Local DIY filmmaker talks about new movie ‘Assassinaut’ and the process of movie making

by | Sep 4, 2015

When Drew Bolduc started making movies, he did it “out of spite.”

When Drew Bolduc started making movies, he did it “out of spite.”

“A lot of what inspired me originally was bad movies,” he states without irony, over coffee and bagels at a diner in downtown Richmond.

After dropping out of art school, Bolduc began making movies that his professors would have thought were “awful,” and showed them at the local film screening Project Resolution. There he could “bring anything and show it…to see what worked and what didn’t.”

Eventually, after attending a lot of Project Resolution screenings “seeing lots of movies made by young men…expressing sexual frustration in a non-intelligible way,” he came up with the idea for his first feature film: The Taint.

Nearly a decade later, the local DIY filmmaker discusses comedy and filmmaking in anticipation of his newest film, Assassinaut, now in post-production.

The Taint was a sledgehammer movie, no subtlety,” says Bolduc.

According to him, his newest film may be a bit more serious: “We were going for a darker wave of 80’s kids movies… shooting for that tone.” He did caution that while the movie stars mostly children actors, it “probably is not a kid’s movie.”

Bolduc has made his career up to this point on low-budget, “so bad they’re good,” gross out comedies. His filmography beyond Assassinaut, and the aforementioned “The Taint” includes the feature “Science Team” and a special effects credit on the Troma produced Return to Nuke ‘Em High.

RICHMOND, VA Area: Now casting extras for a banquet scene this Saturday, July 11th. Dress in your best banquet attire,…

Posted by Assassinaut on Thursday, July 9, 2015

His films, while admittedly dealing with many of the same themes that his peers in Project Resolution’s films did—sexual frustration and violence—also have a very self aware tone that points out the flaws in his characters.

“I like to argue points of view that aren’t mine…in [“The Taint”] I wanted to make a misogynistic movie…so misogynistic that nobody will do it again,” says Bolduc.

There is a line that he will not cross for irony’s sake though. When it comes to exploitation, what Bolduc defines as “shock for shock’s sake, gore for gore’s sake,” to him, it’s bad film making.

While some have lumped his work into this subgenre of horror, Bolduc takes objection to this.

“[The Taint] is a much smarter movie than it should be… though it’s stupid.”

Another characteristic that runs through Bolduc’s movies is absurdity—“pushing a joke so far it’s not funny anymore. But it is funny.”

In Science Team when the main character Chip finds his mother’s decapitated corpse, there’s nothing humorous about the brutality of the image. Chip’s reaction; however, in a cut-away from the corpse, is.

In a scene that lasts at least three to four minutes in an 82 minute film, Chip goes from pleading with the corpse to wake up, to growing angry with it for not responding, to screaming and shaking the body in rage. You could argue the character is grief stricken, but this is only another in a long line of absurdly violent reactions to situations when the viewer would otherwise sympathize with Chip.

DAY 1 of Assassinaut Production!

Posted by Ultra Fuchsia Films on Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Bolduc started off interested in comedy. He’s not as interested in writing that way anymore, but he does still “like the whole ‘South Park’ thing where…it goes all the way with a joke.”

“In Assassinaut… we were filming dramatic scenes where horrible things are happening to characters…but I don’t know if people watching will find it funny…But for me, I find there’s humor on a very dark level.”

Regardless of whether the upcoming movie turns out to be darkly comedic, or just dark, Bolduc says there’s much to look forward to. With a bigger budget than any of his previous movies, “a professional crew” for the first time, and shooting locations all over the state—from Mountain Lake in Giles County, to the interior of a battleship in Norfolk— Assassinaut seems to be the locally funded and produced equivalent of a Hollywood blockbuster.

“I’m stupid in that I come up with huge, complicated ideas,” says Bolduc. He continues, “The problem with making movies DIY…for no money, is you can’t pay anyone…after you get to a certain level, its not good to continue down that path.”

And so Bolduc and his film company Ultra Fuchsia, run with co-producer Michele Lombardi, has moved on.

With the film having just wrapped shooting, it may be a couple of months before a trailer for Assassinaut is available, and until the end of the year for a cut of the movie to be complete. While we wait for Bolduc to edit his newest film, there will be a double feature of his other two full-length films showing at Gallery 5 on Wednesday, September 23. Doors open at 7 p.m. and there’s $5 cover. Check it out!

You can get a look behind the scenes of the creation of Assassinaut through their blog here – it’s pretty neat stuff for new filmmakers looking to learn tips and tricks

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner

more in community

Commentary | Here’s The Thing About Gentrification

A few months ago, a Los Angeles-to-Richmond transplant who happens to be a prolific TikTok content creator made a series of videos about her favorite vegan spots in town and an e-book guide. You could see the clear joy of discovery on her face along with the...

RVA 5X5 | The History of The Mayo Bridge

The city and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) are undertaking the early stages of planning to replace the Mayo Bridge (14th Street bridge) that connects Hull Street in Manchester and 14th Street in Shockoe Bottom. The four lanes of bridge traffic often...

20 Years of RVA Magazine! A Chat with S. Preston Duncan

As we dive into the 20-year journey of RVA Magazine, it made sense to document it somehow -- so I started this laid back, insightful, and hopefully entertaining, podcast series. It's a chance for me to catch up with old friends who've shaped the magazine from the...

Time For A Richmond Pizza Date!

Over the last decade Richmond has become a proper pizza town. Local pizzerias dish up a variety of styles at every price range. Pizza is the food of the people so naturally it makes a great date. You can learn a lot about a person across a slice. Are they a folder?...

The Kids Are Alright: Cristian Espinoza’s Street Life Photos

Cristian Espinoza has been capturing the essence of youth street life for some time, and his film photography provides a raw, authentic look into the underground and art culture of the DMV area. We had the opportunity to send him a few questions. R. Anthony Harris:...

Richmond’s Next Mayor? Get To Know Dr. Danny Avula

Here’s my conversation with Dr. Danny Avula, candidate for Mayor of Richmond VA. This completes the set of all my conversations with Richmond’s prospective Mayors for November 2024. One of these people is going to be leading the city next year. Who it’s going to be is...