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Documentary Street Date

225_chetzarThe “Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters” Documentary Street Date has been released, and we are excited to say that this is only part of the good news we have today! The official street date is March 8, 2016 for DVD, which means the long wait is finally over! For those who have been following the creation of I Like to Paint Monsters from inception to, now, distribution, the wait has been lengthy to say the least. Chet Zar and I agreed in March 2012 to begin pursing a Kickstarter, funds from which I would produce the documentary. Therefore, in total, it has been four years to the month! That is a long time to ask an audience to remain interested, yet what we have discovered is that the Zarmy is not shrinking, rather growing! 

I promised more good news, and I will adhere to my word. While you can certainly pre-order a copy of Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters through Amazon, or rent it on iTunes (release date to be forthcoming), you will also have the opportunity to receive a copy through a soon to be announced Kickstarter, which Chet is hosting! The copies that Backers will receive are from the very first replication order, and will be signed/numbered. More importantly though is not what you will get, but what this soon to be announced Kickstarter is about.


Last summer Chet and I began working on a Field Guide, if you will, to Chet’s Dark Universe. This will be your opportunity to enter the bizarre landscapes that Chet has channeled with his sketches, sculptures and paintings. You will be guided through the peculiar geography, culture, and creatures that inhabit a place not far removed from our own. You will see close-up sketches of accoutrements, landscapes and dwellings, and read about how this world works. Chet will be producing a great wealth of new material for the book, which will be available to Backers. The book will be filled with extensive explanations and footnotes authored by yours truly, detailing the more complex workings of this world, and its inhabitants! So stayed tuned for more news as we draw closer to a formal announcement!

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What documentary street date blog would be without information concerning the DVD bonus features? In addition to the eighty minute feature documentary, we have worked hand in hand with First Run Features to include much more, such as: Extended Interrogations, Chopping Block: Deleted Scenes, Rogue’s Gallery: The Art of Chet Zar, Behind the Scenes Featurette, Time-Lapses: The Creation of Six Chet Zar Paintings, and Official Trailer! The documentary is in english, but is open to all regions, so it can be enjoyed anywhere! We are very excited for the Zarmy to finally see the film, but also for the world to be exposed to the genius of Chet Zar! 

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Two Thousand Fifteen

2015gasmaskTwo thousand fifteen was an incredible year for I Like to Paint Monsters! We received our first print review in Hi-Fructose Magazine, and were encouraged by the responses we received from our friends, family and colleagues. We saw the documentary through its final three months of post production polishing, after which it premiered for a generous audience at the Paradise Artist Retreat in New Mexico. Shortly thereafter we began actively pursing a distribution deal, during which we received a wonderful print review in Tattoo Magazine, curtesy of artist Guy Aitchison. We also enjoyed some digital press with Bloody Disgusting and CHUD, followed by another print review in Rue Morgue

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Our second Southwest screening occurred at the “Albuquerque Film and Music Experience“, where a retrospective of Chet’s work was also on display. We successfully walked away with the “Guerrilla Marketing Award” and yet another audience that was profoundly impacted by the screening! 

Through major networking efforts we began a discourse with several production companies, and ultimately licensed with First Run Features, bringing us that much closer to our ultimate goal: getting the film out to you! Around this time Chet facilitated an intimate local screening of ILTPM at Der Wolfskopf in Pasadena, and while I wasn’t able to attend, it was apparent that Chet Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 4.34.12 PMhighly valued his experience, and similarly the packed house appeared entranced; as Chet told me, “For that eighty minutes it was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop”. I was, on the other hand, able to attend our other west coast screening, which occurred in tandem with Chet’s “Son of Conjoined” exhibit at the “Son of Monsterpalooza” convention. I can’t be sure, but it appeared to be the largest audience to date! 


The documentary touched down one final time in the Southwest at The Grid in Arizona for a “Doc & Rock”. Neither Chet nor I were able to attend this screening (the first of its kind), but our Brothers “With Our Arms to the Sun” (featured on the score) were there to enjoy the film, and then rock out for those in attendance. 

