Group of young filmmakers making horror film in Yorktown
By by aprill brandon
Nov. 21, 2010 at 5:21 a.m.
Updated Nov. 24, 2010 at 5:24 a.m.
For five local dreamers, waiting to fulfill their ambitions just isn't an option. That's exactly why the group, whose ages range from 19 to 22, formed their own production company, Shatter Glass Entertainment.
They wanted to make a movie, and so God help them, they are going to make a movie, director and screenwriter John Brunson said.
"We all, for the most part, grew up with troubled lives, and doing this sends a positive message to all the youth out there," Brunson added. "This team is all about living life to the fullest. You only get the chance to live once. We all wanted to make a movie and decided why wait? We're not professionals, but we've all seen young people succeed, even though the odds were against them."
Formed two months ago, Shatter Glass Entertainment is made up of Brunson, Chris Allen, Rebecca Immenhauser, Chris Luna and Casey Shawn Garza. Four of the five attend Victoria College, but they find time to all work on their first film, a horror movie titled "Death."
"We're all motivated to complete this," executive producer and writer Allen said, adding that they plan to both film and cast locally, as well as use music from local bands for the soundtrack. "Doing this gives people the chance to fulfill their dreams, to act and do other things they've dreamed of doing on a real movie set. It's going to be fun and something exciting for young people in the area."
Tired of all the remakes of horror movies from the past, the five-member team wrote "Death" as an original story that sets out to find the true meaning of terror and how it can be used to bring a person to their end, Brunson said. The story centers around a soul-eating demon, who feeds off spirits and terrorizes people by making them die via their worst fears.
"While there is gore and blood, what's going to make this film stand out is the good storyline and the unexpected twists and turns," Immenhauser said. "Plus, we really want to make the personalities of the characters come out."
Filming is slated to begin in May in Victoria and at the Yorktown Memorial Hospital, despite the fact that the latter was shut down a couple of months ago by the city of Yorktown.
"The fact that the city unfairly shut it down won't stop us. The owner, Phil Ross, is going to let us film there, and if they fine us, we may enter into a lawsuit against the city with Phil," Brunson said. "We are completely backing Phil 100 percent. We can't thank him enough for helping us."
As for Ross, who has been fighting to continue to allow tours for paranormal enthusiasts at the site, which is reportedly haunted, the idea of filming a horror movie there fit perfectly with what he is trying to do with the property, he said.
"When John first contacted me about this, it sounded like a good idea. The initial plot fits into the character of the hospital," Ross said. "It does concern me that the city administrator told me I'd be fined $2,000 a day for letting people in, which is going to be an extreme obstacle to a low-budget movie. But if a movie has adequate backing, the fine won't matter. We'll just have to cross that bridge when we get there."
Ross added that he is interested in promoting the hospital as a venue for filmmaking and paranormal investigative groups and convincing the city of Yorktown that it could be a big tourist draw. It's something that Brunson and the rest of Shatter Glass Entertainment are trying to do as well.
"The hospital is the biggest attraction Yorktown has. It's the closest thing we have to a landmark, and we want to put it on the map. Filmmakers like us, we're not trying to stir up trouble. We just want to film a story," Brunson said.
As for any potential fines they may rack up, Brunson added they currently have a producer from Austin interested in investing in the film and the production company is also busy working on securing grants.
No matter what though, the five youthful filmmakers are determined to continue making their dreams come true and having fun while doing it.
"This is going to be a lot of fun. Who wouldn't love to achieve something like this," Brunson said. "Even if it doesn't make it to theaters or film festivals, the fact that we made it, that we put this together and made it come to life, is enough. We're not in this to make money. What matters is bringing thoughts and images to life."