Dark Maze Studios

Volition, Inc. Sponsors Videogame Parody Movie Premiere

Videogame developer Volition, Inc. sponsors the premiere of videogame parody movie Press Start.


Champaign, IL -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/25/2007 -- Press Start, the first full-length feature film from Dark Maze Studios, will premiere Oct. 3rd, 7:00 pm at The Virginia Theatre in Champaign, IL, the historic vaudeville-era theater which is also home to Roger Ebert’s Film Festival. The event is sponsored by Volition, Inc., the Champaign-based developer of such videogames as Saints Row, Red Faction, and The Punisher.

It’s a natural partnership, as Press Start is a film about videogames. More precisely, it’s a lovingly satiric celebration of the absurd plots and logic of early videogame worlds. In this realm, eating leftover food found laying about in hallways will actually cure wounds instead of causing botulism.

Directed by Ed Glaser and written by Kevin Folliard from a story idea by Glaser, Press Start tells the story of an average, ordinary suburban youth and volunteer monster exterminator who gets caught up in the struggle to defeat an evil sorcerer obsessed with world domination — and chatting on the telephone with his bad guy buddies. Along the way are ninjas, psychotic arena fighters, space heroes, quests for arcane relics, zombies, irrational obstacles, mazes of danger-filled corridors, and every other videogame convention that ever begged to be lampooned.

With a budget that can only be considered minuscule even compared to the most economically funded independent productions, Press Start turned into something its creators consider a minor miracle.

“Even with virtually no money, I knew that the techniques we’d developed in producing my student films would enable us to make a commercially viable film for videogame fans,” Glaser said. “But I was surprised and thrilled by the talent drawn to this project.”

One of the things that make Press Start unique among videogame-based movies is that it features top talent from the videogame industry who couldn’t resist the opportunity to poke fun at what they do. Included are Daniel and Carlos Pesina, who were the live action actors for many of the characters in Mortal Kombat; Arin Hanson, the voice actor who portrayed Bruce Banner in the Marvel Ultimate Alliance game; and soundtrack composer Jake Kaufman, who scored the music for Shantae and the upcoming Contra 4.

Additionally, CGI artist Rod Contreras provided a large number of settings, characters and events that should not have been possible on such limited funds.

“Probably the most compelling aspect of the project,” noted Kaufman, “was that the crew and cast dedication and their attention to detail was so insanely strong that a lot of the time you’re fooled into thinking they actually had a budget.”

Yet Glaser is quick to discourage anyone from thinking that they will see a film with the slickness of a Hollywood release.

“This is low budget,” Glaser says, “and it looks low budget. But it’s low budget in the best way. It’s a true labor of love, and we believe the audience will get caught up in the sheer fun of it. We have a very funny cast and crew who brought to life a very funny script. I’m grateful to Volition for helping us premiere Press Start in such a wonderful manner, and I’m sure everyone who’s ever loved an old videogame will have a wonderful time with this film.”

Tickets are $3.00 and can be ordered by phone at (217) 356-9063.

For more information, visit the official website at http://www.PressStartMovie.com.

About Dark Maze Studios
Dark Maze Studios is a Champaign, Illinois-based microbudget independent film studio that strives to produce high-quality entertainment on budgets Hollywood would consider pocket change. Dark Maze has produced a number of successful short films since 2002.