Deathprint still, courtesy Aiden Dillard.
H ere follows a letter from Aiden Dillard, a Director of weird low-budget movies and a resident of Miami. While studying visual arts in New York at Cooper Union in 2003, Dillard transitioned from painting into film making. In 2006, while living in upstate New York, Dillard made his first feature film Meat Weed Madness, followed by its sequel Meat Weed America one year later. After relocating to Miami, Dilalrd made Deathprint (2009), and most recently Hell Glades (2012). Dillard also collaborates with Jay Hines (agurari) in noise music performances with their band Ballscarf.
Two years ago, I finished and presented my movie “Deathprint” to my adopted hometown of Miami, FL with a grand screening at The Colony Theater in South Beach to a sold out crowd. The movie featured many Miami scenesters, musicians, artists, and performers, whom I was honored to have collaborated with. The idea was fairly simple; to spoof the Charles Bronson helmed revenge classic “Deathwish”, using local car dealer Ted Vernon as the star, and Miami’s culturati as the pseudo Communist filth that he sought to destroy after the murder of his daughter at the hands of an insane artist named Arthur Basel, played by club promoter and actor Nassie Shahoulian. Famed fetish model RubberDoll lent her beauty and sex appeal to embody my ideal Miami policewoman, and the globe-trotting musician Otto Von Schirach’s charisma made him the perfect intermediary friend to both the hero Ted Vernon, and the villain Arthur Basel. The TM Sisters provided their unique artistic and performance talents to the production in their search for the killer of Ted’s daughter, which was orchestrated by the uncanny Clifton Childree who knew more then he was willing to share. Jillian Mayer played Ted Vernon’s murdered daughter with great innocence. A splendid art show called “Schadenfreude” was curated by my former Cooper Union classmate Daniel Newman, and featured literally dozens of Miami artists such as Jim Drain, Dara Friedman, Mark Handforth, Aramis Gutierrez, Daniel Arsham, Nicolas Lobo, Justin Long, Beatriz Monteavoro, Gavin Perry, Martin Oppel, Oliver Sanchez, and more. Gean Moreno also contributed to the show and made many faux “Communist Chic” props for the film such as glittery sickles and hammers and Castro silhouettes. There were many cameos that you all will enjoy, including one by Artlurker’s own Tom Hollingworth at the opening night of the “Schadenfreude” art show scene.
Deathprint still at the Schadenfreude exhibition, courtesy Aiden Dillard.
It was an honor to be trusted to represent so many creative people within this movie “Deathprint”, and I hope that none of my collaborators were ever disappointed with the final product. However, I do openly acknowledge that it was a great disappointment that the movie was not more commercially successful, and was never picked up for major distribution. I spent years trying to market it to major DVD distributors, but was not successful. When I was offered deals, there was not enough money involved to justify the release of exclusive rights as deemed by the film’s executive producers, who also grew very embarrassed with the film when they realized that it’s political commentary was satirical. Thus for years the film was essentially doomed to be imprisoned to a storage shelf, with no possibility of being seen ever, and with the executive producers determined to never let it be seen. It was heartbreaking to spend two years of my life to make a movie that was only seen for one night, and it even began to affect me emotionally and socially as I felt continually harassed by the film’s many participants to let them see it or to let them know when it would be available for distribution, when I myself was forbidden ever to even see it.
Aiden Dillard selling DVD’s, courtesy Aiden Dillard.
Those days are over now though, I have detached myself economically from my former producers, and I have fought for the right to release “Deathprint” into the world by selling and presenting it myself. To celebrate my new economic and creative freedom, I will be having a “Deathprint DVD Release Party and Screening” at O Cinema in downtown Miami at 90 NW 29th ST on Saturday February 11th at midnight after the Wynwood Artwalk. The tickets are $5 each, and I will be selling DVDs for $5 and t-shirts for $12, which is at a great discount from the typical online prices (DVD $12 & t-shirts $20). Please come out and party with me and the cast and crew of the film to see this unique oddity of Miami culture on the big screen. If it is absolutely impossible for you to attend the event then you can also find the film online. I listed it for sale on the film’s website at www.watchdeathprint.com, as well as listing it on my new distribution company’s website www.meatweed.com where you can find my other movies “Meat Weed Madness” & “Meat Weed America”, and my movies are also now listed on Amazon, and eBay, and in the real physical location of Sweat Records. As always, thank you for your support Artlurker. You can view the official trailer for “Deathprint” on Youtube with this LINK.