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By Mike Watt | March 2, 2005

While the world of low-budget, independent filmmaking will always be predominated by the horror genre, there are those working feverishly outside the slash-and-kill realm, under the radar of not only Hollywood, but many indie “insiders” as well. For the past couple of years, Jason Santo and his family at Mindscape Pictures have been writing and producing short films in a variety of genres, many of these films were collected in his critically-acclaimed “Bent” DVD series (which got its first official release through Tempe Entertainment in July).

The stories told in the “Bent” series range from a relatively straight-forward supernatural revenge movie (“Haunted”, “Bent Vol. One”), to a sad science fiction tale of a man who can stop time (“Time Heals All Wounds”, “Bent Vol. Two”), to the horrifying modern horror story of a man purposefully spreading the HIV virus to his lovers (“Here Comes Your Man”, “Bent Vol. Three”), with comedy and romance scattered in between.

For Santo, filmmaking isn’t about beating a long-dead horse just to make money, but by the same token, he doesn’t use the drawbacks of digital video as an excuse to make incomprehensible “art films”. Each of his short movies has as slick a look as anything out of Hollywood, yet each tells a solid story, complete with characters who, while you may not like them in every story, feel full-blooded and three dimensional.

“The whole idea behind “Bent” as a series was to present as many different filmmaking styles and types of stories as possible. That’s why we used the water theme (in the opening of each movie on the DVDs) to link everything together – it’s malleable and formless as themes go, so it can bridge completely different stories. I love all stories in all genres. It’s the storytelling end of moviemaking that I love first and foremost and I hope I never tire of telling many different kinds of tales in many different ways.”

Get the interview in part two of JASON SANTO AND MINDSCAPE PICTURES>>>

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