Mid-west independent filmmaker Stephen Folker's projects cross multiple media. He produced an award winning web series; a short film which finds distribution; and recently his first feature length film.
His Web series Castle Siege screened at HollyWeb Festival, LA Web Festival and won Best Iowa Film at the Snake Alley Festival of Film 2012. His web series is syndicated on multiple web sites including YouTube, Vimeo and Van Indie Films. The web series' premise is about regular people who take role-playing too far. The web series logline is "A group of medieval role-players who can’t seem to get out of character go on adventure quests." Slap stick humour with a Monty Python flavour, this web series showcases Folker's comedic abilities and wicked sense of humour.
Another example of Folker's comedic strengths is displayed in his short film The Mustache Movie which recently was picked up for distribution to be made available nationwide to millions of viewers.
Folker's talents do not stop at comedy. His latest production To Survive is his first feature film which has a darker theme about post apocalyptic America. Using Kickstarter.com to raise funds to produce the film, To Survive is about a lone drifter played by Burt Culver that bands together with a group of survivors in a lawless post apocalyptic society.
Digital Journal interviewed Mr. Folker recently about his experience as an indie filmmaker and the success of his projects.
Digital Journal: Tell me something about you, your project(s) and/or your organization.
Stephen Folker: Stephen Folker Films is an independent film studio based out of the Midwest. To date, we've made 3 short films, a web-series (which won Best Iowa Film at Snake Alley Festival of Film) and as of this past August 2012 a feature Film, 'To Survive'.
Also, our first short film, "The Mustache Movie" recently signed a distribution deal with DirectTV and will be available nationwide to 7 million viewers very soon.
Digital Journal: What made you want to work in/or with the indie film industry?
Stephen Folker: Ever since I was a small child I've always wanted to make movies. So much, that I when I was 10 I started to make them with my dad's video camera until I broke the camera, literally. That progressed into contacting our local public access station and working out a deal where they would broadcast my short films. As I grew older, I knew I had to make a living and shifted toward photography which I still do to this day.
Fast forward to 2010, a friend of mine from grade school came into my office one day needing some wedding portraits. We were chatting on the phone later that day when he started saying how he wanted to pursue a hobby and make cartoons and I added in how I wanted to make short films again. This turned into us making a few short films together and then one day I had a revelation. I called him and said, "we should make a movie about mustaches." In December 2010, "The Mustache Movie" was born.
Digital Journal: How will indie film makers benefit from your services?
Stephen Folker: If someone already has financing in place, we can take your project from a piece of paper to a completed film. It's that simple. I've got a dedicated and talented group of crew members and actors eager and ready to make dreams become realities.
Digital Journal: What feedback have you received for your projects/services?
Stephen Folker: For our comedy stuff, I always hear it has a very Monty-Pythonesque feel to it. That would explain my comedy, zany and surreal. But I think in order to stand out and truly be unique you have to set yourself apart. You'll always be compared to someone else and their style, but never copy it. Remember, be unique, be yourself. I try to do that in every project.
Digital Journal: What is your goal for you, your project and/or your company?
Stephen Folker: To make viable feature films that people enjoy.
Digital Journal: What are the challenges you see for indie film makers? What challenges do you or your company face?
Stephen Folker: I think the biggest challenge most filmmakers or artists in general face is 'how to make it' in this business. We're all artists, it's simply a matter or are we starving or thriving? It takes time to go places and in order to do so you have stop worrying about what everyone else around you is doing and put all that energy into focusing on how to make what your doing successful.
Digital Journal: Where can people go to learn more about your project and your company?
Stephen Folker: Official website - stephenfolker.com
Catch the official movie trailer for Folker's recent film, 'To Survive' on YouTube.
Connect with Folker on the offiical To Survive Facebook page.