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    Sadie Clove - A Feature Horror Film
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    Hello everyone!

    I thought I would share with you all a film I've been working on for just about the past 5 years, and my story on how I got it made, even when the odds were completely against me, and what I plan to do next. This was a project where I decided that it's going to get made, no matter what. I didn't have a budget beforehand, I didn't have anyone signed on board, this was an attempt to make a do-it-yourself horror movie in Alabama, even if others told me not to do it.


    SadieClovePoster.jpg


    Synopsis: After experiencing a series of unexplained seizures, Sadie Clove attends several sessions with therapist Dr. Rainer to find the underlying cause of her new found medical condition. As time progresses and Sadie's condition begins to worsen, Dr. Rainer becomes concerned by Sadie's inability to remember portions of her childhood, especially one summer spent at an aunt's house who was known to practice the dark arts. When confronted with the issue, Sadie's parents are reluctant to tell Dr. Rainer the events of that summer and how it relates to Sadie, but once they visit the aunt's house, the Clove family's demons are brought to the surface and manifest in an unexpected, and bloody, way.

    More Info:
    Camera - Panasonic HMC150.
    Audio - Sennheiser MKH416 with H4 Audio Recorder
    Lights - 2 Lowel Light Kits
    Editing - Final Cut Pro
    Sound Editing - Soundtrack Pro
    Pre-production - March 2010 - October 2010
    Production - October 2010 - December 2010
    Post-Production - December 2010 - October 2011.
    Running Time - 90 Minutes
    Last edited by kennethhurd; 05-28-2012 at 05:12 AM.


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    #2
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    Trailer -



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    #3
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    In the summer of 2007, I decided that it was time to make my first feature film. I had made numerous shorts already, mostly ranging from anywhere between 5 minutes to 15 minutes, and had just completed a 30 minute horror short, The Craving, for my senior film class. The 30 minute length of that short was more for the experience in doing a project that took a substantial amount more time to accomplish than a 5 - 10 minute short. A few of my shorts have been part of the DVXUser fests.

    However, even though I felt like I was ready to pull off this massive project, it would still take an additional 3 years before I would start pre-production. From 2007 - 2010, my co-writer and I worked on the script constantly. Spencer wrote the first draft, constantly bouncing off ideas with me. After his initial draft, I took over and did my own rewrites. I ended up doing complete rewrites the script at least 5 times. Finally, in January of 2010, I decided that if this film was ever going to get made, this would be the year to get it done.

    A lot had changed between the time we started writing the original first draft to moving into pre-production. I had made quite a few more shorts, worked as director of photography on two friend's features, and edited one feature. Also in that time, I had completely changed all of my gear. I no longer shot on the DVX100, but instead used the HMC150. My audio setup was completely different, instead of running a Sennheiser ME66/K6 directly into the camera's XLR ports, I now had the Sennheiser MKH416 running into an H4 for mixing. This project is your basic do-it-yourself project. I didn't have any backers, but over the years I had saved up enough money to give it somewhat of a budget, even if it was a very small budget that would just get us to scrape by. We had our goals set to make this movie, and so we set out.

    Pre-production officially started in March of 2010. I already had a crew, these were all friends I had gone to school with and were involved in filmmaking. We've been working on projects together for years, so we all knew how we worked with each other. We had our first pre-production meeting in March of 2010, and set our auditions for May with plans to start filming by July. So far, everything had been working out, so we had our auditions that May. Our turnout was great, and by the end of auditions, we (my crew and I) felt like we had our cast. The cast also consists of over 20 roles, so it was a relatively large cast, although most of the roles were single day players except for the core cast. This is where we finally hit our road blocks.

    As you can see from the synopsis and trailer, this film deals with demons and witchcraft. I had made plenty of fun horror shorts in the past, so I guess I never really took into account how people would feel about certain concepts. After sending the script to a few actors, I found that making a movie about demons and witchcraft in Alabama, no matter how minimal the concepts were, wasn't something a lot of people around here wanted to be involved with. I had spent 3 years making sure this script was where I wanted it to be, and now I had faced a new challenge that I didn't foresee.

    This took us through the remainder of the summer. We did have our key players - Sadie, her family, and the doctor - in place, it was filling out some of the supporting roles that started throwing us a curveball. However, we continued to move forward. Shooting, which was planned to last for 2 months only on weekends, got pushed back from July to August. Then, as things progressed even slower, we had to push it back to September. Due to the push backs, we lost locations, we lost supporting actors due to other commitments. Finally, I decided that the first weekend of October 2010 would be our start date, no matter what. We had a single location and the actors needed for that weekend, so we started shooting.

    The first weekend of filming was scheduled for "Sadie's House" which we had. The second weekend of filming was for the barn, which we didn't have. This weekend also resulted in losing a few other supporting roles, and these were key supporting roles, so I started to scramble. We needed a barn, and my producer informed me that he had a lead on a barn. We went and met a friend of his, who had access to barns, only to find out that he only knew where barns were. We ended up driving around town and knocking on people's door, explaining what we were doing, and requesting to film in their barn. Luckily, we secured a location! Of course, we still needed a cast for that weekend, and through connections from my crew we were able to cast two of the remaining roles.

