» Posts Tagged ‘horror’

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The ThingWe talk a lot about horror here on NFS, because, for one, the genre is awesome, and for two, the genre is supremely important to understanding and analyzing the human condition. In this 1982 roundtable, host Mick Garris discusses several genre-specific topics with directors of some of the greatest horror films in history, David CronenbergJohn Carpenter, and John Landis, conversing about why people watch horror films, how important special effects are to a production, and what they think about censorship. Continue on to check out 26-minute of scary movie goodness. More »

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PsychoIt’s one of the most famous scenes in cinematic history. Almost everybody recognizes it, even if they’ve never seen the movie. It’s the infamous shower scene in Psycho where Marion Crane is repeatedly stabbed by a mysterious individual. With a scene as iconic as that, who would guess that the question of who directed it would ever come up? It was Alfred Hitchcock — right? Well, maybe not. Both Hitchcock and famous graphic artist and title sequence designer Saul Bass claim to have directed the 7-day shoot, but maybe we don’t need to rely on mere hearsay. Vashi Nedomansky of Vashi Visuals sheds a little more light on the situation with a side by side comparison between Bass’ storyboards and the actual footage. More »

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Scream CraftScreenCraft has partnered with ShockTillYouDrop.com this year to bring you the 2nd annual Scream Craft Horror Script Contest, and  the jury they have lined up is so good it’s scary. Of course, the prizes (one of which includes a phone consultation with writer/director Scott Derrickson) are well worth a submission, but even if you don’t win — you still kind of do, because your screenplay has the opportunity to be read by judges that not only know horror, but are also extremely influential. So, if you’ve got a script and you want to submit, continue on to find out how. More »

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Paranormal ActivityFor filmmakers who enjoy making effects-heavy movies, be it a horror, sci-fi, or any genre variant really, it can be challenging to find ways that make those effects more believable to your audience. And when getting really good VFX often means having access to expensive software and/or a talented effects artist, the no/low-budget filmmaker who can’t afford them needs to get creative, even a little magical when putting together a film. MovieMaker Magazine shares a few tips that will help blend, hide, and solidify the special and visual effects in your film. More »

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Bloody Cuts Who's There ChallengeJust because Halloween has come and gone doesn’t mean that horror filmmakers get to take a vacation from scaring their audiences. If you’re itching to get a little creative and get some free gear doing it, UK-based production company Bloody Cuts, the online horror film anthology of which we’ve covered on NFS, has launched a brand new worldwide 3 minute horror film challenge entitled Who’s There?”. $13,000 worth of prizes and a panel of Hollywood judges, including Joe Dante, Gale Anne Hurd and the Soska Sisters, seems like a pretty decent reason to make a horror flick, so continue on to find out how to enter. More »

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Hearing HorrorThere are a great number of things that can go wrong while making a horror film, but nothing is quite as bad as making one that isn’t scary. In a previous post, we talked about some basic and general concepts, like achieving atmosphere and suspense, to keep in mind while you put your scary movie together, but Movies.com has shared an episode from PBS Digital Studio’s It’s Okay to Be Smart series that sheds some light onto one aspect of horror that may be the key to unlocking the horror potential of your film: sound. More »

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Top 5 Horror Films

Happy Halloween, everyone! We’ve been talking about horror all month long, from ramping up the scare factor in your screenplays to how to apply realistic bloody wounds in makeup. So, we thought what better way to close out the scariest month of the year than to share with you some spooky flicks that you may have not seen. Check out the NFS staff picks for their top 5 lesser known horror films. More »

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The ExorcistHorror is frequently celebrated as the movie genre that young, unexperienced filmmakers can cut their teeth on, because what’s a horror movie if not a sex and alcohol-fueled party with a bloodbath at the end, right? Well, horror is much more complicated than that, and scaring an audience that is only becoming more and more desensitized to gore and violence means we as filmmakers have to do our homework. Filmmaker Magazine shares some incredibly important aspects of horror, as well as a mental checklist of what filmmakers should be sure to include as they film their scary movies. More »

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Digital ZombiesIf you’re making a zombie flick, but you don’t have a talented makeup artist, but you do have a talented digital effects artist who can composite the bloody, rotten, festering features of the undead, then maybe it’d be a good idea to go digital with your characters’ zombification. A recent tutorial by Ryan Connolly of Film Riot shows us how to use a handful of digital tools, such as After Effects, Mocha, and MonsterFX Undead, to create a believable, decaying, and altogether disgusting zombie for your film. More »

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Wes Anderson SpoofWes Anderson, with all of his quirky, very overt style of set design and filmmaking techniques, is a prime target for parody. Now that the trailer to his latest film The Grand Budapest Hotel has been circulating throughout the interwebs, and with the rise in successful indie horror films, and since Halloween is right around the corner, Saturday Night Live took on satirizing his signature style with a bit of a sinister twist in a sketch from last night’s show. Check out SNL’s “The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders” after the jump: More »

