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As part of its Orbiter Year-Round Series, Other Worlds Austin SciFi Film Festival is thrilled to present the Texas premiere of the SciFi horror/comedy DAVE MADE A MAZE on Wednesday, July 19 (7:30pm) at Flix Brewhouse. Producer John Charles Meyer will be in attendance and will do a Q&A after the screening.
Co-Writer/Director, Bill Watterson’s feature debut re-imagines classic 80s adventure films with a modern comedic edge and a higher body count. The handmade fantasy world comes to life with puppetry, stop-motion animation, and in-camera optical illusions. More than 30,000 square feet of donated/scrap cardboard was used in the creation of more than 20 unique sets.
Dave, an artist who has yet to complete anything significant in his career, builds a fort in his living room out of pure frustration, only to wind up trapped by the fantastical pitfalls, booby traps, and critters of his own creation.
“DAVE MADE A MAZE is the kind of film that only comes around once in a decade (and more than likely once in a filmmaker’s life),” says Bears Fonté, OWA Founder and Artistic Director. “Handcuffed by budgetary restraints but blessed with total control and willing (and often free) collaborators, Watterson incorporates every crazy thought he can into the film, producing a collage of filmmaking styles that echo’s Dave’s own mind all in service of a beautiful unified goal.”
“We wanted to play in the sandbox,” explains co-writer/director, Bill Waterson, “of old-school practical effects – puppetry, stop motion animation, cut paper animation, and optical illusions – to reignite that tactile sense of wonder from the movies of my childhood. When you watch a Harryhausen film, or a Henson creation, the creatures are hypnotic and magical because they’re real; they have real texture, depth, weight, and life. We built a team of artists whose hands would be apparent throughout the process; we wanted to see the pencil lines, the excess glue, the imperfection of a creative mind at work. That had to be baked into the production design for the world to seem real and relevant.”
“Bill Watterson’s film is a triumph of design and creativity,” says Fonté. “It taps into failure anxiety that so many people in their mid-thirties feel, the desire to want to achieve something remarkable.”
“DAVE MADE A MAZE is an unforgettable theatrical experience that I can't wait to share with our audience,” says Dan Repp, OWA Senior Programmer and Event Director. “It is one of the most creative films I have ever seen. My inner child was brought out by its sense of adventure and my mind was challenged by its depth of subtext.”
DAVE MADE A MAZE has won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at Slamdance (2017); the Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature at Florida Film Festival (2017); the Best Feature Film at Omaha Film Festival (2017), and more.
“Wildly inventive…an impressively crafted feature that’s full of frequent surprises” - The Hollywood Reporter
“…one of the most original and entertaining films in recent memory” - Bloody Disgusting
“Exploding with creativity…a ridiculously fun and absurd romp” - Film Pulse
“Epic and fantastic…absurd, hilarious and filled with a sense of wonder” - Las Vegas Review-Journal
ABOUT CO-WRITER/DIRECTOR, Bill Watterson:
Director Bill Watterson is a reformed musician from Cleveland, Ohio. He produced, co-wrote, and directed The Gold Star New Vaudeville Variety Hour at The Second City Hollywood, a live monthly project in the vein of THE MUPPET SHOW and THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW. A series of web shorts that he wrote, produced, and directed led to a partnership with the Executive Producer of CURB YOUR ENTHUSASM and THE REAL HUSBANDS OF HOLLYWOOD to create THE THUNDERDOGS, a comedy pilot chronicling the misadventures of a crime-fighting rock band. In addition to 14 years in the film industry in front of and behind the camera, Bill studied filmmaking at LACC and is a graduate of The Second City Conservatory.
ABOUT CO-WRITER, Steven Sears:
Writer Steve Sears was born in Oakland, California and dropped out of college to move to Los Angeles. It has taken him five years of drudgery to find the gem that is DAVE MADE A MAZE, and he wrote it down so he wouldn’t build one. He performs in Bro Squad, one of the longest-running continuous weekly improv shows at Second City Los Angeles. He is currently shooting a lead role in the horror feature PINE SPRINGS, and has unforgettable stories from working on HUMAN CENTIPEDE 3. He is also a contributing writer and host on the Curtain Jerks comedy wrestling podcast. He met Bill and JCM at unrelated barbeques. Aquarius.
ABOUT PRODUCER, John Charles Meyer:
John Charles Meyer spent his twenties at a DC political media firm while touring the US with a rock band. Since then, acting credits include 14 TV series and countless film/stage projects. Producing work includes a Nickelodeon pilot and the forthcoming feature GRANITE RAPIDS MOON, filmed in the Grand Canyon.
ABOUT THE CAST:
Nick Thune was born in Seattle and lived there until he was 24, when he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his comedy career. He has been getting steadily more popular over the past few years, appearing at the Laugh Factory, on Letterman and in several short comedy films. He has also had cameo appearances in several major films, including KNOCKED UP.
Meera Rohit Kumbhani starred in FOX’s WEIRD LONERS and USA’s DANNY! She will next be seen in Netflix’s A FUTILE & STUPID GESTURE opposite Will Forte and Domhnall Gleeson. She has also appeared in LIFE IN PIECES, THE MINDY PROJECT, SANJAY AND CRAIG, and more. Her theater credits include numerous Off-Broadway and regional shows, including the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar’s The Who & the What.
Adam Busch is an actor, film director, and singer best known starring as Warren Mears on the television series BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. He also starred as Neal in the TBS comedy MEN AT WORK. He appears in the webshow MyMusic on YouTube as Indie.
Kirsten Vangsness is best known as the bespectacled-brainiac-tech-kitten Penelope Garcia on the CBS hit drama CRIMINAL MINDS (2005) (and its spin-off CRIMINAL MINDS: SUSPECT BEHAVIOR), but she has had a long and varied career prior to joining the cast of the hit CBS series. Stage appearances include Perfuct, The Book of Liz and a number of plays at Hollywood's Theatre of NOTE (where she has been a longtime member and past president of that theater's Artistic Board), including The Learned Ladies, The Fan Maroo, Spider Bites and A Mulholland Christmas Carol.