Director Ben Dickson’s first feature film, First Winter, is set to debut at the Tribeca Film Festival this Thursday. It follows a group of Brooklyn hipsters as they try to navigate their way through the countryside with no resources after a mysterious blackout. But the movie is stirring up some controversy after it was revealed that the crew illegally killed deer outside of the regulated hunting season for a scene in the movie, according to DNA Info.
"We are idiots. We didn't know how to do this [hunting] stuff," Dickson said. “There were so many deer weak from the winter and getting eaten by local dogs we didn't even think about it."
The deer slaughter scene took time and patience to pull off as the crew had to wait for a herd to show up, but after a few days, they finally spotted some and grabbed their rifles and cameras, according to the site. Actor Paul Manza was the one that actually killed the deer and wounded another. The crew then chased the wounded deer through the woods and put it out of its misery.
"It was actually pretty horrible," said Manza, a 34-year-old yoga instructor from Brooklyn. "I was forced to see what life was really made of, the weight and the value of things."
But that’s not all. The crew then filmed one of the deer get skinned, cut up, and cooked all for scenes in the movie where the tribe of hipsters must hunt for their own food.
"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 problem is that the crew didn’t secure the proper permits for deer hunting, and they are currently under investigation by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. A spokeswoman for the organization told the site that February deer shooting is outside of the legal hunting season, and that the penalties for this could include a $2,000 fine and imprisonment.
[via DNA Info]