Ink: a review

For some reason, I was really exhausted today, so didn’t get any work done on the outline.  But the ideas are neatly organized in my noggin, so hopefully it won’t be too difficult to get them down on paper tomorrow.

But I finally managed to finish watching INK, courtesy of Netflix. I can’t remember how it popped up in my recommendation list, but it looked interesting. Something about it seemed vaguely familiar.

The description reads: Late one night, a lost soul named Ink snatches 8-year-old Emma (Quinn Hunchar) into the world of dreams. There, he hopes to use her soul to join the ranks of the evil Incubi. In the real world, Emma lies comatose, to the despair of her father, John (Chris Kelly). But the Incubi’s benevolent opposites — the Storytellers — rally to help Emma, motivating John to wage war for his daughter. Jessica Duffy co-stars in this dark fable.

Hmm. Forces of good and evil, dreams, a child. Where have I heard that before? Getting a little too close to DREAMSHIP territory for my taste. But I didn’t have to worry.

While my story is more action-adventure, this one is more…artsy. I went into it expecting a straightforward kid-oriented story, but it wasn’t. Not by a long shot. It’s almost adult in nature, seems a little too cerebral in some parts, and some story elements were never really explained. Or if they were, I missed them.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s well done. I get the feeling they had a limited budget, and did a great job in getting the most out of it. The special effects also fit in nicely, not drawing too much attention to themselves, but just enough to support the story where necessary.

There’s a fascinating 10-minute video diary of how this film was put together, ranging from the writer-director documenting the assembly of the business plan they were going to present to potential investors, to the cast’s audition footage, to choreographing the fight scenes, to filming in a wide variety of locations around Denver.

Even more fascinating is that the filmmakers couldn’t get a distribution or studio deal, so they pitched it to independent theatres and handled the video aspect of it by themselves. After it’s release, it became one of the most downloaded movies on file sharing torrent sites, which resulted in higher video sales.

One of the things Jamin Winans, the writer-director says in the making-of segment is that they started out with no money, but didn’t let stop them from moving forward. Good for them.

INK is available on Netflix’s Instant Queue. Check it out.