Big CGI in a Tiny 'Indie' Film... Director A.K. Strom on 'The Watchers', Filming in New Zealand

Apocalyptic thriller due in 2014 is latest small-budget film to reap the benefits of amazingly realistic CGI technology, levelling the playing field for indie films

Online PR News – 10-October-2013 – Auckland, New Zealand – When you think of Independent films, you do not usually think of large-scale CGI or space effects. But the director of a movie currently being shot on location in New Zealand aims to change that perception.

A.K. Strom, director of the upcoming Sci-Fi thriller 'The Watchers,' says that with the latest advances in camera technology and digital effects, it is now possible for even the smallest (sub-$5 million) 'indie' films to have spectacularly realistic CGI. And he believes it could revolutionize the industry.

The first teaser trailer for 'The Watchers', released this past week, shows solar flares striking the earth and giant meteors raining down on the planet.

"The revolution in the cost of digital effects is really levelling the playing field," Strom says. "For Indies like us it is a dream."

The Watchers joins other recent films such as Chronicle (2012), Monsters (2010) and Iron Sky (2012) - all with relatively low budgets but also using CGI on a large scale. Without question Chronicle is the most successful of these - made for just $12 million, yet earning more than $126 million in worldwide box office receipts.

As a first-time feature director, Strom says he has to be very mindful of keeping the "indie" flavour of his film intact. "What this revolution does is enable us to compete on a certain visual level. But we have to keep the indie realism and the indie sensibility alive," he says. "It is still all about the story and the characters."

Strom says that shooting the movie in New Zealand - the location made famous by the 'Lord of the Rings' films - is also helping greatly. "This place is a scenic wonderland," he says, "And when you are on a budget as tight as we are, you need every advantage you can get. All we can hope is that the CGI and the "Indie" flavour and the New Zealand scenery all add up to bring the best out of what little funding we have."

The Watchers, an apocalyptic thriller, is scheduled for release in mid-2014.

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