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GR30K to premiere at Thriller! Chiller!

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Poster for GR30K. Click to enlarge.

Poster for GR30K. Click to enlarge.

Krennons, Astra (Rachel Finan) and Vion (Cassie Truskowski), in training.

Krennons, Astra (Rachel Finan) and Vion (Cassie Truskowski), in training.

Like father like son: Dannor DeVoz (Tim Motley) and Deacon DeVoz (Matt Simpson Siegel)

Like father like son: Dannor DeVoz (Tim Motley) and Deacon DeVoz (Matt Simpson Siegel)

Sitting down with Director Daniel Falicki feels more like plopping down to watch Saturday morning cartoons than a formal interview about his new film, GR30K.     

The film is fashioned after Heavy Metal, a 1980s cult classic named after the popular magazine.  In Heavy Metal, a green crystal represents the "sum of all evils". In GR30K, the antagonistic DeVoz family holds the same role and worms its way through various plots in the movie, from the gratuitous death tournaments at the Zan Andel Arena; to collecting and meat grinding the Filmore Collection Inhumanoids; through the race to the Balder; and, finally, throughout the frantic colonization of the Gypsun Mines.  

Falicki, dressed casually in a grey sweater and jeans, is perched next to the life-size R2D2 in the room.  He shares openly about his introduction to film-making:

“It was an escape at first, but now it’s what I think I want to do.  Everyday I wake up doing something I love, so that means something.  Finally I’m doing it here in my own town, which is strange,” he admits with a smile.

Falicki’s first full-length movie, Rita and Velvet Dan Save the World, starring Philip and Sarah Jean Anderson, premiered last year.  Since then, Falicki has been filming and animating GR30K, spending at least 60 hours per week at Collective Studios.  The studio, geeked out in movie posters, action figures, and monster masks, flaunts a bona fide green screen and cyclorama that allow Falicki to insert flying transports, fantastical scenes, and to animate his characters.  The process Falicki uses to animate his characters, rotoscoping, is inspired by Ralph Bakshi's animation in American Pop.

“Heavy Metal, of course, was created for the music: Nazareth, Sammy Hagar, Cheap Trick,” Falicki states.  “Music is freedom.”  

It is no wonder, then, that the movie is loaded with local jams from bands like Bowery, Lazy Genius, The Fainting Generals, and Daktal.  All-in-all, Falicki jokes that the movie will run “two minutes shy of DuckTales The Movie.”

Enchantingly, all of the contributers to GR30K are volunteers, mostly friends who meet the guidelines of Falicki’s talent code, and to whom he is willing to return the favor. Some of his preferred methods of displaying gratitude include stilt walking and various stripes of promotional hijinx. The film stars Rachel Finan as Astra, Matt Siegel as Deacon DeVoz, and Jacqueline Joy as Ladynomous.  Chris Eddy and Jason Roth, the work-horse actors of the film, play at least 30 characters each, and Falicki says there are more parts in store for them.  Major contributors to the film are Paul Bosen, Prop Master and Fire Stunts, and Jarrett Taylor, Masks and Prosthetics.

I had the pleasure of observing Falicki in action as he filmed one of his volunteer actors, Joel Potrykus, playing Dr. Brannock.  As soon as Potrykus walked in the door, Falicki thanked him profusely for his time, dug through piles of oddities for the perfect costume, designed a new prop on the spot, and laughed all the while.  Near the end of the shoot, Falicki pulled the camera back intently, fed Potrykus his final lines, and walked him through the scene.    

He burst out uncontrollably, “It looks frickin’ sweet!  Alright, one more time.  Good. Good. Good!  Perfect! Awesome!” 

With Falicki's ingenuity and gratitude, it is not a surprise that his colleagues believe in what he does, and enjoy working with him.  Paul Bosen chimed in during the interview with glowing compliments about Falicki and his work:  

“Dan’s a genius just due to the fact that he can come down here and grab anything out of that back corner, put someone in front of that screen, and he comes back with the finished footage and you go, that’s amazing again!”

Falicki insists that GR30K is about having fun, in the making and viewing of it.  The squeamishly exciting spectacle will premier at Wealthy Theatre’s Thriller! Chiller! event on Friday, October 22, and will be submitted to film festivals all over.  Look for updates on the film’s progress at the official website or on Facebook, and be prepared for the inevitable sequel.   

All photos courtesy of Daniel Falicki

  • Photo 1: Film poster
  • Photo 2: Krennons, Astra (Rachel Finan) and Vion (Cassie Truskowski), in training.
  • Photo 3: Like father like son: Dannor DeVoz (Tim Motley) and Deacon DeVoz (Matt Simpson Siegel)

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