Categories
Indie Horror

New Indie Horror – Beyond the Shadows (2020)

Beyond the Shadows is a horror/ dramedy that touches on Native American genocide. The film follows a group of ghost hunters filming a fake TV show. They decide to do a live special with a group of scientific debunkers, 3 super fans, and a medium. Chaos ensues as the ghost hunters become the hunted.

First off, tell me about yourself and how you got into filmmaking?

I’ve always been writing scripts.  But a problem I had as a nobody screenplay writer, was that I was writing with no regard to the budget.  My brother, Jacob Royce Gustafson, and a friend, Carl Billington, all decided that I write something that we could film on a nothing budget.  That script became our first feature,  High Note, an indie/ dramedy/ druggie/ musical.  I wanted to do something different.  

What inspired you to create this film?

I’ve always been big into ghost hunter shows.  So I took that little idea, and wanted to have a “Clue” meets slasher flick feel to it.  Chaos in a haunted mansion.  Plus I love Native American history.  I’m part Athabascan.  So I really liked the idea of throwing in some history of Native genocide and then letting the Native Americans start picking off the ghost hunters.

We don’t see a lot of horror drama so tell me was that planned or did the story just play out that way?

I’m actually not a horror genre writer.  This is only my second horror script.  I’m definitely more comfortable with drama.  So it was planned. 

What were some of the biggest challenges getting the project done? Did you self fund it?

The biggest challenge with both of our features was funding.  We used Seed and Spark for both movies which are crowdfunding options.  It got us a little bit and the rest, our production company Great Gus Productions pitched in.  The production company is my siblings and I.  Another challenge was scheduling.  We shot the majority of the movie at a lodge in the hills.  And with a limited budget comes a limited shoot schedule.  

Any good stories from the making of the film?

There’s plenty of funny stories from filming.  We will have to add some deleted scenes at some point.  Not only was the lodge our set, but it doubled as housing for most of the cast.  So it had a slumber party feel to it.  And when members of the cast weren’t shooting, some of them would watch from behind the camera at their castmates scenes.  

You must be a bit of a horror fan, give us a few recommendations of horror films you like?

I’m a big horror fan.  My wife, who plays Eve in the movie, not so much.  So I haven’t seen a lot of new stuff.  The Shining, The Excorcist, Scream, Friday the 13th, Hatchet, anything with zombies, lots more.

Where can we find and follow you online?

greatgusproductions.com | @ProductionsGus Twitter | @greatgusproductions • Instagram photos and videos

Finally, when does the film come out and where can we see it?

The film is on YouTube now.  Here’s the link:https://youtu.be/HXZwlom_PFI

Is there is anything else you want to mention?

Please check Beyond the Shadows.  We have an unbelievably talented cast and crew.  We like to make weird movies.  High Note is available on TubiTv.com.  And thank you, Tritone, for the interview

Categories
Indie Horror

New Indie Horror film Body Farm Coming March 1st 2020

We had a chance to catch up with co-directors and co-stars Nicholas LaMantia and Brandon Keenan about their upcoming feature film “Body Farm.”

What inspired the story behind Body Farm? 
Brandon Keenan: Back in 2007 I had someone bring up the topic of a Body Farm in Tennessee. I started researching it and once I saw the reality of what the place was in just pictures alone I had churned up the idea f making a movie based around a place like this. The idea that human beings that donate their bodies to science and have their bodies put into studies that seem horrific to any outsider was enough to get the creative juices flowing. 6 Months later I had a full script. 

What are your favorite horror films? 
Brandon: I love Saw, Hostel, High Tension (French Film), and a lot of old horror films. Scary horror films for me are ones that could actually happen. I appreciate science fiction films as well such as Ghostbusters, Alien, and War of the Worlds. 
Nicholas: I would say that I truly enjoy films that may not classify as straight-up horror but have horror elements. Silence of the LambsOld Boy (2003), and Shutter Island stand out as heavy influences on me. I like character studies, but I also enjoy films that treat the location as a character which heavily influenced my direction of Body Farm.  

Any advice for new horror filmmakers after making your first feature film?
Brandon: Grab a camera and start shooting. I’ve been filming small videos since I was a little boy and ultimately there is just myself with a creative mind. I would encourage others to work with what you have. You don’t need big budgets or a huge studio backing to make a movie. 
Nicholas: Do not forget the story. Simple is best, and you are not better than your audience. People connect with simple stories that are told by interesting characters. The easiest part of making a good film is a good script. It is your blueprint. I can not build a house without blueprints. I would have a random pile of lumber and nails. I need the blueprint to organize it. A script is the same way.  

What as the hardest scene to get and how did you make it happen? 
Brandon: The gun shot scene! We had one take.
Nicholas: Oh, yeah! The bloody (both British and literal definitions of the word) gun shot scene was nail-biting, nerve-wracking, and nauseating. 

Any other interesting facts or funny stories from making the film you want to share? 
Brandon: My weight went up and down during those 2.5 years. Literally from 245lbs to 270lbs. I didn’t make it easy for continuity to say the least. Nick had to keep a scruffy beard and long hair for all of it as well and he did a much better job on that end! LOL.
Nicholas: There was so much sugar-based, fake blood in one scene that the sugar melted under the lights and then caramelized. This process froze the actor, who was laying in the gallons of fake blood, to the floor. It took quite a bit of warm water to remove the actor from the floor. 

Body Farm a joint production by KVT Productions and Nickel 17 Films, will be available on Amazon Prime, Direct TV, Google Play, iTunes, and Microsoft TV & Movies on March 1st. 

Body Farm Trailer

Body Farm follows an independent film company that sends a videographer ahead of a story. She goes to investigate a body farm where human decomposition is researched. The footage that is sent back leads the rest of her team to follow her footsteps where they uncover a grisly medical abyss. 

Co-directors and co-stars Nicholas LaMantia and Brandon Keenan shot the film over twenty days over the course of two and a half years to complete the 75-minute film in their feature-film directing debut. 

Both filmmakers have been active in the Pittsburgh-area film community for over ten years, but this is their first independently-produced feature film. 

Completely self-funded, the $35,000 production used mostly Pittsburgh-based actors and crew members as they shot in Western Pennsylvania, New York, in the mountains of North Carolina and at the West Virginia State Penitentiary. 

The film also features a cameo from Richard Christy (The Howard Stern Show, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2).