Three cheers for 300. The "little" movie that could (and did) has reopened the doors for big concept, smaller-budget filmmaking where the unsuccessful experiment of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow was labeled as having incidentally squeezed it shut*. Since 300‘s successful release (built on production chassis of Sky Cap‘s failure), it’s been interesting to note the rate by which the new pitch-phrase "shot like 300" is spilling into the vernacular of upcoming projects. We’ve heard it tossed around with the He-Man resurrection and now with the upcoming WWII adventure The Lost Squad.
As inspiration for desktop filmmakers, the same frugal filmmaking which gifted Kerry Conran his directorial opportunity and fully-funded studio feature with Sky Captain is now propelling Irishmen Stephen St. Leger and James Mather into their first big screen gig as well. Thanks to their Matrix-action inspired short film Prey Alone (see the trailer here), the director/DP duo have wowed enough influentials to earn themselves a place in the writer/director chair for Rogue Pictures’ upcoming adaptation of the Devil’s Due comic.
With the recent wake of low-budget WWII films centered on Hitler’s boner over the supernatural, including the delightfully-wretched SS Doomtrooper and indie Horrors of War (or even decades-old Shock Waves), Lost Squad‘s concept shouldn’t be unfamiliar. Take a group of US soldiers, pool them into an elite unit and ship them off on secret missions to fight the Nazi’s mystifying and creepy WWII projects.
With Prey Alone, Leger and Mathers (known as Saint & Mather) prove they have an eye for action. I’ll be interested in seeing how they flesh out character and story for a full length feature that sounds like fun.
*The scant argument that Sky Captain‘s lack of acceptance had anything to do with the virtual filmmaking aspect of the film is lost in the fact its story was successful in boring most viewers. Still, the argument existed as an explanation of why the cutting edge film didn’t open to 14 dump trucks of gold bullion.