COMIC-CON 2010: ‘Shockwave, Darkside’ looks for a home

July 24, 2010 | 8:15 p.m.
6a00d8341c630a53ef013485ab2761970c 500wi COMIC CON 2010: ‘Shockwave, Darkside’ looks for a home

The hundreds of vendors on the floor at Comic-Con International in San Diego are hawking all manner of fantasy, sci-fi and comic-book paraphernalia.

There are back issues of G.I. Joe, “Star Wars” speeder-bike action sets and T-shirts for Batman, Captain America and even the Uglydolls. Squeezed among the many merchants is Jay Weisman, who is looking to sell something very different: a feature film.

Shot in a Harwich, Mass., sand pit, Weisman’s “Shockwave, Darkside” is an independently financed space thriller set about 100 years in the future. “It’s like ‘Saving Private Ryan’ on the moon,” Weisman said of his 3-D production, his first feature. “It follows five soldiers trapped behind enemy lines.” The soldiers are in a bind “and running out of air.”

Movies come to the annual fanboy fest looking for distribution deals every now and then, but they typically showcase themselves in the cavernous Hall H (where Rainn Wilson and Liv Tyler’s “Super” made its sales pitch on Friday) or in oversized conference rooms upstairs (as was the case that same day with “Ironclad,” which stars Paul Giamatti and Brian Cox).

Weisman’s Comic-Con setup was far more modest (as was the film’s budget, which he wouldn’t disclose). He was showing a trailer for his film in the booth for Keenspot Comics, which will publish a Web-based comic prequel to “Shockwave, Darkside” in the coming weeks. The trailer Weisman was showing on a large monitor in the Keenspot booth was in 2-D, but he also was able to show a 3-D version on his Apple notebook. (He will screen a 3-D version of the trailer on a real screen as part of Keenspot’s presentation Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.)

Weisman, who had directed some commercials, industrial films and 2003’s short film “Surveillance,” wasn’t really expecting Lionsgate Films or some such outfit to walk up and buy the movie on the spot. But the Comic-Con newcomer is hopeful he can leave the convention on Sunday having created at least some momentum for his film, which stars Mei Melancon (“X-Men: The Last Stand”) and Bill Sage (“American Psycho”).

“This is kind of evolving as we go,” Weisman said of his sales strategy. “It’s been interesting to hear people’s response that it is totally different. Someone else said there is such a studio presence here that it’s great to see something that’s independent. People are really into the spirit of it.”

If all goes well, Weisman may be back at Comic-Con in the not-too-distant future with a similar feature. “Realistically, I want to do another film — this is a trilogy. So I’d like to do a sequel, maybe set on Mars.”

As for the unusual sales strategy, Weisman smiled. “I’m having a blast.”

— John Horn


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7 Responses to COMIC-CON 2010: ‘Shockwave, Darkside’ looks for a home

  1. Weekly says:

    A movie Trailer that looks like it would fit into Comic-Con.

  2. rob says:

    Looks Fantastic!
    Great to see quality, though-provoking independent films
    showcases at SDCC and on the Blog.
    Here's wishing the Filmmakers success and all the best!

  3. TT says:

    Really excited about Weisman's Shockwave, Darkside, and glad to hear it's going to be a trilogy. Indie sci-fi rocks!

  4. NiceMacabre says:

    I'm glad you mentioned the "low-budget" because I had that in mind when I watched the trailer and their site seems sort of low budget too. I didn't see this booth at Comic-Con but I get it could be sort of a Total Recall, where the tension comes from them being stuck in an atmosphere that Humans can't handle, in Total Recall they become mutants from the atmosphere, there is a shot where the guys eyes bleed so it looks like they are fighting the elements. Speaking of the panic of running out of air, it reminds me of the new trailer Buried with Ryan Reynolds? Can't wait for that film! There is something morbidly enticing about movies that are about people stuck like rats drowning in a bucket of water and you don't really care about the budget once you get into it. Alive or Open Water comes to mind also.

  5. SciFi Fan says:

    Thanks for covering this. Seems like smaller endeavors like this get lost amid the big budget spectacles, especially at Comic Con. That said, this film looks like it has great potential, focusing more on story and characters rather than all action. It sounds like the writer is trying to stay true to science fiction in the classic sense. Looking forward to seeing it.

  6. Shenzi says:

    I saw this Trailer in the Main Hall at SDCC and my teenage sons kept asking when it was coming out after we left, even when I didn't get it at all. Someone said they shot in a sandpit which is commendable and I don't think it looks bad considering. I agree with all the past comments but don't see the Alive comparison?

  7. Batman says:

    It got bad reviews at FrightFest

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