You only need to watch one brief moment from a Black Friday sale stampede at the mall to contemplate the creepy in the American Christmas tradition. But, how 25 filmmakers interpret their prompt from Beck Underwood (creator of the fest) is part of what makes participating in this thing so fun. In 2008 I was invited to create a short for the festival. I had recently worked in the art department on a great feature film written and directed by Glenn Mcquaid called "I Sell The Dead" with Beck. Working with her and being on A Glass Eye Pix project genuinely changed the course of my life.
I know that sounds dramatic, but it is true!
Up until that point I had been waffling around bummer freelance gigs for years in NYC - Terrible features, commercials, reality TV shows...and wondering how the heck I would ever get from the art department to writing / directing good movies.
But mostly, I needed to pay my bills, so I kept taking every gig that came.
Beck Underwood is an immensely creative person living earnestly in her craft. When I worked with her on ISTD, I was immersed in my first experience of what felt like a family of artists / filmmakers joining forces to make something great. Not only did I experience what felt like the true spirit of filmmaking from an operational stand point...I also saw it was possible to make a movie for the kind of reasons I knew I also wanted to make movies- the art, story, characters, the humor... and in this case - the zombies and vampires...etc.
This was a revelation. Something that had seemed impossible, started to seem possible. After my experience on I Sell The Dead, I decided to quit the constant bone crushing freelance life and to start to take odd jobs while figuring out how I could get myself on track to write and direct.
I didn’t know how I would do it, but I knew I would never experience the kind of familial independently spirited filmmaking alchemy I was seeking and witnessed if I didn't make some big changes. For a long time I still wasn’t really directing, I honestly couldn’t figure out how to do it financially. The digital boom had not quite begun, and the 16mm I’d learned in film school felt like an impossible luxury for someone barely making rent. Within a year or so my partner and I started a band. One day, I borrowed a terrible video camera and made my first music video. It came out BAD and to this day is embarrassing to watch.
But I wrote, directed, and edited it....and I knew that finally something important was shifting.
Somehow, quitting "the industry" and starting a band lead me to doing the work I most wanted to do. When I was invited to participate in CCFF 2008 I enthusiastically said yes. One of my BFF’s and my siblings starred in this odd jaunt and even though it is clunky, outdated and flawed, I still have it on my website because that film launched the very beginnings of what would become Serpent Power Productions..
...and I am a nostalgic, emo, person that believes in a meaningful universe.
So here we are 2018 Creepy Christmas Film Festival Part 2. It has been 10 years of sharpening my skill set....can I make a better CC film this time around?
Click THIS LINK and help me make this movie.
Watch the original CC film
Anyone who donates $15 or more today will receive the original Creepy Christmas Advent Calendar from 2008! Courtesy of Beck Underwood :)