This past year Band has expanded his production schedule of quality sci-fi/horror direct-to-video films at his flagship company, Full Moon Features. He's also found time to release CINEMAKER, a comprehensive six DVD instructional kit which shows would be filmmakers how to make, market and distribute their work while bringing their projects in on time and within budget.
|In an industry where
success is often measured by the impact of a single project,
Charles Band has sustained a remarkable track record
over the past twenty-five years. With nearly two hundred fifty
films under his belt, the Chairman and Founder of Full Moon
Universe has entered the new millennium with guns blazing and
shows no signs of slowing down.
Band is, according to the Los Angeles Times, the "leader of the pack" among distributors of movies that debut directly on home video. Among his greatest hits are the hugely popular PUPPET MASTER and SUBSPECIES vampire series.
Band, the son of lauded veteran producer/director/writer Albert Band, literally grew up on the sets of his father's movies in and around Rome during the Italian cinematic renaissance of the 1960's. "My earliest memories are of being on film sets and locations with my father," Band says. "It was like being inside a toy factory." He began learning his craft at an unusually early age, taking on every job he could commandeer, whether on a spaghetti western or sword and sandal epic. "I learned firsthand how the fantasies were put together."
By the time he was a
teenager, Band's short subjects were being shown as openers for Andy
Warhol films in Italian art cinemas. In 1975, at age 21, he produced
his first film, Mansion Of The Doomed, an unheard of feat at that
time. It starred newcomer Lance Henriksen (TV's Millennium). In the
early 80's, he produced and directed a pair of features in the "new"
3-D format: Metalstorm for Universal Studios and Parasite for Avco Embassy. Parasite
premiered special effects by future Academy Award winner, Stan
Winston, and starred a very
Moore . Parasite featured special effects by the now
famous Stan Winston. Winston molded a replica
of the left ear of Freddy Moore -
who appeared in the film as Arn - When Arn's ear is chopped
off it flops around in the dirt spurting blood! Freddy Moore
and the rock group Boy supplied
the song Show A Little
Emotion to the Parasite soundtrack.
As a spin-off from Media Home Entertainment, Band
formed Radioactive Records, putting Bob Lefsetz in
charge, and signed Boy to a
recording contract. The EP Boy -
Next Door (1983) was produced by famed L.A.
Later Freddy Moore
and the rock groups Boy and Nu
Kats supplied several songs to the film Scarred
(executive producer - Charles Band) Band began back then what would become a very distinguished track record of discovering exceptional new talent.
In 1977, when no one in the industry shared his vision that home video was "the shape of things to come", Band founded media Home Entertainment, a company that became one of the original independent video distribution operations in America. His foresight and unwavering commitment to this marketplace helped pave the way for the colossal home video boom to come.
In the decade since he founded Full Moon, Band has created a science fiction/horror/fantasy empire that enjoys the envious position of instant label recognition. In thousands of home video stores across America, Full Moon product has its own shelf or section. Band's films have been translated and shown around the world. Customers ask for the studio's product by label and the growing legions of Full Moon fans generate upwards of 500 letters per week.
To keep up with Full Moon's ever expanding fan base, Band has created a dedicated interactive division which oversees the company's website: FullMoonDirect.com.
In a highly competitive marketplace that usually supports less than 10,000 units per title for genre films, Full Moon titles regularly surpass the 25,000 mark. With Full Moon action figures, T-shirts, caps and other merchandise selling at a brisk pace, Full moon is at the center of an ever growing universe whose appetite is as limitless as it is diverse.
Says Band of the company's enviable position, "Every film we make has the potential to become a series in the way that old radio serials or television series are created. If the pilot works, we make more. At the same time, we shoot all of our features with an eye toward high definition and interactive and digital technologies. We intend to create films in anticipation of any of the newly emerging distribution channels, such as the Internet and beyond."
As Full Moon continues
to expand, diversify and succeed, fans of the studio can continue to
expect the unexpected. Charles Band wouldn't have it any other
The son of director Albert Band
the Living Charles
Band grew up on a diet of comic books and genre
thrillers while living in Rome, where his father was working. His
first films were experimental shorts; he produced his first feature
film Mansion of the Doomed 1977) when he was
still in his 20s. A visionary of B budgets, he founded Media
and was a pioneer in the home-video field,
producing films like Crash! (1977) and Laserblast (1978) that had some theatrical
release but were designed to be video fodder.
Band directed the 3-D horror film Parasite (1981)
Moore. Parasite featured special effects by the now
famous Stan Winston. Winston molded a replica of the left ear
Moore- who appeared in the
film as Arn -
When Arn's ear is chopped off it flops around in the dirt
Moore and the rock groupBoy supplied the song Show
A Little Emotion to the Parasite
As a spin-off
from Media Home Entertainment, Band formed Radioactive Records,
Lefsetz in charge, and signedBoy to a recording
contract. The EP Boy Next Door
(1983) was produced by
famed L.A. Songwriter/GuitaristMark
Later Freddy Moore and the rock groupsBoy andNu
several songs to the film Scarred
(executive producer - Charles Band)
Eventually Band sold Media Home
Entertainment - Radioactive Records and returned to directing with a 3-D
genre picture, Metalstorm: The
Destruction of Jared-Syn (1983). That same year he founded
Empire Entertainment and produced a series of medium- to low-budget
films, often shot in Italy: The
Dungeonmaster(1985), EliminatorsGhost Warrior (aka Swordkill
Zone Troopers and the Stuart Gordon
films From Beyond and Dolls (all 1986). His Empire empire
collapsed in the late 1980s, but he bounced back with a new company
called Full Moon Entertainment, which produces a steady stream of
home-video product for Paramount. The films rarely employ name
actors or directors, concentrating instead on a crisp, big-budget
"look" (thanks to expert cinematographers); most of them are aimed
at the teenage-to-early-20's market. Band has created series from
some of his more successful films, including Trancers (1985, aka Future
Cop Puppetmaster (1989), Dollman (1991), and Subspecies (1991). (Several of
these films feature tiny, doll-sized menaces, apparently one of
Band's pet subjects.) He occasionally directs, sometimes in
collaboration with his father, as on Dr. Mordrid (1992). A
master marketer who modeled himself on Marvel Comics maestro Stan
Lee, Band also started including on each Full Moon cassette
"Videozone" behind-the-scenes shorts on the making of the films just
screened, often introducing them himself.