Fast Horror

The Speed of Terror

Everything today is fast, instant.  Is it possible to create horror content to match this pace?  Is 30 seconds enough to put a real scare into an audience?  How about 15 seconds?  I believe it CAN be done – but it won’t be easy  The main issue is audience empathy.  In order to really feel terror, the audience MUST put themselves in the place of the main character.

Fragments of Fright

I think the key is individual shorts that ultimately add up to something terrifying. 30 seconds of terror or creepiness that are part of something larger.  30 seconds to pique the curiosity regarding the rest of the story.  It’s ultimately a challenge of efficiency regarding story and character.  Movie trailers are masters of the short form and work extraordinarily well on the internet.

A Web of Horror

Then there’s the web – a distribution platform that offers a staggering amount of cross pollination opportunities.  It’s new art form – blended entertainment – video and social media working together to achieve a larger experience – complete with audience participation and contribution – UGC, man UGC.  Trent Reznor did it beautifully with his Year Zero project.  One big, dark, evil rabbit hole to disappear into.   Mmmmmm –  a delightfully wicked way to spend one’s time…

Yes, I am blushing...

Yes, I am blushing…

The Gory Red Carpet…

Valuable lessons in interviewee etiquette

I recently had the pleasure of attending my first film festival, the Clifton Film Festival in July 2012, as a filmmaker.  The experience was one that I have been waiting 20 years to have and it was truly inspiring.  That said, the organizers had set up a makeshift “red carpet” complete with interview area. I was asked, like all the other participants, to be interviewed. Unfortunately, the results of my first interview as a filmmaker were less than award winning.  See for yourself at the link below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYSQ3Z_FRTA&list=PL75CEBFD19539622A&index=3&feature=plpp_video

Talk about dorky!  Goofy grin, not opening up to the camera, profile of a criminal – and not once did I mention my hero filmmaker, Roger Corman!  No mention of my basic filmmaking philosophy, web distribution, my film company brand, etc.  Oh yeah, and the interviewer called me “Jeremy”!  Oh the humanity!  Had I been filled with hydrogen, I would have burst into flames and fried all the curious onlookers.

Mistakes are the best learning devices

I believe that it’s exactly these types of experiences that make us better.  Failure is the only way to learn how to do something more effectively next time.  There is no chance for progress if one never makes a mistake and hence no chance to learn.  I happen to be the type of person who dives right in and as such I often end up doing things three times before I get a successful result.  Other people I know plan and plan and plan and then, finally, begin.  By the time they’ve begun, I’ve already tried 3 different ways to do the same task and successfully achieved my goal.  The important thing, however, is all the knowledge that I gained along the way – and that brings me precisely to my point.

Getting lemons and making lemonade

Because of this genetic defect in my personality, I’ve been fortunate to learn a great deal along the way – and because of this I’ve been the go-to guy when it comes to rescuing production disasters.  I’ve saved hundreds of horrible corporate and industrial nightmares from complete failure.   Without the experience of working through failures, I would have never had the ability to fix those situations.  Generally, I believe, these failures have given me the confidence in my abilities to think on my feet.  Unfortunately, the “red carpet” situation knocked me on my ass!  But boy, oh boy did learn a ton!  So the next time everything goes to hell and a hand basket, just remember how much you are learning while Rome burns – and start planning how to rebuild it!  It takes courage to try something unique and creative, especially something that others are afraid to attempt – of course, we all know that Nietzsche says “that which does not kill us makes us stronger”.

Here’s some film festival links for those courageous moments in your creative life:

 http://www.festivalfocus.org/

 http://www.festivaltrek.com/festivals-category/film-arts/

http://www.badlit.com/?page_id=887

Yes, I am blushing...

That’s not paint…

ps. Please don’t share my red carpet interview with too many people unless you plan on making a drinking game out of how many times I look goofy.