“PROJECT: VALKYRIE” VS. THE WORLD

The uncommon introduction is a good indication of the kind of bizarre creativity to be found in the film itself. Project: Valkyrie is very much indicative of the personalities that created it. The entire concept comes out of nowhere, and is so much the opposite of what was being made these days. The independent world has been rife with dark dramas, as last year’s Sundance Film Festival indicates. However, the current time is perfect for Project: Valkyrie. Spider-Man and X-Men raked in big box-office money, and the comic-book chills and thrills are what those movies are all about. Obviously, right? And Project: Valkyrie fits right in, albeit on a much smaller scale. The chances should be good that “Project: Valkyrie” will find a home on legitimate home video sooner or later.

The biggest hurdle they have yet to encounter, however, is striking a distribution deal that may actually earn them their money back – or grant them any money at all. Film and video distribution is a tricky business, and the business has rarely been in worse shape than in our current economy. The trio may have to content themselves with just getting the film seen, and using its success to raise the money for the next movie. Or, as the case may be, movies.

There are plans for a “Project: Valkyrie” comic book by Steve Foland and artist Jacob Ross. There are plans for a “Project: Valkyrie” series of movies, follow-ups to both Valkyrie’s and Professor Jack’s adventures. “I wanted to do a short film for the DVD, “Valkyrie”’s first day at school. Jim would drop him off and he’d go in with his little lunchbox and sit in a class with a bunch of first graders. He’d raise his hand but he’d have to hold up a sign for the answer.”

Nic: “I want Jeff to enter ‘Project: Valkyrie’ into the ‘Battlebots’ competition. So he could just stomp on things.”

Currently, all three are actually sick of the movie. Jeff remastered the film for the DVD, enhancing the image in After-Effects, reediting and adding scenes. Setting up at regional conventions like Twisted Nightmare Weekend and Dark X-Mas, the trio hawks the film and dreams of moving on.

Ultimately, this is all a testament to the creative spirit at work. While each of the trio has that “next project” in mind, they still have “Project: Valkyrie” to unload. It’s a good movie, but it’s becoming an albatross. Foland and Ross have their eye on a different comic book project; Waltrowski and Pesante are hoping to do an offbeat larger-budget project that has science fiction elements, but is, at heart, a drama.

They got one movie done. Who’s to say they can’t get another one done. The law of averages says that “Project: Valkyrie” will find a home at some point. It’s only a matter of time. Right?

“If someone said ‘drive and ambition’, I’d say that was true on Nic’s part. On my and Jeff’s part, I’d say it was more like borderline insanity. There was no real way we should have been able to do what we did. It was a gamble. Jeff’s living with his dad, I’m living paycheck-to-paycheck, so I can have the flexibility to go to festivals and whatnot. You have to be willing to sleep in your car and eat peanut butter sandwiches if you have to.”

Self-effacement aside, the drive still had to be there. And the drive to do things your own way, on your own. “In Hollywood, you’d be doing office work,” Jeff says. “I didn’t graduate school, but I got as far as I could on my senior film and I started thinking, ‘what am I going to do? Am I going to get an editing job in town, editing tapes of weddings, or am I going to go make a movie?’ I was doing crew work on low-budget, independent films as far back as high school. That was six or seven years I’ve spent making movies, so I thought ‘let’s do it like the big boys’.”

Check out “Project: Valkyrie” at the film’s official website.




Posted on June 25, 2004 in Interviews by

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