While preparing for our first east coast screening at the “Ithaca International Fantastic Film Festival” we were provided with an “Honorable Mention” award from the “SaMo Indie Fest” in Santa Monica – yet another surprise! The Ithaca Film Festival took very good care of us, and prepared a retrospective display of Chet’s work. Fortuitously, many Zarmy members rallied to meet us in this remote town for good times and Dark Art! 



Immediately upon returning from Ithaca, and really throughout the final three months of the year, the focus was on preparing for the eventual release of ILTPM. This meant decisions concerning a significant host of items, and a lot of work to prepare the bonus features for the DVD. Simultaneously, many of the rewards that Chet had been crafting for Kickstarter Backers were finally in the stages of completion. This translated to work doubling in an effort to get rewards out to Backers before Christmas, and meet our bonus features deadline! While we did meet our deadline, we did not get the rewards finalized and shipped before Christmas. 


For me, and I know for many people, Christmas time can be somewhat depressing (for a whole host of reasons), and this one has been no exception. I was flattened to hear that James Zar passed away somewhat rapidly as I was finalizing the bonus features. As I have come to love Chet and his entire family, I couldn’t help but be profoundly affected! But production cannot cease (just ask Chet) so I have soldiered on in my perennially optimistic way, and we are now on the cusp of a new year. We look forward to an early 2016 iTunes and DVD release (more info will be made available as we are able), and hopefully a warm reception by the many people who take the time to watch it! 

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In numerological terms the number 2016 would simply be added together to create a whole number between 1 and 9. So, 2+0+1+6 = 9, which translates to “spiritual rebirth” or completion of a cycle! May you complete your cycle and be spiritually reborn in the coming year; long live the Zarmy! 

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It is Too Mysterious

JamesJarAvailableThe phrase, it is too mysterious, could mean many things. It could connote a sensation of dread or one of elation. It could be a warning or an invitation. Today I think of the phrase in a contracted form, “It’s too mysterious”, and I do so as a result of death. Each culture deals with death in its own way, and respectively, each individual does the same. Death is quite mysterious, perhaps the ultimate mystery, and yet it is the inevitable event that we all must face. But that is not why “It’s too mysterious” makes me think of death today. In many ways death is a lifelong companion. Our own personal death is always right there, at our side, waiting for that moment when it can finally embrace us. This also is a mysterious concept, yet again, not exactly the reason for my writing. Today when I think of “It’s too mysterious” I think of a very specific painting.

James Zar - "It'sTooMysterious" - 24x30 © 2015

James Zar’s “It’s Too Mysterious” Oil Painting

You may be asking yourself why you are a paragraph deep in this article, and yet I find myself here with you, also wondering. Of course part of me knows why, and yet somehow part of me doesn’t. James Zar died earlier this week, and aside from being Chet Zar‘s stepfather, he was an incredible visionary artist. Jimmy, as I grew to know him, played an integral role in the creation of I Like to Paint Monsters, and similarly played a significant role in Chet’s life. Earlier this week as I sat at my editing suite, cutting together what would become the DVD bonus features, Jimmy was embarking upon his next journey – the same journey we will all take. I was keenly aware of what was occurring, and yet was required to remain focused on the task at hand, scrubbing over his interview footage in search of the proper outtakes to include. I was watching this beautiful man, his eyes sparkling as he discussed the things closest to his heart: his family, his life, and his passion for painting. Here, in front of me, breathing, smiling, and laughing. Elsewhere I knew his body was dying. I was not sad; I am rarely sad about death, but I was something. I simply could not put my finger on that something, perhaps it was too mysterious.

James Zar image © 2014 NRG Creations, Inc.

