If you read my previous review, you saw I was a fan of Derek Cole's An American Ghost Story. It was an exercise in extremely low budget shooting with an effort on emphasizing suspense and subtlety over shocks and bloodletting. I won't get too in-depth here, as I pretty much covered it in my favorable review.
An American Ghost Story hit DVD this week via Breaking Glass Pictures, and those of you willing to take a chance on this do-it-yourself effort might be pleasantly surprised - especially those of you currently studying filmmaking. Director Cole and co-writer/lead actor Stephen Twardokus, in a Behind-the-Scenes featurette, provide a point-by-point breakdown of the production (the film was essentially a two-man operation) and how they improvised some technical creations to aid the shooting. Not only do they show off one of the devices they literally built to aid their lighting scheme, but they break down some notable sequences from the film and explain how they essentially tricked you into thinking you were seeing a visual effect. The duo are very self-deprecating in their recollections and freely admit to some of their cheapest tricks.
Next up is an audio commentary track with Cole, Twardokus, and fellow producer Jon Gale. The filmmakers continue to reveal their tricks, and the track mixes together admissions of certain weak areas with comments of self-congratulation (though less in arrogance and more in awe that they were able to create something of which they are proud - as they should be). Not everything discussed will be of interest to audiences, but much of it is. They discuss scenes written but not shot, and scenes shot, but excised from the final. Aince they're obviously friends, they're not afraid to rib on each other, which makes the track that much more entertaining.
The special features conclude with a trailer to the film as well as other releases from Breaking Glass Pictures, deleted scenes, and a photo gallery.
Regardless of the features, the DVD is literally selling on Amazon right now for less than $8. If you'd like to take an entertaining 90-minute course on DIY filmmaking, buy it. But if you're also looking for an earnest effort made by some spirited individuals who honestly just wanted to make a classy haunted house film, you should buy it for that reason, too.