Well kinda. Ben Dickinson filmed First Winter, a post-apocalyptic tale of urban hipsters who are forced to channel their suppressed, inner Dan’l Boone and live off the land when the excrement comes in contact with the air moving machinery. “The film begins with eight Brooklynites on a yoga retreat whose power and cellphone reception are cut off. Assuming the disruption is momentary, the group continues their drug use and sexual romps — until their food supply begins to run low, and a search party does not return.” That’s when the film’s characters decide to kill a deer for a little protein. And what’s more realistic, film-wise, than actually killing a deer? That way, you don’t need all those expensive special effects or gallons of fake blood. Only one problem . . .
They were filming in February – outside of deer season – and thus didn’t have a permit.
“We are idiots. We didn’t know how to do this [hunting] stuff,” said director Ben Dickinson, whose film is scheduled to premiere at the prestigious festival on Thursday April 19.
“There were so many deer weak from the winter and getting eaten by local dogs we didn’t even think about it,” Dickinson said.
dnainfo.com describes how they managed to bag Bambi:
The crew was practicing yoga inside the farm’s main house one day when someone spotted a herd of deer in the neighboring field. They grabbed a rifle and camera and ran outside, Dickinson said.
Actor Paul Manza, a 34-year-old Brooklyn yoga instructor who plays “Paul” the yoga instructor in the film and had no prior acting or hunting experience, pulled the trigger. It was unclear who owned the rifle or whether it was registered.
The bullet pierced one deer and passed into a second one behind it, killing the first deer and wounding the second one, Manza and Dickinson said. The crew chased the second deer into the woods and shot it again to put it out of its suffering, Manza said.
“It was actually pretty horrible,” said Manza. “I was forced to see what life was really made of, the weight and the value of things.”
The crew skinned one of the carcasses, cut it up, and cooked it over an open fire — all in front of the camera.
“It was amazing to eat that meat and really feel the spirit of the animal,” Manza said. “It gave me a different relationship to eating animals and animal products.”
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is looking into the illegal kill. Documenting what happened obviously won’t be much of a problem. Killing deer out of season – sometimes known as poaching – carries a potential fine and up to a year in prison.