James Zar still-image from I Like to Paint Monsters

One of the reasons that I write, and perhaps one of the reasons that people read, is to “work things out”. The process of writing helps me to wrap my mind around concepts that would otherwise elude me. As I began writing the DVD Bonus Feature article on Friday I could not stop thinking about Jimmy. I felt an obligation to memorialize him, which I am sure results from my cultural conditioning. Another part me, the part that I guard from the onslaught of societal garbage, told me to leave it alone. “Why?” I inevitably asked. “I’m suppose to”, I insisted. I struggled as I wrote that article, a struggle with myself, and that smaller part of me won out with the word “sensationalism”. That part of me felt that writing about it in this venue, at that moment, was sensationalism. Right or wrong, I listened to it, as I have learned to turn a keen ear to my intuition. 

JamesZar, "Out on a Limb" © 2015

James Zar’s “Out on a Limb” Oil Painting

I realize now, having penned this article, that my intuition was protecting me. I was not emotionally prepared to write about it at the time. Death is funny like that. It often impacts the survivors in ways we would never imagine. Had I written about it on Friday I would have been giving it only 50%…shit who am I kidding, after 3 weeks of 14 hour days, 7 days a week editing, I would have been giving it 10%. Jimmy deserved better than that! Jimmy always gave it 100%, and I owed it to him to do the same. I come away from these several days with the reminder that everyone grieves differently, and I implore you to grieve in your own way! Do not look away from these difficult and sometimes ugly things, rather inspect them more closely. As usual I find myself sitting here alive, my own personal death just behind me, and all I can say is that it’s too mysterious! 

James Zar, Inner Forest, 19x16 © 2015

James Zar’s “Inner Forest” Oil Painting

 “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”
~ Mark Twain

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DVD Bonus Features

Chet Zar - Teen Collage © 2014 Chet Zar, LLC

Teenage Chet Zar Collage

The DVD Bonus Features have been the focus of the past several weeks, with every effort paid to quality and content. First Run Features has been supportive in allowing NRG Creations full creative license, which translates to amazing bonus features! No guarantees but it looks like we will be including more than an hour of additional material, including extended interviews, cutting room floor sequences, painting time-lapses, and a behind the scenes music video. As an independent filmmaker I value the creative integrity of my work above all else, and I find myself in the fortuitous position of working with First Run Features who similarly value the creative involvement of the filmmaker in the post production process. This is a dynamic that we have meditated on manifesting for several years now, so reaping the benefits is all the sweeter. For the Zarmy this is an assurance that both Chet Zar and I have overseen every stage of the packaging process, so you can be guaranteed enjoyment in exploring all of the Dark Art rabbit holes we have included. This situation has also presented us with the opportunity to pay homage to those interview subjects who either did not make the cut, or who were included, but only marginally.

Brian Smith still image © NRG Creations, Inc. 2014

Still image from I Like to Paint Monsters of artist Brian Smith

It has been very interesting to immerse myself, once again, in all of the I Like to Paint Monsters material, material which I have not revisited in many months. I am left with an overwhelming sentiment of hope as I listen to and watch the many interview subjects discuss a paradigm shift that is undoubtedly occurring. It seems to me that Dark Artists and fans alike are finding a way to bridge the gap of isolation through sharing darkness. What we all have in common is that we suffer, and we are afraid, and that very fact has the ability to either separate us further, or to drawn us nearer one another. It would seem that many people in this day and age are holding out for the latter, and this gives me great hope! Not only hope for each of us as individuals, but hope for our society.

"Death Mantis" and Trademarked Gas Mask Logo © 2015 Chet Zar, LLC

Still image from I Like to Paint Monsters of “Death Mantis” time-lapse

When things get heavy, and I find myself treading the dark lonely waters, I seek to act the way I want to feel. If I am feeling depressed, then simply by acting happy I engage chemicals and neural pathways that will lead towards a shift in my emotions. But it is not always so easy. Games also provide me an outlet for losing myself in a task which provides great gratification. So I will leave you with this Dark Egg Hunt, and hope that you enjoy it. This one is worth a Limited Edition Chet Zar postcard. Post your solution to the I Like to Paint Monsters FB page – first to succeed in solving the riddle WINS the prize (but really, everyone who tries wins)! 

