By Jared Christensen
January 26, 2020
The long awaited independent production of The Tell Tale Heart short movie has officially wrapped its year long production. From it has come a stellar movie, a lot of great memories and plenty of scary stories of real-life hauntings of the cast and crew. All of this mayhem was seen through their harrowing experiences while making this horrifically intense film.
“I’ve worked with gore and monster effects before, but this time was very different,” said Mikkel Richardson (First Assistant Camera) “Chris Hanson(Special Effects) is a master. I’d been excited to work with him leading up to the shoot. I saw that Chris could stand up to the hype. The detail in the gore and the grotesque distortions were unreal. After the shot was done I had to step off set to collect myself and get some air. I’d never worked with content in a scene that ACTUALLY made me scared. When you put a talented performer in makeup like that and let them work, you don’t need the context of the film to feel disturbed”
And Mikkel wasn’t the only one dealing with actual anxiety while filming the horror movie on set. McClain Lindquist the Writer, Directorand Producer of the Tell Tale Heart short movie had a handful of truly scary unforeseen movie-making moments as well. This first happened when his nightmare inducing images (born from his own terrifying childhood dreams) and the talented actors extremely intense acting literally forced him to step away from some of the more violent scenes of realistic carnage and devolving villainous madness.
“I almost feel bad for unleashing the demon spawn of my own nightmare fueled dreams… almost.” Lindquist is quoted as saying about his monstrous incarnations of dread and fear. “These horrific visions born or better yet ripped from the deepest darkest recesses of my Amazonian psyche are now thrust onto a unwitting world… like I said, I feel bad… almost.”
Lindquist in turn spoke also lavishly about the genius art and creative creature creations of the incomparable special effects master Chris Hanson.
“To witness first hand the visceral effect of Chris Hanson’s creepy artwork had on not only myself but a majority of the crew was awe inspiring,” Lindquist continued. “When James C. Morris(The Old Man) was walked on to the set, the mood in the studio instantly became altered. So much so you could have heard a pin drop. I was truly and completely terrified. The sound stage seemed to become strangled to the point I personally needed to get some fresh air. Which I felt was a valid and decent excuse to step away from the visual manifestation of my worst nightmares as a child.”
The scary vibe was felt by many members of the crew “I was gasping and then holding my breath in certain scenes so that I wouldn’t make another sound,” said Janelle Corey (Wardrobe) while working on-set during the production of The Tell Tale Heart short movie. “I remember being so terrified that I spent most of my time offset working in the wardrobe tent because I was too big of a baby.”
The horror continued well after the film wrapped in post production “It may have been the late hour, a lack of sleep, a mild predisposition, or some combination thereof,” said Ryan Templeman the film’s Assistant Editor/Consultant “But during one particular late night editing session, I had myself quite convinced, I was literally going insane.”
Joe Olivas the Director of Photography was also greatly affected by the visceral images “I got physically sick to my stomach when I watched the Narrator cleaning up his crime in the bathroom scene. It made me realize that after filming a scene like that I have the benefit of knowing that it is all just movie magic and the gore isn’t real. (Sound Design) work strips away that buffer and adds a level of realism that convinces my ears that what my eyes see is real!”
Joe Olivas wasn’t alone in his nervousness. A crew member who wishes to remain anonymous (and is not one to get easily spooked) had a on set panic attack induced by true fear. The unnamed individual had to step outside during filming. Being so terrified that they eventually ended up leaving the studio and didn’t return to the set until the next day. This unfortunate incident was brought on by a highly intense moment of triggered anxiety. It is possible that the impetus was the scary movies overall themes of insanity, projection, and guilt. Or it could be the intended confusion of delving into the psychopathy of a delusional monomaniac murderer that brought them to a eventual breaking point?
Even being far removed from the darkness, safely situated in another studio on the other side of town the reverberations of the horror movie could be measured “I was working on music late night,” said Joel Pack, the film’s talented composer “And (I) got to a point where I had to get the %*$& out of the studio because I was too creeped out!”
The horror/psychological-thriller short movie has truly exceeded everyone’s expectations and anyone who was involved in the making had a great “buzz” about them when I attended the lavish wrap party. The camaraderie and excitement was palatable. Everyone there seemed to genuinely know they had created something truly special, something that is much bigger than themselves and those fearless individuals that have seen any of the teasers or trailers can testify why.
Tentatively set for spring of 2020 in Ogden, Utah.
The Tell Tale Heart will be at the Emerald City Comic Con on March 12-15th which will take place in Seattle, WA at the Washington State Convention Center. We will debut the incredibly creative comic book adaptation at this prestigious event. There’s some potential that there will be a private screening of the movie and also a panel discussion with some of the creators, cast, and crew from the Tell Tale Heart at this event.
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