“Dog Soldiers: The Dogumentary” — Watch It Here — Free!
You can still purchase a DVD from Amazon, as well as rent or download digital downloads of Dog Soldiers. And the DVD does offer two in-depth audio commentaries about my entry into digital filmmaking, how I shot and edited the film, as well as my approach to documentary shooting.
Dog Soldiers runs 48-minutes and was my entry into the Digital Revolution shortly after it had broken out in the late 1990s with Festen (The Celebration), the first of the Dogme 95 films from Denmark, had just premiered at Cannes and was playing in cinemas around the U.S. The groundbreaking importance of The Celebration was that it was the first full-length movie to be shot entirely on a $1,000 CCD camcorder that could be bought at places like Best Buy. It was shot entirely hand-held, using no tripods and no lights. (This was also in the pre-24p days.)
The Celebration completely re-wrote the rules on filmmaking. No longer were filmmakers bound to the expensive constraints of 16mm film, liberating the aspiring independent filmmaker to now be able to make a feature-length movie for less than $10,000, and directly inspired me.
I’m putting this film out for free, as well as when I posted Year a few months back, in large part for the benefit of the readers of my book Naked Filmmaking: How To Make A Feature-Length Film–Without A Crew–For $10,000 Or Less. It’s one thing to purchase a book on Francis Ford Coppola because everyone knows the films he has made, but I know that people are taking a chance in purchasing my book or films because I am not known — or, at least, not known very well. I greatly appreciate the people who have taken and chance on me and my work and I feel a sincere responsibility to them. So, with their interest in mind, I am postingDog Soldiers for people to watch and even download from Vimeo. I hope that having access to these films will make the book a better and more complete experience.
(Please Note: I will not be posting Nightbeats because it has some mature subject matter. It is tastefully done and I am extremely proud of it, but is not suitable for the broader audience on the Internet. It will remain available for rent and purchase on Amazon.)
Dog Soldiers started out as a research project for a screenplay that I wanted to write about professional dog walkers for a larger professional film company. When I was shooting it I never intended to put it together as a film for screening in festivals. In the course of shooting this little film and then putting it together, I found the process so fulfilling that I then vowed to only work on or make films where I could be the total filmmaker — meaning to write (although, not in the case of a documentary), direct, shoot and edit. It’s a vow that I haven’t stepped away from. Once taking that step, I realized that I was probably turning away from my lifelong dreams of ever making a feature-length film with a professional studio. Practically speaking, though, as I was in my late-forties at this time I knew I was already decades past the glass ceiling. A Hollywood career was further away on the horizon than it could be on the I-5 heading south.
That said, should anyone be interested in talking to me, my e-mail is in the banner at the top of the website.
The feature-length for a dramatic or fictional narrative film is generally considered to be any film that runs 70-minutes or longer. Many indie filmmakers are of the opinion that a film has to be 90-minutes to be a feature, but Woody Allen’s Oscar-winning Best Picture of 1977 Annie Hall was only 88-minutes and the 2003 Sundance winner Tadpole was only 78-minutes, including 9-minutes of closing credits.
Film festivals define documentaries differently. Some regard documentaries over 30-minutes to be feature-length, for others it’s 45-minutes or anything that exceeds and hour. Dog Soldiers falls somewhere in the middle, so I go for the “documentary feature” title.
Thanks and hope you enjoy it!