So I’d seen a piece on CBS Sunday
Morning News a few months ago about this indy film
called “Birdemic”. Apparently it was so bad that it
was gaining a cult following. The director, James
Nguyen, completed the film on a shoe string budget,
submitted it to Sundance and got rejected. That
didn’t stop him from going to Sundance anyway and
promoting his film. Lucky for him the film
attracted some attention from distributors and is
now being shown around the country at midnight
screenings. I went last Saturday and saw it at the
When it comes to describing how bad this film is; words fail. It violates every rule of cinema known to man. I thought I would be able to sit through this thing and get a good laugh. Instead I was just flat out insulted that someone out there is capable of making a film this horrific, have the audacity to send it to Sundance, and then haplessly get distribution because he is so talentless.
Bad CGI and miserable acting aside, the worst part about Birdemic were the soliloquies that random actors break out in. They go on and on about global warning and protecting the environment while Nguyen chooses to hold the same shot the entire time. No close-ups, no cutaways. It makes for an incredibly boring scene. Furthermore, nothing in this film is motivated. Not the characters, not the plot, nothing.
One “girlfriend” in the film, as there are several, disappears for several road trip scenes and then randomly reappears. I guess she had a wedding to go to one weekend and missed that segment of the shoot. Continuity is not a term that Nguyen is familiar with. He might be if he’d bothered to visit his local library and check out one book on basic filmmaking. He spent $10,000 to make this? The film looks like $100.
As much as I hate this movie, I still recommend that all students of film and wanna-be directors, see this pile of hell. It is a frame by frame example of what not to do. You want to see bad lighting (no lighting at all), bad sound, a director who violates “the line”, terrible editing, and a plot that meanders to the other side of West Hell and then back --- then sit through Birdemic. There is not a single, redeemable thing about this movie except for the fact that it will educate the indy community on what none of us should ever do or be. It also stands to boost confidence. I don’t care who you are or what equipment you have access to – Trust me; your film will surpass Birdemic.
Oh my god. Just saw on the Birdemic website that this idiot is actually working on a sequel in 3D no less. What a tremendously pile of hell it will no doubt be. That is, if in fact, it actually gets completed. Something tells me that Nguyen pays even less attention to budget than he does to screenwriting, continuity, camera angles, you know...all that director stuff. Please let this whole thing be a masterful rouse.