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Infinite (2018 film)

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INFINITE.
Directed byMike Barkhoff.[1]
Produced by
  • Zach Delfs
  • Jarrod Van Hauen
Written byMike Barkhoff
Starring
  • Mike Barkhoff
  • Jarrod Van Hauen
  • Ashtun O'Rourke
  • Emmett Kendrick
Music by
  • Mike Barkhoff
  • Ashtun O'Rourke
Edited byMike Barkhoff
Production
company
Barking Vans
Distributed byBarking Vans
Release date
  • September 9, 2018 (2018-09-09) (YouTube)
  • January 5, 2019 (2019-01-05) ("Bonus Track Edition")
Running time
75 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget1,000

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Infinite (stylized as INFINITE.) is a 2018 American crime drama film written and directed by Mike Barkhoff, in his feature film directorial debut. It stars Barkhoff, Ashtun O'Rourke, Jarrod Van Hauen, Emmett Kendrick as a set of characters living in an alternate world where censorship ceases to exist.[2] Becoming involved in a life of criminal activities to support his livelihood, and inspired by the music he listens to, the main character, Joey Evans, begins to get caught up in a web of activity that he doesn't anticipate.

INFINITE. was released September 9th, 2018, for free on Barkhoff and Van Hauen's film company YouTube account.[3] The film amassed over twenty thousand views in it's first twenty-four hours and gained attention for it's soundtrack, ability to mix comedic with dramatic elements, and more.

Plot[edit]

Music enthusiast Joey Evans lives in the Mid-West and sells drugs to make a living. His friend, Lucas, helps accompany him in the lonely task of accomplishing their day-to-day jobs. Together, the two manage drops, pick-ups, and handling people who haven't paid. To account for his finances, Joey works a cover-up job as an Uber driver. One day, while driving a client, Joey overhears a story about a cheating wife and the client's plan to kill the wife. Instead, Joey convinces the client to kill the man who indulged in the cheating. Together, the two go to the cheating man's house and ambush him, resulting in the client killing the man.

Joey and Lucas hide the body and try to sell some drugs before discussing business. Lucas makes mention of a new potential partner seller, and the two set out to meet him. The new boss, David, quickly gets on Joey's bad side when David laughs off Joey's offers of newfound business. Soon thereafter, Joey receives a call that his former boss has been killed, and is set up to meet the replacement. Upon doing so, he meets David, who changes their entire method of selling, again rebuking Joey's ideas for new business methods. Joey begins to abuse drugs more often than before. To try and pull himself away from Lucas, who is doing methods of business Joey doesn't agree with by working for David, Joey reunites with a girl from his High School, Samantha, and they begin dating.

Combined with giving an Uber ride to someone unappreciative of his style of music, as well as a failing music career nowhere near taking off, Joey begins to lose sense of reality. He begins to talk to himself in the mirror, imagining a reality in which he kills David. Forced into the career to make a living, however, he continues selling reluctantly.

Tensions grow between Lucas and Joey, with Lucas thinking Joey is trying to get a promotion. Tensions also grow between Samantha and Joey, due to the former believing she is getting cheated on. Joey decides to take care of the center of the problem and goes for David. David and Joey get into a fight, which ends with Joey getting a gun pointed to his head.

Joey decides to cut contact after he sees Lucas selling drugs to a minor. Joey tries to live life on his own, but continues going deeper into his frenzy of fighting the fictional reality. He decides to bait Lucas into traveling with him for a selling exchange but, upon arriving to their spot, ends up shooting Lucas and leaving his dead body. Upon returning to take care of David next, he finds out that David has hurriedly escaped from town after the discovery cops are onto him.

Joey ends up getting arrested in front of Samantha, but, with the help of his lawyer, he gets freed by pleading insanity. He reignites with Samantha, apologizing for all that he's done wrong. Sometime in the not too distant future, he kneels down to propose to her, declaring their love for one another "infinite".

