Director Randy Nargi has had some experience with unusual subject matter — his award-winning mockumentary G-Sale is about people obsessed with garage sales — but nothing quite so strange as what the teenage couple in his new paranormal thriller The Hike encounter while trapped in a remote stone cabin in the mountains. (Cue appropriately eerie music.) The Hike is a prequel to a feature-length film Randy plans to shoot next summer, and a pledge of $100 or more gets you invited onto the movie’s special advisory panel. Members will be asked to provide input on the final script, casting and locations, which Randy hopes will “pull together a mini-community of people who [are] interested in the film and where we’ll go with it in the future.”
Read what else Randy had to say about his project below. Support it here.
Tell me about The Hike: quick plot synopsis!
The Hike is a paranormal thriller/horror film about two teens who hike up to an eerie stone cabin in Albuquerque’s Sandia Mountains. There they face a strange mystery that may have something to do with a secret military base not far from where they are hiking.
Are you a horror film buff. ‘Cause I am! Any faves? Anything in particular that inspired this tale?
I’m a big fan of a variety of horror films. Everything from classic Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead) to Kubrick’s The Shining. Some of my recent faves have been international horror films like The Host and Let the Right One In (which is being remade for U.S. audiences as Let Me In and ironically being filmed here in New Mexico by Hammer Films as we speak). I’m also a fan of certain Spielberg films like Jaws and Jurassic Park. In fact, I did a short comedy film called “Showering with Spielberg” which speculates how the renowned director gets his inspiration. If you are curious, you can watch the short here.
For The Hike, I was also inspired by Hitchcock — particularly Vertigo and North by Northwest. One of our shooting locations was the Sandia Peak Tramway — the longest aerial tram in the world. It dates back to 1966 and I’m sure if Hitchcock knew about the tram, he would have set a movie there. It’s a naturally thrilling location with innate cinematic qualities.
How was filming in the desert — any on set stories worth telling?
Actually, most of our filming was not in the desert at all, but in and around the Sandia Mountains on the outskirts of Albuquerque. The city of Albuquerque is considered “high desert” and sits at an elevation of around 5000 feet. We shot at the base of the Sandia Mountains (6,500’) where the temperatures last month were often in the 80s. But our last day of shooting was on the Sandia Peak tram and the top of the Sandia Peak — over 10,000 feet up. On top of the mountain it was around 20 degrees and covered in ice and a dusting of snow. Quite a temperature change.
How have people responded to your use of Kickstarter so far?
Well, we just started the project on Kickstarter, but I am incredibly excited about our small, but exceedingly generous group of supporters. Within a day, we were over 90% funded. Mostly by folks I didn’t know. The financial support is very important because it’s going to allow us to complete The Hike, but what I really wanted to accomplish with Kickstarter was to pull together a mini-community of people who were interested in the film and where we’ll go with it in the future. The Hike is a prequel to a feature film I plan to shoot next summer. By the end of our Kickstarter pledge drive (December 31), I hope to have assembled an informal group of people who really like paranormal thrillers and horror films — to serve as an ad hoc advisory committee for my feature film. In fact, that’s one of the rewards we’re offering. I’m very excited by the idea of inviting passionate fans into the process of filmmaking — because I think the result will be something spectacularly cool.
Kickstarter is a brilliant idea. I wish it was around when I did my first feature a few years ago. In this tough economic climate, it’s very encouraging to be among a community that continues to support the arts. My work and the work of other creative artists on Kickstarter certainly falls outside the mainstream, so if it wasn’t for the support of the Kickstarter patrons, much of the cool projects on Kickstarter would never see the light of day. So thanks very much to everyone who supports a Kickstarter project of any kind. You are awesome!