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Inside a quarantined apartment building a man must protect his pregnant wife from his new neighbors.
Ok, so maybe the poster art is not the greatest and may not even deserve a second glance. However, as the saying goes, ‘Never judge a book (or, in this case, DVD) by its cover!’
As the brief plot synopsis indicates, a man, Coco, Daniel Hendler must protect his pregnant wife, Pipi, Jazmin Stuart amidst an epidemic outbreak that seems to have consumed most of the globe. The film opens with the young couple making a routine trip to the supermarket to stock up on goods. It could not have been a more perfect time to do so as it is here when news of the epidemic must have caught wind with the rest of the urabanites as they storm the supermarket with hopes of readying themselves for the impending epidemic. Of course, Pipi and Coco are clueless as to what it is going on and go on their merry way to their new apartment building, all the while bickering with one another like any normal couple would.
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Being a horror fan, I can say, without hesitation, that a lot of what’s being put out there these days is pure garbage and Hollywood is only out to make a buck. Who is their target audience? I would have to say blood & gore thirsty teens who simply go to these movies to laugh and disrupt other moviegoers from enjoying the movie experience! These are the same kids, teens young adults who categorize Twilight as a horror movie! Where I come from, horror was made to instill fear, not make you laugh and root for the villain! What greedy Hollywood execs have done is made such horror icons as Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees heroes! WTF!
Don’t get me wrong, I get a kick out of some of these movies such as Hatchet where there is blood and limbs galore and Freddy vs. Jason where it was not meant to be taken serious in any way, shape or form. These types of movies are purposefully done so that the audience could care less about its characters and the only purpose they serve is to either A.) Be murdered (hopefully in cool fashion) or B.) Be either the hero or heroin. That’s it! However, such movies, a niche for lack of a better word, usually fall under the category of “For Horror Fans Only”! Is that a bad thing? Of course not, we are the ones who enjoy these movies and it us who may determine a films’ success or failure. Sure, these films are considered successful if it raked in $20 million in box office receipts and was made with a $500,000 budget. But, when I say successful, I mean respect and that is certainly what is lacking in the horror genre. Besides, who really wants their films judged on whether or not they had cool deaths? As a filmmaker, I want my film to be recognized for its story and its attempt at scaring an audience.
Oftentimes, from non-horror fans, I would hear people refer to the genre as stupid and unbelievable! Well, I say to them, it is a fucking movie! (Mind you these are the very same people who are clamoring to find a couple of good scary movies to watch for Halloween. If they’re so stupid, why bother?) That being said, I do understand where the notion of horror as being a sub-par genre comes from, what with films like House of the Dead and Troll 2 (among so many others) under its belt; it’s no wonder why people don’t take the genre seriously. Funny thing is when someone who isn’t a fan of the genre is seeking a good film and you recommend one to them, they usually won’t like it because it didn’t have enough “action” ala blood and guts. I’ve heard this numerous times after someone has put down the John Carpenter classic Halloween! It angers me because of the lack of respect and recognition given to this film which is considered by many a classic film of the genre. What happened to it being a scary film? Because that’s as real as it can get! Psycho stalks babysitter. If that doesn’t terrify you, I don’t know what does. But no, this is a new era; a new era that has seen it all and with technology on the rise, old school horror is being left way behind.
CGI (Computer Generated Images) is my worst enemy. Yes, I’ll admit that at times it can work in horror but most of the time I find myself slapping my forehead and shaking my head with disgust! What happened to the good old days of practical effects which were used with great success in many films of yesteryear such as Carpenter’s The Thing? Instead, practical FX has been replaced by CGI which, in my opinion, just looks flat-out fake as hell! This new wave of horror solely depends on these films to provide for that cheap scare, aka the “jump scare” often accompanied by a loud noise and a cat. What happened to the suspense building, the real horror in a movie? For the most part it is all but gone. The only recent horror movies that, in my opinion, truly tried to frighten audiences were The Blair Witch Project & Paranormal Activity, in which my mom was terrified for a week after having watched this movie! These films are pretty damn good both because they emitted horror without showing much, the psychological horror that, when done right, is absolutely brilliant! (See also Alien). These films provide “subtle horror” where you wait and wait for a payoff and when you get it, it was well worth the journey! I mean c’mon! These films were made on a shoestring/no budget!
So, Hollywood, are you going to continue to sell out with more sequels and remakes with hopes of some more big bucks or are you going to provide the audience with some originality and genuine scares, that is, horror!
A brief open letter to Hollywood:
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Secretly, I’ve considered myself an independent filmmaker for a very long time. Now, when I say a long time I mean ever since I was about nine years old and I picked up my dad’s Minolta VHS camcorder, which I now call ‘Megladon’! Why? Well, for no other reason other than it was a huge piece of machinery. Despite the massive size and having no preconceptions of what the future had in store for us in terms of technology, the VHS camcorder was one of the cooler things one had the pleasure of saying they owned in the summer of 1989. Of course, it was already four years old being that my dad purchased it in 1985 but still cool nonetheless.
