Tag Archives: SciFiSol

Help The Underground Multiplex Create New Programming!

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This is the current production equipment for The Underground Multiplex

by Legendary Lew

The Underground Multiplex is currently running a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for future programming.

We have a major need for a new laptop/PC; a 4T external hard drive (for achiving our videos and podcasts); and professional grade headphones for “Mediatrocities” podcasts.

All totaled, we came up with the modest sum of $820.00, an amount we hope to be able to receive by December 1st. The sooner we reach the goal, the sooner we can buy the equipment needed to continue our programming smoothly.

The picture you see above is my production equipment for The Underground Multiplex. No joke. I’ve been using a tablet with a broken interface for over a year now.

Any posts, podcasts, memes, etc. from The Underground Multiplex have come from this. In case you’re wondering, yes, I do use a magnifying glass to read my writing.

Over the last 6 years, we’ve been able to accomplish a great deal and to get some much needed attention for vital independent artists and venues. Here’s just a short list:

Plus, we’ve recorded numerous episodes of “Mediatrocities,” our own podcast covering directors and other prominent figures in the independent movie scene.

We’ve had award-winning short films and features, such as Scumbabies and Sci Fi Sol shown in multiple cities and festivals such as CIMMFest.

We believe we have great ideas for indie programming in the future, plus I have every intention of continuing “Mediatrocities,” as I am committed to having indie film artists share their works and get a voice heard. In the ocean of the Hollywood’s publicity efforts, our indie voices are vitally important.

AS A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO DONATE, TUGM WILL PRODUCE A SPECIAL EDITION OF “VITAL MEDIA” AFTER THE CAMPAIGN, AVAILABLE IN PASSWORD-PROTECTED FORM . ONLY THOSE CONTRIBUTING TO THE CAMPAIGN WILL BE ABLE TO VIEW THIS SPECIAL THANK YOU EPISODE.

Thank you for your support! And keep tuning in!
GoFundMe link: click here.

 

 

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If You Want to Know What The Underground Multiplex is All About, Come to Our Series on Friday Nights in January

by Legendary Lew

Earlier Effort by Joe

Starting tomorrow night at Chicago Filmmakers, The Underground Multiplex will be presenting what will be, in fact, perhaps the most comprehensive overview of what we’ve been up to since our inception in November 2010.

Back then, director Joseph R. Lewis and I had this crazy notion that perhaps we should begin an internet media co-operative that focused on the greatness of independent underground entertainment. We further emphasized that Chicago had to be the main focus of our attention, as we believe (and still do) that the decentralization of entertainment, with the advent of the internet, can help bolster each different region’s importance in the arts. Spreading this idea could keep very talented Chicago artists home, instead of fleeing to NYC or LA for the temporary fix of finding work that immediately pays something.

Film genius Ernie Tarte will be there for Strike That Line! 1/24

Film genius Ernie Tarte will be there for Strike That Line! 1/24

Joe had already made a number of films for over a decade. One of those films, The Adventures of Miss Girl, gets its world premiere tomorrow night along with Sci Fi Sol, which makes its return to Chicago screens this year.

However, this Friday series–dubbed “Friday Night VOLUME“–will present a fuller menu of what TUGM has to offer. As we progressed over the years, we’ve learnedQUEEN B XOX to perfect (out of necessity) presenting a variety of experiences for little money. As will be the case with VOLUME, we’ll have films, vaudeville-type entertainment, a varied music soundtrack, live Q&A and live performances (including Dr. Dredd’s Wagon of Wonders and the first-ever live presentation of the radio comedy Strike That Line!

Please join us! Check this link for the entire line-up. Head over to Chicago Filmmakers to purchase pre-show tickets.

 

Ken Levine is Wrong: Zach Braff Should Be Forced to Use Kickstarter. Here’s Why…

Make him do it.

Make him do it.

Ken Levine wrote a blog post that went viral about how Zach Braff shouldn’t use Kickstarter, because he’s too well connected to use a fundraiser site meant for the starving artist. I understand the argument, but this notion that Kickstarter is cloaked in some golden glow of altruism is rather laughable.

Kickstarter is fundraising tool, not a shrine shut off to all but members only. Of course someone well off is going to eventually try his or her hand at it, if not Zach Braff, then someone else. Mr. Levine also has to remember that Kickstarter is not only used by struggling artists, but also by those who want investors for new products. Indeed, one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns is for an E-Paper Watch, which garnered over 10,000% of the original goal.  It’s ludicrous to believe that tech companies won’t take notice and, if they do, expect to be warded off by hordes of  “indie investors” or their supporters crying foul.

If Ken Levine is so incensed by a well-off Hollywood type asking for money, then the best advice is the one he’s already following: don’t give money.  There are Kickstarters that fail–I would introduce Ken to the wonderful and hilarious Shitstarter, which compiles truly awful Kickstarter campaigns. If starry-eyed people want to waste their hard-earned dollars on big name projects, because they naively hope, as Levine infers, that they’ll hobnob and dine with the Hollywood elites, let them. To quote Suzanne Finnemore, “Delusion detests focus and romance provides the veil.”

