Velocipastor : The Director of ‘The VelociPastor,’ A $35,000 Film That Has Become A New Cult Film Sensation.
Velocipastor movie review – Where to watch this movie
The Room, Sharknado, Birdemic, Outer Space Killer Klowns, and the list continues on and on. Every now and then, a B-movie emerges as its own pop cultural phenomenon, the micro-budget film. The VelociPastor is the most recent to accomplish so.
It’s about a priest who travels to China after his parents die and obtains the ability to transform into a dinosaur while there. Rather than being repulsed by his newfound ability, he welcomes it and is convinced to put his talents to good use in the battle against crime.
In just a few weeks, the VelociPastor clip has built up hundreds of thousands of views and earned cult status at film festivals. Even before they’ve been publicly advertised, screenings have started selling out.
Brendan Steere, the film’s writer and director, informed me that he tried to type Velociraptor into his phone in 2010 and it autocorrected to Veloci Pastor.
“At the time, I was in film school at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, and I said to myself, ‘That sounds like a movie to me!’ So I made a short film of fake grindhouse trailers for a class project, and this was one of them.
I was a sophomore in film school, and all of my YouTube films got around 45 views, but this one became viral. I believe it received around 45,000 views. So, even back then, I knew it might be a movie.”
“I kept trying to write it,” he said, “but because I was this film school geek who likes Bergman and Tarkovsky and so on, for years I was trying to figure out what I wanted it to say about the Catholic Church and so on.
” ‘Why don’t I simply toss it all away, stop overthinking it, and create it into this enjoyable movie?’ I thought in 2016.
The film is intended to be entertaining, and anyone looking for deeper meaning in the man-turns-dinosaur genre is likely on a fool’s errand.”
“We were, for a small while, a political joke in Spain,” he continued. In Spain, they had a general election, and one of the candidates was a far-right candidate known as El VelociPastor, so the film has taken on a whole new meaning.”
The journey from concept to reality hasn’t been easy, with a plethora of roadblocks along the way, including the difficulty to get the project funded in the first place.
“We tried to crowdfund it twice during that strange five-year period between 2011 and 2016, first through Kickstarter and then through Seed&Spark.
Steere grumbled, “Neither of them worked.” “Another advantage of Seed&Spark was that our lead actor, Greg Cohan, worked there. He contacted us, auditioned, and we thought he was fantastic, so we cast him right away.
He nailed the tone of the piece better than the rest of the crew, including myself.”
“In the end, we were able to fund it through a private investor who happened to know my friend’s mother.
I simply sent her an email, and she returned four days later, totally funding us. We just spent $35,000 on the whole affair, which is really low.”
The VelociPastor’s pop cultural momentum began over two years ago and grew gradually before bursting in recent weeks, surprising even the 27-year-old.
“We debuted in the spring of 2017 in Portland, Oregon. It had an almost viral effect even on the festival circuit.
I only sent it to maybe ten festivals, but they all continued sharing it, and it just kept growing. Steere recapped, “We negotiated a deal with Wild Eye Releasing in December 2018, and they launched the trailer a few weeks ago.”
“They didn’t even tell me they were going to do it,” says the narrator. I simply woke up and saw it all over the internet.
It’s been a wild ride. When I see folks on Twitter saying stuff like, “Man, the marketing staff for this movie is killing it!” it makes me laugh. I’m a member of the marketing department.
It’s just me in my apartment in Pasadena, California, with a budget of around $10 to cover my coffee.”
The director was inspired by the work of one of his favourite filmmakers, Guillermo del Toro, to use real effects rather than CGI in the low-budget thriller film.
Steere says that he has a big influence on him. “First and foremost, the film’s priest is named Doug Jones, a nod to the actor Doug Jones from Pan’s Labyrinth, which is one of the most wonderful films ever created.
To inspire and assist me, I watched a lot of the behind-the-scenes footage from that film. Personally, I believe that if you can do it with real-world repercussions, even if it is more expensive, you should do it.”
While some may reject The VelociPastor as schlock or scoff at its B-movie credentials, the filmmaker wants to be clear about where the film belongs on the cinematic scale.
“I don’t necessarily disclaim the association, but I don’t particularly appreciate the Snarknado or Asylum type of flicks because it’s almost like they’re making fun of these genre movies,” he remarked.
“I see The VelociPastor as more of a celebration of these films that I adored as a kid and still adore today.
I’ve always been fascinated by Robert Rodriguez and other filmmakers who have created something visually appealing for a little budget.
That’s something I’ve always taken to heart. I’m moving ahead after making my first feature for $14,000.”
There’s no arguing that Steere possesses the desire, drive, and knowledge to create films that captivate audiences. The only thing he hasn’t gotten yet is his big break.
He confirmed, “I’d love to get compensated to make a movie.” “On my tight expenses, I haven’t even paid myself. I’ve taken some time off work to accomplish it.
I’d love to have that extra funding so I can pay the excellent people I deal with, including myself, what they’re worth rather than relying on favours.”
“Right now, I’m unemployed,” he concludes. In February, I returned to Los Angeles. I recently purchased a vehicle. The VelociPastor is exploding, which is fantastic, but I have yet to see any money from it.
I was on the phone with my mother and thought to myself, ‘This is strange.’ I’m trying to influence European politics, but I can’t afford a Subway right now.’ It’s very insane, like I said.”