About The Film

Dead Weight is an independent film produced in central Wisconsin throughout the course of 2011, and released in March 2012. It tells the story of Charlie Russell, traveling the wilderness in the wake of an apocalyptic viral outbreak, in search of his girlfriend, Samantha. As his journey brings him closer to his destination of Wausau, WI, he must face physical exhaustion, malicious survivors, and perhaps most menacing, his own emotional burdens. With his newfound traveling companions Charlie must attempt to find attempt to break his obsessions with the past. He must learn to let it go.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


At this very moment co-writer/co-director John Pata and lead actor Joe Belknap are at Days Of The Dead in Indianapolis, IN, where we have a vendor table to promote Dead Weight. Since poor ol’ me can’t make it to as many of these events as I’d like to I decided I should get around to something both John and I have been terribly neglectful of.

At the end of March we held the public premiere of Dead Weight at the Time Community Theater in downtown Oshkosh. We must apologize for the lack of a formal post recapping that unbelievable weekend. And when I say unbelievable, I mean it in the truest, most sincere terms. Those screenings were—without a doubt—two of the best evenings of our lives. After two and a half years of work, worry, and stress, we were finally able to show you what we were so proud of.

Thank you. If you were there, if you interviewed us leading up to the film, or if you reviewed it afterwards, then we are deeply grateful to you for your support. Even if you weren’t able to make it to the screenings, but still supported us on our journey, thank you. The premiere was an unbelievable release of energy that had been building up for two and a half years. A day we sometimes thought would never actually come. During production we almost reached this point where we stopped even just thinking about the premiere, because the road ahead and the work to do was so terribly daunting. Thoughts of completion would only result in awful anxiety attacks.

The entire weekend back in March could be summarized as simply overwhelming. There was too much to fully take in and absorb. I wish I could’ve recorded every conversation I had that night, every handshake or hug that took place, so I could relive it all the way it was. Thankfully we had Mary Manchester, our still photographer, along on Friday night taking photos of cast and crew, and our friend Dave Wasinger on Saturday to do the same. If I’ve been able to just once overcome my awful memory and chisel a single permanent lesson into my brain, it’s that I will inevitably forget the magical moments of a special occasion. I should do anything possible to make sure there is documentation to call back upon. There have been more than a few crap days made better by revisiting those premiere weekend photos.

Beyond my own emotional reaction to the weekend, it was also a huge success for everyone involved. We sold out both Friday and Saturday screenings, 408 seats each night. That is huge, and we are still in disbelief that it went so well. That is the first time in 15 or 20 years that a film has sold out the old Theater in downtown Oshkosh. We could not have been happier to see everyone there to support what is truly a Wisconsin grown independent film.

Although the premiere marked the end of one enormous step in the process, and saw the Dead Weight family finally able to share their work, it also marks the beginning of a new phase. Promotion. As I mentioned, John and Joe are at one convention this weekend. We’ve also taken part in the Philly Comic Con, Fright Night Film Fest in Louisville, KY, and Art All Night Film Festival in Trenton, NJ. We have some other conventions and film fests to announce in the very near future, please stay tuned for updates on those.

We’ve also seen a flood of incredible reviews come through from websites and magazines worldwide. The feedback has been incredible, beyond anything we had hoped for. If you haven’t read some of the reviews, please check out a few of the links below. Just beware of spoilers if you have not seen the film yet.

We think you’ll enjoy some photos from the weekend, whether or not you were with us for the premiere. The happiness felt by so many members of the Dead Weight family should be apparent below. We hope you enjoy them, because you can be certain we enjoyed every moment they captured.

Thank you, endlessly and most sincerely. Thank you for helping us see this production through to completion. We’re just getting started.

Click the "read more" link below in order to view a bunch of fun photos.