Behind the scenes of indie film, comic book ‘Sacrifice’

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On Friday, as part of the monthly downtown Mesa event known as Second Friday, Evermore Nevermore is hosting local, independent comic book artists and writers – all part of what the funky little store calls ENCREDICON: Evermore Nevermore Comic Review of Enlightened Drawing and Inscribing Convention.

Among the indie comic creators are the production staff of Sacrifice, an independent “giant-monster movie” filmed partly in downtown Mesa that will be screened at ENCREDICON 7 p.m. Saturday.They took the time to answer some questions about the film — and the genesis of its comic-book adaptation:

Basically, what’s the inspiration for Sacrifice?

Bob Nelson, director: Sacrifice basically just stems from the fact that we are all of that generation of geek kids that really grew up watching Saturday morning monster movies, and we always thought it would be great to make one of our own. When director of photography Kent Markwart and I were having tons of fun following the Cloverfield online marketing campaign, we finally decided to give it a shot.” From there we added Mike Robinson because he’s a great artist, then next thing we knew, we had put together this whole production.

What makes it different from other “giant monster movies”?

Director of photography Kent Markwart: We knew when we started, that the two elements that we were going to have the most control over were the quality of the story, and the actors we picked. We knew that making a believable giant monster on a movie budget of $15,000 was going to be challenging at best, so we really focused on finding the right people, whose skills could help the audience suspend disbelief perhaps a little more than normal for movies these days, and give them a story that was strong enough to let the actors carry the day. While most giant monster movies in essence provide an opportunity for the monster, we, knowing our limitations, tried to work opposite.

Was a comic adaptation always planned or spurred by something specific, such as Encredicon? Or did it in fact come first, as part of storyboarding perhaps?

Art director Mike Robinson: Because the origin story revolved around the Conquistadors and the Mayans, originally Bob (Nelson) tried to find costumes to be able to add scenes in reflecting that. Fortunately, costume director Sharon Skinner was unable to find any heavy metal armor to have people try and wear in the Arizona heat, so, when we signed up for our booth at the Phoenix Comicon this year, we thought that a comic would be a great way to share the origin story of the monster, without anyone having to die of heat exhaustion.

Tell me about that origin story!

The Spanish Conquistador Alonso De Ojeda came to the New World to found a new civilization and gather it’s riches. His colony failed, and he was chained and found insane upon his return to Spain. Five hundred years later, we will understand why when a young archeologist and his anthropologist girlfriend stumble on the secret that threatens the world, and now they must partner with the military to save everything, and everyone, they love.

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