|I WAS THE FIRST full-time web designer to write and direct his own feature film. What's interesting is how both worlds have collided in the making of Foreign Correspondents: One of the film's stars was found through a web site, several important props used in the film were obtained from people I met on the Internet, I raised $150,000 in investments through this site, and now pretty much the only way you can now see the film is by renting it on Netflix or buying it on Amazon.
I GRADUATED from the CalArts film school. I worked one summer as a Hollywood script reader, which paid nothing, so I fell back on my art background. I worked as a graphic artist on several CD-ROMs, then turned my attention to the Internet, staying gainfully employed as a full-time web designer for 7 years.
IN APRIL 2002 I quit my job as Art Director for Paramount Pictures' online division in order to focus on filmmaking and a freelance career. While at Paramount, I designed the sites for Star Trek, Entertainment Tonight, and Paramount Pictures itself. I've also designed at least 50 other web sites, from movies (12 Monkeys, GoldenEye, Waterworld) to TV shows (Frasier, MADtv, Conan O'Brien) - even a site for the IRS. Since I left, I've continued to do Hollywood studio work. Some recent assignments include creative writing for the Iron Man, Sherlock Holmes and True Blood Blu-ray discs. You can also see my artwork in several games on the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory DVD.
OF COURSE my first love is filmmaking. That's why I went through the enormous financial, mental and emotional sacrifices required to make Foreign Correspondents. (You can read a truncated account of the production history in the Story section of this site.) Since my departure from Paramount, I shot a second feature, Claustrophobia, which stars ForCor alumna Melanie Lynskey. Lionsgate bought the American video rights to the film and released it in late 2004 under the unfortunate title Serial Slayer. In 2006 I won Grand Prize in a Getty Images international short film competition with my short titled The Closest Thing to Time Travel. Today I continue to make short films even as I do side work as a writer, lecturer, and screenwriting consultant.
MEANWHILE, if any of you would like to learn more about Foreign Correspondents or the independent film world in general, feel free to contact me. Few people really know what goes on during the making of a motion picture, especially from a director's point of view, so I'm happy to share whatever information I can.
Mark Tapio Kines