Somethings gotta stop the flow

A movie is not something I would normally write about. I do love movies, but with budgets, special effects and now 3D the bar has been set pretty high, especially if the movie has any kind of fantasy, sci-fi element to it. That brings me to the movie INK. INK premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on January 23, 2009, and then went on to win the Best International Feature award at the Cancun Film Festival. INK was directed and produced by Jamin Winans and Kiowa Winans who played multiple roles in the films creation. Jamin wrote, directed and edited, as well as composed the original soundtrack for the film, while Kiowa handled the Art Direction, Costume Design and Sound Design.

Before I mention anything about the story: the movie is SOLID. So what’s so special about it?

I have a lot of appreciation for this movie simply on the execution. The story is very rich, and also very complicated. The movie works on multiple timelines and touches on things such as the psychology of the ego while hopping around on the timelines. What I really appreciate about the movie is how it was done on the budget it had. Now granted, I don’t know the actual budget, but all things considered, it wasn’t huge. So take a complicated story, small budget, a bunch of actors and actresses you’ve never heard of, and an enormous amount of creativity and you have INK. Basically, the Winans made it work, and made it work well by creatively executing the story without dropping millions of dollars into it. When I first started watching it, I remember thinking this is going to be cheesy, and at times, the movie could have gone directly that direction – but didn’t.

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Although the special effects were minimal they were pulled of subtlety and not to draw away from the story. They were also inventive as hell. And in the end it all made sense. It was actually refreshing not to recognize any of the actors and actresses. Without recognizing anyone in the film there were no preconceived notions of any typecasting.

What else is interesting is there were no big studios that would pick up the film for distribution. Once that happened, Double Edged Films (Winans’s own independent production company) pitched the movie to independent cinemas and started producing DVDs. The DVDs were distributed online through the company’s website on October 30, 2009 and made it to retail stores by November. It was estimated that INK was downloaded via BitTorrent 400,000 times in one week. In a newsletter from the Winans, they mentioned they were cool with the pirating of the film which had resulted in higher sales for the movie. The movie is available for streaming on NetFlix currently.

If you watch INK, it’s a 50/50 chance you will or will not like it, just like any movie. For me, I loved it and give props to everyone involved for pulling it off. I can totally see Hollywood picking the movie up and throwing a ton of money at it, casting it with famous people and marketing the shit out of it. That might be cool, but out of respect for the Winans, they deserve a lot of credit for the original. But, it might make for a happy paycheck for them if it did happen… but I doubt that’s what they are about.

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Here is the official trailer from Double Edge Films. I was hesitant to post it at first simply because I had not seen the trailer before I watched the movie. Even so, I was unable to get an overall view of the movie from the description. You will have to watch it to get it all. And if you watch it a second time everything really sinks in. Love it or hate it, give it a shot.

Links you should check out:

Double Edge Films
Ink on IMDB
Ink on Wikipedia

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What are your thoughts?