Introducing Vanguard Pictures
AMP Productions has opened a new sub-division, Vanguard Pictures, which was created to house "Summer Watching" and other future avant-garde projects at AMPCorp. "Summer Watching," coming to YouTube on September 4th, will be AMPCorp's first true avant-garde project, focusing on the concept of defamiliarization and the affect of strange framing and subjects on the viewing experience.
Previously, AMPCorp has experimented with art film at D-Dowd Productions, with the Airbrush Pictures group. "People on the Street," released in 2014, was a film told entirely in poetry, featuring contemplative and aesthetic cinematography and postmodern subject matter. Nonetheless, it still maintained a coherent storyline and somewhat traditional narrative structure. Its unusual method of portraying the story in poetry and reliance on contemplative aesthetics are what made it an art film, but "Summer Watching" at Vanguard Pictures takes it a step further -- removing storyline altogether, and attempting to challenge the way its audience views film and setting in general.
While "People on the Street" was sort of a pilot project, or first step, into more abstract films for AMPCorp, "Summer Watching" truly marks the first of many intended projects at AMPCorp that will push beyond traditional storyline, cinematography, and conventions. Much of this is a part of AMPCorp's planned downsizing, which has been in effect since its peak production year in 2012, and is set to take full effect in 2016 after the group's 15th Anniversary Celebration. Because avant-garde and art film projects are more focused on the camera, the act of watching, and the act of capturing a scene, they require fewer actors, and thus fewer production days and the elaborate planning which has become so difficult for AMPCorp in recent years. For instance, D-Dowd Productions' "The Charlotte Ferris Show" finale season had to be filmed (in part) far earlier this year because of cast and crew being unavailable during traditional filming season, and the unavailability of several cast members for AMPCorp's 2015 flagship film "In the Balance" delayed its originally planned release by 4 months, and may still require rewrites and adjustments. As opposed to "The Charlotte Ferris Show's" cast of 9 and "In the Balance's" cast of 7, "Summer Watching" features a cast of 0, and thus was much easier to produce, while still allowing for creativity and something fresh and new at AMP Productions.
The future of AMPCorp at this point seems to hinge greatly on projects such as this. An avant-garde project for next year is already in early pre-production stages at AMP Productions, with another Airbrush Picture art film already in production at D-Dowd for 2016. GK Productions will probably produce a film noir type of project at its Eclipse Pictures group for 2016, while GK Music is toying with the idea of producing a mostly avant-garde Beat's Myth album for next year as well. This doesn't mean AMPCorp will do away with its more traditional lineup, though it will be reduced to a far more manageable level according to the tenants of the group's long-planned downsizing. D-Dowd Productions will still release "The Charlotte Ferris Show" Season VII and perhaps begin producing a spinoff, and a second season of "The Amazing James Crabb" also remains a possibility. GK Productions intends to release another Agent 07 re-edit, "The Wages for Sin" in the spring, while GK Music will certainly release a few traditional music videos throughout the year. The core of AMPCorp's new abstract style will be at the AMP Productions division, which has been struggling for core material in recent years anyway. Meanwhile, other divisions will maintain a smaller load of traditional projects and supplement with easier abstract videos at the same time, until the future of the group becomes more settled.
After celebrating 15 years of AMPCorp's current trajectory, it seems only fitting to start 2016 with the next step in that evolution. "Summer Watching," at AMP Productions' new Vanguard Pictures, will in many ways be a foretaste to that new style, and to the next step in AMPCorp's continuing growth and development, even in the face of downsizing projects.