Glydascope Magnet Films is pleased to announce today’s release of the apocalyptic satirical comedy HOT, based on the award-winning play from Daniel Keleher and directed by Victor Warren. HOT is launching exclusively on the streaming video service VHX, a digital distribution platform backed by major angel investors including Chris Sacca and Fred Wilson that empowers independent artists to sell video content directly with their audience.
From producer Dallas Sonnier: “Every filmmaker hopes to premiere their project at Sundance and sell to Netflix in a bidding war, but the statistical likelihood of this happening is microscopic. Once reality takes hold, you still have a movie that you love and believe in. We have experienced first-hand the vast limitations of some distributors, and I was long impressed with filmmakers like Jeremy Gardner who embraced distribution through VHX successfully on his film The Battery. Since we made this highly experimental film HOT for less than 100k, it felt organic to embrace a DIY nature for distribution, take control of your film’s destiny, and get creative by launching the film on VHX.”
From director Victor Warren: “HOT is truly an independent film in every sense of the word. I am proud of what we were able to create with the audacity and tone that will evoke controversy and hopefully entertain. You create some magic, love what you are doing, and laugh along the way. We made this film for close to no money, people cleared the days on their calendars, craft service was bought, cameras were rented, and we created a little piece of art. I am so appreciative of the talented cast and tremendous crew who trusted me to lead them on this journey of getting my first film made.”
HOT is a comic yet ultimately devastating look at an apocalyptic future Los Angeles torn apart by a dangerous virus, most of its victims left unconscious to die slowly. Life-long best friends Jones (Steven Strait) and Benny (Zachary Knighton) are holed up in an ostentatious penthouse with Jones spending his days caring for his comatose fiancée (Kate Siegel). Their only connection to what remains of the outside world is a militia member named Horn (Noah Segan) tasked with patrolling the city for newly infected citizens. Benny grows increasingly jealous of Jones, and strikes a deal with Horn to procure Benny his own girlfriend… albeit in a coma.
With brutal language and imagery, alternately funny and horrifying, Keleher’s play tears back the curtain of social niceties to reveal the animal instinct of men. Warren’s background in theater led him to option the piece from Keleher, who is the past recipient of the George Burns and Gracie Allen Fellowship for Outstanding Comedy Writing and the Skirball/Kennis Playwrights Award.
Sonnier and Warren even embraced the DIY mentality when it came to the marketing. With virtually no budget to make a preview, the filmmakers tracked down Tim Gonzales, who gained popularity on YouTube for cutting a modern-day trailer for The Last Starfighter and fan trailers for “Supergirl” and Wonder Woman. HOT is Gonzales’ first paid gig as a trailer editor.
The filmmakers created a main poster to pay homage to the comedies of the 1980’s, while turning to emerging UK artist Adam Hale, whom Sonnier followed on Instagram, to create a gonzo alternative poster.
For the female “love interest” to Knighton, a challenging role with over an hour of screen time but no dialogue, the producers knew they would need to discover a new talent of striking beauty. International talent scout Marlon suggested a young model named Jessica Dykstra, who has been on the cover of GQ Italia and was featured in Sports Illustrated India’s swimsuit edition. Warren met with her immediately, and she was cast the next day.
HOT is available today via VHX.
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