Born and raised in the Midwest, END Films founder Elijah Drenner discovered in cinema an escapism that has since gone unmatched. Raised on a steady diet of movies that—perhaps—his parents should not have let him watch, Drenner has defied High School Guidance Counselor predictions to go on and actually establish a career. During his college days in Minneapolis, Drenner took work—unpaid—on an ambitious, no-budget, sci-fi spaghetti western called PLANETFALL. The every-other-weekend job would last the next four years, beginning in 2001 with Drenner working his way up from sound recordist to supporting actor. The film was released on DVD by Heretic Films in February of 2007. Some viewers got it, some didn’t, but the tight-knit crew and DIY approach to storytelling stuck with the young filmmaker after he moved to Los Angeles in 2005.
Upon his arrival, Drenner convinced friend and mentor Jack Hill (director, COFFY, SWITCHBLADE SISTERS) to allow him the chance to make a documentary on Hill’s first film, SPIDER BABY. Hill knocked around the idea for a while and discovered that he could re-license the film with a new and improved High-Def transfer, and include the proposed documentary on the DVD. Drenner explains:
“THE HATCHING OF SPIDER BABY documentary emerged from my proposed project on Jack’s entire life and career, but I faced that daunting fact that all young filmmakers face when trying to convince investors: I was a filmmaker they did not know, trying to make a movie about a filmmaker they did not know. My efforts bordered on futile.”
Fortunately, the “HATCHING” gig worked out, and Drenner has since continued his work on DVD supplemental projects—with a penchant for offbeat and otherwise non-categorical films.
With Jeremy Kasten, Elijah hosts the Tinseltown Tarnish series of favorite cult films that capture vintage Los Angeles locations.