Mainstream market is aim of Christian filmmaker’s apocalyptic thriller in 24P

Armed with a shoestring budget, a 24P DV camera and a vision of the world’s end, Nathyn Brendan Masters is out to make a Christian, low-budget answer to “The Matrix.”

The stone-faced, sunglass-sporting heavies are not computer enforcers, but agents of the false Messiah, in Masters’ “The 4th Beast: Mask of the Antichrist”.

Jon Ross stars as an Iraq War veteran recruited to protect a CD containing information about the Antichrist from a group of rogue priests hunting for the CD, as the prophecies of Revelations begin to unfold.

“Christian filmmaking has been plagued by bad scripts and bad effects,” Masters said. “You’ve had people who want to make specifically Christian films, trying to reach for something higher than what they can do. But now you have people coming into the Christian market who are really good at what they do, people who are savvier about making films that can reach a secular audience but keep that Christian message.”

“The 4th Beast” writer/director Nathyn Brendan Masters

Masters hopes to transcend his own budget and genre limitations with carefully orchestrated martial arts choreography and a heavy reliance on location shooting to add production value.

Masters, who is also writer and DP, is self-financing the four-figure budget with producer John H. Rogers III through their company TimeCode Mechanics.

“The 4th Beast” is shooting on weekends through mid-spring. Masters is prepared to self-distribute the picture as he holds out for a distributor he trusts to do justice to the religious content while marketing to a larger audience.

“Every once in a while a Christian film comes out that makes a lot of money, and Hollywood tries to find other films like it,” Masters said. “The surprise 2000 hit ?The Omega Code,’ and Mel Gibson’s ?The Passion of the Christ’ [due out this year] have raised the bar and interest in this type of material.”

A 1996 Columbia College film/video graduate, Masters makes his living doing freelance graphics work for comic books and other print outlets. After several independent shorts, “4th Beast” is his first feature. He plans to follow up with a bigger-budget secular martial arts picture, “Silvergun Samurai.”

“4th Beast” stars Katherine Getty, Jason Walsh, Joelly Mejia, Venita Nickole, Michael MacRae and Glenn Dhont.

The film’s web site www.the4thbeast.com is under construction. Reach Masters at 312.316.5545 or artstar@themacisp.net.

? by Ed M. Koziarski, edk@homesickblues.com.

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