As a special exclusive for Daily Dead readers, we have Carl Kelsch's new short film, For My Facebook, available to watch now. Also in today's Horror Highlights: Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan Blu-ray / DVD release details, info on Europe's 4K UHD Blu-ray release of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and a Q&A with Restoration director/co-writer/co-star Zack Ward.
Exclusive: Watch the Short Film For My Facebook: Press Release: "It all started with a funny image that popped in writer/director Carl Kelsch’s head: a play on words that yielded the final shots of ‘For My Facebook’ (To say more would spoil the ending). With only a few directing credits under his belt, he recruited jack-of-all-horror-trades Louie Cortes (Dir. of Attack of the Brain People, writer of Blood Slaughter Massacre) to do Sound. Kelsch, who also operated the camera, got input from Cortes on blocking and framing. Kelsch recruited his domestic partner to be First A.D. A happy accident on set resulted in the actors’ cat making a cameo appearance. Kelsch also scored the short entirely on Garage Band to create the darkly comic tone.
Carl Kelsch (writer/director/editor/score) studied writing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He continued his storytelling education by writing short films—including The Pod, featuring Larry Fessenden—and by doing script coverage, performing sketch comedy, dabbling in documentaries, and working at award-winning magazines like Marie Claire His work has been optioned by producers like Mary Jane Skalski (The Station Agent) and Tim Peternel (The Virgin Suicides). He was a semi-finalist in Zoetrope’s screenplay competition with Kin, an elegiac ghost story. His lives New Jersey, just outside NYC.
Carl Kelsch: “My love-hate relationship with social media inspired the project. We miss things that are right in front of us because our phones—portals of mass communication—eat into our attention span. And I couldn’t resist making a comment on privacy—the scary fact that the web allows new forms of deceit and manipulation. After watching this short, I want viewers to think of Facebook in a different way. If I achieve that, then I’m happy.”
“We shot it around Halloween of 2015. Christina and Larry are new to film acting, but they love genre films and they have a natural chemistry since they’re married. I videotaped their wedding, and I love geeking out over horror with them. I also let Larry put his artistry to use by having him create the short’s most critical prop. He does incredible tattoo work and I knew that he would get the details right.”
“I love watching my work with a live audience. But I’m a little impatient with the festival timeline. The waiting, the fees. I thought this concept lent itself to what I jokingly call the ‘Sliver Screen’—phone displays. There is so much inspiring content on the web, but it’s also scary to know that your work will be competing for views with cute animal videos, girl fights, pranks, and rants—content that required no thought, no budget, no producing. It’s also thrilling to see if your work can hold up in such an instant-gratification environment. People like to share scary videos. That’s my tagline for the short: Share the scare!”
Written, directed, edited, scored by Carl Kelsch
Starring Christina Marie Thokey, Lawrence Thokey, Jr.
Sound by Louie Cortes
Assistant Director: Anthony Gerard
Year: 2016 — will premiere online
Runtime: 3.5 min"
Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan Documentary Blu-ray / DVD Details: Press Release: "The remarkable career of the movie industry's most admired and influential special-effects auteur, the legendary Ray Harryhausen, is the subject of Gilles Penso's definitive documentary Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan.
Leaving no doubt as to Harryhausen's seminal influence on modern-day special effects, the documentary features enlightening and entertaining interviews with the man himself, Randy Cook, Peter Jackson, Nick Park, Phil Tippet, Terry Gilliam, Dennis Muren, John Landis, Guillermo del Toro, James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, and many more.
These filmmakers, who today push the boundaries of special effects movie-making, pay tribute to the father of Stop Motion animation and films such as 'The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms', 'It Came from Beneath the Sea', 'The 7th Voyage of Sinbad', 'Mysterious Island', 'Jason and the Argonauts' and 'The Golden Voyage of Sinbad' - the films that enthralled them as children and inspired them to become filmmakers in their own right.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 4K UHD Blu-ray Release Details: On May 27th, Turbine Media Group will release The Texas Chain Saw Massacre on 4K UHD Blu-ray with a 13.1 Auro-3D mix in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Fans worldwide can pick up the film on Amazon.
Press Release: "Turbine Media Group releases The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with Auro 13.1 on 4K UHD Blu-ray™ in select territories.
‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ remains one of the best horror films in cinema history and the 1974 movie now gets another release. From Turbine Media Group, this time on 4K UHD Blu-Ray™, the most controversial and influential horror movie becomes immersively scary as it will come with a 13.1 Auro-3D® mix.
Remixed specifically for the home theater environment, the Auro-3D® mix creates an exciting three-dimensional soundscape thanks to the addition of a Height layer in front, above and all around the listener. Auro-3D® is an exciting move from two-dimensional surround sound formats to three-dimensional sound. The Auro-3D® sound format is the next generation in audio, marking an exciting leap forward from standard Stereo and Surround sound that increases the dramatic impact of feature films such as THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE.
