The promotional photo from Disregard the Vampire – A Mike Messier Documentary has won three awards for in photography from festivals with categories that honor photographs for films; Anatomy: Crime – Horror International Film Festival , MedFF , and Hope Film Awards
The photo was shot by Chris Hunter in his Collective Thought Media Studio.
Great assistance in the look of the shot came from HMUA (Hair & Make Up Artist) Kaitlyn Ciampa. Messier reports, “The Disregard the Vampire promotional photo shoot was scheduled weeks in advance, but we were hit with an unexpected snow storm the morning of. Katie especially was coming from quite a distance and I was leaning towards rescheduling the shoot myself but she and the Actors who showed up were so dedicated and professional, it was ‘on with the show’ … or, in this case to be exact, ‘on with the photo shoot’.”
Jose Guns Alves , who plays Joe in Disregard, was also present, and very encouraging, for individual and group shots, and one of his photos with the two Actresses, has also done quite well as our movie poster image. This image, coupled with the poster design by Tim Labonte of Stand Still Pictures , has won Best Poster from MedFF Summer 2017 and was named a finalist in AltFF Spring 2017
Geena Matuson (appearing on the left in the photos) helped greatly by color correcting and editing the raw images of the photos. The photos themselves feature Geena herself as Valentine and Anna Rizzo as Ginger and aims to capture the moment of seduction between Vampire and recruit.
For Messier’s part, he encouraged the Actresses to strike poses that would capture the spirit of the film and provoke interest from anyone who saw the stills, as we were still in pre-production mode, months before screening. It should be noted, that our co-lead Actor Scorpio had yet to be discovered and cast, at the time of this photo shoot (the full story of Scorpio’s arrival is a major theme of the finished documentary.)
Mike states, “Often, people think of photography as an individual art, or in some instances, a collaboration between a photographer and a model. In the case of our Disregard the Vampire photograph, this was truly a group effort, and I am very pleased with the results. To me this can be an iconic photograph… if enough people see the film!”
Meanwhile, the film itself has won two Documentary Awards, from Shawna Shea Film Festival and Diabolical Horror Film Festival, and even the film’s trailer has won an award from Canada’s Yes Let’s Make a Movie Film Festival
This brings the Award count to a total of seven for a project that was in great jeopardy of never even being fully filmed after the first day of principle shooting, after the originally scheduled lead actor could not appear due to an unexpected death (not his own).
In his review, Buckner states, “The chain of events in Disregard the Vampire are also breathtaking. It reminded me a lot of German director Warner Herzog’s similarly exhilarating Burden of Dreams (1982). They both illustrate the feverish dedication it takes to make a dream of telling a tale through the cinematic medium resonate into fruition. This is often when the impossible odds of doing so constantly pile up. Yet, Burden of Dreams, which concerned Herzog’s shooting of Fitzcarraldo(1982), saw completion of an undertaking from start to finish. Disregard the Vampire lets us peek into a development which is still in production. In many ways this is even more captivating and awe-inspiring. This is because its promise and potential is still in an infinite state.”
As chronicled in the doc itself and the reviews, the original Disregard experience, while a struggle of ego and misadventure balanced by teamwork and inspiration , has lead Mike to a greater epiphany with his creation of the written works of Distance from Avalon and the subsequent Avalonia Festival.
Mike says, “My time in Avalon has not ended.”