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“Get Out Alive” gets it going in Lowville


Clay J. Dumaw has finally gotten out “Get Out Alive.”

The horror film, which debuts at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Lowville Town Hall Theater, consumed two years of the Carthage resident’s life.

“It’s had its insane ups and incredible lows,” Mr. Dumaw said.

Many of Mr. Dumaw’s acquaintances had doubts two years ago when he said he planned to make the movie. The 2007 graduate of Carthage Central School didn’t go to film school and lacked financial resources to fund a feature-length movie. He put his project on Kickstarter, an online funding platform for creative projects. A total of $1,443 was raised on the site. Mr. Dumaw put $5,000 of his own money into the project, while relatives and friends contributed the remainder of the film’s budget, which was $10,000 — $7,000 to shoot and $3,000 for post-production work.

“The most ‘up’ point was realizing people were going to give me money to do this,” Mr. Dumaw said. “The lowest point was realizing I had to follow through with it after that.”

The film references themes from horror films like “Friday the 13th,” “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” and “The Hills Have Eyes.” For his film, Mr. Dumaw worked on almost everything single-handedly, including concept art, storyboards, location scouting, budgeting and casting.

Carthage resident Tyler Sutton acted in “Get Out Alive” and is the film’s assistant director.

The movie, shot 90 percent in the Carthage area, concerns siblings Paul and Marilyn, who are driving home from their spring vacation. Their car breaks down and they find themselves stranded at a desolate truck stop. They eventually discover a strange creature is being held in a cage behind the local auto shop, and the shop’s mechanic, along with his assistant, plan on feeding them to it.

The monster in the film is mysterious. It doesn’t have a lot of screen time and when it does show up it’s largely in the shadows.

The film was shot over a 20-day period last year. Most of the cast doubled as crew. All were volunteers.

The rest of the cast consists of David Fichtenmayer as Paul; Rhiannon Roberts as Marilyn; David Iannotti as the mechanic; and Jay Storey as Earl. Jesse Maner was in charge of lighting and sound and also played “the redneck.” Jarad Hooge provided the voice of the creature. Original music is by Chris Fuller.

The overall look of his film, Mr. Dumaw said, mimics classic horror films of the 1980s made with low budgets. He wanted to put a fresh spin on those “B-movie” styles.

“They had that look because of the (budget) situation,” Mr. Dumaw said. “We kind of went with that. We realized we were almost in the exact same situation and if we got it in the right direction, we could pull it off.”

Following Thursday’s opening in Lowville, Mr. Dumaw plans to enter “Get Out Alive” at horror film festivals across the Northeast. If there’s enough interest, he will screen the film in Watertown at a site to be determined.

“I believe Clay has a lot of potential and look forward to see how far he takes it,” said Patrick O’Brien, owner of the Lowville Town Hall Theater.

Details of ‘Get Out Alive’ film
WHAT: Premiere of “Get Out Alive,” written, produced and directed by Carthage resident Clay J. Dumaw.
WHEN/WHERE: 8 p.m. Thursday at the Lowville Town Hall Theater, 5428 Shady Ave.
COST: Free.
LENGTH: 1 hour, 31 minutes.
OF NOTE: The film is for mature audiences and if given a rating by the Motion Picture Association of America, it would probably equal NC-17, Mr. Dumaw said.
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