So often the term ‘indie movie’ is thrown around to cover an incredibly wide spectrum of the genre. It sort of takes away from the grandeur of a true indie movie, when one crosses our path. ‘Ink’ is a true indie movie. You know the kind I’m talking about; A “low-budget, call up friends for extras, set aside some weekends, re-finance some bills because this is really going to happen” kind of movie. It doesn’t happen because a studio thinks that the market is prime to take, it happens because some truly creative people love making movies. The latest in our Must See Movies You’ve Never Seen series, “Ink” has absolutely set the bar for low-budget films.
When night falls two forces emerge, the Storytellers who bring pleasant dreams to those who are sleeping and the Incubi, whose shadows bring the deepest and darkest of nightmares. However, one night a drifter named Ink emerges. He fends off Storytellers and captures the soul of a young girl, Emma (Quinn Hunchar). Ink is a disgusting hunchback creature, so he plans to deliver Emma to the Incubi, and in return will become one himself. Meanwhile, in the “real world” Emma (without a soul) has fallen into a coma and her negligent business mogul father, John (Chris Kelly), must be there for her for the first time in a long time.
Created by power-couple Jamin and Kiowa Winans, ‘Ink’ is a story of pure creativity. The budget of this film was only $250,000. That is just a fraction of what normal indie-studio movies cost to make. But what ‘Ink’ lacks in budget, it makes up for with everything else. The visual style of this film is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The overexposed lighting gives the film and unique glow from start to finish (I also believe it might be a clever way to cover up the use of bright natural sunlight) Also, the different “realms” and flashbacks are all distinguished by a change in color palette or vignette. The editing is perfect and I really couldn’t even imagine it being done any different or better. The score was created by writer/director Jamin Winans, but could easily be mistaken for a score created by a numerous amount of Oscar winners. Lastly, the visual effects are unheard of from a film with this small of a budget. They are remarkable.
Beyond the technical masterpiece of ‘Ink’ there is also a beautifully haunting story. Filled with metaphor, symbolism, and foreshadowing, it makes anyone glad to have watched the entire 106 minute run time.
‘Ink’ was rejected by major studios for both theatrical and home release. So the Winans’ company, Double Edge Films, saw to the DVD, Blu-ray and online distribution themselves. With positive word of mouth ‘Ink’ grew to a cult classic and was beginning to be sold in stores. ‘Ink’ was even downloaded illegally online 400,000 times in a single week. Instead of being upset about the piracy, the Winans embraced the exposure and the rate at which ‘Ink’ was being shared. Now, almost four years later, you can find ‘Ink” anywhere from a local DVD Store (The few that still exist) to Hulu.
‘Ink’ is the type of movie that really gives me hope for the future; because if a small group of filmmakers could create this with no budget and no distribution, there really is no telling what type of creativity the future holds.
Check out the trailer and see what I mean.