Oct. 24 2012 12:00 AM

Local found-footage horror movie makes national debut

Although the perennial “Paranormal Activity” franchise seems to be running out of steam, the trend in found-footage movies seems to be hitting high gear. Accordingly, a group of local filmmakers has joined the fray with their low-budget horror movie, “Cut/Print,” which debuts in a limited run nationwide on Tuesday. 

It includes showings at two local theaters, and the filmmakers think it has a good chance of standing out from the crowd. 

“I recently tried to scare my kids with ‘Paranormal Activity 2,’ but good lord,” says Jeff Burton, one of the producers of “Cut/Print.” “What a boring movie. There was nothing inventive about it whatsoever. It made me realize there’s plenty of room out there for a well-made found-footage horror movie.” 

Found-footage movies are shot with hand-held or security cameras and presented as if the film was simply discovered. “Cut/Print” was shot four years ago in locations around St. Johns and Detroit, picking up on Michigan’s legacy that was abandoned 30 years ago. 

“This is the best independent movie shot in Michigan in this budget range since the original ‘Evil Dead’ shot here in 1981” says Burton, 43. “And I’ve only seen 80 percent of it. I’m seriously impressed with how this thing looks.”

The plot of “Cut/Print” consists of a group of filmmakers who offer a serial killer anonymity in exchange for sharing his snuff films with them — macabre stuff. Burton says the film cost $500,000 to produce, making it the biggest budget he’s had to work with since he started making films in 2001. He has since written, directed or produced about a dozen movies, and worked on the set of some bigger budget movies, including “Scream 4,” which shot in Detroit two years ago. 

“Cut/Print” was directed by Nathaniel Nose, a Lansing-based actor (and winner of several Pulsars for his work on local stages) who resides in Los Angeles. During the post-production process, Randy Godwin, the actor playing the movie’s villain, committed suicide. Burton says that a portion of all profits will be donated to a suicide prevention center.  

Oct. 30-31
Midnight at Lansing Mall Cinema 
921 Mall Drive, Lansing
9:30 p.m. & midnight at NCG Eastwood Cinemas
2500 Showtime Dr., Lansing