whenblackbirdsfly whenblackbirdsfly
Feature Film

‘When Black Birds Fly,’ A 106-Minute Animated Horror Film Made by One Person

When Black Birds Fly is a 106-minute animated horror film that was singlehandedly written, directed, and animated by Jimmy ScreamerClauz.

It’s the second animated feature produced by ScreamerClauz, who made Where the Dead Go to Die in 2012. Described as a “pre-apocalyptic propaganda nightmare set in another dimension,” When Black Birds Fly is set in the town of Heaven, ruled by a leader named Caine who demands that his subjects unconditionally love and obey him, and most importantly, never venture beyond the town’s walls. The story begins when two children disobey the latter rule:

If the insane trailer is any indication, the film probably won’t appeal to mainstream tastes, a fact that the filmmaker himself acknowledges. “It’s a completely original one of a kind experience that you won’t find anywhere else,” wrote ScreamerClauz on one of his YouTube videos, “and because of that, it’s not going to be for everyone and I accept those consequences!” But like his earlier works, Black Birds is finding favor with the horror crowd. The film won best animation at the Housecore Horror Film Festival in San Antonio, Texas last month.

Personally, I’m intrigued by how Screamerclauz used computer animation to create a surreal sensory overload that evokes the film’s warped nightmare world. Referencing visual styles as diverse as psychedelic and glitch art, Screamerclauz set out to achieve a certain visual effect, and he appears to have done so successfully. (Another five-minute clip from the film can be viewed here.)

ScreamerClauz animated the film by himself over the course of three years, and more impressively, in this day and age of crowdfunding, he used his own money to make the film. He explained on a YouTube video that he made it “without the aid of kickstarter, indiegogo or any other social networking illuminati reptilian prostitution ring,” and that he doesn’t have “rich parents or fancy big money investors.” He achieved the animation dream by living alone in a “small shit shack in the middle of woods PA [Pennsylvania] in an old age community,” where he finds “inventive ways to pay the bills every month.”

When Black Birds Fly will be released on DVD on January 15, 2016, and can be pre-ordered for $15.39. Learn more about the film on the official website.

  • Billy Barnett

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  • Billy Barnett

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  • I Like Animation Too Much

    This film will probably be a hit with that segment of the population that likes to watch movies while dropping acid. Doesn’t seem to have a lot to say but it certainly looks unique.
    .

  • I Like Animation Too Much

    This film will probably be a hit with that segment of the population that likes to watch movies while dropping acid. Doesn’t seem to have a lot to say but it certainly looks unique.
    .

  • Marc Hendry

    nah. The only fear I felt during the trailer was fear that I would have my ear drums blown out again or that I’d have to look at a blinding lime green screen. I’m not a horror connoisseur by any means, but even Troma want their films to be watchable. This doesn’t look interesting to me at all. Not because it’s weird or it’s made cheaply, it just doesn’t seem to have any traits that I care about.

  • Strong Enough

    “He explained on a YouTube video that he made it “without the aid of kickstarter, indiegogo or any other social networking illuminati reptilian prostitution ring,” and that he doesn’t have “rich parents or fancy big money investors.” He achieved the animation dream by living alone in a “small shit shack in the middle of woods PA [Pennsylvania] in an old age community,” where he finds “inventive ways to pay the bills every month.”

    i love this guy already

  • Dustin Koski

    Oh, I don’t know about the “completely original” claim. Looks a lot like We Are the Strange to me.

    • Jimmy ScreamerClauz

      M dot Strange (director of We Are The Strange) worked on this film and is one of my very close friends, I’ve only worked on two of his films as well. Though the films might have similar aesthetics, they are extremely different from each other otherwise :)

      • Dustin Koski

        Fair enough. Just that Amidi seemed to be getting carried away and overselling it.

  • slowtiger

    Not my style, not my genre, but he definitely put a lot of work into this. Reminds me of “We are the strange” from 2007. All a bit unbalanced, but I bet one day an adventurous Anime producer will hire one of those basement artists and use their style and skills to create some truely amazing film.

  • Seezenimation

    I’d like to watch this. It looks like a wild ride.

  • ddrazen

    Put this on a double bill with “Foodfight!”

  • Pedro Nakama

    I’d love to watch this on a wide screen television, in my underwear, just lounging on a sofa and eating a bag of potato chips in Ed Catmull’s new apartment.