Not all indie-horror films…

…can be tarred with the same brush. I think that goes doubly for HorrorCon. This past weekend only went further to prove to me that we may doing something unique, here. That’s not to say it’s an “art film” or “experimental cinema” or even “groundbreaking”, but it is starting to reveal itself in ways that feel wholly uncalculated. Pardon me if that sounds facile, but as it often happens, the film is taking on a life of its own and in this case I think I know why.

The novella was inspired by sources quite distant to the genre in which we’re attempting to tread and adapted with as tight a script as I could write, yet one that invited creative collaboration by design. I wanted an improvisational, exploratory vibe, which meant my hiring and casting had to be spot on. If it was, I could let the players – both in front and behind the camera – run a little off the leash and still stay well within our strict, budget constraints. Up to the point of this shoot, it was hard to tell exactly what was happening. I was pleased with what we were getting, but where earlier shoots required wrangling with crowds and ever-shifting conditions, this one occurred completely inside a closed, indoor set. This allowed for a far more relaxed group, and within an hour we had transformed a small, seaside cottage into one character’s gut-wrenching, domestic hell. Luckily for us, we were able to add to an already entropic environ with touches that revealed character while piercing the heart. From there, we moved at our own pace with only the subtly shifting, slightly fading, always filtering light acting as our stopwatch. Even in that context, we had back-up if need be. Reminiscent of imaginative childhood games, we were free to play until our internal batteries ran dry.

The results were startlingly real, and often sublime. Another baby step in a long walk to glory, but one well worth taking. The dates of our next step are still being decided, but I’ll be savoring this one until then. I think we all learned how much of the story will be grounded, and where our core energy will sit. And for damn sure we learned the role of the slider dolly in our filmmaking future. Thankfully, we learned how to set it up and break it down quickly, because I have a feeling we’ll be using it quite a bit in the next round and beyond. The key is to not let it dictate our perspective, but keep it ready in our quiver for when its services best convey our vision.

Lastly but not leastly, congratulations go to our prolific Roma Gypsy, Evgeniya Radilova, for her outstanding performance in Natalia Pelevine‘s stunning two-woman show, I Plead Guilty. The run ended May 29th, but the word is they’ll be taking the show into Washington, D.C. Great stuff, and good luck. Erik “Dane Harding” Audé also continues to throw his weight around on the tube, including work in a few episodes of TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles. We wish him luck with that pending HBO dealie, too.

That’s all for now! You can check out the HorrorCon Facebook Page for some stills from the shoot, if you like. Of course, stay tuned for new shoot dates, and please: stay out of the sun.

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