Tim Doiron and April Mullen are a couple who have previously gone to extreme lengths to promote their films. In 2008 the couple made a mockumentary that investigated the culture of rock paper scissors, it was entitled The Way of the Tosser, and in order to promote the production they went around the country and held rock paper scissors competitions.
With a later movie, GravyTrain, which is a comedy about policemen in a small town, the stars of the film got dressed up in their costumes and headed into a town to promote the film. Ms Mullen commented, “The idea came to is why we were doing the post production work on the film. We were looking around to see how people were promoting films and this seemed like a really great way to do it.”
The couple have recently created a new film called Dead Before Dawn, which is the first movie that has been made in Canada in 3-D. About this Ms Mullen continued, “We wanted this new movie to be in 3-D as it seems like it’s the next big thing and we wanted to get in on it.”
Dead Before Dawn tells the story of several college students who manage to create an evil curse that makes people commit suicide. Once they have killed themselves they turn into what the movie describes as ‘Zemons,’ which is a combination of demons and zombies. Not only is this film the first 3-D film to be made in Canada, but it is also the first to be directed by a woman, Ms Mullen herself.
The movie has managed to attract some important names such as Tim Meadows, Colin Mochrie and Jennifer Dale. Devon Bostick stars and Martha MacIsaac plays his love interest. Both of these people were sent a script and they decided to sign up for the parts after thinking it was particularly good. One of the most notable appearances in the film is by Christopher Lloyd, who is the grandfather of Bostick.
Ms Mullen continued, “Christopher Lloyd is a very charismatic actor and we couldn’t really think of anyone else who would be able to pull off the role so perfectly. He has such a mystery and magic about him that he is capable of acting in even the most unusual roles. We really feel that he helps bring the entire film to life.”
The movie has been shot around Niagara Falls, in Ontario, which is also the place where Mullen was born. It was recently screened in Berlin as part of a film festival and the couple were looking for people to buy the film. They managed to secure sales at the event to the UK, Germany and Russia. About the sales Ms Mullen commented, “We are very excited to see that the film has sold well and we think it will do particularly well in Russia where 3-D is just becoming a very big deal.”
Unfortunately, the film has not yet been sold to anyone in Canada, but Mullen remains optimistic that a buyer will be found after they hold a promotional event for the film. She commented, “We plan to run a promotion across the country so that interest in the film will be rallied. It is expected that we will base this promotion around the three-dimensional aspect of the film.”
Technical advances in regard to filming in 3-D has been so rapid that the format has become available to even small movie producers. It was once something that was limited to Hollywood blockbusters with enormous budgets but the new cameras have made filming in 3-D more affordable than ever. They were still expensive though, and the production managed to get funding from the government of Ontario as well as Telefilm.
Ms Mullen concluded, “With this film we had to believe that the impossible was possible and we finally managed to pull off a 3-D film. For the first 3-D movie in Canada to be an indie production is quite an achievement and something we are very proud of. I look back over what we have accomplished and I really do wonder how we finally got there in the end. There is no question in my mind that our absolute commitment and persistence are responsible for this film being completed.”