Click the Pic

Go to www.iliketopaintmonsters.com

From Home page Navigate 2 to your right,

5 becomes 4 by solving this anagram: troll crash code —> join tone

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IIFFF Documentary Screening


The IIFFF Documentary Screening of Chet Zar: I Like to Paint Monsters went incredibly well, yet I am still reeling from the experience! Some journeys go smoothly, while others have a few road bumps. And then there are those that baffle even a seasoned traveler, simply because everything that can go wrong, does. This trip fell into that third category! Travel stories are rarely interesting enough to write about, but a few high points will help you to appreciate the conditions surrounding my first trip to New York. While making the two hour drive to the airport I discovered that my trusty phone had given up the ghost. For someone like me, certainly most people in the United States, not having access to your phone can be frustrating under normal conditions, like in the line at the grocery store, but not having it while traveling afar is much worse. Not only would I be deprived of music, camera (all pictures in this blog are stolen), text messages, social media, and Google’s incredible abilities at locating things, but also navigation and that most seldom used function: making phone calls. I further discovered that every connecting flight would be rerouted and I would be arriving quite late, and at a different airport than my ticket indicated. Scurrying about enormous airport terminals, nicotine deprived, and incapable of contacting my New York hosts or any friends and family members. Needless to say I made it, but my luggage did not. Now I suppose I could have been at odds with this experience, perhaps relying on a sense of entitlement to carry me angrily through the motions of my journey. Instead I harkened back to the great Gonzo of Journalism, Hunter S. Thompson, and told myself, “Buy the ticket, take the ride!” and in doing so allowed myself to be fully immersed in the present moment. I was not distracted by taking pictures, social media, or emails. I was not floating off in musical reverie, or searching my device for good places to eat. As a result of this seemingly negative turn of events I had been afforded an opportunity to be here now.


Senses heightened (perhaps from the smell of my now two day old clothes – remember no luggage) I joined Chet Zar and Ithaca International Fantastic Film Festival director, Hugues Barbier, at Cinemapolis in downtown Ithaca. Like most college towns, Ithaca has a lively downtown culture and great people watching, which I indulged while we rounded up Zarmy members Aaron Verity, Miles Parker, David Sherman, Kristy Cash, and Jonathan Silva, for the two o’clock screening. After briefly introducing the film we settled in for yet another ride on the I Like to Paint Monsters coaster. It is always interesting to see which parts of the film resonate emotionally with different crowds, and it is great when you can feel the audience responding to your film as you intended them to. This screening was no exception, and I was happy to be met by many new friends and colleagues outside Cinemapolis, who all expressed heartfelt appreciation for the subject and cadence of the film! Long time Zarmy member David Sherman even commented, “I didn’t think about a cigarette a single time, and that is a BIG deal man! That hasn’t happened since Fight Club!” (which if you know David IS really saying something). Next we adjourned to the exhibit of Chet’s artwork, which was nicely displayed with the works of other amazing artists such as Paul Gerrard.


Chet and I enjoyed a variety of films, including the bizarre three hour odyssey that is Possession (1981) from IIFFF‘s retrospective category, and The Invitation from the feature film category, which I wouldn’t be surprised to see on Netflix sometime soon. The closing ceremony included a screening of Moonwalkers with Ron Pearlman, which was a brilliant and hilarious psychedelic journey crashing into a classic “clock is running out” drama – yet another I expect to see distributed! After the ceremony, and now on the last day, my luggage arrived and I was finally able to get cleaned up and comfortable. 


Coming away from IIFFF I can say that it was not only a great opportunity to showcase the documentary and make inroads with publications like Fangoria, but also an opportunity to forge new friendships. The sense of comfort, ease and camaraderie with which people of all kinds and classes interacted at the event was inspiring and encouraging! It was such a great group of Dark Art enthusiasts, and I truly felt at home with them!

