Hot off the presses! New Image has just been featured in a detailed Vancouver Sun article and interview with Charie Van Dyke, which details the history of the school and our film productions at New Image Entertainment thus far. The article, by Sun writer Malcolm Parry, is as follows:
New Image goes from small to bigger budget horror films
'Everybody dies in all our pictures, except one or two,' says fine arts college president of her students' work
FROM BEER TO ETERNITY: New Image College of Fine Arts president Charie Van Dyke's own on-camera roles were as a "blond, big-boobed boozer" seemingly quaffing Labatt, Beck's and other beers in TV commercials. Today, it is her and business and personal partner John Craig's students who appear to get bombed – as well as shot, stabbed, strangled and dismembered – in feature-length movies. The two produce those, with student casts and non-union professional crews, on budgets that have risen from $300 to $150,000, with higher ones to come.
The movies grew out of the short flicks launched in 2004 as part of the academy's acting curriculum. The first feature-length production, Together We Were Heavy, "sucked, to be honest," Van Dyke said. "So we went to horror films." Then, after a pause: "I call them thrillers – easier for [students'] parents to understand."
New Image's $30,000-budget Bleeding Lady began a genre that hit $60,000 with Famine, "in which most get killed," and $100,000 with Bad Building, "in which everybody but the building gets killed," Van Dyke said. The latter was shot at the former Riverview Hospital and the Aquilini Group's Hastings-at-Richards heritage tower where New Image occupies the 9,000-square-foot penthouse. The title does not reflect an April 2011 plumbing mishap that closed New Image for a week, nor to a subsequent fire in a school dryer that disabled elevators for three months.
Van Dyke was almost wiped out by a 1988 blaze that destroyed the premises, stock and $46,000-worth of promissory notes in a $300,000-a-year enterprise she'd taken over from founder-parents Bill and Charlotte Dyck that day. Bad Building warms her differently, though. She said its Vancouver-based international distributor, Industry-Works Entertainment Inc. founder-president Evan Taylor, called from the May 16-27 Cannes Film Festival "saying people are loving it."
That should result in some $50,000 worth of post-production polishing. Taylor also wants two sequels, she said.
The news from Cannes came during the location shooting of New Image and director Amir Aghelnejad's $150,000 A Safe Place, based on a heroin-injection site gone badly wrong. As for the mortality tradition, "Everybody dies in all our pictures, except one or two," Van Dyke said.
In the real world, partner Craig faced death in late March when an H1N1 infection and double pneumonia sped him to VGH's intense care unit. He rallied in time for Van Dyke to pitch nine education agencies and Shu-Te University during a sales blitz to Taipei, with a trip to Korea pending. That global student search reflects a doubling of New Image's acting program to two years while annual intakes of 16-student film-makeup courses rose from two to six.
The hard part? "Finding scripts and co-producers to help us take it to another level," Van Dyke said.
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