The Days Of The Dead, Atlanta horror convention and film festival will be lurching to life February 7th through the 9th. The film fest, programmed by Jason Hoover of Jabb Pictures, will run 'round the clock throughout the weekend. Mr. Hoover contacted me to ask if he could include a double feature of my work: Scrapbook (1999) and Deadwood Park (2007). They'll screen back-to-back Saturday night, February 8th.
My movies will be in excellent company. Also screening at the fest will be Jeff Wedding's extraordinary A Measure Of The Sin, Adam Rehmeier's powerful The Bunny Game, and Fred Vogel's intense The Redsin Tower. Fred and his ToeTag company will also be presenting "Splattitude" - a celebration of horror film gore, masks, and special effects.
I strongly desire to make a very different movie each time I embark on a new project. I hate the idea of settling into a rut, and making the same ol' expected flick again and again. Comfort zones should always be breached. As a result, love 'em or loath 'em, each of my movies is drastically different from the others... in fact, I'll guess this is why a typical viewer may love one of my movies, yet loath another. I really like the idea my movies looking like they've been directed by different filmmakers. Delivering something different with each film keeps the adventure exciting for me - and if you're a fan of my movies, I like that ya never know what to expect from me.
Scrapbook and Deadwood Park may represent the widest fissure between films of mine. Scrapbook is a grating, sucker-punch of brutality that generated as much controversy as it did critical acclaim. It's a shocking, ugly, unflinching two-character drama that unfolds over the course of a few days at a single location. It's shot in a television / documentary style, with lots of handheld camera and slow zooms.
Deadwood Park is an atmospheric ghost story that builds dread and eerie stillness before delivering quick stabs of violence. It's an epic story that spans more than half a century. The cast is quite big, and multiple scenes utilize a fair amount of background extras. There is even a World War 2 battle sequence in the movie. (We're often accused of lifting WW2 shots from bigger films to boost Deadwood Park's production values ...but nope, we shot every single frame of the movie ourselves, including the WW2 sequences.) Deadwood Park mixes handheld camera, dolly moves, and static, locked-down shots. (Zero zooms.) I intended Scrapbook to kick, claw, and scream at the viewer... to really rattle and unnerve him or her. I intended Deadwood Park to whisper in your ear an uncanny tale that gives you the shivers. I salute Jason Hoover for making the creative choice to screen these two movies as a double feature at the Days Of The Dead convention / film fest. I would not have thought of that. I wonder how the tone of Deadwood Park changes when you watch it directly after watching Scrapbook.
Thanks for reading.
- Eric Stanze