Mon
Dec 8 2008 11:36am

Ink: a Trailer, a Movie, a Mystery

Twenty-four hours ago, I didn’t know one thing about Jamin Winans. Then I caught a trailer for Ink, a self-penned and self-directed movie about two supernatural factions that war for control of people’s dreams, and for one young girl whose life is at stake.

After Winans received festival acclaim for his 2005 short film Spin, he wrote and directed 11:59, a full-length film about a young photojournalist who wakes up with a 24-hour hole in his past. It also showed at several festivals, winning awards at two. With such a film-festival pedigree and a savvy online presence, Winans is poised for the pickup from Big Hollywood, which is on the prowl for inexpensive cult movies with a shot at the big time. (See also: Saw.)

Ink is wrapped, and according to the website it’s “Coming in 2009.” But with no firm release date or outside studio affiliation, the film has a nebulous future, and the question is: why hasn’t Hollywood given him The Call?

There are many things at work in his favor. He’s demonstrated he can stick to a rock-bottom budget. He’s written his films himself, which shows imagination (and saves money on scriptwriters—for good or ill). There is a high level of workmanship in the film itself; he knows how to dress a set and how to light and frame a shot, and the trailer shows one or two moments of genuine and imaginative creepiness.

The trailer feels familiar—too familiar, at times. Though wouldn’t Hollywood jump on the familiar elements of a science-fiction movie? They still let M. Night Shyamalan handle a camera, and this trailer is more mysterious than his last two movies. Has Hollywood just had enough of high-concept spec unless gore is involved (not that it ever stopped Saw)? Would studios rather not deal with sub-standard acting? If so, will they promise never to cast Jessica Alba again? (Please?)

Is Hollywood skittish about a director who’s so set in his ways that he’d rather make his own movies than compromise with studios? Or is it just that his work doesn’t make the cut?

Check out the trailer below, and tell me: why hasn’t Hollywood made the call?

8 comments
Hannah X
1. h4nn4h
Too many echo-effects to look (sound) really professional?

Other than that, I don't know, in many ways it doesn't seem very different from other horror trailers I've seen recently. I hope he gets his Big Break, he seems VERY devoted (and pretty talented too, if he did so much by himself).
Josh Kidd
2. joshkidd
These days it seems that Hollywood relies on strength of marketing rather than strength of product. That means big stars, big budgets, and titles that are familiar. That's why we're inundated with remakes and sequels and Jessica Alba will always have a job as long as people will pay $10 to see her.

Thanks for letting me know about this movie, though. Occasionally, really good films can break into the public consciousness through word of mouth.
Irene Gallo
3. Irene
I love the poster....i keep stopping on it as a scroll through the posts.
Genevieve Valentine
4. GLValentine
@h4nn4h - I agree with you on both counts; the slightly amateurish problems are nothing a million-dollar budget couldn't solve. I'm stumped on this one.

@joshkidd - Why must you say such horrible things about the longevity of Jessica Alba?! Though you're right that familiar faces sell more, faster. Doesn't it seem, though, that horror/dark sci-fi finds a bigger audience for independent productions (Saw, Pitch Black) than 'mainstream'?

@Irene - Isn't it striking? There are some really well-framed moments in the trailer that make me wish this guy would get a big enough release that I at least get to see the whole thing.
Pablo Defendini
5. pablodefendini
Yes, this does look promising (even if the acting—or at least the sound—appears to be sub-par). The art direction seems intriguing: some Guille del Toro's El laberinto de Pan or Hellboy mixed with some Alex Proyas' Dark City by way of Jeunet & Caro's La cité des enfants perdus. I dig.
David Lev
6. davidlev
I'd watch it. I'm not sure I'd like it, but I'd watch it.

Perhaps the movie looks too cheap. Altho that doesn't say anything for quality
Harry Connolly
7. Harry Connolly
I'm sorry but this looks like it was shot in blur-o-vision.

It does have interesting visuals, but it's giving off a lot of fantasy cues rather than horror, and some of it is cool in a MTV way.

Which isn't to say it will be a bad low-budget movie, but the trailer isn't a mind-blower for me.
Harry Connolly
8. Nephatic
From the trailer it looks like it might be a pretty good movie.

Just because the acting or dialog isn't the best does not mean the movie will be sub par.

From his past works that I've seen it all fits, even with sub-par acting and dialog.

Hopefully this will see the light of day.

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