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Behind the Mask - The Batman: Dead End Story

Score: 77%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Candy Factory Films
Region: 1
Media: DVD/1
Running Time: 98 Mins.
Genre: Documentary
Audio: English Stereo
Subtitles: English

The fan-made, 8-minute short film called Batman: Dead End premiered at the 2003 San Diego Comic Con and made a huge splash. In no time, it appeared on bootleg DVDs at that same convention and then showed up on the Internet, thus spreading the top-notch, low-budget production's notoriety worldwide. Behind the Mask - The Batman: Dead End Story is a documentary about that film and the man behind it whose drive and determination led the project to completion, despite stacked odds, personal tragedies, and naysayers.

The first part of the documentary focuses on Sandy Collora's working career and his positions before starting on Batman: Dead End. During this time, Collora gained a reputation as a sculptor and concept artist and eventually decided that he wanted to try his hand at directing. Taking cues from the directing style of James Cameron, Collora started mapping out everything he could for his Batman short film.

The middle-third of Behind the Mask is about the development, filming, and casting of Batman: Dead End. It even goes into how Sylvester Stallone and Mark Hamill almost played the roles of Batman and Joker. While Collora eventually had to settle on Clark Bartram for the Caped Crusader, after the preparation and effort both Collora and Bartram put into the actor's Batman, Collora says that the man was the perfect fit for the role.

The documentary then moves on to talk about the release of the film, Collora's praise and recognition over the short, and the doors that apparently opened that would lead him into the director's chair of a feature-length studio film. For various reasons explored in Behind the Mask, Collora didn't go on to direct any blockbuster films, but he has continued to work the indie scene and has not only produced a full-length movie of his own, but he is also working on another project. A good portion of the final minutes of this film involve Collora looking back on the time he spent making Batman: Dead End, how he behaved after the short's success, and what he feels he has learned from that experience. It will be interesting to see if his future endeavors will get him back onto the Rolodex of studios or if he will continue to maintain his indie status.

I highly recommend watching Batman: Dead End if you haven't already. If learning about what it took to make that short and who was involved in its creation interests you, then Behind the Mask - The Batman: Dead End Story is worth watching.


Behind the Mask Exclusive Clip

Batman: Dead End

#BehindTheMask | @candyfactory411

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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