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Mad Ones Films Press Section

Max's Mad Films

(By Frank O'Neill, from the October 09 issue of Hippo Magazine)

Jaysen Buterin, Creative Director of Mad Ones Films, with his two musesGroovy greetings and sinfully salacious salutations to all you loquacious, lustlorn Lotharios and jasmine-scented Jezebels who waft waves of aromatic allure in your wake, Hippo's Max Diablo (ye Great Devil) not only has an altered ego, he has an alter-ego by name of Jaysen Buterin. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, the 33-year-old Buterin came to Greensboro almost nine years ago.

And the romantic cherry on this bit of biographical cake is that he followed a girl to come here. Most people wince, expecting a heartbroken postscript when he shares this information with them, but instead he smiles and continues, "It all worked out well. We've been happily married for five years now." Buterin pays the bills with a day job at UNCG as a graphic artist and web designer, yet in his long-haired, goateed, nose-ringed, tattooed and black fingernail polished persona as Max Diablo, he is drummer for the Malamondos. And with Jennie Prince and J. Evan Wade, Buterin is also a co-founder and creative director of the independent film production company Mad Ones Films.

Buterin wrote the screenplay for Mad Ones' 2007 cult classic film "The Devil’s Tramping Ground," a Faustian Rock n Roll fable that features his wife as well as fellow Malamondos. And Buterin, who has never formally studied film, recalls his youth as he cites his influences. "When I was four or five, I saw Hitchcock'’s 'Psycho' and I fell in love with it." he says. "And I grew up watching shows like 'The Twilight Zone' and 'The Outer Limits.' Then during the 80s, it seems like I was practically raised in Drive-ins, which is where I guess I learned the language of filmmaking. And I suppose my style is like 'Twilight Zone' meets Quentin Tarantino, but I chose the Devil's Tramping Ground because I wanted the film to have a definite NC connection with a unique twist."

Now Mad Ones Films is on the verge of filming their latest project, a short film trilogy called "The Gospel According to Booze, Bullets & Hot Pink Jesus." I'll admit anything with 'Hot Pink Jesus' in the title has to be pretty provocative here in the buckle of the Bible Belt. But these films don't abuse religion so much as they explore the abuse of religion. Hot Pink Jesus is the Holy Grail of pop culture religious artifacts, a pink plastic statue of Jesus with a magic eight-ball that can predict the future in its base.

Act I, 'The Missionary Man' tells the story of a failed and fallen seminary student who finds out that the sins of the past always have a wicked way of catching up with you. Act II, 'A Saint of Sin in a Den of Thieves' follows the affair of star-crossed lovers on the run from a deadly feud and the Mexican Mob. And finally Act III, 'Have Faith, Will Travel' explores the lives of six spiritual castaways looking for hope and faith in a world gone mad.

"At this point," Buterin concludes, "Mad Ones is working with a Bohemian collective of friends and fellow artists who'll loan us equipment and give us free access to locations. We're starting with 'Missionary Man' because that's the least complicated to film, and once we have that complete, we'll show it at film festivals and to possible private donors to raise funds to complete the trilogy. That should take maybe $10,000"

(For any questions, concerns, or obnoxiously large donations, please email Jaysen Buterin).


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