“A documentary about a film that never was.”
Rough Cut, the directorial debut from London-based artist Jamie Shovlin and my first feature-length work as producer, explores the remaking of an exploitation film that never was. At its dark heart is Hiker Meat, an archetypal 1970s slasher movie imagined by Shovlin, complete with hitchhiking heroine, charismatic commune leader and a group of teens who disappear one by one. This tantalising film-within-a-film serves to both deconstruct and pay affectionate homage to the often-maligned exploitation style.
Exploitation movies were low-budget feature films, usually considered to be of low moral or artistic merit, which boomed in the 60s and 70s. Their makers pursued financial success by ‘exploiting’ popular trends and lurid subject matter, including suggested or explicit sex, sensational violence, gore, ‘freaks’ and drug use.
Rough Cut presents an attempt to re-make several sequences of the mythological slasher film Hiker Meat. Using this ostensible purpose as a means to generate a community of collaborators working together to film more than a hundred shots over a seven day period in England’s Lake District, Rough Cut traces the development of Hiker Meat’s story from idea to script and finally to screen. The film charts the various processes that have contributed to the (re-) creation of Hiker Meat, and celebrates the qualities of collaborative filmmaking on a shoestring budget.
Shovlin elaborates on what he calls his ‘meta-mentary’, saying, “We’ve adopted the exploitation genre’s collaborative approach to make our own feature, with the knowledge that we can’t possibly re-make a film like Hiker Meat – and don’t actually want to. Instead we’ve investigated where else we can go with it, and stripped back the making, unmaking and remaking of both the film and the idea, as a kind of ode to the power of imagination.”
2013, 90 mins (Cert 15)
Director: Jamie Shovlin
Executive Producer: Sarah Perks
Producer: Bren O’Callaghan
Writer: Mike Hart
Music: Euan Rodger
“Take a metacinematic trawl through the grindhouse with this impressive British indie feature.” Little White Lies
“A horror film from the world of make-believe” The Guardian
“Clever stuff, brimming with B-movie affection” Time Out
“Ambitious, assured and amusing” Empire Magazine
Top 10 innovative documentaries Dazed Digital
Jamie Shovlin’s meat mission Dazed and Confused
Artist Jamie Shovlin to Make ‘Documentary’ About Made-Up 1970s Exploitation Film The Hollywood Reporter
Rough Cut (IMDB) is a co-commission between Cornerhouse Artist Film and TIFF: Toronto International Film Festival. Produced and distributed by Cornerhouse Artist Film, a short installation version of Rough Cut debuted at MOCCA: Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in September 2013 as part of a group exhibition curated in response to auteur director David Cronenberg (The Fly, Videodrome, Naked Lunch, Crash, eXistenZ).
About HOME Artist Film
HOME Artist Film (formerly Cornerhouse Artist Film) is a unique project that links up production, distribution, exhibition and audience development for feature films by visual artists. It combines artists’ features with cross-media commissions – including performances and art gallery installations – as well as giving them a traditional theatrical release, VOD and DVD/Blu-ray. Its dual edition DVD/Blu-rays also harness the expertise of Cornerhouse Publications, its sister visual art book distributor, to reach museum and gallery audiences and online specialists.
Established in 2011, HOME Artist Film’s first release was Self Made, by Turner Prize-winning artist Gillian Wearing. Its second film, Swandown by Andrew Kotting, was selected for the ACID 20th Anniversary selection at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Its first in-house productions are Jamie Shovlin’s Rough Cut and Rosa Barba’s 35mm Subconscious Society (in production, release due 2014).