    At this point, luckily our cast was readily available. We were able to give dates on when we would be filming, but we weren't able to give locations. We made it through October, and as November passed, we would secure locations literally a week or two in advance. Luckily, by the first weekend of December, we had our last remaining shoot, and this one involved extras. This last weekend went off without a hitch and I could finally breathe again. I had all of the footage shot, and all that remained was for me to edit it.

    Editing lasted from December 2010 - October 2011, and a final cut of the movie was finished by Halloween, just a week before our cast and crew wrap party/screening.

    I have contemplated posting information about this film for a long time. I think there was a constant fear that if I started mentioning it before it was finished, something would happen to prevent it from ever getting shot. Now, as I'm entering the next phase of this project, I want to keep you all updated as I take on the challenges of getting Sadie Clove into film festivals and ultimately, hopefully obtaining distribution.
    Last edited by kennethhurd; 05-22-2012 at 09:25 AM.


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    #4
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    That's a very inspiring story, kennethhurd. Do you have a website for the movie? A few questions... before you decided on making this feature, did you already have a marketing/distribution plan? What made you decide on writing this script - what I mean by that is, did you look at other horror movies in that genre (supernatural, haunting, demon) and decide that you had a unique perspective or something very different to bring to the table to distinguish your film from other ones in this genre? Or did you simply like the genre and wanted to make one yourself? What motivated your choices of subject matter? Heck, I guess it's a million questions - feel free to answer (or not!) as time and desire permit! Thank you. And congratulations on completing a feature... many dream, but few do... it's easy to wait for the ideal circumstances (and ideal gear, ideal this that and the third), but it takes insight to understand that there will likely never be perfect circumstances, so you just gotta decide "I'm doing it now, period!". So again, kudos to you!


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    I don't have a website for the film, but I do have a facebook page - facebook.com/SadieClove. My original marketing/distribution plan was to just submit this to film festivals and see what happens. That was based on the approach I've had with my short films. It's definitely not the ideal approach, because now I'm trying to figure out distribution on my own.

    My reason for going with this script was simply that it was the idea that sparked at the time. I would say that about 90% of my shorts were horror related, and the horror genre is a genre I've always been passionate about. I've practically grown up watching horror movies, with movies like Poltergeist and The Shining being films I remember seeing at a very early age. So deciding to go for a horror script was always my plan. But the idea for this one sparked mainly after Spencer and I collaborated on The Craving. We had a blast doing a monster movie - that film dealt with werewolves - and we wanted to go for a full on demon with this one. So Spencer and I discussed what we would do with this subgenre. At first, our inspirations were films like The Exorcist and Audrey Rose, and although we were writing about a Demon, we weren't going for a possession style approach. I'm also a big fan of A Nightmare on Elm Street, so there is definitely a Freddy style to the Demon, which mostly went into our decision for who we cast. We approached this concept with these questions in mind: What if this girl's parents were involved with witchcraft/the occult while the mother was pregnant? What if they made contact with a demon? And what if the demon lingered and decided to target their daughter years later? Although some of these questions are only briefly mentioned in the film, there were ideas that were going through our heads while working on the script. Also, we did research into the occult scare of the 1980s and repressed memory studies.

    Having decided not to make this a film about possession, we ended up focusing on what our Demon is and what we could do to make this film different. We started exploring the mythology behind an incubus, succubus, and cambion, and we found that it worked perfectly into the story were were writing. We felt that this is a mythology that you don't see very often in horror films, and it gave us a lot of creative freedom to make it our own, but still keeping most of the basic fundamentals of the lore. With Sadie Clove, we played with the idea of whether or not Sadie was a cambion - the half human/half demon offspring of a human and a demon. The Demon is an incubus and therefore after Sadie. His mission in this film is to make her accept what she is and embrace her calling as a cambion/succubus. This also plays into the parents' nature of sheltering their daughter from past mistakes. The father, Greg, believes that there is something mentally wrong with Sadie, and refuses to accept that his and his wife's past actions could have any affect on Sadie's current condition. Sadie suffers from seizures and hallucinations throughout the film and has lapses in memory. This film also plays up a psychological angle, mixed in a lot of human drama, but also remains true to a monster movie and even a bit of a slasher film.


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    #6
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    Fantastic! I love the story of how you decided to go in that direction for the script. I am also very glad to see that you put in a TON of thought and research into the background of the story... too often horror movies are made cookie-cutter style with nothing new to them, people figure "zombies" or "vampires" but there is no new twist or angle and it's the same old same old and the audience gets very bored. But you did actual research, and that is something that will come through in your work - I can't wait to see it! Super exciting! Keep this updated, I'm sure going to look forward to hearing more...!


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    Very cool. One of the more thoughtful posts in a while about a film. Usually the posts by the producer/director are not deep or insightful. Looking forward to following your progress. Thanks!


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    Funny, I had the exact, I mean EXACT same idea for a feature horror flick (troubled girl finds out she's a succubus/half-demon child), wrote up the first act and everything last year (I've been struck with illness, never completed the script). They say there's a collective unconscious, whereby people get the same ideas, since we're all influenced by the time period we live in, the same movies, tv, etc.

    Anyways looks fantastic, good luck with it.


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    Thanks. I'm sure you would have executed the film in a completely different way, though. Even with a general idea, there's so many possible ways the story could go. Just for fun, I wrote the sequel; it takes the same characters and same concepts established in the first one, but places them in a completely different setting with a completely different storyline.


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