Adventure Comedy, “Dave Made a Maze” Comes to the Omaha Film Festival

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March 10th, 2017

Omaha, NE—The Omaha Film festival is going on now, bringing dozens of independent films and filmmakers to the Village Pointe Cinema until Sunday, March 12. The annual festival includes feature length films, short films, documentaries, and specifically Nebraska-made films. MovieMaker magazine has called it one of the “Top 25 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee.”

Dave Made a Maze, directed by Bill Watterson and produced by John Charles Meyer, was an audience choice winner at the Slamdance Film Festival, and it is one film that will be screened this weekend.

Dave Made a Maze is a re-imagination of the classic adventure movie. A struggling writer builds a fantastically long labyrinth in his studio out of cardboard and becomes lost in his own creation. His girlfriend and an unlikely team of others must navigate their way through traps and pitfalls to find him. The “how” makes no sense, because it doesn’t have to.

“There are a lot of references, both obvious and a little more hidden throughout the film,” Meyer said. “Early influences—virtually anything with the ‘80s adventure pastiche, especially if it was based on practical effects—which virtually anything was in the ‘80s. The director [Watterson] has said in the past that he was going for the four G’s—Goonies, Gondry, Gilliam and Ghostbusters. And also, he wanted to make the kind of movie that he wanted to see. I think that has really connected with the handful of audiences we’ve been able to put the film in front of so far, and we hope that continues to be the case.”

The most striking features of the trailer for Dave Made a Maze are the props and set design, made mostly from cardboard.

“Dave Made a Maze worked really hard to avoid the CGI of the moment—the overly VFX-corrected shots of today’s cinema,” Meyer explained. “We wanted to do things that embraced the old school cinematic techniques while also putting a film out there that we thought was fun and that we thought hearkened back to a lot classics and a lot of favorites and a lot of favorite techniques.”

Visually, sets from the film appear as if they’ve been constructed by renaissance masters, nostalgically working with leftovers from a second grade art class.

“Our art department went so far above and beyond what Bill and his co-writer, Steve [Sears], and I ever thought would be possible when we started working on this film,” Meyer said. “We went through more than 30,000 feet of cardboard making the sets. We constructed 26 different rooms from scratch in a single warehouse and most of those were assembled as we were shooting other scenes, so literally the actors would be on the set on one side of the warehouse that we were shooting in, and on the other side the art department would be very silently working until they heard the first AV yell cut and then all manner of saws and glue guns and scissors and what have you would be madly at work trying to assemble the next set.”

Dave Made a Maze will be screening at the at the Village Pointe Cinema on Saturday, March 11 at 8:30pm. The Omaha film festival will continue until Sunday evening, March 12. To learn more about the film, visit davemadeamaze.com. For information about the Omaha Film Festival, visit omahafilmfestival.org.

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