Now you might think, with my crazy travel experience on the way to Ithaca, that my trip home would be smooth…but such was not my fate. I will save that entire story for another time, but I am not exaggerating when I say that it took thirty six hours to get home, during which I drove through five blizzards on a ten hour rental car trip (yet another cancelled flight) from Colorado to New Mexico, and my luggage still did not arrive until two days later. Back home, reeling from the experience, but also recapitulating the wonders of my sideways journey to New York, I remind myself that as I drove to the airport on the first day of my trip I said to myself, as I always do, “If it’s in the greatest good of all things everywhere, allow me to have a Magickal experience”…and it definitely was!   



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Documentary Distribution

EgoDeath_48x36_webDocumentary distribution is now an inevitable reality! We recently licensed the documentary with First Run Features, which means I Like to Paint Monsters, the Chet Zar story, is one step closer to our viewing audience! I cannot divulge any specific release information, but what I can say is that early 2016 is looking possible. At this stage we are selecting Chet Zar imagery for movie posters and discussing promotional materials, such as trailers, as we prepare for the eventual release. There is much in the way of decision making between now and then – all of the gritty behind-the-scenes stuff that manifests in a downloadable viewing experience, as well as a disc to spin in your player!

I am so excited to be working with First Run Features, as I have followed their material for my entire adult life, and even mentioned to Chet (back in October 2012, upon completing the first Kickstarter) that I would be happy to have First Run Features carry our film. Now, three years later, that dream has become a reality! Therein lies the power of creative visualization and magickal manifestation, one of the core topics covered in the documentary. As noted by Bree Ogden (Bloody Disgusting), the documentary seeks to capture both Chet’s development as a person, and as a spirit, “It’s difficult to talk about this documentary because it’s so incredibly multifaceted. It’s a wonderful piece of film that takes the viewer through Chet’s life, to the impact he’s had on the art world (especially the world of Dark Art), to the way his art has impacted even himself.” (Bloody Disgusting, ILTPM Review)  

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In the meantime, while we finalize the stages necessary to bring about the release of the documentary, there are some upcoming screenings. If you are in the Pasadena area (CA) on Monday, October 26th, head over to Der Wolfskopf, grab some brew and catch a 7pm screening of I Like to Paint Monsters in the basement gallery! Chet Zar will be in attendance, so here is your chance to hang out with the Painter of Dark while watching the documentary about him. If you are in the Phoenix area (AZ) on Sunday, November 1st (perhaps you caught the Tool and Primus concert and will be staying another day), head over to The Grid in Mesa, AZ for an 8pm screening of I Like to Paint Monsters, followed by a With Our Arms to the Sun performance (they will have opened for Tool the previous night, Halloween) – “The Doc and Rock” duo! Finally, if you are in New York  for the weekend of Saturday, November 14th, you can catch both director Mike Correll and Chet Zar at the Ithaca Film Festival. Chet will have an exhibit opening on Friday 13th (running through Sunday), and I Like to Paint Monsters will be screening at 2pm on Saturday


We are honored and excited to move forward with the knowledge that the documentary will be in front of your eyes very soon! As always stay tuned to www.iliketopaintmonsters.com for all your ILTPM news needs, and give us a follow @ILk2PntMonsters on Periscope, with weekly updates and film outtakes! 