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Makeup EffectsWhen making a scary movie, the horror you want your audience to feel should come from the terrifying monsters and well-timed surprises — not bad makeup. One of the more challenging aspects of making horror films, or any movie that calls for extensive bloody makeup, is making wounds look real. Adam Savage’s (MythbustersYouTube channel, Tested, visits effects artist Frank Ippolito, a contestant on Sy Fy’s special effects make-up competition series, Face Off, at his shop in LA to find out what tools and techniques he uses to make realistic wounds inexpensively. Continue on to watch the video: More »

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Nightmare on Elm StreetHorror films have delighted audiences for over a century, from Georges Méliès’ terrifying depiction of the demon Mephistopheles in The House of the Devil (1896), to the feral children in Mama (2013). Much time has passed, and though the monsters and themes have changed and evolved, one constant has left filmmakers and filmgoers alike wondering — why do we like horror films? John P. Hess of Filmmaker IQ breaks down the psychology of scary movies, from our fascination with being scared, psychoanalytic theories, and an explanation as to why it’s good to get the bejesus scared out of you. More »

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CreepshowIf you’re a big horror fan, especially of the film movement that flooded the US in the 1980s with blood spilt by zombies, machete-wielding maniacs, and tiny Yeti-like creatures, then this might be right up your alley. We’ve come across some rare behind the scenes footage from the set of George A. Romero’s Creepshow, as well as the rare 1st draft of the screenplay, which was written by Stephen King. With nearly 2 hours of Creepshow’s special effects, makeup, and direction, not to mention 142 pages of Stephen King goodness, I’d say you’re set for the rest of the day (or maybe that’s just me.) More »

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History of HorrorWhether you’re currently working on a horror film or just a fan who watches a ton of them, learning a little bit about the history of horror is not only the most fun history lesson that exists in life, but it will also help filmmakers put certain horror concepts into a much clearer context. John P. Hess unfurls the last hundred years of horror filmmaking, covering everything from German Expressionism to independent slasher films.  Continue on to watch yet another excellent film course from Filmmaker IQ: More »

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PoltergeistWell, it’s that time of year again, when children come to your door demanding candy, and every other movie on TV is a horror flick. Whether you’re a fan of scary movies or not, horror is one of the most influential and fascinating genres in cinema, and any student of film can benefit from studying its classics (just like they can benefit from watching any movie!)  Tribeca Film is celebrating the month by looking at the influence of classic horror films on more modern ones. Click below to check out the influence the “ghost hunters” from 1982′s classic Poltergeist had on the 2010 screamer Insidious! More »

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Genre of the DeadBack in June, we touched on the possible explanations as to why people have such an incredible fascination with zombies – we write books about them, participate in pub crawls, proms, and walks with zombie themes. However, nowhere else do we see the full breadth of our devotion toward our brain-eating buddies than in our films. In a fun and informative infographic, the zombie epidemic is traced back through the history of cinema — where it first appeared in pop culture, and how it has evolved over time. More »

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The ShiningNow that Halloween is right around the corner, it seems like the perfect time to share some great behind the scenes footage from one of the greatest horror films ever made. Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror flick, The Shining, was the illustrious director’s marketable answer to the “too long, too slow” Barry Lyndon – a film that has caught the attention of moviegoers decades after the film’s initial release, and even inspiring conspiracy theorists about the moon landing. Take a glimpse inside the twisted world of The Shining with a 35-minute behind-the-scenes documentary shot on-set by Kubrick’s daughter. More »

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VideodromeThis film is not for the faint of heart. Originally titled Network of Blood and Zonekiller, Videodrome (1983) was the meta brain child of writer/director David Cronenberg, and strangely enough, taken from the filmmaker’s own life. The film was rejected by Roger Ebert and viewers at test screenings due to its depictions of sex, violence, and gore, yet is now a celebrated “disturbing techno-surrealist” cult classic. Continue on for an in-depth video of the making of Videodrome, which might be able to answer the film’s own question, “Why would anybody watch a scum show like Videodrome?” More »

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Psycho Norman BatesHorror is a film genre that is much more complex than it appears to be. The violence, sex, and gore speak to our deepest fears, anxieties, cultural taboos, and suppressed emotions. So, crafting this kind of film takes a little more finesse than pouring a bucket of blood on a naked cheerleader as she gets her head chopped off. ScreenCraft recently partnered with Dread Central and The Blood List (it’s like The Black List, but for horror scripts) to host a seminar on horror screenwriting and filmmaking, where filmmakers of the genre shared some tips on creating effective horror films from script to screen. More »

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The Exorcist BTSIf you’re a true horror movie fan, you’ve no doubt watched The Exorcist (1973) at least a billion times. The making of the film is rife with controversy, mystery, and lore that is almost as captivating as the film itself. Watching its behind the scenes footage is like taking a class on screenwriting, directing, acting, and special effects all at once, and chances are if you’ve seen The Exorcist, you’ve probably seen The Fear of God, the documentary that accompanied the 25 Year Anniversary Edition DVD. However, here’s some rare behind the scenes footage you may have not come across from the set of one of the most terrifying films ever made. More »