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Neilation documentary review


Directed by: Brian Harley

Starring: Neil Nevada, Ray Westwood, Nick Allen, Brian Harley, Satnam Purewal

Poster for Neilation showing character.
Poster for Neilation

A fascinating documentary about a very creative filmmaker.

That filmmaker is Neil Nevada, an individual with a terrific imagination, who showed his artistic side from a very young age. He, along with a bunch of other filmmakers, made a variety of fun indie films, involving monsters, as Nevada is a huge horror fan. He has worked in numerous countries and keeps on coming up with awesome ideas. Aside from filmmaking, he is also a keen painter and comic book creator and used to be part of a rock band. And he is also very fond of milk.

The documentary contains interviews that show Nevada talking about his life, his childhood, his achievements, why he does what he does and how he does it. There are also interviews given by his frequent collaborators, who share the experiences they had working with him. Many of Nevada's creations are also shown. These include hand-made figures, drawings, paintings and still images and footage from his films, most notably Cat Kong, about a giant cat wreaking havoc, the horror film Coach Creep and the science fiction themed Rise of the Grassman, all of which show exceptional creativity. There is also footage and stills from a variety of classic movies and pictures of Nevada's past and him and the other filmmakers in action.

The voice-over is effective throughout and the soundtrack consists of tracks from a variety of artists. There is the inclusion of behind-the-scenes clips from his films and video footage of him spending time with family and friends, during which the image is windowboxed. There is also a pattern that takes place throughout, which involves a vertical, white, scribbled line moving quickly across the scene, accompanied by the sound of a pencil writing. Interestingly, when each character is introduced, stylized captions add an informal, funny title, such as: 'Nick Allen, the scene stealer' and 'Ray Westwood, father of the beast'.

Neilation is very interesting and entertaining to watch. It familiarizes the audience with the life and work of an intriguing artist. Nevada comes across as likeable, intelligent, with a great sense of humour (much like his relatives, friends and colleagues), and learning about his life's journey and his cool, impressive artistic accomplishments. People who have never heard of him before, will know a great deal about his life and work after viewing this documentary.



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