The Angry Sea (US-2010; dir. Keith Wong)
The Angry Sea is a micro-budgeted (approximately $3,000), independent SFX-driven movie shot in Toluca Lake, California, which will, on completion, run approximately 89 minutes. According to director Keith Wong — an enthusiastic filmmaker with considerable ambition and, going on the clips that you will see below, considerable potential — the film is a horror movie, but one that he hopes will emulate “a more classic approach, with thematic, orchestral music and an interesting story with interesting characters and plot twists”.
Achieving his vision was quite a feat. In particular, the ambitious nature of it resides in two significant aspects. Firstly, the film is set largely at sea — an element that is notoriously difficult to deal with when making a film — and secondly, the film is a period adventure, requiring sets that would be very expensive to build. Both these issues were addressed by deciding to shoot most of the film in Wong’s living room, with the backgrounds added in post-production. Below is one of the actors shooting an “underwater” swimming scene. Other “green screen” shots follow throughout the article.
Wong not only wrote, produced and directed the film, but also built the miniature sets needed to provide the environment in which the characters would appear on film — though one wonders if it might have been easier to shrink the actors to size!
To maintain a very low budget, I needed to build miniatures to fill in the backgrounds for the foreground actors. They all did such a wonderful job without pay (some flying out from somewhere else), to act in front of a green screen in my living room on just faith alone that maybe there will be a giant monster somewhere beyond the green that is attacking them.
Wong at work on the sets:
The cast includes Patrick Dene, Camilla D’Avignon (pictured below), Paul Camden (second below), Roger Manning (third below), Jerry Lloyd (fourth below), and Crystal Love.
There are monsters in The Angry Sea, monsters known as the Black Fish (see in-progress conceptual model on the left), on which subject Wong remarked: “Monsters do play a large part of the intertwined plot, and although I don’t want to give away any of the story, there is a prominent “supernatural” element as well.”
At this stage he is keeping quiet on the subject of the exact nature of the “supernatural” element — and the nature of the Black Fish, for that matter. But the Backbrain is guessing that the latter is a sea serpent and in regards to the former, the picture below, labeled “Sea Witch” and the one following labeled “preg witch”, may hint at where the film is headed.
“I haven’t really tried promoting the movie much yet at this point in production,” Wong commented, “aside from putting up the website, posting the trailer and most recently a clip on YouTube for my actors to see and enjoy as they await completion.
“I really hope for the best with this production, that people will see and be entertained by something different, and that I will be able to share more film stories that might seem refreshing and new.”
From the trailer and clip, The Angry Sea certainly looks “different”. Wong appears to have made the most of techniques necessitated by the general lack of budget and has allowed the green screen background superimposition to deliberately dictate the film’s theatrical aesthetics. What he has achieved so far is, without a doubt, astonishing!
More pictures from the production are available in the Gallery that follows, as well as from the official website.
- Sources: Keith Wong via Kaiju Search-Robot Avery; Official website