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LA Premiere of ILTPM


Last week was the LA Premiere of ILTPM for “Son of Monsterpalooza“, and what an incredible event it was! You never really know how those kinds of events are going to transpire. You move into them with your intent affixed on what you would like to see – you rally and focus your efforts on working towards that vision – so it was quite gratifying to have such a successful screening! When we arrived on Thursday night to drop of I Like to Paint Monsters I was afforded a rare opportunity to see the “Son of Conjoined” exhibit prior to its public opening. I had imagined, in my mind’s eye, a relatively small exhibit but was surprised to see an expansive array of incredible artwork, both sculptural and two dimensional! After perusing the mutilated monster heads, glass encased curiosities, paintings and drawings, I gravitated to Chet Zar’s “Hearbroken” head, which I watched him produce (via social media) during a grueling eighteen day process, but had never seen in person. As is the case with all of IMG_4184Chet’s work, pictures do not do justice! Heartbroken is incredibly detailed and impressively large. My initial reaction was to seize it and pick it up, yet I respectfully requested such an honor prior to doing so. With permission, and a fair warning concerning the paint on the ears, I hefted the bulky thirty-five pound head and immediately set about having my cowboy hat set atop the wrinkled crown. After several shots were snapped Chet took control and positioned me in a better location, so that he could encourage and capture my ridiculous performance. Of course mischief and mayhem ensued, and good times were had by all! 

Mike does the Humpty Dance.

A post shared by Chet Zar (@chetzar) on


The following day we arrived at Son of Monsterpalooza prior to the public opening, and spent a good deal of time at Chet’s booth, chatting with Zarmy members and selling Chet merchandise. The screening wasn’t until nine at night, so we kept our fingers crossed that people would stay for I Like to Paint Monsters. Shortly before the screening began “RIP The Undertaker” arrived and began ushering excited fans, friends and colleagues into the theatre, handing out skeleton candy and grinning maniacally. At Chet’s request we sat nearer the back than we have previously, and were accompanied by many Zarmy members, both old and new, including Stan DarkArt who makes a guest appearance in the film. The theme song for the documentary was created, performed and recorded by the incredible band, “With Our Arms to the Sun“, so it was exciting knowing that band leader Josh Breckenridge was in attendance for his first full-screen experience of the documentary. After I briefly introduced the film for a nearly full room of attendees, we buckled in for another ride on the ILTPM roller coaster, and I was both pleased and encouraged 12027756_1654190631494283_7935818608176723945_nto watch the audience react to the film as it played out! After the credits rolled (with everyone staying through them to hear RIP’s Ego Death delivery), we held a nice Q&A and mingled with our new friends. Cake was had by all, as it was Gary Pressman’s birthday (Copro Gallery). Long time Zarmy member and incredible tattoo artist Brett Herman stayed late to discuss the film, and we were joined by Conjoined contributor and artist Michael Whitlock, who arrived with Ketmanee Whitlock, bearing gifts!

The experience was powerful, so the fifteen hour drive home allowed me an opportunity to meditate on where the documentary started, where it has been, and where it is going. As the road scrolled by in a blur of black punctuated by yellow flashes, and we moved into the desolate deserts of the Mojave, I was struck with a sense of calm and time became malleable. I know this place, this present moment, this now, and so I immersed myself deeply as the sun glinted upon my windshield, throwing rainbows in my eyes. Back home now and we are moving briskly closer to a distribution deal, with more to come on the next blog, so stay tuned for future developments!    



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Chet Zar Documentary Reviews

IMG_3580The Chet Zar Documentary reviews are piling up, with recent mention in CHUD.com, Tattoo Magazine, Rue Morgue and Bloody Disgusting. We are also honored that Clive Barker took time to review I Like to Paint Monsters! Our goal has always been to create a multi-dimensional film, that works biographically, inspirationally, and philosophically – precisely why we are so pleased by Bree Ogden‘s words, “I Like To Paint Monsters: The Chet Zar Story, directed by Mike Correll and produced by NRG Creations, isn’t just about an insanely talented man in the Dark Art movement, but about his journey to understand the world through his innate desire to create what many would perceive as darkness, but what is, in actuality, lightness.” (Bloody Disgusting) The review is thorough and in-depth, granting readers an opportunity to see I Like to Paint Monsters through Bree’s eyes, if only for several minutes, “It’s difficult to talk about this documentary because it’s so incredibly multifaceted. It’s a wonderful piece of film that takes the viewer through Chet’s life, to the impact he’s had on the art world (especially the world of Dark Art), to the way his art has impacted even himself.” (Bloody Disgusting) She concludes her investigative recap of the documentary with equal grace, “Everything about this documentary makes the viewer ask: “What goes into making an artist, an artist?” Though we’ll never know what makes each artist tick, I Like To Paint Monsters shows us exactly what makes the cogs turn in Chet Zar’s mind.” (Bloody Disgusting)

