Friend of My Hollywood Dream, writer, mental heath advocate, and independent filmmaker David Creighton is working on a new short animated film with a very deep and meaningful message and is looking for help via Kickstarter to get the film seen.
Summer Turns to Fall is a very personal animated film dedicated to suicide prevention. Based on a poem originally published in Creighton’s anthology Mania, Mirth, Melancholy, the film “weaves a story of heartache, captured with haunting sound and animation. Its stark black and white animation shows the heartache of the survivor, while the narrator’s monologue captures the lasting pain he lives with.”
Why did I donate? And why should you consider donating? I’ve known David for a long time, you may remember his weekly wrestling recaps, or his views on movies. He is one heck of a writer, and has used his disability, and his mental health struggles to not only become stronger, but to be an advocate for others and to use his stories, and more recently short movies, to express express these struggles.
I’ll also let David tell you in his own words why you should consider donating; “Like many, I have lost too many friends to suicide. I have been suicidal during my own life. I know how hard it is. I know deeply depressed people think the world will be better off without them. I hope this short film can shine some light on the pain suicide leaves behind. If this film can change one person’s mind, it will be more than worth making, crowdfunding or no.”
The short film itself is almost complete, but getting it seen can be a difficult uphill battle. Per the Kickstarter page, funds raised from the campaign will go towards film festival entry fees and associated costs. A few good festivals could get the message of the movie out far and wide. To make a donation towards Summer Turns to Fall, head over here.
What is your book, The Cutting Edge, about? The Cutting Edge is a spiralling tale of Rochelle, a young girl who strives to overcome adversity. One of loss and pain, determination and anger. Rochelle experiences a life cast in shadow by bereavement, but she has a big dream, to win Olympic Gold. It’s a deeply moving story, where fate deals the hand, full of friendship, rivalry, setbacks and triumphs. Rochelle is a misfit, and an outcast but, above all, a survivor.
What inspired this story? The inspiration for this story came from my own love of skating. I wanted to write a story that was inspirational and show that it is possible to overcome adversity even when the odds are stacked against you. The story was character led from the beginning and told through the eyes of Rochelle, as she grew from a young child to a woman.
Tell us a little about you, who is S.J. Gibbs? My love of reading and writing started at a very young age and as a teenager I would often be found with my nose in a book and I used to read under the bedclothes with a torch after my father used to turn out my bedroom light. After leaving school, in my spare time, I wrote short stories for my own pleasure. Reading was still my passion.
In 1987, my first daughter was born and diagnosed with profound cerebral palsy. This prompted me to start writing a novel about the struggles of bringing up a daughter with a severe disability. However, I was forced to stop work on this when the emotions involved in the project became too much for me.
At the beginning of 2015, my writing began in earnest, after I joined a local writer’s group. Here I found a new love of writing fiction. I undertook The Writers Bureau Creative Writing Course, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The Cutting Edge is my debut fictional novel. I live in a West Midlands village in England, with my family and my dog.
How can we read The Cutting Edge? The Cutting Edge is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.
In the past couple months there has been an extraordinary boom of independent films available to watch on YouTube for free. These flicks are AVOD (ad supported video on demand), so the filmmakers are still getting paid- please do not watch or support bootlegs! Here are 5 indie films that are available to watch right now on YouTube.
