INK is a movie about forces of dark and light fighting for an 8-year-old girl. The story moves between the real world and a metaphysical one as these forces battle unseen to us, but in ways that impact the real world.
I started following Double Edge Films on twitter a while back and followed bits and pieces of their journey over the last few months. I saw a trailer of INK and was instantly intrigued. When I heard about the fact that it had been illegally downloaded over 100,000 times in 48 hours, despite the fact that it had no distribution deal, I knew I had to see it.
I had moved it to the top of my Netflix queue when it was released, but since I didn’t return a movie on the day of its release, I was stuck with “very long wait” and a skip to the next movie in my queue. Fortunately, it was also available in streaming form, so I watched it via my instant queue.
I’m not sure if it was because of my current emotional state, or if it just caught me off guard, but I was really moved by this movie. Like, holding back tears, letting out a deep breath and thinking about it the whole day type moved. Part of it was the outstanding execution of the film and a great story. But there I was, at ten in the morning, sitting on the couch getting choked up while leaning forward and rooting for the main characters in the final battle. I had only intended to watch the first 30 minutes or so while I ate breakfast, and catch the rest in the evening when I was free, but work had to wait that morning.
The reason I loved this movie first and foremost was because it was a great story. I’ve been to a couple different panels at AFM and LALIFF the last few weeks and in every forum with struggling, aspiring filmmakers, it always comes back to the same thing – have a compelling story and great script. Add to that the execution of great actors and crew, a kick-ass trailer, a great marketing campaign, and an amazing soundtrack, and this film had all the recipes for success. This isn’t a movie with a lot of potential that is forgiven because of its budget. It’s one that succeeds despite its budget.
I use the word success relatively. INK is a great movie and has a loyal following from the fans it has gathered at all of its screenings and now through Netflix, iTunes, and Blockbuster. However, it deserves a larger audience. It’s a shame that original, exciting movies have such an uphill battle to find a distributor. At the same time, we’re seeing a changing market that allows filmmakers to control the fate of their films a little more. I think it’s great what they’ve done as far as their release strategy and finding their audience.
The best way to learn more about the film and their journey is to read their blog. They’ve done a great job of capturing their experience and been very open to sharing what they’ve learned along the way. There’s also a great interview with them on Film Courage that’s very revealing.
And of course, the most important thing – see this movie! Support it, show that everything doesn’t need to run through a Hollywood studio to be a success and find an audience. Rent it. Stream it. Buy it. Buy the soundtrack. Buy a shirt. Become a fan. The only way original movies like this one can continue to thrive is with the support and voice of its fans. Let others know about it. But see it first. You’ll know what I mean when you do.