So this is just a quick update, but it’s been one year since Erich Zann premiered at Haverford in Stokes Auditorium, but the project just won’t stay dead!
On April 3rd, the film screened at Australia’s “A Night of Horror” film festival, alongside several other adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft’s work. A link to the festival’s site can be found here: www.anightofhorror.com/
And just yesterday, I got confirmation that the movie will be screening at the Pittsburgh Horror Film Festival sometime between June 3rd and June 5th (they haven’t released the final listing). That festival’s site can be found here: www.pittsburghhorrorfilms.com/
This is awesome. Who would have thought that a short film made by a group of people with little-to-no filmmaking experience would be seen by filmgoers on the other side of the planet? I am still in awe of the amount and quality of the work put in by that cast and crew, and I’m so pleased that people in different parts of the world are going to be able to see it!
Our next goal? The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. If our film makes it to the final round, it will be watched and judged by Guillermo Del Toro, the man behind Pan’s Labyrinth and the Hellboy movies! You can find the website for this festival here: www.hplfilmfestival.com/
So today was an important day for production: we found our first big location for the outdoor scenes. After receiving a suggestion from Professor McInerney of the English Department, Meredith and I headed to Rolling Hills Park near Gladwyne. Our assessment: take two parts The Evil Dead, mix in one part Nosferatu (the exteriors anyway), and add a liberal dash of that terrifying forest from Snow White (when you’re a child, that forest is messed up) and you’d have the park. In the best possible sense. So I guess the area might just work for the exterior scenes that bookend the script.
I’m attaching some pictures of the area to help you get an idea of what it looks like, but I’m purposely hiding the site of the film’s finale; there have to be some surprises left for the premiere!
My hands are still stained with make-up from creating the looks for Laura, Peter, and Evan. Peter, the Student, looked properly bedraggled, and Laura the Landlady went from very pretty to very stern and middle-aged, but I definitely had the most fun with Evan’s make-up. With a dead-white face and deep, black circles around his eyes, he looked like the lovechild of Uncle Fester and the original Phantom of the Opera. Unfortunately, the bald-cap I purchased in DC along with the rest of the make-up didn’t come close to fitting, so we are still trying to figure out how to transform Evan’s hair into the limp strings I’d imagine hang from the head of Erich Zann.
Beyond having fun with the make-up and admiring Meredith’s costume for the Landlady, it was cool to see how transformative black&white film can be. Make-up colors that looked strange or unnatural transform into realistic shadows, and costume and prop pieces gain an immediate sense of antiquity.
Overall, this was a much better start to my Sunday than sitting in the library, and I can’t wait to move forward with production!
We live in a world where we are constantly inundated by visual and aural media. Modern technologies such as the Internet, iPhones, and television have made it virtually impossible to escape this barrage of sights and sounds. This project will address our growing dependence on technology in this Information Age by transforming an H.P. Lovecraft short story entitled The Music of Erich Zann into a black-and-white silent film complete with an original score. And hopefully, it will be entertaining to boot!
This blog will chronicle the production process, from set and makeup designs to editing and score recordings. Numerous students working on the film will keep this blog updated, showing how the individual portions come together to form a cohesive film. It will also keep track of the copious amounts of caffeine that will be imbibed by cast and crew and serve as a countdown to the film’s premiere, which will be complete with a live student band performing as the movie is screened.