In 2009, the independent film Ink, made on a budget of $250,000 by director Jamin Winans and his production company Double Edge films, was illegally downloaded over 400,000 times from a file sharing website. The movie was so good that this downloading frenzy did not affect the popularity of the movie, in fact, it increased sales (partly due to Jamin and Kiowa Winans publicly embracing the piracy and said they were “happy with the exposure”) and caused Ink to be ranked no. 16 on IMDB’s top 20 most popular movies.
It is hard to believe that Ink was overlooked by major Hollywood studios, was barely distributed in US cinemas and went straight to DVD. Let me explain why Ink is a must-see experience, intriguing, and spectacular in its surrealism… and why it is on many people’s list as their favorite movie of all time.
Written and Directed by Jamin Winans
Produced by Jamin Winans
Executive Producer: Kiowa K. Winans
Associate Producer: Laura Wright
Production company Double Edge Films
The original ideas, brilliant acting and beautiful visuals make this movie unique and moving. It is spectacular, even on its small budget. It compares itself to Brazil, Donnie Darko, Pan’s Labyrinth, and the Matrix. Most would agree that it leaves you with the same feelings. It is complex, emotional, and beautifully dramatic, making you question your own reality, dreams and nightmares. The strong storyline is the focus and is essentially based around the good vs. evil premise and all of those trapped in between. It cleverly tells the story and respects that the watcher is smart enough to understand and interpret the messages without having to nurture them through its concepts.
It is hard to talk about Ink without giving away the plot, and much of its appeal is in the viewer’s interpretation. It centers on a father and daughters relationship and the forces of light and darkness. We are introduced to the main character Ink, a mysterious and dark creature who steals a child’s soul in the hope of bargaining her to join a group of supernatural beings called the Incubi, evil creatures responsible for creating nightmares. It is a disturbing journey through a surreal dream, a war between two powerful forces.
A powerful and pure film that takes you on a journey you will not soon forget.
One of the lead actors from Ink was kind enough to answer some questions for us in this exclusive beautiful.bizarre interview. Thank you Christopher Soren Kelly for you time and insight into the movie and your process.
Ink contains one of my favourite movie scenes of all time, the “Stop the flow” sequence. It is beautifully put together and I am often reminded of it. What was your favourite scene and why did it resonate with you?
That’s certainly a great scene and probably my favorite as well, but just to be different I will chose John’s walk, ending with Allel fighting off the incubi while John sits at his daughter’s bed. This last shot is one of my favorite because Jamin and I talked about it long before the movie was ever made and the shot and concept came out as well as if not better than our imagination. It’s also such an emotional moment.
How did you first come across the script and how did you feel having been asked to portray such an incredible and complex character?
Jamin had me in mind while writing the script. I was very excited to play the role. I pretty much dropped everything I was doing to come shoot the film!
Did you do any preparation to play the character? Often times there were no words to portray what the character was feeling. How difficult was that?
There was an extensive amount of preparation. On the physical level, we all trained for the fight scenes and that went on for several months before the shoot. But I had the script for almost a year before we started shooting, so I had a lot of time to work on the character. To me Ink was no monster and I never played him like one. He was just the dark side of John who was a real person with normal human worries and problems.
Ink covers a range of ideas that most people can relate to… what do you hope people take away from the film?
You know, what people get from the film is personal. And many people have gotten more than I ever could have hoped. From the perspective of the actor, I just hope they can sympathize and understand John in all his different stages.
What was the most challenging thing you faced while filming Ink?
Ink was a very long shoot. It was physically grueling. It was long days and long weeks. For some portions, I was in makeup for hours and hours. Now, I enjoyed all of this, but it was a challenge to maintain my energy and focus during those months. Fortunately, we all helped each other and we knew we were making something worthwhile. This kept us all moving forward.
You write, direct and act… what are you working on currently?
I have a number of things going on. I star in the upcoming Sci-fi film SOMNIO, written and Directed by Travis Milloy (Pandorum). It’s about a man trapped in an automated prison of the future. I wrote and directed the lyrical sci-fi feature THE TANGLE starring Joshua Bitton (The Pacific), Nicole Da Silva (Wentworth), Jessica Graham (And Then Came Lola) and myself. It’s a sic-feature set in the near future when the internet has gone into the air and invaded our blood and brain. This internet is called The Tangle. Look for these films soon!