You start your day, take care of the family, drive to your day job, read the review written on you by Variety at lunch, go back to work, drive home, submit to more film festivals and then get ready for work the next day — just the average day for an independent filmmaker. The difference between the ones who make it and the ones who don’t, are the ones who never give up. Take Mike Flanagan and his work and life partner, Courtney Bell, they were able to gather a team of aspiring filmmakers and a mere $75 to make their feature film, Absentia which has now been praised by numerous film sites like Ain’t It Cool News, DreadCentral and Variety, been released by Phase 4 Filmsand has officially set them on their way as filmmakers…
Absentia was made with a small cast and crew, including Flanagan’s girlfriend Courtney Bell who didn’t only play the main role in the film, but also served as line producer and head of props while off the screen (and all while being several months pregnant).
Flanagan goal for this film, was to not only prove himself as a feature film writer/director but also to create something that would involve his group of talented friends that he had around him, with the hopes that eventually they could all create something that would kick-start their careers together. And it worked. He penned a horror story about a woman whose husband goes missing in a mysterious tunnel. The film isn’t you typical horror film, it’s driven by its characters and their fears of the unknown, making the audiences imagination their greatest enemy.
We had a chance to sit down and talk to Mike Flanagan and Courtney Bell recently to talk to them about how they put the film together, how they cast Doug Jones, what it takes to make a truly indie film and more importantly, their personal advice as indie filmmakers…
Absentia was released on VOD not along ago through Phase 4 Films and you can find it online now! The film is also still appearing at multiple festivals and you can find out more about where you can see it and the project itself at AbsentiaMovie.com. Let this film be an inspiration for your own project. They are living proof that hard work comes a long way.
Absentia was written and directed by Mike Flanagan and produced by Joe Wicker, Justin Gordon, Morgan Peter Brown. The film’s cast include Courtney Bell, Katie Parker, Dave Levine, Doug Jones, James Flanagan and Justin Gordon.
You can also check out our interview with producer/actor Justin Gordon.
Video Edited By: Laura Aguirre