May 16, 2013 3:01 PM by Dan Shadwell

"Mindscans" challenges conventional thinking about filming locally

This year, a local production company released a Sci-Fi movie that was shot entirely in San Luis Obispo county.
Believe it or not, the feature length film was completed on a budget of just $1300 and the director says he did it by looking at what Hollywood does wrong.
"Mindscans" explores the future of a sort of mind-meld with computers, "...allowing an individual to create their own reality," explains Larry Barnes.
Barnes plays "Tom Sobel," creator of the interface that sets the stage for the drama about technology gone awry.
The film's writer, director, and producer, Ben Chiu, says he put all this together on a shoestring, almost to prove a point. After graduating from NYU's Film School and working at Paramount Pictures, he says he realized you don't have to have big budgets for the big screen.
"I'd seen how all the big movies are made," Chiu explains, "... and I saw a lot of waste and inefficiency."
He says he was also bothered by the fact that only a few big-wigs in Hollywood really see profits from film project. So, he came up with a share system. Compensation depends on how much time and effort each member of the cast and crew dedicates to the project.
"When people own a part of the company," he says, motioning to the screen in the darkened Galaxy theatre, "... they tend to do better and work harder and want to see the company succeed."
John Summer used to anchor the news at KSBY. He plays talk show host, "Peter Edwards." This was Summer's first foray into the world of acting. I asked how acting is different from the work he did on the news desk. He says that while he was certainly comfortable on camera, this experience was new.
"It's a whole different world and something that I wasn't really familiar with," he said. "It was a blast to do it."
Larry Barnes nods.
"We're hoping that this can be the start of a local movie industry," he says with a smile.
Chiu says "Mindscans" will begin its theatrical run this summer, starting with screenings in Galaxy Theaters, stretching from Washington State to Texas.
For more on his business model and films, just go to the ksby.com home page and click on "Links."



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