The Bumdog School of Film
Run Time: 180 min. Format: DCP Release Year: 2023
“Ignorance. Sheer ignorance. There’s no confidence that can equal it. Like all great men who are masters at their craft, he told me right at the outset that there was nothing about camera work that I couldn’t learn in half a day.”
In 2004, four years before the DLSR revolution, and 7 years before iPhone video capabilities, at a time when “making a film” was beyond the comprehension of anyone not directly involve in the movie industry. A self proclaimed “career homeless bum” sleeping in a parking lot in pre-gentrified Downtown Los Angeles, became convinced he could make a feature length narrative film with absolutely no resources or even a roof over his head.
This is when Bumdog Torres, despite having no knowledge of filmmaking, never seriously looking through a camera before, having zero connections or organizational skills, armed with a 7th grade education, and a budget of $2.79 in his pocket, began a 3 year odyssey to do what everyone warned him was going to be impossible: make a feature film while homeless on the streets.
“Trying to make a feature film with nothing was a real adventure.” Bumdog says of it. “When most people hear the word ‘adventure’, they think of something like “Star Wars”. But I found out the ‘adventure’ of making a movie is more like “Requiem for a Dream”. With the addictive highs of manic optimism. And the endless crashings of reality, like the ground rushing up to smash you in the face.”
By 2007 he completed his 2 1/2 hour epic “Sketches of Nothing by a Complete Nobody”. It is a film considered unwatchable by the vast majority of people who have tried to watch it. However he achieved what few dreamed of and fewer still ever attempted. And he came away from it with a truly unique experience and knowing that he, unlike so many others, had made his mark on the world.
In 2016 Bumdog began producing film tutorials to prove that basic film esthetics could be learned in a few hours. They garnered a couple of thousand views on the internet, but after the first few he lacked the resources to continue. 7 years later he was approached by Brain Dead Studios to put those tutorials to use by conducting classes on how to make DIY movies.
The purpose of these classes will not be just to teach film grammar. But to learn the great value of the experience of making a movie. The personal growth and adventure of pure creation. And the importance of knowing afterward that you made your mark on the world…even if it’s just a stain.
Admission: FREE (Hint, Hint USC)
“It was great. I’ve worked in film for 27 years and learned more today than I ever got before! Thanks for the lessons and inspiration! I look forward to the next one! Many people can benefit from this great teacher.” Emma Fairley Production Designer “Mrs. Davis”
“I always say ‘if my homeless friend Bumdog Torres can make films, what’s your excuse?’ Caught his school today at Brain Dead Studios and he put my old film history professors to shame with his vast knowledge. I highly recommend you check it out next time he does one. Keep up the great work.” Mars Roberge d irector “Scumbag”, “Mister Sister”, “Stars” and “The Little House That Could”
“Robert McKee watch out!” Jeff Gilbert award winning film editor “Boys State”, “Extremis” and “The Rachel Divide”
“You’ve showed me elements that I’ve never seen all cut together. I think that every film student should see it. Lays out so many issues in a clear and cogent fashion.” Rick Wilkinson multi Emmy Award winning Director/Writer/Producer
“Man that was amazing. It was incredible seriously.” David Charles Rodrigues “After Auschwitz” “Gay Chorus Deep South”
“I learned a great deal from Bumdog. I wish they taught me this at AFI!” Deryn Warren director “Black Magic Woman” “Dead of Night”