Saturday, February 26, 2011


Lessons Learned:
Birdemic: Shock and Terror Edition

Last night at the Silent Movie Theatre, Cinefamily hosted a one year anniversary screening of Birdemic: Shock and Terror, a marvel of ultra-sincere filmmaking. I saw writer/director James Nguyen's tour de force for the first time at last year's screening, and was utterly the best way possible. He's the ultimate genius/madman; so far beyond self-aware that his only goal in life is to entertain. And he's fucking hilarious.

A drinking game was given to us while waiting in line, by none other than Whitney Moore herself!

One year later, the secret is more than out - the theater was packed and the crowd was rowdy. And after watching the magic unfold yet again over the course of 90 minutes, we were treated to a late night Q&A with James Nguyen and his stars - Alan Bagh and the utterly delightful Whitney Moore.

Cinefamily's programmer Hadrian Belove, writer/director James Nguyen, and stars Whitney Moore and Alan Bagh

What transpired from there (and didn't end 'til after 3am) was by far the most entertaining panel I have ever seen. And usually Q&A's make me horribly uncomfortable. At several points it almost felt staged, but then I realized it was all real and became even more fascinated. I haven't laughed that hard in ages. Here's what I know:

Substance abuse is encouraged. "How many beers you had? What have you smoked?" - Director James Nguyen

Perfection takes time. In its entirety, the film took 7 months to shoot.

Cleanliness is next to godliness. Asked what one thing she would have done differently, Whitney replied "I would have worn shoes at that Motel 6. Other than that, not a goddamn thing."

Don't quit your day job. Nguyen still works as a software salesman (just like Rod!) to fund his true passion of filmmaking.

5. Spontaneity is the devil. Alan recalls that they were "absolutely not allowed" to improvise anything.

Global warming IS all in your head. Nguyen stated very matter of factly that he wasn't trying to send a message. "If I wanted to send a message I would have used the post office."

7. Know your inspiration. Proving that he knows his share about the "Hitchcockian School of Romantic Thrillers", Nguyen proceeded to describe - in detail - several scenes from The Birds.

8. James Nguyen likes breasts.
While filming the first scene in the diner, Nguyen approached Moore with rubber breast inserts and told her to put them in her shirt. In front of the entire cast and crew.

9. Always mess with their heads. When asked by an audience member why he couldn't make the single shot during the basketball scene, Alan Bagh revealed that he had made a basket...and wasn't sure why Nguyen opted not to use it.

10. Filmmaking is a cycle.
"I love making movies, because...I make movies because...I love making movies." - Director James Nguyen

Big thanks to the Birdemic: Shock and Terror trifecta - as well as the fine folks at Cinefamily - for an unforgettable evening. You can now experience the Romantic Thriller anytime, as B:S&T is available on DVD and awe-inspiring Blu-ray. And the most anticipated sequel of all time is currently in "pre-production":

It's revolutionary green tech!

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