Copyright 2013 Laurelton Media

Cold and drenched, independent filmmaker Matt Howe stands knee deep in mud, surrounded by junked cars, trash heaps and filthy porta-potties. A 40 pound camera crushes his shoulder. He’s put in 16 straight hours, and he still has a tank battle and jeep explosion to shoot. Another long, miserable night stretches toward infinity.

Welcome to hell.

Film Is Hell is the story of one man’s journey into the dark underbelly of the low-budget action film business. A film school grad struggling to find his way, Howe faces a freakish brush with death that changes his life, compelling him to pursue his life-long ambition of making independent feature films. When Sultan Films, New York’s lowest of the low-budget production companies, offers him the opportunity to write, produce and shoot for them, he jumps at the chance and plunges head first into the frantic world of no-money filmmaking.

Scamming their way on board nuclear submarines, hanging precariously out of biplanes, getting run over by tanks, braving cattle stampedes, and infiltrating Navy SEAL exercises, the Sultan crew believes that no cheat is too bold, no scheme too insane, if the result is great footage. For a young, outlaw filmmaker like Howe, it’s the thrill of a lifetime.

But the dream has a dark side—bastardized scripts, bad acting, cheap sets, rain, mud, cold, cow dung, and spirit-crushing 20-hour work days. Again and again, Howe is forced to sacrifice quality on the altar of budget and time constraints, each compromise tearing away another chunk of his soul. Before long, he finds himself stuck in a cinematic quagmire, unable to escape. But Howe harbors a dark secret—a horrific truth he refuses to admit, even to himself. Despite the pain and suffering, the endless waits for his hard work to pay off, the mounting depression and desperation, part of him loves it and hungers for more.

Irreverent, edgy and brutally honest, Film Is Hell exposes the outrageous world of low-budget action filmmaking at its most extreme.

Film Is Hell

How I Sold My Soul to Make the Crappiest Movies in History

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