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Equally exciting has been our mention in Rue Morgue, “While director Mike Correll keeps the focus trained on Zar’s artistic journey by interviewing his family, friends and collaborators, including Alex Grey of Tool fame, his camera also captures some of the mystery behind Zar as a person. There’s a sense of spirituality, paranormal influence and oddly-timed divine interventions at constant play in the artist’s life.” (Rue Morgue Issue #159) As some of you may know, Chet Zar has worked with Clive Barker, so when Chet asked Barker to take a look at the documentary, he was more than happy, and afterwords said that I Like to Paint Monsters is “An inspiring and important film.” Similarly, CHUD.com closed their review with the following, “I cannot recommend I Like To Paint Monsters enough. It is one of the most insightful, inspiring and sincere documentaries I have ever seen, and it is absolutely one of my favorite films of 2015 so far.” (CHUD.com) Last but certainly not least, world renowned tattoo artist and painter Guy ColorPoster_Quotes_SmallAitchison penned an article for Tattoo Magazine concerning the screening of I Like to Paint Monsters at the Paradise Artist Retreat, and had this to say, “I expected the film to be both interesting and visually beautiful – which it definitely delivered – but I hadn’t expected it to be so moving and thought-provoking, with Correll’s deft hand catching something subtle about Chet’s art and life that I think we can all relate to.” (Tattoo Magazine Issue #311) We are humbled and honored to have so much corroboration, both from professionals and our many friends! Thank you again for supporting the Chet Zar documentary, and please stay tuned for future details concerning a release date!    

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ABQfilmX Featuring Chet Zar

IMG_3568ABQfilmX featuring Chet Zar and “I Like to Paint Monsters” (ILTPM) in Albuquerque, New Mexico was a huge success! As many of you know by now, the documentary was featured at the Historic KiMo theatre this past weekend as a part of the Albuquerque Film and Music Experience, which also happened to be our first film festival for the 2015 circuit. What better way to begin our film festival journey than in the epicenter of the “Hollywood of the Southwest”, where director Mike Correll and artist Chet Zar were greeted by endless hospitality and warm welcomes from the entire ABQfilmX team (special nods to Executive Director Ivan Wiener and Filmmaker Liaison Lori Berman)! While we couldn’t attend the week long experience, throughout which Chet’s artwork was on display at the Hyatt Regency ABQ, we were able to enjoy the display at the KiMo where it had been relocated for the ILTPM screening. 11391266_10205612025317587_7901989526585450176_nArriving at the KiMo on Saturday, June 6th we found many of Chet’s paintings lining the intricately decorated facade of the KiMo interior, which dates back to 1929, and is simply awe inspiring! The sculpted cow skulls with glowing red eyes peering from the ceiling seemed perfectly married with Chet’s leering and tortured monsters. After a hustle to get Chet’s merchandise booth set up (many thanks to ILTPM publicist Patrick Richter), during which the NRG Creations street team (headed by ILTPM apprentice Amanda Rose) papered the town, our group filed in to the theatre for our first High Definition screening of the documentary. It was encouraging to see the theatre filling up, and even more exciting to share the screen with the dark, short film “Death Spell Omega”. Throughout the ITLPM screening the tension of high emotion held the theatre in a state of suspension – gasps, 11390123_10205612025157583_8382143221602073241_nlaughs and even tears mingled as the story unfolded, building to the final crescendo. After the Q&A Chet settled in for a lengthy book signing, while Mike and NRG Creations Vice President Joy Correll discussed the film with many new and old Zarmy members in front of the KiMo theatre. The overall sentiment was one of feeling less isolated and more connected with other likeminded people, coupled with a sense of possibility and potentiality – certainly the sensations the film hopes to inspire! 11253890_10205255284955332_3250643773050895665_nWith a successful HD screening under their belts, a “Guerrilla Marketing Award” in their hands, and many new connections fostered, Chet and Mike headed to NRG Creations Studios in Northern New Mexico to begin the footwork for a soon to be announced project; Chet had this to say to the Facebook Zarmy, “Everything I have created for the last 15 years has been prep work for what is to come”! Many thanks to each and every one of you for supporting ILTPM, and suffice to say that this is only the beginning! For those of you who were unable to attend this screening, we are currently adding new venues to our circuit, including a 9:00pm September 18th screening for “Son of Monsterpalooza”, and the Ithaca Film Festival in November; stay tuned for further developments.    11401246_399393303580531_4995554254670667962_n

