Saturday, March 22, 2014

My New Project(s)

If you follow me on Twitter, which you should, you might have noticed me posting about editors and/or things related to writing. That's because the new project that I am working on is writing a collection of short stories. Horror stories of course.

My goal is to write ten stories in total for the collection. I am working with an editor after I complete each rough draft to help polish them. As of right now, I have two stories completed.

Why am I writing short stories? Honestly, I have always wanted to write a book of short stories, but never actually dove into doing one. Once my film RedFall died, I thought now was the best time as ever to do it. I have a lot of random ideas, mostly ideas that were conceived as a plot for a feature film. So I thought to myself, why not turn those ideas into short stories and at least get them out into the world for people to enjoy.

I am also inspired by Clive Barker to write a book of short stories. He is mostly an author, but has directed some feature films. He is most famous for creating the Hellraiser series and the character Pinhead. Clive Barker writes novels, but every so often releases a book of short stories titled the Books of Blood. Seven of his short stories have actually been adapted by others into feature films, including 2008's The Midnight Meat Train and 1992's Candyman.

Although I am focused on writing short stories for my collection, I am about to take a break from writing them so I can complete a screenplay I have been working on for years. is holding the 2nd Annual ScreamCraft Horror Script Contest and the deadline is June 1st. Not only do I think it would be cool to enter and just see what happens, but it also gives me an excuse to kick myself into gear and finally complete the script.

You never know what could happen from there.

- Matt

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

RedFall... is Dead.

I stated back in July of last year that my film RedFall was on hold. I claimed that it would eventually happen, but I just didn't know when it would happen. Well I would just like to put it down right now that I have declared RedFall dead. It has been dead for some time, but now I’m making it official.

Previously unreleased poster. (Yes, that is me.)

I'm not going to sit here and point fingers at anyone and say, "This is way RedFall is dead." RedFall is dead, because I say it is dead. However, I would like to thank my friends Chris O’Brocki and Dan Houser, for joining me on this project from the beginning and providing their services for free in hopes of finishing this film. (Or hopes of shutting me up about it.)

Here is some information about the film, if you are interested.

RedFall was a horror film being shot in the Found Footage style, similar to Paranormal Activity or The Blair Witch Project. Unlike most mainstream Found Footage films that usually have a ghostly element; RedFall was about a serial killer. (Pictured above.) I always described the film to people as Halloween meets The Blair Witch Project.

The visual look of the film was supposed to appear as though you are watching a digital transfer of a VHS tape. Once filming had finished and the edit was locked, we planned to add small visual effects to achieve this VHS look by doing such things as degrading the quality of the footage and adding tracking errors. We filmed two scenes featuring my niece to have breaks in the film that appeared as though the main characters were recording over old footage.

Only 7 scenes were completely filmed, out of the 21 total scenes. Every shoot we had was a blast. We were always having fun, but were serious and got things done in a reasonable fashion. As we completed scenes, I began work on a rough edit of the film. My edit, as it stands today, is 14 minutes and 16 seconds long.

Below are a few still frames taking right from my rough edit.
These frames appear without any visual effects.

My niece running down a pier. This was the opening shot for the film. The main footage came in as she was running down the pier. Acting as though it was being recorded over.

My niece looking for turtles. This appeared later in the film after a particular scene. Also appearing as old footage on the tape. (The date and time in the corners are also a bit of trivia. Can you figure it out?)

Dan Houser as Corey in a scene where him and Brandon are talking. The scene starts with him fooling around with the camera.

Chris O'Brocki as Brandon. This appears later in the film as the power goes off in the house and they have to rely on the camera's light.

Me as The Ghost. The killer of the film lurking in the basement as they searched for the fuse box. This was meant for the audience to notice and not the characters.

Me as The Ghost, saying hello to Corey as he attempted to fix the fuse box.

Brandon lays unconscious in the back of The Ghost's van.

In conclusion, I learned a lot doing RedFall. Good things and bad. Other than the fact that the film wasn’t completed or released, I don't regret anything. I would have never learned how to do certain things, like paint a rubber knife to look real.

I now have a new found respect for anyone who is an independent filmmaker, because making a movie is hard. I hope to one-day make a horror film of my own. If that day will come, I do not know, but I will damn sure give it my all.

On to the next project.

- Matt