Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 28th, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 2010
Directors: Jeffry Chaffin, Scott Feinblatt
Writer: Scott Feinblatt
Cast: Ava Santana, Tiffany Shepis, Lloyd Kaufman, Scott Feinblatt, Jeffry Chaffin, Nadiah Altassan, William Morse, Nathan Graham Smith, Jason Krajcer, Hilary Folks, Jon Meredith, Klint Bower, Sasha Feiler, Joanne Wu
DVD released: 2011
Approximate running time: 74 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Backyard Films Presents / Dervish Pictures
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: TBA
The film industry is a competitive industry. Full of ambitious people, who are all vying for their time in the spotlight. And with more and more competition. Making oneself stand out from the rest of the pack. Is more difficult than ever. And while ambition is the main driving force behind those who ultimately succeed. If left unchecked. The consequences can quickly become.
The plot for Outtake Reel primarily revolves around three characters. Tom Grayson an established filmmaker, Ashley Swan an aspiring actress and Danny Wilson a wannabe filmmaker who gets a job shooting the films behind the scene footage.
Content / structure wise Outtake Reel is a ‘faux’ documentary about the final days of an actress named Ashley Sawn. Her story is told via her audition footage, behind the scenes footage, outtakes from the unfinished film she was working on and footage shot by those responsible for her death.
Even though her story covers the final week of her life. The transformation her persona is considerably drastic. When we are first introduced to her. She is a sweet, naive young woman that is ecstatic to have finally landed her first starring role. By the time she meets her untimely end. She has transformed into a jaded actress, who constantly puts herself above what is good for the film.
Visually this film is bound to drawn many comparisons to other ‘faux’ documentaries like The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. And while the visuals for the most part lend themselves to the story at hand. As the story progress this ‘faux’ visual style draws more attention to itself.
The surprising aspect of this production is just how great the performances are from the entire cast. Especially its three leads. Jeffry Chaffin in the role of Danny Wilson character is the easiest of the three main characters to gauge. From the moment he arrives on screen. There is something unbalanced about his demeanor. Scott Feinblatt in the role of Tom Grayson is the hardest character to gauge. From the moment he arrives on the screen. He is stand offish. Making his evolution as a character easier to project. The film’s most memorable performance comes from its leading lady Ava Santana in the role of ingénue Ashley Swan. This character is not only the focal point of the story at hand. Her transformation as a character is the most drastic. The scene in which her character is being tortured on camera. Is this film most memorable moment.
Even though this film is riff with elements that are commonly associated with the horror genre. The way in which things revealed. Give this film more of a murder mystery vibe. Then your by the numbers body count horror film. Besides the aforementioned performances. Another area in which this film excels is it superb use of misdirection.
Outtake Reel is given a clean looking anamorphic widescreen transfer. This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. The audio sound clear and consistent throughout.
Extras for this release include a teaser and a trailer for the film, 5 deleted extended scenes, 32 minutes of outtakes, a brief special effects related ‘behind the scenes’ segment and interviews with Lloyd Kauffman and actress Tiffany Shepis. The standout extra is the interview with the always amusing and entertaining Lloyd Kauffman.