Friday, June 18, 2010

Spook Hunt Scene 5 Notes - an unwelcome late night visitor

We recently shot scene 5 from my indie short movie, Spook Hunt.  The usual suspects were there to make the evening happen - actors Rob Sandusky & Charles Yoakum, Director of Photography Rob Weiner (with his Canon 7D) and Ben Weiner recording audio.  Oh yeah, and me running around like a goofball trying to do too much as usual.
(Charles pleads his case)

We only had a couple of hours to shoot so I had picked a fairly easy section of scene 5 to cover.  Charles discovers another piece of ghostly "evidence" and tries to convince Rob of it's validity.  Rob is not only not convinced, he's now convinced that Charles is just messing with him, gets pissed off and storms out of the room.  Pretty simple. The boys did a great job of building up the scene and hitting their emotional marks.
(Rob is not impressed)

After the shoot wrapped, I spent the usual hour or so transferring and checking the video and audio files.  Of course, when I finally tried to go to sleep, my head was still swimming with ideas and questions and recapping the evening.  I started thinking about upcoming scenes that we need to shoot and ways to make them better.  Can I make this part scarier, can I build more tension, a better payoff - what if this happened... or they saw this... or heard this...??  So I'm laying in bed at around 1:30 am, filling my head with the scariest shit I can think of to see if it will work in my movie.  I am now in that weird half-sleep state where part of my consciousness has drifted off, while the other part keeps chugging along working on the movie, like a computer that won't shut down.

I change positions in bed so I'm now facing the side of the bed closest to me and I see this staring at me:

 (please leave me alone and kindly visit my neighbors, m'kay)

Well, actually it wasn't exactly that (that is the demon from the Exorcist), it was actually a lot scarier than that and I could hop over to Photoshop and render a more accurate version for you but I really have no desire to force myself to remember that image with any level of detail.

As soon as I see this demon I literally levitate off the bed and propel myself to the opposite side of the bed whereupon I crash into my wife while uttering a totally pathetic shriek.  She is not too happy with me.  I dare not tell her what I've just seen.

I look back to the side of the bed and of course it is no longer there.  I try to convince myself that it was just a trick of my mind.  A left-over spectre from my strange sleep-state.  You think about ghosts, demons and scary shit for long enough and of course your dreams will be filled with them.

This is not the first time my dreams have been plagued by haunted images.  The thing about making horror movies is that they live in your head for years at a time.  You are constantly thinking about the most violent, horrific and terrifying things.  When Lis and I were putting finishing touches on The Commune, I had some horribly messed-up dreams.  Now as I'm trying to wrap up Spook Hunt, I am getting visited again.

However, the thing about this last vision was - it really wasn't a dream.  I did not dream I woke up, rolled over and saw a demon staring at me.  I actually did wake up, roll over and see a demon staring at me.  Now obviously, in my ghostly-obsessed state, my tortured mind must have simply conjured a demonic image where there were only abstract patterns of light and shadow.


That's what I continue to tell myself every night as I try to doze off to sleep - always keeping one eye on the watch for my unwanted late night visitor.

(... by the way next time, remind me to make a comedy - or at least not shoot a horror film in MY FREAKING HOUSE!!)


  1. lol last picture is so funny.

    aw anyway *hugs* next time you're scared try drinking chocolate or sth? :)

    i'll find out how i can get to see your works. :)

  2. That's actually a pretty common occurrence called Old Hag Syndrome. I've had this happen a couple times, usually paired with sleep paralasis. It's scary as F*** not being able to move while a monster stares you down.

    Here's the wiki page:


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