I am, in fact, completely in favor of more transparency with investment monies given to movies. I want Zach Braff, Harvey Weinstein or any other Kickstarter recipient to answer from groups of investors when he makes a shitty movie. Having Kickstarter investors actually feel the loss of a bad investment I think is a good thing. Hollywood films are so divorced from your own artistic hunger and are so perfectly and systematically distanced from you personally that your only recourse for bad cinema is badmouthing it to your friends, skewering it publicly on blogs or asking for your money back from the cinema (good luck with that).

You shouldn’t have to hound the theater for your $12 back. You and other fellow investors should be able to follow the producer in every public appearance and ask why he took your investments and turned them in dogshit. Turn his next PR appearance into a townhall meeting shitstorm demanding your investment back. You probably won’t get it, but the headlines will certainly bite the producer in the ass. Let those producers know that if they invest via Kickstarter, they’ll be playing a different game. Not one which checks are written in closed rooms without a second thought given to the outcome, but instead one where the producers will be quite intimidated by average Joes to whom they’ll have to answer.

Levine is right about helping out independent filmmakers whenever possible. It’s a great idea. But even here, he misses the point on how to best do this.

Just as you can do for your produce, for the best arts results–go local.

Here in Chicago, I know two filmmakers who made feature length films for very little money. They, instead, used the time, energy and geniuses of other talents to make great looking films like The Pink Hotel and Sci Fi Sol (disclosure: the latter film is a production of this site, The Underground Multiplex).  Chris Hefner, the director of The Pink Hotel and the upcoming The Poisoner, told me in an interview that he made both features for practically nothing. Instead of a lot of cash, he bartered goods and services and even gained the assistance of an alderman who knows the value of having great art created locally.

The biggest mistake we can keep telling future filmmakers is that the only way to make feature films is to chase money. Don’t get me wrong, Kickstarter and other online fundraisers are great. But convincing artists that this method, or pitching movies with the big boys via festivals are the only ways to get your movie made is being disingenuous.  With technology and resources available to make movies very cheaply (we made Sisters of No Mercy 3D, a feature-length film for less than $200), this endeavor is open to more people with more ideas and more stories to tell than ever before. The real trick is to get the audience deeply engaged and the best way to do that is to find your local artists and filmmakers, meet them and support them and your local indie theaters.

Lew Ojeda
(I’ll be presenting a wild show on Saturday night, May 11th in Chicago, “The Ben & Arthur Interactive Cinematic Experience, or Can a Cult Movie Sensation Be Created?” Click on this link for more details and to attend. Click on this link for the promo video.)

Many Thanks to CIMMFest and the Fans of Sci Fi Sol!

A dream finally came true for The Underground Multiplex after more than a year of planning. Sci Fi Sol got a release through a festival, and how lucky we were to have it shown as part of the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival. Ours was one of the final screenings in the large viewing space of The Wicker Park Arts Center before that building is acquired by new owners. The projection and sound were terrific and Dave Asher (singing along live in performance with three videos and the feature) was in excellent form.

Our deepest gratitude to all those who braved the elements to check out the film.  Special thanks to Drew and Josh for taking pictures (coming soon);  the CIMMFest volunteers and crew for the smooth program transitions, technical know-how and help in a hurried environment. Big, big thank you to Michael Phillips, Jr. for giving us the chance to shine and allowing me to write a blog entry touring the newly renovated Logan Theatre. And, of course, to Joseph R. Lewis and Dave Asher–Good God, you guys are geniuses!

Lew

Is Chicago Ready for “Sci Fi Sol”?

Of course, it is! Now featured on Nina Metz’s Chicago Tribune article and rated “not to be missed” by Chicago Journal! To get your tix, head on over to the CIMMFest site here. I will be onhand with CDs of Melody Nife’s “Sci Fi Sol” soundtrack album, along with DVDs of other films by filmmaker Joseph R. Lewis should you wish to support us while attending.

If you want a little taste of what’s in store, dig this:

I would also be remiss to forget that TUGM pal Dominick Mayer will be presenting his Facets Night School lecture, “Kings of Classic Gaming and the Race to Conquer Kong” at midnight Saturday night. Yes, you can attend both, as Sci Fi Sol will be finishing before midnight. Only a couple of miles separate Wicker Park Arts Center from Facets, so a short bike or taxi ride will get you to the lecture in time.

TUGM’s Joseph R. Lewis Presents Facets’ Night School’s Lecture/Screening on “The Beaver Trilogy”

Joseph R. Lewis, director of Scumbabies and co-director of SCI FI SOL, will be on hand tonight to host Facets’ latest descent into cinema dementia, The Beaver Trilogy directed by Trent Harris.  The first of the trilogy is the life-changing meet with aspiring entertainer Richard Lavon Griffiths (aka “Groovin’ Gary) in a parking lot in Beaver, Utah. The subsequent two shorts are dramatizations starring then unknowns Sean Penn and Crispin Glover as Groovin’ Gary performing as Olivia Newton John.

Harris’ trilogy has been a cult favorite and popular bootleg trade ever since its creation in the mid-1980’s. Come on over tonight at midnight to Facets (1517 W. Fullerton) and check it out. I’m told there’s going to be a surprise, so if you miss it–weep, weep the mighty river.

AND…don’t forget! Next Saturday, the world premiere of SCI FI SOL at CIMMFest!

CIMMFest Trailer Released Online

Check this out!

Check them out: CIMMFest.