Evil at the Door Director: Kipp Tribble Starring: Andrea Sweeney Blanco, Bruce Davison, Sunny Doench, Robert Felsted Jr, Scot Hamm, and John James. Description: One night every year, there is a drastic rise in violent home invasions. This is no coincidence. (Source: Terror Films) Click here to watch on YouTube
Killer Concept Director: Glenn Payne Starring: Cody Bishop, Coley Bryant, Casey Dillard, Caleb Hall, and Maddie Ludt. Description: Three creatives team up to write a screenplay chronicling a string of murders in their town, but one of the three may be closer to the story than the others realize. (Source: V Movies) Click here to watch on YouTube
The Misguided Director: Shannon Alexander Starring: Katherine Langford, Caleb Galati, Steven J. Mihaljevich, and Jasmine Nibali. Description: After planning to leave the city with his girlfriend, a young man must first betray her in order to save his brother from a deadly situation. (Source: Indie Rights Movies) Click here to watch on YouTube
The Eve Director: Ritchie Filippi Starring: María DiDomenico, Al Thompson, Evan Bass, Miranda Noelle Wilson, and Rick Estabrook. Description: Friends head off to the remote island of Martha’s Vineyard to celebrate New Year’s Eve and reconnect. As tensions rise, an unforeseen presence halts celebrations and instead turns their holiday into a fight to live through to the new year. (Source: MYT Horror) Click here to watch on YouTube
Trap Director: J Horton Starring: Allen Perada, Alonzo F Jones, and Ashton Blanchard. Description: A brutal abduction goes from bad to worse when one of the kidnappers falls in love with the victim. (Source: J Horton) Click here to watch on YouTube
What movies are you watching on YouTube? Leave us a comment to let us know!
We recently connected with genre actor/producer Jeff Kirkendall on Twitter and were lucky to be able to chat with him about Return to Splatter Farm, an indie horror flick that he wrote and co-directed.
Who? Return to Splatter Farm is a sequel to the 1987 movie Splatter Farm. That original film was produced by brothers John and Mark Polonia, along with their friend Todd Smith. I wrote the first draft of Return to Splatter Farm, and Mark Polonia added additional material which was included in the final shooting script. The two of us co-directed, while Mark handled the bulk of the camera work, as well as the editing chores. Prior to this production, I had appeared in numerous feature films Mark had directed for his company Polonia Brothers Entertainment (PBE).
The Return to Splatter Farm main cast was made up of many PBE regulars, including Danielle Donahue, Marie DeLorenzo, Nico Bryant, Tim Hatch, James Kelly, James Carolus, Ken Van Sant, Jennie Russo, Jamie Morgan, Drew Patrick, and popular model/scream queen Mel Heflin. I starred as (an older version of) the character Jeremy, who was the killer in the original 1987 film. The DVD and streaming distribution was handled by Wild Eye Releasing, a company that has released many past PBE movies.
What? The original 1987 film was about twin brothers who spend a summer with their eccentric aunt on a rural Pennsylvania farm, unaware that her handyman Jeremy is a serial killer who stores the body parts of his victims in the barn. In Return to Splatter Farm a distant relative named Bobbi inherits the farm and travels there with some friends to determine what to do with the place. On the way they stop at a general store where some locals discourage them from visiting the place, calling it the “Death Farm”, referring to the unsolved murders which occurred there over 30 years ago. But the group doesn’t heed the warnings and continue on their way. Little do they know that a now grown-up Jeremy still resides at the old farmhouse, and that he has dispatched countless unlucky folks over the years. And keeping with his murderous tendencies, he now hunts down Bobbi and her friends one by one. Can the local sheriff save them? And will anyone survive?
Where? As mentioned, the story takes place at a rural Pennsylvania farmhouse. Our goal was to find a place that resembled the location used in the original film as closely as possible. And fortunately, Mark was able to locate such a farm not too far from where he lives in Wellsboro, PA. The outside of the building was very similar looking to the one in the original movie, and also the owner hadn’t lived there in awhile, which suited our needs perfectly. And we had many other buildings (barns, storage sheds, etc.) and open fields to work with as well. For all but one afternoon (when we filmed the store scene) the cast and crew were at that farm location.
When? Return to Splatter Farm takes place approximately 33 years after the events of the first movie. We filmed the sequel over a week during Summer 2019, and it was released in the United States on DVD and various pay streaming platforms in November 2020. Following this, it went on to play on the free streaming channel Tubi. There is even a VHS version available for collectors of that format.
Why? I had previously directed several of my own short films and features, and as mentioned acted in many PBE movies. Mark Polonia and I were on a break during the filming of his feature Amityville Exorcism, and I asked him if he would ever consider producing a sequel to Splatter Farm. He said he would and shared some ideas. It turned out his ideas were similar to my own, so when I returned home from Pennsylvania I began working on a script. I surprised him with the finished draft a few months later and he really liked it. And a couple of years later we went into production together on it.
