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Prairie Dog

Synopsis: 

A lone sheriff in the vast lands and valleys of Brada County is confronted with a dual mystery. A pair of sociopathic criminals being chased across the plains have disappeared, and reports keep surfacing of a large, shadowed animal roaming the farmlands of the county. With the assistance of an environmental consultant and the mayor of the nearby town of Sombra Hollow, the sheriff races to find the connection between the mysteries that haunt the valleys of Brada County.

Runtime: 
01:33:51
English subtitle: 
No
Information for the Audience: 

“Prairie Dog” is feature film modeled on the monster movies of the 40s and 50s. It’s designed as a stylistic visual framework in which to pay homage to the practical visual and makeup effects pioneered through this genre, with fantastical atmospheric environments, creature and prosthetic makeup design, as well as the overall cinematic aesthetic for the story.

I’ve always held an affinity for the fabricated, physical effects of filmmaking. From the pioneering work of Jack Pierce and Lon Chaney Sr., to the physical worlds of Douglas Trumbull and Richard Edlund, the illusion of a reality based on hand-crafted design was mesmerizing to me. I experimented with these illusions throughout my childhood in short film creation, and later in my teens and early twenties with longer form narratives, using light and atmospherics to better ‘sell’ this illusion. After studying makeup and fx arts I was reinvigorated in my pursuit of this form of illusory visual narrative. “Prairie Dog” was designed to explore these techniques within the framework for an old fashioned monster-adventure.

The environments and locations, of the fictional Brada County and Sombra Hollow, isolated amidst the foothills of the mountains, were brought to life through matte paintings, location photography and constructed model work. The creature work was attained through a mixture of full-size sculpture, eighth-scale rod puppetry, and miniature elements.

All of these ideas, while experimental and ambitious, increased in difficulty when placed under the thumb of extremely low budget filmmaking. Through loads of volunteer hours, donated equipment and locations, and a great team of young, energetic and equally ambitious professionals on our cast and crew, “Prairie Dog” created a uniquely atmospheric and hand-crafted idea of what old-fashioned monster movies used to be.

Screenings / Awards: 
  • Northern Frights Festival
    Elliot Lake, Ontario 
    Canada 
    October 24, 2015 
    Canadian Premiere 
    Favourite Feature, Best Actor
  • Motor City Nightmares Film Festival
    Milford, Michigan 
    United States 
    April 23, 2016 
    American Premiere 
    Best Fantasy Feature
  • Fantasmagorical Film Festival
    Louisville, Kentucky 
    United States 
    July 31, 2016 
    Best Fantasy Feature
  • Genre Celebration Festival
    Los Angeles, California 
    United States 
    March 9, 2016 
    Best Fantasy Feature
  • Underground FilmFest
    Birmingham, Saigon, Cameroon
  • Great Lakes International Film Festival
    Erie, Pennsylvania 
    United States 
    September 30, 2016
  • Erie International Film Festival
    Erie, Pennsylvania 
    United States 
    December 1, 2016
    Finalist Best Horror
  • I Filmmaker International Film Festival
    Marbella 
    Spain 
    Special Mention
  • Amsterdam World International Film Festival
    Amsterdam 
    Netherlands

 

Total votes: 1002

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