Scenes from NYC Horror Film Fest:
If life’s a shoot … memories are the movie.

December 6th, 2018

“What is drama, after all, but life with the dull bits cut out?”

Alfred Hitchcock

I’m back home after the US premiere of Nightmare Cinema, reflecting on the highpoints of the trip and ready to consign the rest (long security lines, delayed flights, rush-hour connection in the city that never sleeps) to memory’s cutting-room floor. If life is the shoot, then memories are the movie … and tonight it’s all about the final cut.

EXT. NEW YORK CITY STREET – NIGHT. Producer Mick Garris and Artistic Designer Lauran Fitzsimmons walk toward Cineopolis — site of the New York City Horror Film Festival, and the US Premiere of Nightmare Cinema. They’re accompanied by Laura Power, host of Behind the Scenes, a podcast that recently featured an interview with Mick Garris.

This Way to Egress by Lawrence C. Connolly

I’m there as well — the point-of-view guy, the memory cam.

Mick, Laura, and I have already seen the final cut of Nightmare Cinema. (Indeed, Mick has screened it a half-dozen times at various international events).

But Lauren has yet to see the final cut, which makes this an exciting night. You see, it was Lauran who helped give each of the film’s five segments its distinctive look by transforming found locations into nightmarish sets.

Jason Zerrillo’s cover for the Ash-Tree Press edition of the collection This Way to Egress.

FLASHBACK: The “Egress” set in 2016. Lauren and her team apply fake mold and synthetic blood to walls, furniture, and floors of an L.A. office, creating a set that will bear an uncanny resemblance to the cover art of the book This Way to Egress.

Lauren Fitzsimmons and her design team transform an office in downtown LA.

BACK TO SCENE: We reach the silver facade of Cineopolis Chelsea, six stories high, a beacon os silver light.

The screening is well attended; the audience, enthusiastic.

After the show, Festival Programmer Tony Timpone moderates a Q&A with Mick Garris. Mick talks about the international scope of Nightmare Cinema, how it features the work of horror masters from Cuba, Japan, England, and Mexico. Should Nightmare Cinema become a series (as he hopes it will) future installments will build on that international concept, fulfilling a dream that Mick first developed when his series Masters of Horror completed its run on Showtime in 2007.

CUT TO POST-SHOW RECEPTION: The place is packed with cinephiles, screenwriters, directors, producers. Among the screenwriters are Nick Schwartz, Dave Conte, and Matt Braunsdorf — the team behind The Blood Grinder, a finalist in the festival’s script competition.

Directors and producers include Kevin and Jennifer Slunder (whose short film Heartless will go on to win the festival’s Audience-Choice Award) and Jennifer Stang (whose short The Whistler will be named Best Short). Reviews coming soon.

Sharing the red carpet with Lauren Fitzsimmons, Jennifer Slunder, and Kevin Slunder. 

CODA: After New York, I head south for a family event in Florida, getting a day to exchange the skyscrapers of chilly Manhattan for the sunny palms of Orlando. And then … back home. That’s where I am now, replaying the events in memory’s theatre – that private screening room where the dull stuff gets edited out and the fun stuff gets all the close-ups. Yeah … it was a good time!

Until next the next shoot … scop on!

  1. This entry was posted on Thursday, December 6th, 2018 at 11:34 am and is filed under 21st-Century Scop. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.


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