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Film Festival Screening

ILTPM-11x17-poster-RWB-2The first film festival screening of I Like to Paint Monsters is scheduled for the Albuquerque Film and Music Experience, showing at the KiMo Theatre, June 6th, 2015 at 4:00pm! Join artist Chet Zar and filmmaker Mike Correll for this exciting event! As many of you know, we are touring the film festival circuit in search of a distribution deal, which has a multitude ramifications. First and foremost, while on the film festival circuit we are limited in our ability to share I Like to Paint Monsters with the Zarmy. There are many guidelines, rules and regulations that govern the official selection process for film festival submissions, and they are limiting in nature. While we can screen the documentary privately and securely for professionals, or at no cost for a public audience, we cannot produce DVD’s or expose the documentary online. I know this is frustrating for many Zarmy members, as we have amassed a cumulative following of nearly 60K over the past three years, both during our Kickstarter campaigns and through Social Media outlets, many of whom are chomping at the bit. This sacrifice should poise I Like to Paint Monsters for selection in many film festivals, both domestic and international, throughout mid and late 2015. We will continue to inform you of further selections and screenings dates/times/locations as they are communicated to us.  Needless to say, a successful distribution deal with a larger corporation, or subsidiary of a larger corporation, will ensure a much greater reach, which has always been the intent. As much as we want to please our fans, our goal is to get the I Like to Paint Monsters message out to the masses, which again requires select U.S. city openings, mass DVD production, and streaming online. The goal is, and has always been, to open the worlds’ eyes to the artwork and philosophies of Chet Zar! We have already begun receiving many incredible reviews, both in print, in person at our free premiere screening for the Paradise Artist Retreat, and now through private screenings with professionals and colleagues. Goli Mohammadi of Hi-Fructose Magazine recently wrote, “Chet’s life story is strange and engaging, much like his artwork. That explains why filmmaker Mike Correll set out to make a documentary film about him. Aptly titled I Like to Paint Monsters, this eighty-minute homage is not only as textured as Chet’s paintings, but perhaps also as real and unexpected.” In a recent email chain we received a wonderful review from a friend and film industry professional, “I love it Chet!! Full of honesty and sincerity. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!”, and another from a mutual colleague, “You did AFME_Glow_Laurelssuch a great job, and I really feel like I know the guy and I have never met him”. Much like Mohammadi’s final sentence in Hi-Fructose (referring to Chet), “By the end of the documentary, you’ll be ready to get in line for that hug”, the responses thus far are ubiquitous. No doubt I’m both encouraged and proud of these high compliments after enduring years of production on I Like to Paint Monsters, but more importantly I believe they speak measures of the potential of I Like to Paint Monsters.       “There’s so much suffering going on in the world that I can’t make art that doesn’t reflect it in some way. Dark art honors Suffering.” ~ Chet Zar  

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