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Movie Preview: Birdemic: Shock and Terror!

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James Nguyen first saw The Birds in junior high. It scared the hell out of him then, and it still does now. He hopes you'll be just as frightened by his new film Birdemic: Shock and Terror, which the writer/director/producer/casting-agent/everything-under-the-sun describes as a "great homage" and "modern take" on Alfred Hitchcock's classic. How great? Nguyen returned to some of the same locations in Northern California, and enlisted friend Tippi Hedren (who also appeared in his previous film Julie & Jack) for a cameo. How modern? As its name implies, Birdemic tackles fears of avian flu, environmentalism, organics and sanitation betwixt its tale of feathered terrors. Birdemic also beefs up the birds, mutating Hitchcock's songbirds and seagulls into swarms of CG vultures and eagles. That explode. This ain't your daddy's romantic thriller!

That Birdemic even exists is a small miracle, and a testament to Nguyen's dedication to his craft. Filmed over a period of 4 years, Nguyen wedged Birdemic shoots in Northern California in-between shuttles to Hollywood for business deals and a 40-hour work week back in Silicon Valley. He still hustles up and down the state, financing his filmmaking through a day-job as a software salesman. He's the first to admit "it's tough" to produce films on such a schedule, but the bold filmmaker is never afraid to "work with what [he] has". The scale of his production can't compete with Hollywood (or Direct-to-Vidywood), and some may scoff at the film's outrageous trailer, but that's really not the point. Nguyen is a true auteur, and Birdemic is his passion project. The only word he used more often than "lucky" to describe it was "love".