You’re probably sick and tired of found footage. You’re not alone. With each new low-budget, poorly acted found footage thriller that hits Netflix, an audible groan is heard from the horror community. All too often you hear the same complaints lobbed at most of these films - there’s no story, the acting sucks, it’s just people running around with a camera - and so on and so forth.
To an extent, I agree, and that’s why we wrote HAUNTED. The idea for HAUNTED arose out of a podcast myself and co-writer Dan Weissenberger had on PARANORMAL ACTIVITY shortly after it came out. While I truly love the film, Dan’s feelings were less than laudatory. After some back and forth on the good and bad points, Dan said something that set this whole thing into motion: “It could have better if it were done through four cameras.”
And thus HAUNTED was born. A discussion concerning the good and bad points of found footage kicked off the brainstorming process: How can we make a found footage horror film that is unique but didn’t fall victim to the same problems and complaints that befall most of these types of films? This was the driving force behind our writing process, as we fully acknowledge that most found footage, well, sucks, and we wanted to do everything we could to avoid these tropes.
While many might be turned off by the setting of HAUNTED, we felt that a paranormal investigation was the best way to use the four camera conceit. Unlike others, however, we don’t follow a team of investigators filming a show; instead, we focus on a team of investigators who simply do it because they love it. In order to ensure accuracy, we consulted the Ghosts of Georgia, a professional team of paranormal investigators who provided us with the ins and outs of ghost hunting - the types of people on the team, the basic setup process, and what goes on during an investigation. As you’ll see from the script samples posted below, we followed this as closely as we good while adding enough creative license to make a genuinely scary horror film.
Some of you may have noticed that this isn’t the first time we have tried to raise money for this film. Our first attempt didn’t work out as we had hoped, but in the end, some good came out of it. Primal Pictures, a newly formed production company devoted to low-budget horror, contacted us with a desire to read the script. While they ultimately passed, it made us realize that we have something viable, something real. We truly believe that we have something special here, so we’re trying again.
As you can see, we’re asking for $35,000. A lofty goal no doubt, but we feel this is the minimum amount we need to not just make the film, but to make it well. As you’ll see below, we have included our detailed budget to give you an idea of where every dollar will go during the film’s production. Beyond this, we have attracted the interest of a number of producers who are willing to back the project, thus increasing our chances of making a quality horror film.
Every single penny earned from this campaign will go toward making this film, and since you, the fans, funded it, we don’t feel it’s right to withhold the finished product from you. As such, once the film is completed, after all the awards have been given out, we will make live a link to an HD quality download of the film on the film's official website.
We understand that making a movie costs money, but we also believe that art should be shared. We love horror, especially found footage, and we want EVERYONE, not just those who can afford it or who are lucky enough to attend a screening, to have the chance to see what we feel is going to be an incredibly original and genuinely terrifying horror film.
If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to ask. Everything will be addressed in the comments section or updates section. If you would like to contact us directly, you can email me at email@example.com.
Praise for HAUNTED
“With the 'found footage' format growing stale, Brad & Dan's fun, compelling and frightening screenplay has found a way to inject a unique energy into a sub-genre that so badly needed a spark.” - Ryan Levin, writer of SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE
About the Filmmakers
Brad McHargue and Dan Weissenberger – Writer/Director
After graduating from Florida State with an MA in Classical Civilizations, Brad McHargue turned his attention to writing about horror on his now-defunct blog I Love Horror. Since then, he has contributed his work to numerous websites, including HorrorSquad by Cinematical, Bloody Disgusting, Dread Central, Fangoria, and The AV Club - Denver/Boulder. HAUNTED marks his first foray into screenwriting, guided and perfected by the talent of Dan Weissenberger, a screenwriter working and living in Ottawa, Ontario. His brash, uncompromising, and incredibly honest critiques of horror films have made him a trustworthy voice, and one that won’t be swayed by popular opinion. Together they seek to bring their unique vision of horror to life.
Rachel Katz – Script Editor/Production Manager
Rachel Katz studied Kung Fu for four years, advancing to Level III White Crane. She's celebrated New Year's in five different capitol cities (state, provincial, federal, and cultural), and likes to tell people she used to know everything about Star Wars. Rachel holds four university degrees, has dove on WWII wrecks, and once interviewed Lance Henrikson. When she's not conducting academic research on shipwrecks and horror movies, Rachel likes to watch Top Gear. She sat on the Grand Jury for the Beneath the Earth Film Festival, was recently published in Paracinema, and continues to work as a script editor in her spare time.
Brad Henderson - Producer
Brad Henderson is an aspiring writer/director/producer and the recent founder of SilverStar Video Productions. His most recent creation, “Teddy”, has been submitted to a few festivals and two more projects are in the works. He has been an avid fan of horror since early childhood, a fact that can be attributed to a family with a loving, but twisted, sense of humor. He is currently working at passing this appreciation on to his own. His lifelong goal is to create films and to help others create films.
You can check out excerpts from the script, as well as the preliminary budget using the links below.
The Investigation Begins