It was because of ‘Megladon’ where an epiphany was realized in my fragile little mind. I can make movies, I thought. I mean, how hard can it be; naivety at its best. My idea of making a movie was simply point, shoot, action, record, oh and, of course, cut! Being nine years old, the world was my playing field and I had no choice but to make due with the tools that were accessible to me.
Friends and family? (ie, actors)…Check!
Done! That was all I needed as far as production was concerned. Post production? No problem as it did not exist! All editing was done in camera. If someone looked at the camera or laughed all I did was hit stop, rewind and record over the blundered scene. Just like that, Presto! Instant editing. What about music? Nothing a tape recorder couldn’t fix while we filmed. Before I knew it, I was directing my first short film. Using a very cheap, hairless Rubies Michael Myers mask (long gone in latex heaven), I filmed the 10 minute, pre-teen version of Halloween! Was it any good? In nine-year old world, yes it was!
Of course, it wasn’t until I got older that I came to realize that I wasn’t an independent filmmaker but, rather, an amateur with a really cool hobby. I was bummed! Being a fan of John Carpenter’s Halloween, I was utterly surprised that it was an independent horror movie with a budget of about $320,000. In terms of movies these days, that money is what most would deem as chump change. Still, being a young buck without a clue, I was under the impression that Independent Film was made, literally, for pennies and that friends and family all chipped in to lend a hand at making someone’s dreams come true. Oh, how wrong I was!
According to Wikipedia, the definition of an Independent Film is as follows:
An independent film, or indie film, is a film that is produced mostly outside of a major film studio. The term also refers to art films which differ markedly from most mass marketed films. In addition to being produced by independent production companies, independent films are often produced and/or distributed by subsidiaries of major studios. In order to be considered independent, less than half of a film’s financing should come from a major studio. Independent films are sometimes distinguishable by their content and style and the way in which the filmmakers’ personal artistic vision is realized. Usually, but not always, independent films are made with considerably lower budgets than major studio films. Generally, the marketing of independent films is characterized by limited release designed to build word-of-mouth or to reach small specialty audiences.
Hmmm, OK. So I was way off! Or was I? I never knew there were so many rules to being “independent”! Let’s dissect some of the more important things about this definition.
“a film that is produced mostly outside of a major film studio”
OK, check! I am not remotely close to the Hollywood system, therefore, I am independent of said system.
“In order to be considered independent, less than half of a film’s financing should come from a major studio.”
Again, I have no affiliations with any major studios so I am not only receiving less than a movies finance from a major studio but I am, in fact, receiving nothing, nada, zip, zilch! Check! Independent all the way!
“Usually, but not always, independent films are made with considerably lower budgets than major studio films.”
In my case, this is always! I never have the budget to make a “big budget” film and have held on to that old belief of “work with what you got!” Check!
Net-picking a couple of lines here and there would point towards my being an independent filmmaker! Another aspect of my “independence” lays within the marketing realm. I don’t have commercials that air on national television, trailers screened prior to the next block/lack luster film or movie posters that can adorn your wall (my wall 9 times out of 10). All I have is my NOT-SO TRUSTY PC to help spread the word, oh and Facebook and Twitter, of course.
Once upon a time, I viewed the process of filmmaking from a whole different perspective; mainly because the Hollywood blockbuster ruled my world. I’ve seen picture like Halloween before when I was a young tyke (is that even a word) but never did I comprehend the term ‘budget’. It was a film that looked as if it could’ve been made for a meesly couple of hundred dollars. What? Come again? We have to pay a crew? I thought they were just friends and family! Again, I was young and naive and didn’t know any better.
Still, now as a grown adult (some may beg to differ) I have learned to appreciate what being a filmmaker is. Get out there and tell a story and that old philosophy I grew up with, “work with what you’ve got” has stuck with me. Although I am not one to probably be ever recognized for my work, I do one of the things I enjoy the most and that’s making films (albeit, short).
So, now that I’m older I have the same bag of goodies as when I had a kid:
Camera – Check!
Friends and Family – Check!
Tripod – Check!
Plus a plethora of other goodies that make it easier to make said film (i.e. a PC with editing software). But, do I still think the same way I did when I was in grade school with dreams of Hollywood and fame? Not at all, making film is simply a passion but no longer a priority. Of course I still love the art but I also like to make money!
