Checking into The Asylum
It's official, work has finally started on my first book and it's all about those maverick masters of the mockbuster The Asylum. You might not have heard of this infamously mad yet creative film company but no doubt you've come across their work which includes the global phenomenon that is the 'Sharknado' saga. They are also the devoured brains behind 'Z Nation' and its spin off 'Black Summer' currently giving 'The Walking Dead' saga a serious run for its money. When I proposed the book idea to the studio heads, David Latt (one of the original founders) asked why? The studio's rise to infamy is a true underdog tale of a company that thinks outside the box, takes risks with film projects that on paper seem impossible and makes them a reality; a tale that deserves to be told. My answer was, why not?
'Inside the Asylum' - currently a working title only - is an in-depth biography of the studio's rise from a distributor of low budget horror films during the VHS / DVD era to one of the biggest and most successful independent film companies. Featuring exclusive interviews with partners David Latt, David Rimawi, and Paul Bales (I hope) this is their story told from their viewpoint as well as that of some of the studios most prominent talents in front and behind the cameras. Their growth in an extremely competitive independent market has seen The Asylum become a notoriously recogniseable brand with their infamous Mockbusters which have also put in the firing line of the major film companies. As a film nerd, professional writer, and Asylum addict the opportunity to help tell their story is a dream come true. However given that over the last two and a half decades the company has produced over 300 films and with their low budget and tight shooting schedule is rolling them out like Quality Street tins at Christmas, I certainly have my work cut out for me.
Research into the book is well underway and so far I've interviewed writer/directors Thunder Levin (Sharknado 1-4), Nick Lyon (Zombie Apocalypse), Jared Cohn (Atlantic Rim), and writer H. Perry Horton (2 Headed Shark Attack) with more waiting in the wings. Even at this early stage it promises to be a bizarre, informative, fascinating, and fun ride; with chapters such as 'The Shark Ages' and 'Birth of a Z Nation' how could it not be? Although still in the early stages Asylum fans can sign up to this blog and follow me on this incredible literary journey from figment to fruition with regular updates, features and a chance to play a part in making the idea a hardback reality. So leave your sanity at the door and get ready to step inside the Asylum.