When fourteen-year-old Kara discovers that her little sister Jessa is under the influence of a sinister spirit, the girls attempt a homemade ritual to expel the evil force from their home. But their journey into the supernatural unleashes an unexpected horror from which the girls may never recover…
The script started with the location: Bayhead, NJ. The town is a popular beachside escape in the summer months – but when the cold sets in and the beaches close, Bayhead becomes like a ghost town - the perfect setting for a supernatural story.
To help build a film around this special location, Jacey turned to Brian – a talented writer, horror fan extraordinaire, and someone she likes a whole lot – to write the story with her. Together, they started to imagine the stories that might lurk inside some of these old family homes. Out of this grew the film’s main premise – a girl haunted by an otherworldly presence, and the lengths to which her family will go to protect her.
When it came time to find a director for the project, they could think of only one person brave enough for the job – Erlingur. Thus began the collaboration of a few horror junkies who want to make a movie that excites, frightens, and entertains.
Erlingur Thoroddsen: Director
Born and raised in Reykjavik, Iceland, Erlingur has made countless short films and music videos, ever increasing in scope and ambition as the years have passed. The films have traveled the world and been shown in festivals around Europe and America. Before going to film school, he earned a BA degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Iceland, and he has written both fiction and articles for several publications in Iceland. He has also worked as an editor, both freelance and for TV, and helped oversee stage management for various events including the Reykjavík Gay Pride and the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. His 2012 short film “Child Eater” recently premiered at the Reykjavík Film Festival. He is currently pursuing a MFA degree in film directing at Columbia University in New York. He has also read all of Stephen King’s books and sometimes DJs under a pseudonym.
Brian McAuley: Writer
Growing up in suburban New Jersey, Brian nurtured his young imagination with Goosebumps books, late-night Twilight Zone reruns, and an endless stream of horror films that he was way too young to be watching. This ravenous appetite for scary stories led him to NYUʼs Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where he earned his self-crafted BA in Screenwriting and Horror Theory, culminating in a TEDx lecture on the therapeutic value of his beloved genre. In 2009, he adapted his horror/comedy feature screenplay "Love Me Tender" into an award-winning short film that was selected to play at over twenty international film festivals. Brian’s original pilot script “Strange Case” was awarded “Best Original Pilot” and “Faculty Selects” at the 2012 Columbia University Film Festival. Brian crafts the stories that he wants to see - the ones that make you care about the characters before the blood begins to spill.
Jacey Heldrich: Producer/Co-Writer
Jacey is a current MFA Candidate in creative producing at Columbia. She has produced or co-produced a number of short films, including “Soul Winner” (dir. Jennifer Gerber), "The Air Inside Her" (dir. Darya Zhuk), "Galaxy Comics" (dir. Kevin McMullin), and "Lectern" (dir. Jeff Miller). Her films have been recognized by the National Board of Review, The Brooklyn Arts Council, The Marion Carter Green Foundation, and with a Faculty Honors award at the Columbia Film Festival. In 2011, Jacey produced the Columbia Film Festival Trailer, and that same year was awarded the prestigious Festival Screenwriting Fellowship. She received the 2012 Arthur Krim Memorial Award, given to a 2nd year student who excels in the producing program. Most importantly, she can summarize every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer from memory.
Can you raise more than your goal?
YES! $5,000 is the minimum we need to finish our project, and we don't want to be greedy. Still, the more we raise the better the movie. Anything over $5,000 will go towards special effects, music, sound, and festival submission fees.
I don't like horror movies. Why should I donate?
It might sound cliche, but to us the movie is really about what people will do to protect the ones they love. Our movie might have some blood and supernatural stuff, but what really makes it special is the relationship between Jessa and Kara.
So it's not just things jumping out from behind doors to scare me?
Well, there might be some of that...
How did the three of you meet?
Jacey met Brian and Erlingur two years ago at a Halloween party at Columbia. Erlingur was dressed as Eddie from Absolutely Fabulous, Brian was Snake Plissken from Escape from New York, and Jacey was new at school and too nervous to dress up.
What's up with these creepy beds?
That's one of our shooting locations! Scary, right?
Risks and challenges
There's always risk involved in making a genre film, and as students, sometimes those complications can be magnified. While we've assembled an unbelievable team to help us make our movie, there's always the potential for things to change and alter the project.
All three of us are interested in the way genre movies were made in the era of Poltergeist and The Exorcist. To that end, we're going to attempt to do all "practical" effects, or, without the help of a computer. While that's an exciting challenge, the possibility of something not working is real, and we may have to adjust on the fly during shooting.
Similarly, because horror is so stylized, building the look and feel of the film through editing, color, and sound design can be a long and arduous process. We've attempted to give ourselves as much time as we can for this part of production, but we may discover problems, or new ideas we want to try as we go along. This could result in the final product being slightly different (but possibly better!) than the film we set out to make.
Filmmaking is a thrilling and adventurous process from start to finish. We're looking forward to sharing all the ups and downs with you along the way!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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