Sam Eidson and Joshua Jones in ID4. Photo by Nathan Jones (http://www.nathanjonesphoto.com)

Is Roland Emmerich's Independence Day all about special effects spectacle or does the drama work on its own, stripped of big name stars and an exploding White House? A group of friends decided to find out by staging a hilariously minimalist stage version of the 1996 box office smash.

The stage production is the product of the Old Murder House Theatre, an off-shoot of the War Room Collective, a group of filmmakers from the Savannah College of Art and Design (whose members are also responsible for the country music comedy nightmare The Hard Gravel). Independence Day marked the fourth live theatre production for the crew after Jurassic Park and a chaotic The Lion King/Predator double-bill, and they say they're just getting started.

(You can read more and watch Old Murder House Theatre's version of Independence Day, as well as behind-the-scenes looks at Jurassic Park, and The Lion King/Predator, after the jump.)

"We're going to Savannah in March to do Men in Black and Aladdin," said Sam Eidson, who writes and directs the no-budget plays with the help of prop master Josh Jones. Sam has seen the crowds grow from sixty people standing in a front yard for their porch-side version of Jurassic Park to over 200 viewers crammed into an unused meat-packing warehouse for the free Independence Day performance.

War Room Collective is talking about taking ID4 and Jurassic Park on the road, with stops in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, as well as Savannah, and their new home in Austin. "Since Austin has more film geeks, we're thinking of doing, like, From Beyond or something like that," Sam said.


ID4: Off Broadway from Samuel Eidson on Vimeo.

Jurassic Park Party from Alabamahotpocket on Vimeo.

LKVP from Samuel Eidson on Vimeo.


War Room Collective's filmmaking demo reel:



(Photo courtesy of Nathan Jones, Nathan Jones Photography)