Stafford film company to premiere its works
By Lauri Voter - Staff Writer
Stafford - posted Thu., Jan. 10, 2013
What happens when two friends who enjoy filmmaking decide to create a spoof based on the 1950s-era B-movie genre? In Stafford Springs, you get Butterfleye Films, a film production company started by local residents Tony Diana and Steve Bednar. The two B-movie buffs found the bad acting, poor special effects and far-out plots of these mid-century films to be the perfect palette with which to express their creative flair.
Since 2011, the production company has three movies to its credit - “Attack of the Atomic Zombies” (2011); “Timequake” (2012); and “Case #342” (2012). So far, the company has been keeping things local. “Most of the filming takes place in Stafford and parts of Connecticut,” said Diana. “The films are cast with mostly friends and people we know.”
Diana has had plenty of experience developing theater. For 20 years, he and his wife, Allyson, ran a Connecticut theater group called Downstairs Productions Co. Through this endeavor, they developed friendships with theater actors.
“Butterfleye Films loves to experiment with genres - comedy, horror, sci-fi - so far,” said Diana, “but I would say whether it's a drama or sci-fi film, it has to have a touch of fantasy and heart.”
Two of Butterfleye's films, “Timequake” and “Case #342,” were shown as part of a Dec. 29 cast party in Stafford.
"Timequake," described as a sci-fi travel anthology, took a year to produce, said Diana, noting that it incurred changes during development. “There were several pre-production meetings long before filming began to plan out the complicated stories, since it was an anthology film,” said Diana. “We had five different stories to create.”
Diana said the plot incorporates a 1912 drawing room murder mystery with a monster, a psychological thriller, a botched bank robbery that involved a ghost, a futuristic post-apocalyptic Cyborg action epic and the overall story that ties all of the plot elements together. In the story, time detectives Chris Tyler and Ajun are tasked with finding “wrinkles” in the time stream and correcting them. The characters recall four adventures they have encountered, with the stories providing the audience clues to the history of time (http://butterfeleye.blogspot.com/).
On the other hand, said Diana, “Case #342” was shot in one night as an experiment, with planning taking about two months. “Case #342” is a found-footage horror flick.
Producing a film takes more than just two people. Diana does the editing as well as serving as director, music composer and special effects handler. Other crew members include Brian Thone, who develops models and designs “creatures,” Allyson Diana, who does script editing as well as acting and directing, Leigh-Ann Hammond, who is the set and production coordinator, and Heather Williams, who serves as the props mistress.
Diana explained that Butterfleye's films are done by improvisation. For instance, Diana will write a synopsis of the movie, break it down scene by scene in terms of providing information to viewers and determining the action that needs to happen to move the plot along.
“The actors then make up the dialogue based on this, and using their characters, infuse the movie with their energy and creativity,” said Diana.
The next film on Butterfleye's production agenda is a spoof of an '80s slasher film. The movie is titled, "Night of the Slasher 7: Cabin of the Undead,” and is fashioned after the “Friday the 13th” series (which explains the “Part 7” reference in the title). The film will also parody other '80s horror movies while including a zombie or two, said Diana.
Public premieres of “Timequake” and “Case #342” are scheduled to be shown at the Boston Comic Con on April 20 and 21, with additional premieres still being planned for the general public, when ticket prices will range from $5 to $10.