"The genre of Horror is very important to me. Without it, I would have never been cemented with the desire to create something of my own within film."
#1. THE DEAD RECORD
#2. THE CULT LEADER
Friends gather for a routine movie night, only to be interrupted by a masked man with a true sense of genuine Evil.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Ah Yes. The good ole' 1st Day of Production. For any film whether it's a full feature, or an experimental short, the first day can often be the most nerve wrecking day for many reasons.
On this particular project, "The Cult Leader", our first day was something entirely different.
I woke up about 10-11am with a huge sensation to put something creative out. Driven by personal situations at the time, one of my ways to deal with it was to create. I figured I've seen all these 24 Hour, 48 Hour, etc contests where they wrote and filmed a good piece, why not try the same?
Paying homage to the good ole' classic Horror films, I knew I wanted to have my characters start on the couch watching a Horror film. The idea was to put our spin on the classic slasher.
Jeremiah Goldmain (Colton), Brandon Gee (Vinnie), Halle Rose (Rachel)
The first scene here called for our character Rachel (Halle Rose) to start off inside on her phone, only to hear the familiar knock of her friend coming from the front door. She would be letting him in, and we'll be panning to follow him, all in one continuous shot.
While this seems simple, most ideas do until you put them into action. After Colton (Jeremiah Goldmain) enters the scene, we also get an appearance from Vinnie (Brandon Gee) at the same time.
After Colton returns, he rummages through his bag of goodies to find the VHS's he brought over for their weekly movie night.
Now while this could have been any random set of titles that we literally could have grabbed from a bag, I always land on the side of sentimental value. I had our Colton character bring "Return of the Living Dead : Part I" & "Return of the Living Dead : Part II" because those were the very first few movies I ever watched, and those (with the help of other films), molded me into a creative path of Horror. I will always pay respect to those that inspired me in the past.
The second scene here was a bit of a doozy. At this point in the night, it was 2-3am. Everyone was going heavy on this for the last 8 hours, but there was a good half of a shoot left, no way to make it up at a later date, and only 2 1/2 hours of sunlight remaining before its bursts through and ruins our night scene.
So with that being said, and 94 takes later, we were able to execute both kill scenes in the garage. The first one was Colton's drill to the head. I knew from my previous films that I wanted to take it up a notch in the ruthlessness without actually showing so much as to be labeled "gore".
A drill to the head would fix anyone's day for the most part, and our ole' buddy Colton experienced just that.
The next kill was the overly curious and not at all cautious, Vinnie. What was that? A random noise in the garage in the middle of night? 110%, you need to go check that out. Unfortunately while our friend Vinnie was paying too much attention to the mess on the work bench, and no attention to The Cult Leader lurking right behind him.
Actor Brandon Gee poses with his prosthetic as "Vinnie"
Day 2 was definitely a different experience all the way around. We wrapped about 6am the previous night, after shooting everything except this scene. We realized with the daylight coming in, and the long day already, that we would best benefit pushing this scene out til then.
With 1/3 of the crew, and just myself to design the overall look and application of the "bludgeoned eye", it ended up taking about 2 Hours overall for the makeup, and 1 Hour for the actual filming process. Of course as there is with Horror, we splashed fake blood around so much I'm still finding drips & drops to this day.
#3. Cult affairs
Following a business arrangement gone wrong, Mr. James is brought before the very Cult he crossed to figure out a proper solution. It's on the inside, where they realize, the Devil truly lives.
"I can’t overstate how gorgeous this film looks for what I’m assuming was a low-budget production. That’s the foundation most major horror franchises have built themselves on, squeezing blood from stones."
"Cult Affairs has an esthetic remarkably reminiscent of horror films from the 70s and 80s. Nate Thompson makes excellent use of his cameras, lighting equipment, and filmmaking techniques creating a tensely executed environment."
CHRIS MAJTENYI / HORRORBUZZ.COM
"Independent cinema often trumps Hollywood productions because its creators aren’t afraid to take artistic risks. Sure, mold breakers like Ari Aster and M. Night Shyamalan have delivered hits like Hereditary and The Happening, but it’s not often that viewers find a movie that’s anything more than a cut and paste job. The reason I write for an independent horror website is because I truly believe the world where creative control exists to the fullest is where you find the biggest gems. Nate Thompson’s new short film, Cult Affairs, is one of those masterpieces that is destined to become somewhat of a conversational piece."
"Cult Affairs is definitely a hazy and hair-raising thriller that’s artistically claustrophobic and experimentally horrifying. Like an acid trip in a sewer."
MICHAEL THERKELSEN / HORRORSOCIETY.COM
#4. WHAT LIVES IN THE DARK
While completing a standard night routine, a man encounters an entity with a love for agitation.