IMDb > The Art of Pain (2008)
The Art of Pain
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The Art of Pain (2008) More at IMDbPro »

Videos (see all 2)
The Art of Pain -- A starving artist working at a movie theater finds inspiration when an amateur ninja sets out to destroy his life. WINNER AUDIENCE AWARD-Sunscreen Film Festival, WINNER BEST FEATURE COMEDY-Route 66 Film Festival and many more!
The Art of Pain -- Nick (Greg Brookens) describes his idea for a Skunk Ape themed comic book to Jack (Anders Erickson).  Illustration by Jacob Elijah Hallinen. Animated by


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Up 23% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Matt Brookens (written by)
Great art comes from great pain. See more »
A lazy painter learns that great art comes from pain as his life is ruined by a ninja. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
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Director interviewed by State Journal Register - Springfield, IL See more (13 total) »


Marshall Bean ... Peppito
Lauren Ashley Bishop ... Sharon (as Lauren Bishop)
Greg Brookens ... Nick
Danielle Brothers ... Martha Russell
Dale Chapman ... Nick's father
Wesley Chu ... Lead ninja

Keith Compton ... Fratty McFrat
Anders Erickson ... Jack
Elliott Fredland ... Rex
Kiel Frieden ... Shoved theater patron
Jake Hames ... Charlie
Patrick Higgs ... Brother Francis
Arvin Jalandoon ... Nobu

Lloyd Kaufman ... George Romano

Leena Kurishingal ... Stacey
John LaFlamboy ... Marcus

Mike McNamara ... Swank McShiny

Joyce Porter ... Mary
J. Scott ... Marcus
Vicky Strei ... School Marm
Meiko Taylor ... Cindy McSweeny

Mindy Turano ... Betty the Bartender (as Mindy Youroukos)

John Turk ... McKracken
Chad Wheeler ... Shopkeep

Directed by
Matt Brookens 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Matt Brookens  written by

Produced by
Matthew M. Jones .... producer
Original Music by
Steve Kiefer 
Cinematography by
Daniel Kenji Levin 
Makeup Department
Amber Blasco .... makeup department head
Brad Sauper .... special makeup effects artist
Sound Department
Mitchell Logan .... sound recordist
Brian Magrum .... sound designer
Camera and Electrical Department
Jordan Balderas .... grip
Westley Gathright .... electrician
Nathan Gregory .... grip
Logan Groover .... grip
Tim Ryan .... gaffer
Alyssa Soetebier .... electrician
Animation Department
Jose Fonseca .... animator
Jacob Elijah Hallinen .... layout artist

Production Companies

Additional Details

USA:88 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The movie theater where The Art of Pain was shot at is the historic Landmark at the Century Mall. The director, Matt Brookens, wrote the screenplay while working there as an usher. "I always wanted to see what would happen if somebody were to fall off that ledge in the middle of the mall," states Brookens. "I finally got to throw someone off in the film!"See more »
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3 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Director interviewed by State Journal Register - Springfield, IL, 14 January 2009
Author: zabbazabba from United States

THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER Posted Sep 25, 2008 @ 12:00 AM Artistic endeavor: "The Art of Pain" â€" an independent, feature-length dark-comedy film (with ninjas, zombies and starving artists).

Where you might have seen me or my work (or will soon): Our film is rocking the festival circuit right now. It recently won Best Feature Comedy at the Route 66 Film Festival in Springfield. In October, it'll play the Eerie Horror Film Festival in Erie, Penn., as well as the Thriller! Chiller! Film Fest in Grand Rapids, Mich. Can't make it? You can always get the limited edition DVD at

Day job: Graphic designer â€" a handy skill set that gets me work in any city and definitely helps with the movie posters and ad campaigns.

Twenty-word description of myself: Male bipedal omnivore, age 32, 6-feet 1-inch, green eyes, brown hair, 190 lbs., known for odd film-making behavior and kicking (butt).

Behind-the-scenes interests: Songwriting, drawing crazy cartoons, tortoise husbandry, unicorns and my hot GF.

Family: My younger brother, Greg, stars in "The Art of Pain" and lives in Chicago. Our mom, Connie, and our dad, Ralph, do the Springfield thang.

Time spent in Springfield: You mean time served in Springfield? That's how I felt about the place growing up. When I was 20, I moved to Chicago to attend Columbia College for film. This summer, having completed "The Art of Pain," an opportunity arose to make the move to Los Angeles â€" since I heard rumors they do a lot of movie-making out there, I took the plunge. So far, what I love most about Hollywood is the feeling that anything can happen. As the rest of the country enters fall, I realize that I have come to deeply appreciate Springfield. Where else can you get a horseshoe or Vic's Pizza? Springfield is like the Shire from "Lord of the Rings." Take care of it! First film-making moment: In Springfield, Greg and I were filming a scene in front of that Pink Elephant statue (the one with the glasses and martini glass). The scene involved an insane, rage-filled golfer slaughtering a confused hobo. It was the first of many, many film moments I've had where I stop and think, "My life is freakin' weird!" Proudest film-making moment: When "The Art of Pain" premiered at the Sunscreen Film Festival in Florida this year, we won the Audience Award. The cast and crew (who have become some of my best friends) and my family were there with me. We couldn't have asked for a better kick-off for the film. What a great reward for our hard work! Most embarrassing film-making moment: We shot "The Art of Pain" at a movie theater where I used to work. For a couple scenes, we needed the popcorn machine running. Well, I forgot to turn it off and we burned the whole batch to a crisp. Then, at 6 a.m., after all the cast and crew had left, my old manager made me stay behind to scrub the popper and restock the corn. "Ya missed a spot, Mr. Big Shot Director!" Something my colleagues don't know about me: I just got a phoenix tattoo on The Learning Channel's show "L.A. Ink," to commemorate "The Art of Pain." If I made the cut, it should air late November or early December. Corey Miller free-handed it on my shoulder and it looks freakin' sweet. Please don't tell my dad â€" he hates tattoos.

Something artistic I'd love to try: Web-isodes! Also, I want to make a 3-D movie with dinosaurs.

Something artistic I'd never try: Remaking a classic film that I love. Oh wait, that's not artistic! Filmmakers I look up to the most: Joe Swanberg. That guy can make an entertaining, creative film with no money.

Favorite filmmakers: My brother, Greg Brookens, the Coen brothers, David Lynch, Judd Apatow and, yeah, Steven Spielberg (though he's so "uncool" now).

Influences: The Internet, Apple computers, high definition, industry trends, cheap beer, my friends, pop culture and science.

Dream project: When I'm more seasoned, I am dying to do an epic fantasy/sci-fi trilogy in the vein of "Lord of the Rings." If Peter Jackson can start with "Bad Taste," I have hope.

Most important lesson learned: Swallow your pride, set the ego aside and remember, "It's who ya know!" Advice for those who'd like to do what I do: Be like the phoenix and rise from the ashes. CAW CAAAWW!!! Also, think marathon, not sprint.

Why I do it: Watch my film, "The Art of Pain" â€" it's all there!

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Right Title larry-gold
Art of Pain received 5 stars from Film Threat! findmac
The Art of Pain Wins Audience Award @ Sunscreen Film Fest zabbazabba
Watched this at AOF Festival solasta
Chicago Premiere at the Music Box beezwax
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