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Of course it goes without saying that if you haven’t watched any of perhaps the most recommended scary films then you’re clearly living under a rock. That’s right you’re all familiar with Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, and Freddy Krueger; stars of the infamous horror movies Halloween, Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street series which have a combined total of 34 movies, including remakes and “re-imaginings”, as of this year, 2010. There are other “Boogeymen” that include the likes of Pinhead of Hellraiser and Leatherface of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchises. But, I’m not here to talk about them. If you haven’t seen them, then yes, I’d say you have to watch them to either A.) see what all the hoopla is about, or B.) watch ‘em before they are remade! In many cases, it’s certainly too late for that in which I would say watch the original first!
Here is a list I present to you, in no particular order and if I left a few out, please feel free to chime in on the comments sections below. Again, this is by no means a “Scariest Movies” list but, rather, a small list of just a couple of movies I enjoy and would recommend for your viewing pleasure on Halloween or the days leading up to it. Can’t make any guarantees that you’ll like ‘em all and if you don’t, tough! At least you’ll have gotten it out of your system and are able to scratch off your list. In any case, enjoy!
Trick ‘r Treat (2007)- Four interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the one guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband. This was a little gem that I had waited for about 2 years (slated for release in 2007) before it was finally released in 2009. Why was the release date shelved for 2 years is beyond me. A movie that more than deserved a theatrical release, I settled for getting the Blu-ray and watching it in the comfort of my home. This has to be one of my favorite Halloween themed movies ever.
Drag me to Hell (2009)- A loan officer who evicts an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse. Desperate, she turns to a seer to try and save her soul, while evil forces work to push her to a breaking point. Sam Raimi, director of Evil Dead & Spider-man. Need I say more? Yes, I do. Many people are disappointed in this film, well, because they are not familiar with Sam Raimi. For those of you who know the director will get this film. No, it is not an all-out horror film but, rather, this film is jam-packed with both a little horror and a bit of comedy as well!
Paranormal Activity (2007) – After moving into a suburban home, a couple becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence. This one needs no introduction as I’m sure you’ve either seen it already or at least heard about it. Rule of thumb, don’t fall into the hype or this film will be ruined for you. Go in with little or, better yet, no expectations, and your viewing experience will be enhanced. This was another movie that started making the rounds in 2007 at the Slamdance Film Festival where Hollywood big-wigs caught wind of it and purchased the film. There were talks of remaking a bigger budget version of the film but they did something outrageous by releasing the original! Hollywood, really? Of course, they did add their own ending to the theatrical release. Watch this one with surround sound as the audio in this film is fantastic. Oh yeah, and watch it late at night with your own lights turned off.
Blair Witch Project (1999) In October of 1994, three student film makers disappeared in the woods near Burkittesville, Maryland. One year later, their footage was found. Staying in the, “Is this movie real?” category, I have to recommend watching The Blair Witch Project. Why? Well, for starters I like the film. Secondly, it was the film that put these types of movies on the map. It will forever be mentioned whenever a movie as such is released. Also, it plays heavily on your psyche as you never actually see what is in the woods. Sure, the characters are a tad annoying (I know, I’m being kind) but there is no doubt that there are some creepy, some may even say terrifying, moments in this one.
Session 9 (2001) – Tensions rise within an asbestos cleaning crew as they work in an abandoned mental hospital with a horrific past that seems to be coming back. For some reason, some people tend to say that this one is a bit overrated. I don’t think so. There are no monsters or elaborate creatures in this one but it is very psychological and downright creepy. Plus, it features the magnificent Danvers State Insane Asylum which offers both a sense of foreboding horror and marvel with its intricate architecture!
Ringu (1998) – A mysterious video kills whomever views it, unless that viewer can solve its mystery. No, not the American movie The Ring, but this is the original Japanese version which is chock-fill o’ scares! Its American counterpart was OK, in my opinion, having seen the original Japanese version nearly four years before the American version was released. If you haven’t seen either version yet, I highly suggest you watch the Japanese version first then, if you like it, watch the American one and compare. There are a few Japanese sequels as well as a prequel so you can make it a night of Ring movies during the month of October!
[Rec]/[Rec] 2 (2007/2009) – “REC” turns on a young TV reporter and her cameraman who cover the night shift at the local fire station. Receiving a call from an old lady trapped in her house, they reach her building to hear horrifying screams — which begin a long nightmare and a uniquely dramatic TV report. / The action continues from [Rec], with the medical officer and a SWAT team outfitted with video cameras are sent into the sealed off apartment to control the situation. Great Spanish horror that spawned a remake here in the states entitled Quarantine. Need I say it? Yes, there is a Quarantine 2 in the pipeline.Watch the Spanish versions first! These films feature “zombies”/infected/possessed/crazies/etc – take your pic as I won’t spoil it for you. I had a few problems with the sequel but it was enjoyable nonetheless. Definitely provides lots of tension as it is shot in the same vein as… wait for it… The Blair Witch Project!
