Teacher Shortage will be the third feature film from independent film company Fright Meter Films and Writer/Producer/Director Troy Escamilla. Party Night, Escamilla's first feature, was recently released by Wild Eye Releasing and is available to purchase online from Amazon, Target, Walmart, Best Buy and several other large retailers and is currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime. His second feature Stirring recently completed a very successful festival run; it screened as an Official Selection at several festivals and conventions, including Texas Frightmare Weekend, Days of the Dead, New Jersey Horror Con, Scares that Care Weekend, Something Wicked Film Festival, Shock Stock, The International Horror Hotel, Midwest Horror Festival, Tucson Terrorfest, Scare A Con, and the San Antonio Horrific Film Festival, where it won Best Feature Film. Escamilla also won the Best Director award from the Crimson Screen Horror Film Festival.
The film will be released November 13th via Wild Eye Releasing under the title Mrs. Claus.
Teacher Shortage is indeed another slasher film, but what makes this one different from typical slasher films that feature high school or college aged kids as the victims, this film will focus on a group of teachers at a small town high school who are being stalked by a mysterious masked killer.
Plot: What is supposed to be an educational and collaborative weekend professional development session for the English Department of Prescott High School instead turns into a blood soaked nightmare when a masked killer targets them.
My love and respect for the horror genre has been a significant part of my life for as long as a can remember.
I've utilized my passion for the horror genre by creating and running the blog FrightMeter.com and being the founder and President of the Fright Meter Awards, an award I created solely to honor the best in horror annually. The Fright Meter Awards have grown in respect and popularity over the last few years, allowing me to interview such horror icons as Lin Shaye (Insidious, Ouija: Origin of Evil), Lucky McKee (The Woman, May), and Pollyanna McIntosh (The Woman, The Walking Dead). There are currently over 50 members that make up the Fright Meter Award Committee, including bloggers, writers, directors, producers, actors and others involved in some manner with the horror genre.
Back in 2016, I took my passion one step further and with absolutely no filmmaking experience whatsoever, I wrote, produced, and directed my first feature film, the 80's throwback slasher film Party Night. The film was received very well, garnered positive reviews from Dread Central, iHorror, PopHorror and other prominent horror blogs. It also won several awards at various film festivals. On September 11th, it was released to nationwide retailers via Wild Eye Releasing.
Party Night Official Trailer:
Only one short year later, in June of 2017, I completed my second feature film, the Christmas themed slasher Stirring, which stars 80's horror icons Brinke Stevens (The Slumber Party Massacre, Nightmare Sisters) and Helene Udy (My Bloody Valentine, The Dead Zone). The film will be released November 13th via Wild Eye Releasing under the title Mrs. Claus.
Mrs. Claus (aka Stirring) Official Trialer:
We're excited to have a very talented cast assembled so far! None of them are strangers to the horror genre and we're thrilled that they are bring their talents and experience to this film! However, we do have a few more casting announcements to make, so definitely stay tuned!
Brinke Stevens is a horror icon and Scream Queen who has appeared in over 156 films, including the 80's cult classics The Slumber Party Massacre and Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl o Rama. I had the pleasure of working with her on my last film, Stirring, and am thrilled to have her back!
Debra Lamb has worked with such acclaimed directors as David Lynch, Kathryn Bigelow, Paul Verhoeven, and John Hughes! Her experience and professionalism will be a great asset and we can’t wait for you to see her in our film!
Kaylee Williams has made quite a name for herself in the indie horror community these past few years, having appeared in such films as Model Hunger, Porkchop 3D, Ahockalypse and will appear in the anticipated upcoming Don't F*ck in the Woods 2 and Death Care. I also worked with Kaylee on Stirring and know firsthand how talented she is!
Roger Connors is recognized as one of Cleveland Ohio's premier independent film actors and has become a well-known name within the cult-horror scene after appearing in a wide array of widely publicized b-horror classics such as Hellementary: An Education in Death and Chill: The Killing Game. More recently, Roger can be seen in such films as The Colours of Desire, Rebirth, Fighting the Sky, Mother Krampus 2: Slay Ride, and American Poltergeist: The Curse of Lilith Ratchet.
David McMahon has very recently become a recognizable face in the indie horror scene. He's appeared in American Guinea Pig: The Song of Solomon, the acclaimed short films The Itch and The Jerry Show, and has roles in the highly anticipated upcoming feature films Volumes of Blood 3: Devil's Knight, Savage Vengeance, and Bonejangles 2.
Mel Heflin killed it with her portrayal of Angela in our last feature Stirring, so we're thrilled to have her back! Additionally, she's also starred in It Kills: Camp Blood 7 and Hunters.
Chris Jehnert is mainly known in the music industry as a member of "Larger Than Life: The Ultimate Boy Band Tribute." However, he's also a huge horror fan and has appeared in the recent horror films Final Cut, Killer Unicorn, and The Dark.
Julie Anne Prescott has done extensive modeling and has worked as a spokesperson for Troma Independent Film Studio. Since getting into acting, Julie Anne has appeared in several independent horror films, including the upcoming Kill Dolly Kill, Meathook Massacre 4, and Clownado.
Michael Tula is a Houston based actor, radio host, and sports anchor who has appeared in the feature films Montrose and Last Forever. Michael's audition was wonderful and his talent very evident! We're excited to see him bring the character of Brandt to life in front of the camera!
While we were able to shoot Party Night and Stirring with very small budgets, Teacher Shortage is definitely a larger undertaking, with more locations and more elaborate death scenes. While we do have some independent funds set aside for production, we need to raise our Kickstarter goal to make this film happen! Remember, this is an ALL or NOTHING campaign; if we do not meet our goal, we do not receive any of the funds raised!
Kickstarter is a great vehicle in which to try to raise the budget to allow us to film Teacher Shortage simply because it connects people who have an immense passion for a project with an audience who can then have a part in ensuring the project comes to fruition. Horror fans are generally some of the most fervent and loyal fans. Teacher Shortage is a unique take on the slasher genre, but it cannot get made without your help. We need and want you to be part of this film by becoming a backer; as you can see there are great rewards available and anything helps! Funds raised will be used for transportation, lodging, and craft services for our cast and crew, locations, special effects, music/score, and post production costs, including festival submissions.
Check out just some of the press/publicity we've received for Party Night, Stirring (Mrs. Claus), and Teacher Shortage:
Dread Central: Party Night Review
Indie Infestation Podcast: Stirring Things Up With Troy
Behind the Lense: Interview with Troy Escamilla
iHorror: Shocking Scares and Gore: Party Night Delivers
iHorror: Raw, Naughty, and Gritty: Stirring Delivers Bloody Holiday Joy!
Pop Horror: Teacher Shortage Q&A With Troy Escamilla
Pop Horror Review: Blood, Gore and More....Oh My!
Pop Horror Review: Stirring: A Bloody Yuletide Massacre: Not Your Average Reindeer Games
Cinema Slasher: Party Night Review
Horror Fuel: Stirring is Gift For Slasher Fans
Morbidly Beautiful: Talking Stirring With Troy Escamilla
Risks and challenges
Actors are human and sometimes emergencies arise. To cover this possible obstacle, we are securing alternate actors who will live in the immediate area and can step in if needed.
As long as we raise the funds necessary, the film WILL be made, just as "Party Night" and "Stirring" were!
However, one of the challenges will be getting the finished project seen. One way this will be accomplished is to submit the film to a variety of film festivals that cater to the horror genre.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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