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Big 'CGI' in a Low-Budget Film... Director A.K. Strom on 'The Watchers'
The CGI Revolution reaches the junior division

Contact: Pacific Features, 649-835-4978

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Jan. 15, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ -- When you think of Independent films, you do not usually think of large-scale CGI or space effects. But the director of a low-budget New Zealand film due for release this year aims to change that perception.

A.K. Strom, director of the upcoming Sci-Fi thriller 'The Watchers,' says that with the latest advances in camera technology and digital effects, it is now possible for even the smallest (sub-$1 million) 'indie' films to have spectacularly realistic CGI. And he believes it could revolutionize the industry.

His movie 'The Watchers', due for release in mid-2015, shows solar flares striking the earth and giant meteors raining down on the planet.

"The revolution in the cost of digital effects is really leveling the playing field," Strom says. "For Indies like us it is a dream."

The Watchers joins other recent films such as Chronicle (2012), Monsters (2010) and Iron Sky (2012) - all with relatively low budgets but also using CGI on a large scale. Without question Chronicle is the most successful of these - made for just $12 million, yet earning more than $126 million in worldwide box office receipts.

As a first-time feature director, Strom says he has to be very mindful of keeping the "indie" flavor of his film intact. "What this revolution does is enable us to compete on a certain visual level. But we have to keep the indie sensibility alive," he says. "It is still all about the story and the characters."

Strom says that shooting the movie in New Zealand - the location made famous by the 'Hobbit' films - is also helping greatly. "This place is a scenic wonderland," he says, "And when you are on a budget as low as this you need every advantage you can get. All we can hope is that the CGI and the 'indie' flavour and the New Zealand scenery all add up to bring the best out of what few resources we have."

The Watchers, an apocalyptic thriller, is scheduled for release in mid-2015.