Ju-on (The Grudge) (2002) – A mysterious and vengeful spirit marks and pursues anybody who dares enter the house in which it resides. Again, the original Grudge film surpasses the American remake which stars Buffy, er, I mean Sarah Michelle Gellar. Creepy film, to say the least! Not saying that the American version was bad, but it wasn’t that good either.
Ils AKA Them (2006) – Lucas and Clementine live peacefully in their isolated country house, but one night they wake up to strange noise… they’re not alone… and a group of hooded assailants begin to terrorize them throughout the night. A different type of horror is presented in this film. If you thought The Strangers (2008) was creepy, you haven’t seen anything yet!
The Woman in Black (1989) – When a friendless old widow dies in the seaside town of Crythin, a young solicitor is sent by his firm to settle the estate. The lawyer finds the townspeople reluctant to talk about or go near the woman’s dreary home and no one will explain or even acknowledge the menacing woman in black he keeps seeing. Ignoring the towns-people’s cryptic warnings, he goes to the house where he discovers its horrible history and becomes ensnared in its even more horrible legacy. Based on the 1983 novel of the same name by Susan Hill, this is a little gem of a film that completely took me off guard; very atmospheric and creepy! I’ll have to admit that you need a little patience with this one as it can be a little slow at times but, believe me, you will not be disappointed in the end. I read that there is a live, stage performance in the form of a play in London which I will give my left testicle to be able to see it! Yeah, it’s that good.
The Skeptic (2009) – A tormented man’s reluctant search for greater meaning in his life. Ok, to elaborate a bit on the plot of the movie, a man inherits his aunt’s house, that looks more like a mansion, only to discover that the house harbors secrets that are soon uncovered, only they aren’t so pleasant! I’ll admit that this is not a great film, however, I found it entertaining being a skeptic myself. Sure, I don’t hope to have the experiences that the protagonist encounters, still doesn’t hurt to watch it happen to someone else. Ending kind of left me scratching my head though!
Halloween (1978) – A psychotic murderer institutionalized since childhood escapes on a mindless rampage while his doctor chases him through the streets. OK, so I said I wasn’t going to include any of the horror icons in this list, but, I simply had to add John Carpenter’s Halloween. It is, without a doubt, a classic film. Forget the Rob Zombie “re-imaginings”! If you want to see Michael Myers at his stalking best, then you have to check out the first film as it is here where the bar was set.
The Evil Dead (1981) – Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons. The description says it all, plus Sam Raimi! Yes, again! Shot on a shoe string budget , Raimi was able to demonstrate how to make a film with little to no budget and provide for the desired effect. Some may laugh, being used to CGI (Computer Generated Images), but nothing beats using hand made prosthetic effects. That’s right, the old-fashioned way!
The Exorcist (1973) – When a teenager is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter. The reference film that set the bar for all movies that have to do with an exorcism. Don’t go in expecting non-stop chills, action, etc. But, make no mistake that when these moments do occur, they are sure to send a chill up your spine if you can engulf yourself in the film.
The Changeling (1980) - A man staying at a secluded historical mansion, finds his life being haunted by the presence of a specter. No, this is NOT the Angelina Jolie movie! (Although some certainly deserve to be on this list) Yes, it is another movie with a man, a mansion and a ghost! They seem to be popular. This one, however, is a classic film that is sure to deliver the chills. Look out for the red ball!
The Thing (1982) – Scientists in the Antarctic are confronted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of the people that it kills. Picture yourself stranded in the Antarctic with no form of communication and no transportation. Now, add an alien life-form to the mix. Creepy huh? Another of John Carpenter’s classic films that is a remake of the 1951 Sci-fi classic The Thing from Another World. This one is creepy and it’s probably best to check it out now before the prequel, which is in talks, is released.
Prince of Darkness (1987) – A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church. If opened, it could mean the end of the world. Great little film that’s very Lovecraftian and apocalyptic. Trapped inside a church, surrounded by the Devil’s puppets? Who are you gonna call? Apparently, no one.
In the Mouth of Madness (1995) - With the disappearance of hack horror writer Sutter Cane, all Hell is breaking loose…literally! Author Cane, it seems, has a knack for description that really brings his evil creepy-crawlies to life. Insurance investigator John Trent is sent to investigate Cane’s mysterious vanishing act and ends up in the sleepy little East Coast town of Hobb’s End. The fact that this town exists as a figment of Cane’s twisted imagination is only the beginning of Trent’s problems…. OK, so apparently this is the John Carpenter block. So I’m a fan, sue me! This was very good and entertaining and one of his last good movies before his downfall.
House (1986) – Roger Cobb is a author who has just separated from his wife. He moves into a new house and tries to work on a novel based on his experiences in the Vietnam War. Strange things start happening around him; little things at first, but as they become more frequent, Cobb becomes aware that the house resents his presence. Fun movie I saw as a kid. There are some scary moments in the movie but nothing you’ll sleep over. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself laughing while watching this one as it is part comedy.