I was motivated to write Return to Splatter Farm because of my admiration for the first film. It has become an indie horror cult classic over the years, and I thought it was amazing that three teenagers with minimal resources could not only produce a feature back in the 1980’s, but also get it distributed nationally on VHS as well. Splatter Farm is a quintessential home-made, shot-on-video (SOV) example of what can be done with sheer determination and lots of imagination. And as for story, it is a compelling tale mixed with potent shock value that keeps one watching from beginning to end.
I wanted this sequel to be an entertaining standalone slasher movie, as well as a plausible continuation of the story. This was achieved by bringing a fun group of characters to the old farmhouse for a legitimate reason, where Jeremy is alive and well. For viewers new to the franchise it will be something of a mystery who the killer is, whereas fans will know his identity and have an idea what he’s up to. And speaking of kill scenes, I intentionally wrote each one to be as unique and different as I could in order to make the movie fresh and memorable. My personal favorite moments include one where Jeremy makes use of a flare gun, and a scene involving an 80’s boombox. And I would also mention there are several nods to famous 1980’s slasher films sprinkled throughout the movie. This was done because I’m a big fan of the genre and the films of that decade in particular, and I’m hoping other fans will enjoy these moments as well.
How? Our film Return to Splatter Farm can be seen on the streaming platforms Tubi TV, Amazon Prime, Vimeo and Google Play, among other places. It is also available on DVD and VHS from various major retailers.
Montes-Vamvas Productions shared with us the trailer for their debut independent feature film, Scarpedicemente. .
Scarpedicemente is a dark comedy directed by Victoria Sanchez and John Vamvas about a “delusional gangster, Luigi, celebrating his one year wedding anniversary with his ditzy wife, Holly.” The movie stars Olga Montes and John Vamvas, a husband and wife team that also wrote the screenplay for the movie.
You can find out more about Scarpedicemente at its official website, no release date has been announced yet for the independent movie.
What is Quántóu Rising about? Quántóu Rising is the sequel in my dystopian trilogy. The SEPA Project follows five characters from different walks of life as they try to unravel the secrets of their utopian society. New technology allows for those in power to steal memories, so it becomes a race to remember the truth. The novel looks at xenophobia, freewill, family bonds, and greed. Quántóu Rising digs deeper into the world as the characters spread out and try to fight against the wrongs committed in the first book. No spoilers! It shifts the focus to propaganda, colonization, sisterhood, and a touch of queer romance.
What inspired this story? The characters and world came from one of my many dystopian dreams. As I was writing the first few chapters, the US was dealing with the horrors of the Build the Wall campaign, the “alternative facts” shift, and the Me Too movement. The world was weighing heavily on me, and those struggles made their way into my story. I’ve continued to be inspired by the dystopian reality around us as I write the rest of the series.
Tell us a little about you, who is J Moody? I work with teens all day, talking about books, poetry, and justice. It’s a good time! I facillitate a Queer Straight Alliance and an Equity Club as well. When I’m not working or writing, I’m generally reading, doing a little pyrography and painting, or adventuring out in nature. I won’t say no to a cup of coffee or a Bessie Smith album.
How can we read Quántóu Rising? Here’s the link to the series. You don’t want to read the sequel first! You can also check out my Moody Reads Book Reviews!
Fathom podcast is back with their third season! The podcast is an anthology of short audio dramas that is a cross between The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Official podcast description: “An anthology series of short adventures that explore the fantastical, the mundane and everything in between. Humans are complicated creatures. In these episodes we explore what makes them tick. Morality tales that become something else. Supernatural thrillers that are more realistic than they first appear. This is a strange time in a strange world. What can you fathom?“
The series is back with a new episode titled “Honesty is the Best Policy”, written and directed by our very own Ritchie Filippi, edited by Adrian Carey, and featuring the voice talents of Kirk Gostkowski, Adam Hamway, Kelly Fitzpatrick, and Aimee Keates.
“Honesty is the Best Policy” Episode Description: A brutal ode to a 90s slasher film, this Fathom tale concerns “Stu Who Knew,” a conflicted husband looking for advice. And maybe a bit more…