Kings of Content
The internet and social networks have created an unprecedented need for content. In particular, video content is poised as the future “king” of all content in the next 5 years. Current predictions estimate that 75% of all content on the internet will be video by 2015. So what does this have to do with drive-in movie theaters? Plenty, if you know your film history…
Hollingshead and Pennsauken NJ
In 1933, Camden resident Richard Hollingshead Jr. opened the first drive-in movie theater in Pennsauken New Jersey. It could accommodate 400 patrons and sported a 40 x 50 foot screen. Hollingshead charged $.25 per car and an additional $.25 per person. The effort lasted only three years, but spawned a slew of other similar operations across the nation. The second of which was Shankweiler’s Drive-in Theater in Orefield Pennsylvania.
No Budget, No Problem
I grew up near this establishment and had the pleasure of viewing lots and lots of cheap, fun, low budget fare here. Which brings me to my point. By the 1950’s, these venues generated an unprecedented demand for low cost content. Horror, comedy, exploitation and cult films became the main fare of drive-in theaters across the nation. Small studios and independent productions rose to the occasion – producing a wide array of wild, fun, creepy, and entertaining content at a very low cost – a new genre to fill the void that Hollywood could not possibly keep up with due to the relatively slow process of development and production required within the big studio system.
SkullDug Films to the Rescue
This is where Skulldug Films comes in – we’re planning on taking advantage of the huge need for low-cost content that the internet distribution networks have created. Just like the drive-in theaters of the 1950’s and 60’s, the web is a vast new venue, thirsting for content – low cost or free content – to fulfill a world-wide audience’s needs for entertainment. Disruptive technologies like new, high resolution cameras (RED, BlackMagic Design), DSLRs, and a host of desktop production tools whose price tags have become affordable enough to fit modest budgets, have made it possible to produce relatively high quality content with a very low budget threshold. Additionally, low-cost computing offers the horsepower to process higher resolution imagery than ever before. Quality productions can be achieved with little financial risk to investors for less than $100K. Big studios can’t produce content quick enough to hit emerging audience preferences before they fade. Only a small operation like SkullDug can react and move quickly enough to address the speed with which the internet and associated audiences are moving.
Small, Fast and Funky
SkullDug is well versed in the language of B movies. Hell, Roger Corman is my hero – campy and fun for the whole family, this type of content is the stuff I grew up with. I believe that a good story can withstand compromises in technical achievement. SkullDug prefers clever filmmaking to big budgets. We find it far more fulfilling to create engaging content on a shoestring. We’re happy to go where the big studios fear to tread – fast, funky, campy and above all else – fun! Stay tuned – we’re planning some fun projects – just give us some time to wring some innovative ideas from our skulls!
Thanks for reading,
ps. While we’re working, we’d like to pick your skulls regarding your favorite B movies from the 50s and 60s – share your top 5 low budget classics in the horror genre – here’s my list:
- Night of the Living Dead (1968) – Directed by George Romero – creepy, zombie genre pioneer.
- Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957) -Directed by Edwin L. Cahn -Campy, funny teenage exploitation at it’s best!
- The Monster from Piedras Blancas (1959) – Directed by Irvin Berwick – Creepy, low budget, cool monster in the basement of a lighthouse.
- Bucket of Blood (1959) – Directed by Roger Corman – great fun, whacked concept, campy over-the-top beatnik poetry horror.
- The Haunting (1963) – Directed by Robert Wise – Cold, creepy, haunted house favorite