The Legend of Hell House (1973) – A team consisting of a physicist, his wife, a young female psychic and the only survivor of the previous visit are sent to the notorious Hell House to prove/disprove survival after death. Previous visitors have either been killed or gone mad, and it is up to the team to survive a full week in isolation, and solve the mystery of the Hell House. One of the best haunted house movies I have ever seen based on a Richard Matheson novel entitled Hell House (the book is also very well written, of course, scarier than the movie). Very scary movie and I recommend watching this one during the wee hours of the night!
Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) – A story about the disappearance of several Appleyard College students, and a teacher, from Hanging Rock. A film from the land of Oz that is not so much scary but still is able to emit a sense of creepiness with the help of its mesmerizing and haunting soundtrack composed by Bruce Smeaton. Gheorghe Zamfir also lends his flute to a couple of tracks on the soundtrack that provides a mystical and fantastical aura to the scenes. I can’t say that this film is for everyone as it can tend to be a little slow and will probably have you scratching your head at its conclusion. But, it will definitely engage in conversation afterward that will be full of speculation and theory.
Haunting of Julia (Full Circle) (1977) – After the death of her daughter, Julia Lofting, a wealthy housewife, moves to London to re-start her life. All seems well until she is haunted by the sadness of losing her own child and the ghosts of other children. I would have to say that this movie was a little hard to come by. Again, the soundtrack is haunting and lends to the atmospheric mood of the film. Would not put this one at the top of my “must-see” movies, but would recommend giving it a watch nonetheless.
Asylum (1972) – A young psychiatrist interviews four inmates in a mental asylum to satisfy a requirement for employment. He hears stories about 1) the revenge of a murdered wife, 2) a tailor who makes a suit with some highly unusual qualities, 3) a woman who questions her sanity when it appears that her brother is conspiring against her, and 4) a man who builds tiny toy robots with lifelike human heads. Good little movie with a “Tales from the Crypt” feel in that it is an anthology of short stories. Some more creepier than others. Still, rather enjoyed this one. The “twist” ending was kind of a surprise but not really.
Well, I think this list provides enough to wet your appetite! Again, this is in no means intended to be a “scariest movies” list, just a couple that I found to be creepy/entertaining. For some of these you will actually have to like film as they are not all your run of the mill big-budgeted Hollywood movie.
There are dozens more but these are the ones that stood out immediately from my mind. Feel free to add some more in the comments field!
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If you answered yes, then there is, without a doubt, a need and/or must to check out Drew Daywalt and his horror micro-terrors. Helming from the shadows and depths that is Fewdio, Drew has stepped out into the light and has developed his own repertoire in The Daywalt Fear Factory that has been worthy for what, I would say, is suffice to call a cult following.
Exactly who is Drew Daywalt?
Some would say a Jack of all trades and a man of many talents being credited with many shorts and features under his belt as Writer, Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Production Designer, Art Department, Editor, Visual Effects and Casting Director. Phew! What does this say about him? Having been credited for most of these roles on his own projects, I’d have to say that he has a passion for his work and achieves what many strive to do on their own hard work and sweat. For this, I admire and discern Drew as an inspiration for he accomplishes what I strive to do and that is to make quality films.
According to the Fewdio website, Drew is a Emmy-nominated Writer who has been in the business for 15 years and exploiting his artistic and very stylish visions features, television, animation, and commercials. Tony Scott, Jerry Bruckheimer, Brett Ratner, Neil Moritz sound familiar or ring any bells? Well, Mr. Daywalt has written screenplays for these Hollywood conglomerates and it only speaks volumes to the talent Drew possesses. His first feature film Stark Raving Mad was produced by Quentin Tarantino’s company A Band Apart and stars Seann William Scott, Lou Diamond Phillips and Paul Hungerford, who has also worked with Fewdio. Pretty impressive, huh?
I’ve learned that Drew is not about the fame and glamor but, rather, he provides insights into the horror genre as well as provide invaluable information to aspiring filmmakers on his blog on Fearnet.com’s “School of Fear“.
I was able to speak to Drew and, being the great guy that he is, sat down and answered a few questions for me. For those interested in filmmaking, read on as he provides some very ingenious and useful information that gives all of us little people some hope. Well, it does so for me at least. But, I’m confident when I say that you will find a lot of what Drew has to say inspirational in that he proves that numerous so-called hurdles, that many of us lowly film makers are afraid to jump over, really aren’t that difficult to overcome. Am I coming off as a fan-boy? Well, what can I say, I’m a fan. Maybe Drew will finally shred some light on exactly what the word Fewdio mean? Maybe… Happy reading!
ReelyBored: What made you want to be a director?
Drew Daywalt: Being a screenwriter made me want to be a director. You see enough people misinterpret what you wrote and eventually you just say, “Fuck it! I’ll do it!” I never had a burning desire to direct. My desire has always been in the writing. But once I started directing, it really hooked me.
