5“. In the 2-part interview, we discussed Beyond the Basement Door at length. The interview gives you a really good idea how the entire process works and how complicated putting together a film of any size really is. To learn more, click on over to Beyond the Basement Door – Trailer and Interview With Filmmaker Jason Huls. If you want to hear Jason and Chad’s thoughts on the future of media distribution and how Ten Wing Media plans to be a driving force in that future, click on over to Interview With Indie Filmmakers Jason Huls & Chad Burns – Part 2. If you’re at all interested in independent filmmaking you really should check out both parts of the interview.
If you’re a fan of conventions or if you’ve always been curious about them, you really need to check out their webseries The Con Men. In the series, Jason and Chad attend cons and interview fans in attendance. Unlike most convention coverage, The Con Men focuses on the convention experience from the perspective of the fans. As an added bonus, both Jason and Chad share their personal journeys into fandom proving they’re equal parts filmmaker and fan. Yep, they’re one of us and it shows. You can watch all the episodes on YouTube here: The Con Men (web series) Playlist.