Wilfried Van Baelen, CEO of Auro Technologies, states, “To have such an iconic and influential movie released again in Auro-3D, is truly worth the excitement. We are glad to have worked with Turbine Media Group to have this movie mixed at Galaxy Studios and will soon release this on 4K UHD Blu-Ray™. Having 4K image combined with true 3D sound will uplift this classic tale to a new dimension’.
‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ is a 1974 American horror film, directed and produced by Tobe Hooper. As one of the best and scariest horror films in history, the movie is credited with originating several elements common in the slasher genre, including the use of power tools as murder weapons and the characterization of the killer as a large, hulking, faceless figure. Though initially branded as perverted and glorifying violence, only the courageous critics at that time saw it as “the film that redefined horror”. ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ has shocked and stunned audiences worldwide, but set a standard in its genre, making Leatherface and his chainsaw one of the most iconic characters in the horror scene.
Consumers can maximize the Auro-3D® immersive experience at home with Auro-3D® enabled AV receiver and speakers or enjoy the soundtrack in 5.1. Territories featuring the Auro audio technology include Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.
Synopsis: Back in 1974, writer, director and producer Tobe Hooper unleashed his dark vision on humanity with a story about five young friends whose innocent trip into the woods on a summer’s afternoon became a horrible nightmare. The film follows this group of friends as they fall victim to a family of cannibals whilst on their way to visit an old homestead. For an entire generation, Leatherface became a horror icon and the film became a cult hit.
Country/Year: USA / 1974
Actors: Marilyn Burns, Jim Siedow, and Gunnar Hansen.
Director: Tobe Hooper
Distribution: Turbine Classics
Release date: May 27th, 2016
Technical data UHD Blu-Ray™:
Audio: German: Auro-3D 13.1, Dolby Atmos, DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 Surround, DTS 2.0 Mono
English: Auro-3D 13.1, Dolby Atmos, DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 Surround, DTS 2.0 Stereo, DTS 2.0 Mono
Music and effects: DTS-HD 7.1
Image: 4K (3840 x 2160 Pixels)
Subtitling: Main movie: German for the hearing impaired, German, English
Restoration Q&A with director/co-writer/co-star Zack Ward: "Restoration (premiering on VOD May 3 from Uncork’d Entertainment) spooks up the tale of a couple who, while renovating their house, find a diary hidden in the walls, lost for 30 years. Opening the book releases the ghost of a child that haunts their dreams and waking life, driving them to find the cause of her death and release her soul.
Behind the camera is former child actor Zack Ward (A Christmas Story), who also co-wrote and co-stars in the film.
How would you describe the movie?
Restoration is a Supernatural suspense thriller with a mind-jarring twist, filled with amazing performances and beautiful camera work, leaning towards the classics of the genre but keeping true to the values and intelligence of a modern audience.
Did the script change much over time or is it the movie you always set out to write and consequently put on celluloid?
Both Restoration and Bethany were written by myself and James together and then we polished our directorial scripts separately. That way we could land the most story and substance together, but allow the director of each script to paint it with his own vision. The script kept true to its original story but the characters developed as I wrote deeper into their backstories and learned more about their passions and drives. Restoration is exactly the movie I set out to make, just so much better than I originally envisioned.
How helpful was James Cullen Bressack, having written and directed so many of his films, when writing that script?
James is just the best. Truly a fearless partner in crime. We had already written a number of smaller projects together and so had learned how to use each other’s strengths and weaknesses. As of right now we just finished another script that James directs next month and it’s amazing how easy it has become writing together.
What did you learn from working with James?
Anything is possible if you just try. We’ve known each other since 2013 and it’s been a very dynamic process working together on a daily basis even before putting these two movies together.
And in terms of directing, did you take anything from any of the filmmakers you’ve worked with before as an actor?
Yes, I tried to steal from the best. I worked with Steven Spielberg on the TV show “High Incident” and got to spend some “one on one time” with the man himself. He was the director I tried most to emulate by integrating his style of single camera moves or “oner” shots. Typically they bring attention to themselves (Good Fellas, Boogie Nights) and are truly amazing, but Mr. Spielberg uses them in a simpler way that brings focus to the story and the actors, not the camera.
There are a lot of hand held and action packed scenes in Restoration so I wanted to balance it with a style that could be visually calming, a rest from the tension so that the audience would feel ready to go back into the fray. Also, I find a cinematic elegance in doing the most with the least, in letting the truth inside the actors speak softly for themselves and connect with the audience sitting in the dark.
If you had to name two other movies that resembles Restoration… what would they be?
“Godzilla V.S. Mothra” and “Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill!!”
I’m kidding. I’d say, “The Lazarus Effect” meets “The Gift”.
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