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Iron Sky

Early 2009, I was so ecstatic for that original Iron Sky trailer, that I hunted down Timo Vuorensola and interviewed him. At the time I was Managing Editor for a small media blog called, where I had been proactively contributing interviews, reviews and news stories for a couple of years, growing the site for its owner Gary Rodrigue to the point where I was overseeing a roster of a baker’s dozen. I especially loved my interviews, with my first for that site also being the first one granted by cartoonist Sam Henderson in almost 7 years. I put tremendous consideration into the talks, never wanting them to be adverts for any singular thing but rather a retrospective of careers in progress, with attentions to their personal philosophies, their politics and religion. I viewed the articles as co-owned by myself and their respective subjects, and for years toyed with collecting the better hundred or so as some eBook-equivalent to a coffee-table book. Notes Shared By Starving Artisans For How Not To Go Loony or something to that effect. I also maintained a personal blog, the nilskidoo, which was begat on myspace in the mid-oughts and continued on Google’s blogger for several years. Wherever my writing appeared in those years I found cause to write about the Iron Sky film.

And this is why. The team behind Iron Sky are releasing a new documentary next month, about the trials and tribulations of independent film-making through their own unique lens, which prompts this particular go at memory lane.

Timo and I mostly talked about things other than Iron Sky, as the film was yet in production. We talked about the zombie blog he used to share with his lady, the death metal band he provided vocals for, and craziness that went into and came about from Starwreck, his debut feature. I think being a nobody who reached out from so far away should have revealed me as being of little value, but I suspect managing to pull up so much research about him and his work so fastly left a mark. And so afterwards he would invite me to join Wreckamovie, the belated platform of crowd-sourced, international film-making sponsored by Energia, which was the production company of predominately FX-specialists that Timo shared his banner with. Wreckamovie was a great idea stocked by some diverse personalities. We all would joke how it was the most melodrama-free zone on the web. Many of us also kept simultaneous accounts on BlipFM, communicating with music in between brainstorms or stormbrains. Though at the time working as live-in security for a weekly motel here in KY, I consulted and researched on a number of indie films throughout my months at Wreckamovie, contributing on Iron Sky itself enough to land my name in the closing credits.

The only other film I recall now was for a German zombie production, where I created backstories for 7 or 8 different characters, which thrilled the project leaders so much they planned on including me as a co-writer, although I don’t think the film ever made it to life. I’d say most of the projects at Wreckamove stalled out at various stages, but not for lack of trying. While I have never been interested in being a film-maker myself, or working directly within any creative industry for that matter, I could not delve so deeply into unearthing the ideologies of our world without crossing paths with a great many daydreamers along the way. Our passions may have been different, but these dreams were release valves for the daily burdens perpetually dominating most of our time, energy and resources. My own dance card was full, as I pulled 118-hour work weeks each and every week at that motel. Yet I was prolific as hell with the freelancing, holding off on the mental and physical exhaustion as successfully as I somehow existed without sleep itself, for years on end. No matter the day or time there was just always someone at Wreckamovie who needed or wanted an ear to run ideas by, someone asking for fact-checking, or for critique or reassurance either one.

The basic setup was essentially message boards, like the chat rooms of old, where any member could pitch in on any project at anytime. The projects came from efforts mostly across Europe, but scattered about the globe, and many of the creators involved in Iron Sky in whichever capacity also frequented Wreckamovie and helped out with the assorted projects. Some would be in the basic stages, just linking together random points of interests, the set, setting and dosage. Other efforts at Wreckamovie would be much further along in production, putting out calls for very specific needs. Extras could kill an afternoon if the timing were right. Special effects hobbyists could find paying gigs hand-crafting prosthetics to ship off to Australia or wherever. Cooks could share recipes for budget-conscious survival grub. Producers could find active productions to help back and schedule drivers and camera rentals. Immediate test audiences to evaluate screen-printing candidates for trial marketing or reference shots for scenes about to shoot, you name it. I was always drawn to the ideological threads, the ones wrestling with motivations and narratives, the logistics of guerilla tactics in getting things done.

And Wreckamovie was effortlessly and constantly loaded with many discussions, all at once intriguing and long-winded. The personality types requiring their ego to be fed simply did not exist on those boards, only promptings to be productive, to stay productive, because anything good in or out of art begins with action. One of the other contributors would go on to be a driving force behind the Angry Birds franchise. Another would much later write for me while editing a completely different site of imaginary news, my thinking him to be one of the funniest people to ever have lived until realizing just how much of that came from schizophrenia. Like myself, the majority of contributors to Wreckamovie probably found their respective introductions by being the first fans of what became the Iron Sky series. Or for Julia Dietze specifically. All bringing our angels and demons along for the ride, but all of us interested enough in life itself to have kept both our better angels and funner demons at bay, for the sake of making the world more interesting to match.

I take intrinsic objections to media frenzy, to the prevalence of paparazzi mentality and idol-worship and mindlessly accepting lazy distractions guiding or projecting us away from living our brief lives by our own clocks and constitutions. But I see value in those individuals who find a message in their voices to spite the workload of obligations and commitments, and who knowingly maintain that messaging no matter the ticker-tape parades or social media douche-bag clusters of fucking hell all more inclined to just get in the way. Not every voice has a thing to say, and too many who believe they do, are imbeciles. But genuine conviction is lionizing, whether the endgame is merely surviving the troubles of a day or broadly for societal change, or making the Aesopian observation that a matter as loony as Nazis hiding on the moon might possibly prove less fanciful than the scripted reality that we’ve since been dealt. And that maybe this reality warrants a review for it.