Hello friends, Matt Kollar here, I'm one of the heads of Space Barbarians Productions and the Director of the films and videos you will find on this website and a myriad of other places on the world wide interwebs. Along with my cohorts Colin Walker and Steve Sornbutnark we make up the sort of producing/directing/writing trifecta of Space Barbarians Productions.
2014 has been our most ambitious year so far and the one where as a new Production Company we have begun to try with all of our might to pull our stories and films out from the fetid swamp of "What if?" and bring them into the cool, clean air of completion and exhibition. When not awake in the middle of the night during the dark hour of the soul and crying out in a cold sweat, "Great Cthulhu who sleeps 'neath the drowned city of R'lyeh, why have I chosen this career!?!" or scrambling from day job to day job, we have actually managed to get some pretty cool things done this year and have quite a few scripts and stories that we are proud of and just about ready to take and release into the world.
Thus follows the great account of the 2nd-ish year of Space Barbarians Productions:
Behind The Scenes of "Midsummer Witch Hunt"
"Midsummer Witch Hunt" the latest video I directed for Joy Shannon and the Beauty Marks was a major part of Space Barbarians Productions summer. I spent May to late July in Pre-Production with Joy, researching the video, crafting the look and coming up with a story that we both felt would fit the subject that we are both so passionate about. The goal of the video was to explore the subject of Witchcraft and Witch Hunts in a different way than is usually portrayed on film and video. Rather than having a horrible, ghoulish Witch or a normal woman with magical powers we wanted to try and take the audience into a first person experience of what it could have been like to be one of the thousands of persecuted women during the great European Witch Hunts. Joy introduced me to the story of Malin Matsdotter, one of the last Women to be executed for WItchcraft in Sweden in the 1600s and then the story really took off from there. Some of my favorite films are historical fictions or even fantasy films that take place in the Medieval period so venturing into this world was really so much fun and it's a period that I would like to explore as a filmmaker many times and again. Take a look at the video below chronicling our experience researching and creating "Midsummer Witch Hunt".
Photographs by Paige Garcia from the "Midsummer" shoot
Hank and her Ponies writer and front-woman Lauren Cobb and I have been friends for quite a few years now, we've done multiple music collaborations together and shot story ideas for various projects back and forward, so it was a pretty natural thing to collaborate on her bands new music video "My Guns". We did a cover of "Playground Love" and are both big fans of Sofia Coppola's "Virgin Suicides" because of the films soft, pastel visuals and dark tone and took a lot of influence from her films. On my own account I has just re-watched Wim Wenders "Wings of Desire" for the first time in many years and rediscovered the beauty and cinematic brilliance of that film. I think a lot of influence from that movie went into this video and I might have lifted a shot. It's called an "Homage" kids! I had never really done anything like "My Guns" at that point, most of my films are comedy or Horror with loads of gore, but this video seemed like an interesting opportunity to explore something different. Nay, perhaps a serious side? Well... There's still some kind of ghostly supernatural element to this video but it's definitely a bit more "serious" if you will, than some of my past work.
"My Guns" video Premiere at the Frida Cinema
Recently we had the great pleasure to work with a wonderful Executive Producer named Richard Ballreich. Rick works with Hank and her Ponies and he Executive Produced and made possible the show that we put on to premiere the music video "My Guns" at The Frida Cinema in Santa Ana. Besides getting the chance to premiere the music video I directed at a fine Cinema like the Frida, I also curated all of the media for the bands that played and projected it behind them on the big screen during their set. What a dream to have full control of a brand new Digital Projector and be able to play anything I want on a huge movie screen, Colin and I were like cinematic wizards! With less beards and enemies. We also had some of the Space Barbarians Productions crew come in and help make the night a success. Danielle Kaufman, the "Midsummer Witch Hunt" set designer worked the show and transformed the front of the screen into a dreamy wonderland. Steve Sornbutnark our good friends and fellow Producer hosted the show, Dana Benedict Stage Managed and Hector Gomez, Camera Operator and Director of Photography shot the video below. All in all it was a pretty great night and I learned a lot about putting on live events such as this.
The Frida Cinema
Speaking of The Frida Cinema, I Freelance for the magazine OC Weekly and the latest piece I shot for them was an interview with Logan Crow the owner and operator of The Frida Cinema. The Frida is an Art House theatre in Downtown Santa Ana and is on a passionate mission to bring independent film, rare films and cult films to the masses. Inside a movie theatre is probably my favorite place to be in the whole world, especially Art-House theatre's like the Frida. To me and some good friends at SBP they are sort of sacred places, I'm serious, it's the acient temple for us bleary eyed, Gandalf t-shirt wearing, maladjusted cinephiles and it's wonderful to explore and document the life of one of these places even for just a little while. Definitely make the trip to visit the Frida if you are near the Santa Ana area, they have a great schedule.
Black Rock Mountain and the Future
So here we are in 2015, SBP is just starting to get it's footing, we are wiser, better filmmakers and storytellers and have watched certain TV series on repeat now more than should be allowed.
Currently I'm in Pre-Production with Joy Shannon for our next video "Mabon", you can check out a little sneak peek of some concept art Joy has created on the "Midsummer Witch Hunt" behind the scenes video at the top of this blog. I'm really excited about this one, it continues telling the same type of story and tone we created for "Midsummer Witch Hunt" but improves it and we're trying to push ourselves to really make an incredible video.
Also, six months ago, six months ago I know, I put out a trailer for the animated project Charles Pieper worked on with Colin and I, "The Black Rock Mountain" and said it was coming this Summer. Well, obviously it did not come out this Summer, we had a screening for it this summer, but I'm actually just putting the finishing touches on it right now and then it will be sent off to a few underground Horror fest. It's a great story in a very strange format but stay tuned to our website and check it out when it comes out!
So many stories and films we can't wait to share with the world, it's a struggle but it's a struggle for every Filmmaker and start up company and my passion and the passion of the team is too strong to be dismayed by the fact that some of us are going to have to continue for quite some time eating frozen Trader Joe's Indian Food dishes 5 nights out of the week in order to afford the next set of projects.
You can subscribe to this blog and will receive e-mail updates every time I write a new one, there's gonna be a lot more this year with myriads of things including short stories and films. Also, please follow us on the Facebooks and Youtubes, every share and like helps and I promise we will fill your precious and impacted internet time with integrity!