ReelyBored: I understand what you’re talking about. When writing, you have a certain vision that others find hard to convey and you end up wanting to do it yourself so that your vision can come across the way you see it mentally. As a writer, have you ever “bumped” heads with a director who was on the verge of altering that vision?
ReelyBored: What is your most memorable moment on set?
Drew Daywalt: I have so many memorable moments. That’s a great question! I think my most memorable moment on set is probably last year, during the filming of CAMERA OBSCURA, when my lead actress, Reagan Dale Neis, was doing this really heavy moment in the show where her character discovers some very emotional things about her deceased grandfather. We were trying to film this really heavy scene on location, and the woman who owned the location started making a sandwich in the kitchen, loudly, in the room next door. Fridge opening and slamming shut, jars of mayo being unscrewed, bread wrapper rustling. And I was in a situation where we were almost out of time and I couldn’t even cut. I thought, “Fuck… this is going to break Reagan’s concentration.” But Reagan powered through it. I thought maybe she didn’t even hear the noise. But she did, and she blocked it out. Four months later when I showed the scene at a private screening, everyone in the screening room was in tears. We’d done it! That’s indie film in a nutshell. Ridiculous parameters that you’re forced to work with, and then pulling off that “Hail Mary”. Reagan was inspiring to work with.
ReelyBored: What directors are your greatest influences?
ReelyBored: Any awkward/weird moments on set when starting out as film maker?
Drew Daywalt: I was lucky in that directing wasn’t my first job on set. I worked in the art department for 5 years. Because of my art school background I moved up to production designer and did a lot of work in that department before even selling my first script. So I had a lot of experience on set in various roles before taking foot on set as a director. That helps a lot when you speak the language of the crew. You look a little less like an idiot that way.
ReelyBored: I know that you have Stark Raving Mad under your belt, but most people know you for your role in horror with Fewdio and now DayWalt Fear factory. Do you mind being typecast as a horror director or do you want to be able to branch out into other genres?
Drew Daywalt: I actually started in music videos and commercials, then got into studio comedy and action films and, ironically, have worked hard to get OUT of other genres and into Horror. Horror is my goal, so I’m glad to get pigeon-holed here. It’s where I want to be. So, on the way in here, I saw other directors running past me for the door trying to get out. Fuck that! I actually want to be here. I’m a horror- fantasy, sci-fi fan and I want to build worlds. I’m one of the few who actually wants to be here because I don’t look down on the genre or the fans. I get them. I am one.
Drew Daywalt: Horror is not the easiest thing to do. It’s the hardest. Harder even than comedy. If you doubt that, look at how many good comedies there are compared to really good horror films. Horror is incredibly difficult as a genre and I think anyone who says it’s easy doesn’t understand it at all. They think it’s just a hot girl, a bucket of blood and a maniac du jour. But that’s not horror. It’s trash!
ReelyBored: When did you realize that you “made it”?
Drew Daywalt: I’ve made it? [laughs] I knew I made it “creatively” when the WGA (Writer’s Guild of America) strike started a few years ago and I found myself shooting short films when we (the writers in the WGA) weren’t allowed to work on features. I realized it was an addiction then, and a healthy one! One that feeds my soul. I don’t care if I’m making money doing this or not, I’ll be doing it regardless, for it’s own sake. For art’s sake. Somewhere out there, some of the bankers execs and agents are laughing at that comment, but fuck ‘em! They don’t get it. The smart ones do though, and that’s who I like working with.
ReelyBored: Having the money and the means are often obstacles for independent film making. What do you say to those who can’t afford a good camera, who can’t afford a crew and equipment to make their film look “professional”?
Drew Daywalt: With all the really good, new cheap technology out there like FCP (Final Cut Pro) editing software and the Canon 7D, and the zoom h4n, gear is becoming less and less of a hurdle for directors. What’s key is always good story and the ability to film it simply (at first), until you really know what you’re doing. The indie film world is becoming more democratized and that’s a great thing.
ReelyBored: My last shot with this question as I’ve tried with both Paul and David and if you can’t answer then I’ll be convinced that there is a conspiracy. Where does the word itself, Fewdio, come from?
Drew Daywalt: You’re right, there is a conspiracy and my lips are sealed. I’d tell you, but I took a blood oath (seriously) not to tell a soul.
ReelyBored: Why did you part ways with Fewdio?
