Do cyborgs dream of electric cavalry? Creative Rewards Challenge winner Chris LaMartina might be able to answer this question with his short film “Gettysborg,” which is made entirely out of VideoBlocks footage. His faux trailer promo won us over with its genre-smashing concept—a Civil War period meets Sci-Fi thriller—and riveting production value.

View this video on YouTube.

A writer/director/producer with a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and a penchant for horror, LaMartina also finds a creative outlet for his interests in indie comics and graphic novel projects, including his “Burial Plots” visual anthology currently on Kickstarter.

As the winner of our Creative Rewards Challenge, we interviewed LaMartina to find out what it means to him to work as a filmmaker and storyteller, and to see if he had any filmmaking advice for other VideoBlocks members.

VideoBlocks: What excites you most about filmmaking?

LaMartina: At its core, film is all about story and before ‘filmmaker,’ I describe myself as a ‘storyteller.’ Matching images to a narrative is fun, creative problem solving, and that will never stop being exciting to me.
Chris LaMartina Office GettysborkLaMartina working late editing at the 15 Four office (Photo credit Mark Burchick)

VideoBlocks: What is the most important thing that you’ve learned about filmmaking so far?

LaMartina: Pooling your resources and knowing the tools at your disposal is crucial in all filmmaking, but especially at this level. That’s why VideoBlocks is so outstanding—it adds to your toolkit in a truly robust, impressive way.

VideoBlocks: What was your inspiration for “Gettysborg”?

LaMartina: Over the past decade, I’ve been producing micro-budget horror flicks, usually in the $1k-15k budget range. My screenwriting partner, Jimmy George, joked about the title “Gettysborg,” but we knew that we could never make it because a period piece would be so incredibly difficult to make. When I was browsing VideoBlocks one day and saw the Civil War footage, I knew I had enough content to make a fun, fake trailer for the project. I was stoked!

VideoBlocks: What’s the next project you’re working on?

LaMartina: I’m currently editing a horror satire on clickbait culture called, “What Happens Next Will Scare You.” It’s a sardonic anthology featuring gruesome segments shot on all different formats—cell phones, security cameras, home movies, old 80s TV shows. It’s super weird and it’s all about lampooning social media in a way that’s funny, bizarre, and a little gruesome.

Outside of film, I’m also crowdsourcing a ghastly little horror comic called “Burial Plots.” If you dig spooky stuff, you should definitely back the project!
Chris LaMartina Gettysborg FilmLaMartina on set directing his feature film, “Call Girl of Cthulhu” (Photo credit Josh Sisk)

VideoBlocks: How do you use our content to create your projects?

LaMartina: VideoBlocks is a fantastic resource. I’ve used it for fun personal projects like “Gettysborg,” but I’ve also used it to beef up simple corporate videos and make everything a bit more dynamic/bigger in scope. VideoBlocks allows filmmakers the opportunity to add real visual value without destroying their budgets.

VideoBlocks: What do you like most about working with our footage libraries?

LaMartina: The catalog is always growing, and that’s inspiring to me. Sometimes, I just look at the footage that gets added every few days and I start scheming ways to use it (totally Ed Wood-style). Seriously, VideoBlocks is amazing. It offers a vast catalog of b-roll without compromising quality and the price point is something everyone can afford. The subscription service model is perfect for what I need in my field and the support staff has always been quick and super friendly. They’re the best at what they do.

To find out more about Chris LaMartina’s work, you can find him on Facebook and Twitter.

Explore the Footage in Gettysborg