Over a decade ago, myself along with a bunch of other talented folks set out to make a low budget horror/weirdo/revenge movie called “Dead American Woman”. I got the name from an earlier series of shot-on-vhs movies I made when I was in college.
Originally going to be shot on film, we later switched to rental equipment from the Art Institute in Chicago (Kenny Reed, cinematographer on DAW, was enrolled as a student and had access to equipment we otherwise wouldn’t have). We began shooting in the fall of 2006 and finished in the summer of ’07.
At the time I was new to digital editing (my earlier years were filled with analogue tape editing) so my knowledge of working with Final Cut Pro was limited (to put it mildly). Julie (Finch) Fabulous took on the role of editor of DAW, with me as a “co-editor”. I would sit next to her with the script while she assembled the timeline. This method of editing took years to complete (but we had a lot of fun while we did it).
We eventually screened the first cut of DAW at The Portage Theater in Chicago on June 19th, 2010 (almost three years after we finished shooting). The screening was a success, however I wasn’t satisfied with the initial cut. In my eyes, it seemed like a rough draft of the movie (which it actually was). There were scenes that dragged out and didn’t work, and I wasn’t happy with the tone shifts throughout (I’m the only person to blame for this, by the way, as we were going off of my script, direction, and suggestions).
In 2011, Julie was kind enough to look at the footage again and re-assemble an updated edit of the film, which trimmed some of the fat and tightened the movie up a bit more. The following year, I rearranged that edit of the movie. It’s that version of DAW that Synapse Video released on DigiDev TV , an early streaming site that Synapse was partnering with for awhile in 2012/13.
I released that version on DVD as well. However, I still felt there was a lot more to DAW, and a big problem was how I never had access to the footage for myself to look over. The movie was shot on Super 8 and the limited HD-miniDV tape format. In order to play HD-miniDV tapes, you need to own a DV Camcorder that can also play miniDV tapes formatted in HD (High Definition was still a new technology at that time). Since I only owned DV cameras, I was never able to play those HD-miniDV tapes.
Flash forward to 2017. I found a brand new HD-miniDV camera for under $200 on eBay! I purchased it and began capturing the 12 hours of footage we shot for Dead American Woman. It was like hanging out with old friends again. Not only was it a trip down memory lane, but I also discovered a lot of alternate takes better than the ones we used all those years ago. I was excited to finally bring Dead American Woman to life (pun intended) again.
I still have some work to do on the film, so in the meantime, I’ve created a new trailer for my new Director’s Cut of Dead American Woman. It’s always been an extreme movie in terms of sexual depravity and violence, and will probably be the most explicit movie I’ll ever make. Most of the insane stuff couldn’t make the trailer for obvious reasons. Alas, I hope this will give you a tiny taste of what the actual film has in store if you decide to watch it.
No one has seen it quite like this.
Enjoy the trailer for now and just wait…there’s more to come!