Drew Daywalt: It was a very amicable parting. Three of the five principles of Fewdio were at my wedding, so these are dear, dear friends of mine. The idea of Fewdio was to help it to launch all of us collectively and individually because we all respected each other’s careers. When I got the offer to write and direct Camera Obscura outside of Fewdio, and then to help launch Fangoria Film’s new indie film division, they were very supportive and thought it was great. Each of them has continued with their own projects and it’s been like a collective more then a company. Because of the economy, everyone’s focusing on their own work. I just decided I’m going to keep making these shorts, and I got offered the chance to do these two features this year so I’m going to do that. Daywalt Fear Factory is just my desire to constantly be making these films, making new contacts in the horror community and giving people chances. I enjoy it so much. It’s no different than a feature shoot. We do ‘em in about 6 hours and we keep them contained. It’s like a poker night for us, or a movie night. Instead of doing a Freddy Krueger marathon, we get together and make something. That “for the love of it” approach is one of the reasons I’m going to continue with Daywalt Fear Factory.
ReelyBored: Aside from making great shorts, what do you hope to accomplish with Daywalt Fear Factory?
Drew Daywalt: I hope to become synonymous with good feature horror films the way I’ve become synonymous with rock solid horror shorts. The film festivals and internet fans and horror websites have treated me incredibly well. And I’m REALLY grateful for that. Now I’m working to parlay that into horror features and studio horror and continue in long form. But as for short form horror, I’ll never stop doing that. Ever. It’s too fun.
ReelyBored: How did you get to where you are today, from a film maker’s perspective?
Drew Daywalt: Following and making opportunities as they came before me. It’s been a lot of serendipity and shoe leather. There’s no secret recipe. Just keep doing what you do and the crazier they tell you that you are, the more you know you’re on the right path. Pioneering means going off the known path. And if everyone on the path is telling you you’re nuts, you’re very likely doing exactly the right thing.
ReelyBored: How did you get involved with writing “School of Fear” for Fearnet.com?
Drew Daywalt: My short films were winning a lot of accolades at the film and horror festivals, and I was being invited to speak on the subject at a lot of venues. One of these was at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles where I spoke on a panel with K.W. Low of Dread Central, and Sean Redlitz, Editor in Chief at Fearnet. I got to be friends with both of them, and Sean saw me speak publicly a few times and realized I was a bit of a horror academic as well as a film maker and offered me the blog. I was warmly welcomed into the Fearnet family by Lawrence Raffel, Spider One and Audrey Cleo who are all great horror authorities as well. And it’s been a great marriage.
ReelyBored: Honestly, what do you think about film school?
Drew Daywalt:I loved film school, but then again, it was mostly because of my friends and peers. I went to Emerson College in Boston and we were heavy on film theory and light on practical experience. So we graduated knowing why Metropolis and Bladerunner were cinematic sisters, but couldn’t tell the difference between a c stand and a matte box. All that practical stuff came later, working journeyman style on film sets under great crew people. And a lot of my peers are doing well in the industry and we do try to help each other out when we can.
ReelyBored: How hard/easy is getting the world to see your work? Do you feel accomplished in having shared your vision?
Drew Daywalt: It used to be hard. But welcome to web 2.0 where everyone can get their vision out there. I do feel accomplished in sharing my vision, but that’s the thing about having a vision – it never ends. It’s not like you say, “well, they’ve seen my stuff, I’m done,” so I continue to strive to show the world what I’m up to.
ReelyBored: Certain directors are remembered for one thing or the other, John Carpenter for horror, James Cameron for his action/epic films, etc. What kind of director do you want to be remembered as?
Drew Daywalt: I want to be known as a really nice guy. [laughs] That and the guy who could open the curtain on a world you didn’t know was there, and invite you in to play in it, even for a little while. A world builder. I guess that’s what I’d like to be known for. Creating new places.
ReelyBored: You’ve co-directed many shorts as well as Stark Raving Mad with David Schnieder, what’s it like co-directing and sharing a vision?
Drew Daywalt: Dave is my best friend and an amazing creator. We love working together, and when we work separately we’re always involving each other. It’s like a really successful marriage – a good writing partnership is.
ReelyBored: What’s in the works for Daywalt Fear Factory?
Drew Daywalt: I’m about to direct and produce, The Ringbearer, for Fangoria Films new film division. I just finished the script last month and we’re moving toward pre-production before the end of this year.
The Ringbearer is the story of a young man in NYC who ends up becoming involved in a 600 year old secret war between the vampires (called The Exsanguine) and the hunters who fight them (called The Venatori). In 1413 AD, a rogue sect of the catholic church who dedicated themselves to fighting supernatural creatures, created 9 rings that would give the 9 greatest vampire hunters the one thing they would need to beat the vampires. Immortality. And so a secret war has waged between these hunters and the vampires. But if the ring comes off the hand, the hunter dies.
I sold the pitch to Fango when they said they were looking for a vampire script. Tom Defeo asked me if I had anything and I said yeah, but it was the polar opposite of Twilight. Something for Horror fans instead of pre-teen girls. He asked me how it was different and I said I’m going to treat my vampires as hideous abominations, not angsty sex symbols. My vampires are beasts, demonic creations, not just rabid humans or human-bat hybrids. Imagine Heironymous Bosch doing them.
