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Lights, Cameras, Geocachers …


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If American film-makers Mike Corkle and Mark Micucci ever invite you to geocache in the woods, say no.

To them, a weekend camping trip involves the usual discomforts – “mosquitoes, bugs, maybe a little rain” – followed by kidnappers, guns and “fighting for your life”.

Well, at least that’s the pitch of their recently released, straight-to-video movie Geocachers, starring popular Greek actor Christos Vasilopoulos in his first United States feature.

While camping, two couples uncover some stolen loot while searching for a geocache. When the bad guys led by Vasilopoulos’ character Hector find out, they kidnap heroine Victoria (played by Heather Gornall) and force her husband Mike (Konrad Case) to help find their stolen goods.

It’s Not About The Numbers has been following the development of this action thriller since reporting on its cast auditions last September – especially as Corkle, its director (that’s him above in the white T-shirt), and producer Micucci were geo-novices when they began shooting.

According to Micucci, he first learnt of the sport when “Mike told me his idea for a story”.  “I don’t think any of the cast had heard of it either.”

Corkle, the film’s expert on the subject despite having never been geocaching, thought the hobby was a perfect fit for his storyline.

“We had been thinking about making a low-budget movie,” he explains. “Basically, that means few characters and one location.  Shooting in the woods, in daytime, is fairly simple, so we were looking for an excuse to make the setting of a  story in the woods that wasn’t a complete cliché.

“Geocaching gives a reason for our heroes to be camping in the woods and it’s something I haven’t really seen in movies.”

It was this fresh concept that also appealed to Micucci. “Part of the reason we went with a story based on geocaching is because it hasn’t been overdone.  I had heard about [2009 comedy] Splinterheads but I couldn’t name another movie with geocaching in it.”

To keep within the movie’s tight finances, all  of the cast and crew worked for deferred pay, he says.  

“We went to Nebraska because Mike is from there, and a lot of his friends and family helped us out.  One friend of Mike’s let us shoot in her 200 acres of woods. (Mike and I lived on the property for a month.)  Mike’s mother, sisters, and aunts helped with the catering.  His father found us a trailer and an airport location and we did some shooting from his plane.”

Corkle adds:  “Yeah, I think I maxed out my favours in the entire state. I asked for something from everyone I’d ever met, it seems.  I was so humbled by everyone’s generosity.”  

It was very different experience than shooting in Los Angeles, he says.  “I don’t think we could have made this movie this way anywhere else.  Mark and I don’t want to abuse their generosity and we realise we only can ask for all this free help once.”

Jokingly, Corkle confesses that if the movie “ends up bad, I can never return to my hometown” – though Micucci quickly chimes in with “I think you’ll be okay”.

Geocachers is not an art film; it’s a genre movie.  Bad guys chase good guys.  All we want is for people to see it and not feel that they’ve wasted their time.”

Not that the pair themselves had such high hopes for their 95-minute movie. Their distribution plan was apparently always direct to video “and hopefully cable TV”.  

“Sure, it’s possible that we could get a theatrical release, but we made this movie more as a ‘calling card’ -an example of what we can do.  We have some other projects that would require real funding but no-one is going to fund our movies until we can prove what we can do.   Hopefully, when people see it, someone will say: ‘I like what you did.  What else do you have?’

When kjwx spoke to Corkle and Micucci, the pair were in the last stages of post-production but were not sure when their geo-masterpiece would be released.

“We already have an offer of video distribution but there are many possibilities we’ll be looking at: on-demand, video streaming, everything.  Plus, there’s the international market.  The idea translates well.  In a perfect world, people will be watching Geocachers sometime this [northern] summer or fall.”

*Check out more behind-the-scenes clips from Geocachers on director Mike Corkle’s website. If you’ve seen all 95 minutes of Geocachers, let us know what you thought of it below.

 

2 comments

  1. Michael Rogers

    This sounds like a good movie…I’d like to see it.

  2. Mike C

    Nice write up!

    If anyone is following the development of this move, it had been re-titled “”The Survival Game” and the official website is http://survivalgame.blackanvil.com

    There are some interested behind-the-scenes videos on there.

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