For readers who remember this writer in his guise as an actor lying on a dirty basement floor in a pool of fake blood in "Making Movies in the Hinterlands: Killed by a Vampire", and have been waiting breathlessly for word of the results, the wait is over. There is even a title.
The first installment of the web series Here There Be Monsters is online at Fangoria. Written and directed by Robert Tinnell, the series consists of four episodes. It was filmed by students under the auspices of The Factory Digital Filmmaking Program at the Douglas Education Center in collaboration with the school's Cosmetology and Make-Up Effects Programs. The Make-Up Effects program was begun by Tom Savini, best known for his work with George Romero on classic films like Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, and still bears his name.
Set at the school and in and around the Monongahela Valley steel town of Monessen, Pennsylvania, the series is the story of a young student who becomes involved with a sequence of murders which he takes to be the work of a sinister neighbor who suddenly appears on the scene. The story follows the student as he pursues the supposed killer and tries to unravel the truth of the situation. It is a dark tale tinged with irony.
The project gives students the opportunity to put the skills they have learned through the school's programs to practical use under the tutelage of a professional director. Tinnell, who also teaches in the film program, has worked for many years in Hollywood as both director and producer. His credits include Frankenstein and Me and Surf Nazis Must Die. And while the film does not have the budget of the typical Hollywood opus, it manages to do a really credible job with the assets it has available. No one works harder than students doing the things they love to do. This is a chance to see the early work of some of the artists who may well be creating the True Bloods and the Halloweens of tomorrow.
New episodes, each running between seven and ten minutes, will be available on Fridays through October 30 at Fangoria.