ReelyBored: What kind of tips/suggestions/advice would you give to an aspiring film maker?
Drew Daywalt: Get a camera and go! Most of what I learned, I learned practically. Don’t know a piece of equipment or intimidated by an editing program? Get your hands on one and monkey with it until you figure it out. And watch every film ever made and don’t stop brainstorming your ideas. That’s pretty much it.
Ready to get scared?
Here’s a little taste of what you’ll find at the Daywalt Fear Factory:
“THERE’S NO SUCH THING”
What could demonstrate affection on this holiday of love, more than a mother’s cherished relationship with her little girl?
A young woman’s suicide video acts as a catalyst for horror from beyond the grave…
I was recently invited by the Santa Barbara MINUTE Film Festival to create and submit a horror short that tells a story in 60 seconds or less.
And here is the trailer for his upcoming Web Series “CAMERA OBSCURA“
A young woman’s world is rocked when she discovers that not only was her dead grandfather secretly a demon hunter when he was alive, but now the camera is hers and so is grandfather’s unfinished quest…
ana gilmore, evil, fan film, film, Film News, film review, film reviews, haddonfield, halloween, halloween fan film, halloween fan film review, horor, horror film, horror movie, horror movies, horror review, illinois, john carpenter, john carpenter's halloween, josh hasty, judith, judith fan film review, judith review, kenny caperton, killer, michael myers, myers house, myers house nc, myers house north carolina, myers mask, original halloween, pre-marital sex, sarah stephenson, scream, short film, short horror, short movie, steven padin, teenager, young michael myers
Judith Myers, a character in which we see for a few minutes in the original Halloween, gets her five minutes of fame in this short film by director Josh Hasty and writer Kenny Caperton. The purpose of the film is to depict Judith’s character moments before her death so that we may gain a little insight and an alternative perspective of her character.
In terms of the overall film, I would have to say that I enjoyed the tone and eerie feel of the movie. The music by Steven Padin was great and fit perfectly into the movie with many musical cues that will be recognizable to many. There is great atmosphere in the opening of the film as we get small snippets of the town of Haddonfield that looked more of a genuine small town in rural Illinois as opposed to Pasadena in sunny California in the original Halloween where Fall-time was convincingly mimicked. Not so much the case with Judith. Although I do not know the particulars as to when it was filmed, the film makers did a good job at portraying the town as it would around Halloween time. Adding to the great atmosphere was the wonderful recreation of the original Myers house envisioned by writer Kenny Caperton, which can be seen here.
Despite my enjoying the film, and possibly one of the best fan-made movies that I’ve seen to date in terms of production value and acting, there were a few things where I felt it came just slightly short. As I thought this was simply a recreation of the events that were supposed to have happened just prior to Judith Myers’ death, it came off as more of a re-imaging of what might have happened. Of course, one cannot tell for sure what happened exactly as it was never written in the original, nor was it portrayed on film.
In Judith, Michael seemed to be a young teenager with issues as he isolates himself in his room while blaring some heavy metal music in stark contrast to the young 6 year old boy like in the original film. The film does, however, shatter the tiny perception of Judith Myers that was suggested in the John Carpenter’s Halloween, primarily because she breaks Randy’s rules of knocking on death’s door by succumbing to pre-marital sex (see Scream). My recollection of Judith was, well, that she certainly was no prude. In Judith, the title character is more of a normal teen. I felt that the character, D’arcy, played the role the way I expected Judith to be perceived being that she was more chipper and flamboyant.
Although I did enjoy the movie and was impressed with the camera work and level of production, there was not much going on in terms of story and plot development. Of course, this could all be because the story itself is based on a mere possibility of events that may or may not have occurred. However, being that this was solely based on a possibility the amount of different scenarios were virtually endless. Instead, the main story revolves around two friends (Judith Myers played by Sarah Stephenson and D’arcy Mims played by Ana Gilmore) just hanging out at the Myers house for a camp-out with friends where one thing leads to the other and, well, we all know what happens. In the end, there was really nothing new brought to the table with the exception that Michael has added another victim to his list.
Just like Judith in the original film, I was left not caring about this Judith as well. Sure she didn’t commit the cardinal sin of pre-marital sex this time around, there was not enough substance in her character for anyone to care about her at the time of her demise. Speaking of her demise, the scene was greatly executed by director Josh Hasty that was reminiscent of the original scene.
I would say to give this one a look as it was pretty impressive and the effort comes across. Even the DVD presentation was great as it included custom cover art as well as a few goodies that was thrown into the case. I only wished that the fantastic reproduction of the Myers house was utilized more to fit in with the Myers mythos. There was a fantastic mask in the film that made a short cameo and, in my opinion, would be great if used in this location for another short. For more information on the film, visit the Myers House NC.