Here is some news on a crowd­fund­ing cam­paigns that appeals direct­ly to the inter­ests of the cult movie fanat­ic. Celluloid Wizards In The Video Wasteland is a new doc­u­men­tary that is being made by Daniel Griffith through his Ballyhoo Motion Pictures com­pa­ny. It will cov­er the his­to­ry of Charles Band’s pro­lific pro­duc­tion out­fit, Empire Pictures, whose out­put dom­i­nat­ed video store shelves and cable chan­nels dur­ing the ‘80s. He’s look­ing for funds to com­plete the pro­duc­tion and finance post-pro­duc­tion — and he’s got a Kickstarter cam­paign going on with plen­ty of nifty perks for con­trib­u­tors. Read on for a per­son­al appeal from Daniel, a pre­view video and a link to the Kickstarter cam­paign…

A Few Words From Daniel Griffith:



My name is Daniel Griffith. I am the own­er and oper­a­tor of Ballyhoo Motion Pictures. Over the past eight years, I have pro­duced and direct­ed more than 50 bonus fea­ture pro­duc­tions, includ­ing mate­ri­al released by Universal Pictures, Legendary Films, Synapse Films, and more! I am also the doc­u­men­tary pro­duc­er for the Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVD sets, released by Shout! Factory. My recent projects include an 70 min­ute doc­u­men­tary on the lega­cy of “The Twilight Zone” tele­vi­sion series, and a fea­ture-length doc­u­men­tary on the mak­ing of “From A Whisper to A Scream”, fea­tur­ing Vincent Price in one of his final hor­ror film appear­ances.


CelWiz-01As of this morn­ing (October 14th), I am launch­ing a mon­strous Kickstarter Campaign to com­plete the offi­cial fea­ture doc­u­men­tary about the rise and fall of Empire Pictures. This excit­ing pro­duc­tion, enti­tled “Celluloid Wizards in the Video Wasteland: The Saga of Empire Pictures”, fol­lows the life of pro­duc­er Charles Band (“The Puppet Master” series) lead­ing up the cre­ation of the most ambi­tious B-movie stu­dio of the 1980’s. While oth­er inde­pen­dent film com­pa­nies were tar­get­ing the grow­ing home video mar­ket, Band was pro­duc­ing low-bud­get hor­ror and fan­ta­sy fea­tures for drive-in’s and mul­ti­plex­es around the world.


CelWiz-02The ear­ly run­away box office suc­cess of films like, “Re-ani­ma­tor” and “Ghoulies, paved the foun­da­tion for Empire’s wild­ly imag­i­na­tive slate of motion pic­tures. Unfortunately, Charles Band’s unbri­dled pas­sion for mar­ket­ing and dis­tri­b­u­tion clashed with scan­dalous bank­ing prac­tices, caus­ing his new­found com­pa­ny to crum­ble beneath him in 5 short years. But what real­ly led the youth­ful mini-major to crash and burn upon the sticky floors of emp­ty movie the­aters?


The thrilling saga of Empire Pictures is told through the eyes of the inno­v­a­tive team of film­mak­ers and film pro­fes­sion­als who worked togeth­er to rein­vent and rein­vig­o­rate the inde­pen­dent film indus­try in the 1980’s. Thus far, I have inter­viewed more than 40 indi­vid­u­als to tell this epic sto­ry, includ­ing direc­tor Stuart Gordon (“Re-ani­ma­tor”, “Robot Jox”), director/effect artist John Carl Buechler (“Troll”), editor/director Ted Nicolaou (“Terror Vision”), actress Barbara Crampton (“Re-ani­ma­tor”), actor Richard Moll (“Metalstorm”, “The Dungeonmaster”), and director/producer Charles Band. I have also unearthed over 500 behind the CelWiz-pressb1sce­nes pho­tographs, as well as 20 hours of rare archival video footage. Visit the offi­cial Empire Pictures web­site for more details!

I am invit­ing you to JOIN THE ADVENTURE and help bring this elec­tri­fy­ing sto­ry to life. With this Kickstarter Campaign, I hope to raise $25,000 to cov­er all the final pro­duc­tion and post-pro­duc­tion expens­es. This includes film­ing addi­tion­al inter­views, dig­i­tal­ly trans­fer­ring rare 35mm film ele­ments and trail­ers, cov­er­ing any legal fees, and con­tract­ing award-win­ning illus­tra­tor Paul Shipper to cre­ate an orig­i­nal the­atri­cal one-sheet cam­paign for the doc­u­men­tary. The funds will also be used to com­mis­sion an orig­i­nal film score by renowned Empire Pictures com­poser Richard Band.


While the $25,000 will cov­er the­se essen­tial ele­ments, we hope to raise more than the ini­tial Kickstarter goal and expand the Empire Pictures sto­ry even fur­ther. This will include ful­ly pro­duc­ing live-action sequences of ‘unfilmed’ Empire projects (more infor­ma­tion will be made avail­able con­cern­ing this… if we meet the ini­tial goal).


When your friends, read­ers, or fel­low film fans JOIN THE ADVENTURE, they will not only be sup­port­ing our pro­duc­tion, they will have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to show their sup­port to the world. In the spir­it of the 80’s, I have designed exclu­sive mer­chan­dise for the Kickstart Campaign, includ­ing but­ton sets, T-Shirts, and posters. Visit the Campaign for more details!


CelWiz-pressb2The offi­cial ‘Teaser Trailer’ pre­miered this morn­ing exclu­sive­ly on the Fangoria web­site. Fangoria Magazine has been a part of Empire’s his­to­ry almost from the very begin­ning by offer­ing hor­ror film fans a behind the sce­nes peek into the studio’s fan­tas­ti­cal world. Visit this link to view the teaser:


Help me cel­e­brate the his­to­ry of the most dar­ing B-movie com­pa­ny in the 80’s! With your sup­port and ded­i­ca­tion, we can break through all bar­ri­ers, out­wit all obsta­cles, and deliv­er a tru­ly nos­tal­gic doc­u­men­tary expe­ri­ence! Our time has come!





Ballyhoo Motion Pictures