For the Barking Vans crew, a small-time entertainment company trying to rise up and introduce themselves in the competitive landscape of artistry companies, 2018 has been a very busy year. Not only did they manage to release not only their first one but two albums (one being a soundtrack for their first film, the other being a crew member’s squid alias), but they also managed to release a consistent lineup of not one, not two, not three, but four web series – all of which have gotten at least positive reviews – but they also managed to fit in the mix the making of, marketing of, and release of their first feature film, “INFINITE.”
Though the release hasn’t happened yet, the marketing’s constant rollout seems to no avow indicate that there has been no second guessing with the film’s release set for September 9th. The film, which was Directed, Written, First Hand Edited by, and Stars Mike Barkhoff, is a heavy tale of a world where censorship does not exist. Running (at least) 88 minutes long based off of a post on the company’s social media, it seems safe to say that the film was an experimental run and look at the world that it explores in such a fine depth. The marketing strategy only seems to indicate as much, with each trailer showing mixes of action, heavy dialogue, and more, all of which showcases the actors involved – Barkhoff, Ashtun O’Rourke, Jarrod Van Hauen, Emmett Kendrick, just to name a few.
With the rollout of the film, the company is trying something unique on it’s own, too. They will be releasing the film for free on YouTube, a strat that has become more popular in today’s trends, ala Chance the Rapper with his music. So on September 9th, you can take a break from your movie theater, and you can enjoy a film as if it were on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon – but there’s the catch, it’s free. To say if the company will continue this strategy, at least for a little bit longer, is anybody’s guess, as their website, www.barkingvans.net, has just recently been published, with a store on full display. That was, after all, the original release plan, until the company’s first website was decided against by 50/50 President Heads of the company, Barkhoff and Van Hauen, due to it’s unsecure nature. Barkhoff has sat down to explain the origins of the film, and Van Hauen has discussed his favorite scene to film, but other than that, much is left to the imagination about how other cast and crew felt.
One thing’s for sure is the quote that we can take from Barkhoff, in which he states: “INFINITE. is much more than a simple film. It’s a film with a heavy social commentary for it’s purpose, statement, and meaning. It is in many ways how I feel about this generation, with their addiction to several items – in particular technology. When they don’t even know how to run the very thing they are addicted to. That’s a lose-lose on both ends. So when the film comes out, I hope everyone enjoys it and that they can at least somewhat get that subliminal message picked apart to whatever degree.”
The company has confirmed a release party that will be livestreamed on September 8th, leading up to the film’s release. They have also seemingly joked, or discussed, at least, about the possibility of another livestream event in which Zach Delfs, the head Barking Vans interviewer from his very own web series, Zach Attacks, sits down with Barkhoff in a lengthy interview to discuss all ins and outs of the film. Though the latter has not been confirmed, it wouldn’t come as a surprise, given the lack of actor interviewers the company has done for the film in it’s promotion stage. Then again, perhaps that is all a part of the promotion. As a reviewer of Cinematx, a YouTube-based award company that has given Barking Vans props for Candlelight and Horror Fest, described his feelings on the marketing, he stated: “Part of marketing is appealing to your audience, and because your film is so blatantly making fun of our generation, I actually find it comedical in it’s own self that you are releasing so much about it because that’s what this generation does best: forget. And I for one am loving it!”
Plans of INFINITE. after it’s release haven’t really been mentioned, especially on the stance of making a sequel, but it has been confirmed that the film will enjoy a DVD and Blu Ray release eventually, which will likely be sold on the aforementioned Barking Vans website.
As for other Barking Vans projects, it is interesting to say the least that many of them have not had any other word set in place after their initial seasonal runs. For instance, “Chapters.”, a power-produced anthological web series from Barkhoff and O’Rourke, opened to great reviews, and gave O’Rourke and Josey Davis (now Chief Assistant Manager) a swing at their sophomore films, both of which were much more widely realized, more positively reviewed, and generated a larger audience. Yet, the company has not confirmed a Season 2.
Similar situations have occurred with the company’s other bulk entires, such as “Unscripted”, which wasn’t always fondly reviewed consistently, but at least generated an audience that admitted it’s funny attempts often worked, and the “15 Second Horror Challenge”, which, oddly enough, may be the major thing that catapults the company into full swing as their entries compete and gain recognition.
The company has, however, confirmed that their second feature film, “Twisted Sibling”, has been configured and is in full swing, with filming even having started on July 14th. “Twisted Sibling”, Inspired by a Short Story from another Barking Vans player, Shelbey Coy, was Written for the Screen by Barkhoff (and stars him too), and will be Directed by O’Rourke, with Van Hauen playing another character in the film. Though the plot has yet to be released on that film, there’s no doubt that it’s marketing won’t at the very least give us an idea.
INFINITE. is out for free on September 9th on the company’s YouTube (a link for the trailer is below, subscribing to that channel will give you the notification).
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