By Eric Campos | January 12, 2009

The trilogy is complete. Firecracker and Watch Out filmmaker Steve Balderson is back with the third installment in his Wamego documentary series that reveals invaluable tips and tricks to up and coming indie filmmakers as well as proof that you don’t need to live in or anywhere near Hollywood to make movies. Places like Wamego, Kansas work just fine.

Fans of Balderson, whose work also includes “Pep Squad” and Phone Sex, will delight to this charming behind-the-scenes look at his latest feature, as well as one of 2008’s most memorable films, “Watch Out”. Fans love to see how the sausage is made and there certainly is quite a bit of sausage in “Watch Out”. However, more importantly, the real purpose of this doc is to impart pearls of indie film wisdom unto artists getting ready to take their first steps into the world of moviemaking, or even filmmakers who have been around the block a few times and are wondering what the hell they’ve been doing wrong for the past several years. Balderson guides us, quickly but thoroughly, through the process of making a feature film as he’s making it. But don’t look for lessons on filmmaking style and technique here. You want to learn technique, go to film school, or just pick up a camera and learn as you go. And as far as style, that’s something that should always be brewed yourself. What Balderson actually provides here are tips on everything else you need to concern yourself with when you’re not directly behind the camera. Everything from how to assemble your cast and crew, to keeping track of them and even making sure they stay happy while they’re in town working on your film – getting them discounts at the local liquor store is a stroke of genius – to moving beyond production where we get tips on promotion, festival and theatrical strategy and even some words of warning that not all screenings will go as you would like them.

If you’re an aspiring filmmaker, you’d be a complete fool not to watch “The Wamego Ultimatum”, as well as the other docs in this trilogy. Steve Balderson is all about filmmaking and he gets it done efficiently and he gets his films seen. He may not be a name like Danny Boyle, but who gives a f**k about that? He has an audience and he can make a living realizing his dreams and he’s been kind enough to show us how it’s done. So don’t be a dumbass and check out Wamego now!

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