Cast[edit]

A majority of the cast members involved in the film were people Barkhoff had worked with before on previous artistic endeavors. Cast list and character names retrieved from the film's IMDb.[4]

  • Mike Barkhoff as Joey Evans, a beginning musician who is engulfed in a life of selling drugs to make living.
  • Ashtun O'Rourke as Samantha, a girl from Joey's High School career who he begins to date.
  • Jarrod Van Hauen as Lucas, Joey's best friend who is just as important a negative influence.
  • Emmett Kendrick as David, a drug dealer who tries to take over Joey and Lucas' business.
  • Seth Van Wert as Kent Killsalot, the first client of Joey's as an Uber driver.
  • Brett Mast as Inhabitant, the man who cheated with Kent's wife.
  • Darla Barkhoff as Frump, the second client of Joey's as an Uber driver.
  • Dylan Van Hauen as Dylan, a minor who buys drugs.
  • Caleb Van Hauen as The Lawyer, who helps Joey try to fight for his innocence.

Joshua Adam-Harris has a voice cameo as a News Reporter. Zach Delfs has a cameo as a Police Detective. Shelbey Coy and Mark Brooks also feature as partygoers in a scene.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In the months preceding his High School graduation, Barkhoff decided he wanted to make a larger scale short film. What he wrote was an adaptation of sorts of Eminem's song "My Fault", about a group of teens at a party who got distracted by their drug abuse. In the process of trying to find musicians who would want to lend their songs for the film, Barkhoff's film was promoted wrongfully by a musician who agreed to collaborate as a feature length film rather than a short. After that, Barkhoff decided to attack a feature full length film. He changed the plot, keeping the same basic tendencies of it, but scrapping the overall story.[5] Again, he longed to show his homage to Eminem, and chose to name it INFINITE.[6]after the rapper's first album. He wrote the scripts over the course of a couple days and filming began shortly thereafter in the free time of his and everyone involved. Very few were paid for their work, and those who were dealt with a small amount.[7]

Filming[edit]

Barkhoff had the idea roughly halfway into filming to use advertisements in the film for the purpose of adding time length, creating comedic effect where needed, and to give the audience an idea of how commercials were in the alternate world lacking censorship.[8] The filming lasted between late February to April 2019, with one scene conceptualized and filmed in May 2019, also. Barkhoff used a Canon Rebel T2i[9] for primary film handling, as well as a GoPro for capturing footage in more restricted spaces, such as the mailbox sequences near the start.

Music[edit]

Barkhoff gathered a group of musicians to lend their music for the film. His intent was to get heavily explicit music to feature. Many of the musicians he reached out for collaboration were online, though one, Tae Barber, was a former schoolmate of his. The list included the likings of Yung GStar, Big Chris Radd, Quinsey Money, Toothkrush, Poeten, and Drew Noir.

Barkhoff also produced five tracks, four instrumentals and one track that he performed on, under the stage name Joey Evans, his character in the film. Lil Squid, an artist featured, is Jarrod Van Hauen's parody rap alias. Additionally, Barking Vans' musicians from the label landed their songs for the film, including UGK David, Norff, Mcee Detox, and Gee Mak. This version of the soundtrack was released August 28th, 2018 [10]

The original soundtrack was handled by Barkhoff and O'Rourke - three songs were created by each and released to streaming platforms on November 20th and November 19th, 2018, respectively.[11][12]

Release[edit]

Leading up to the release of the film, multiple trailers and clips predated. The first announcement came in the form of a supposed 15 Second Horror Fest entry, but, upon viewing, it was simply the announcement that Barkhoff's debut feature film was on it's way.[13] Initially, it was teased that the film may be released on the website and not be free. Nearing the end of its marketing run, the decision was made to release it for free. Barkhoff was inspired by Chance The Rapper's mixtape run to do so.

The film was released September 9th, 2018, at midnight. Released in five parts, every segment had a forty-five minute interval to keep audiences waiting.[14] Before it's release, Barkhoff, Van Hauen, and O'Rourke discussed the film in length at a Release Party, livestreamed on YouTube. Many classmates of Barkhoff and Van Hauen's watched the film as it premiered, commenting their favorite parts. Initially, the film was set to release on September 7th, 2018, to fall on the traditional Friday release of films, but Barkhoff decided against doing so when The Nun was scheduled for that date. Barkhoff admitted that he would've rather seen The Nun if he had been an audience member deciding between the two, and actually did go see it on opening night. The film is dedicated to everybody near to the cast and crew who had passed away prior to it's release. An uncredited dedication lies in Mac Miller, who passed away on the film's initial planned day of release[15]

Bonus Track Edition[edit]

After the film's original release, a "Bonus Track Edition" was released on January 5th, 2019[16] - Barkhoff's nineteenth birthday. This version discarded the music gathered by other artists and relied solely on the original instrumentals created by O'Rourke and Barkhoff. It also discarded a title card from the original release and the advertisements. Rather than five parts, it was a full length presentation.

Home Media Releases[edit]

A limited Blu Ray release in occurred in 2018[17]. In 2021, it was announced that another Blu Ray release was set to follow, as well as one for Barkhoff's sophomoric film effort, Windfall.

Reception[edit]

Following it's immediate release, INFINITE. gained acclaim for it's comedic elements, which viewers felt blended well with the dramatic. The amount of homages aimed towards Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, and more films and TV shows Barkhoff loved were also complimented warmly. UGK David, a musician working with Barkhoff, shared his love for the film and declared it "felt as if Barkhoff had lived [his/my] life." David would later go on to present Barkhoff the idea for a prequel, too.

The soundtrack was also met with acclaim, particularly the individual instrumentals produced by Barkhoff. Other musicians involved, namely Drew Noir, Chris Bigg Rad, and Quinsey Money had their submitted tracks met with appreciation.

The film currently holds an 8.8/10 rating on IMDb, as of March 31st, 2021[18].

Following the release, Barkhoff discussed the film at length with then-team member now-manager Zach Delfs and shared that he was worried about how the film would be reviewed by colleagues and audience members. After seeing the reviews, he was able to settle down and cope with a lot of stress and personal issues he had pushed to the side during the lead-up to the film's release[19]

References[edit]

  1. Delfs, Zach (April 2, 2021). "Mike Barkhoff's Filmmaking Credits Categorized, Writer/Director of 'INFINITE.'". FilmFreeway. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
  2. Delfs, Zach (July 25, 2018). "The Inception Of Infinite". FilmLocal. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  3. O'Rourke, Ashtun (September 9, 2018). "Mike Barkhoff explains the process of 'INFINITE.', why it was free, and more". YouTube. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  4. Delfs, Zach (July 23, 2020). "INFINITE. IMDb, including Cast & Crew". IMDb. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
  5. O'Rourke, Ashtun (September 9, 2018). "Mike Barkhoff explains the process of 'INFINITE.', why it was free, and more". YouTube. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  6. Coy, Shelbey (September 1, 2018). "Mike Barkhoff's homage to Eminem in his debut film's title is from large inspiration". Instagram. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
  7. Smith, Wesley (September 13, 2019). "The cast and crew of 'INFINITE.' are interview by hometown news paper". The Grundy Register. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  8. O'Rourke, Ashtun (September 9, 2018). "Mike Barkhoff explains the process of 'INFINITE.', why it was free, and more". YouTube. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  9. Barkhoff, Mike (April 24, 2018). "Photo Posted From The Set of 'INFINITE". Instagram. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  10. Barkhoff, Mike (August 28, 2018). "'INFINITE.' Soundtrack gathers several musicians". YouTube. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  11. Barkhoff, Mike (November 20, 2019). "Mike Barkhoff's version of the 'INFINITE.' EP". Amazon. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
  12. O'Rourke, Ashtun (November 19, 2018). "Ashtun O'Rourke's version of the 'INFINITE.' EP". Amazon. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
  13. Delfs, Zach (May 25, 2018). "Barkhoff's Feature Film Announced Via 15 Second Horror Fest Entry". FilmLocal. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  14. Paulsen, Conner (September 7, 2018). "How INFINITE. was released". Instagram. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
  15. See, Sydney (September 8, 2018). "INFINITE. Release Party, Barkhoff dedicates to Mac Miller". YouTube. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
  16. Davis, Josey (January 3, 2019). "Bonus Track Edition of 'INFINITE.' Available 1/5/19". Instagram. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  17. Davis, Josey (September 9, 2018). "Autographed Blu Ray of 'INFINITE.' Now Available". Instagram. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  18. Delfs, Zach (July 23, 2020). "INFINITE. IMDb, including Cast & Crew". IMDb. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
  19. O'Rourke, Ashtun (September 9, 2018). "Mike Barkhoff explains the process of 'INFINITE.', why it was free, and more". YouTube. Retrieved April 1, 2021.


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