Brian Witten’s producer and executive producer credits include an upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s “Cell,” with Samuel L. Jackson and John Cusack; “Mother’s Day”; “Chernobyl Diaries”; and 2009’s “Friday the 13th.” Witten was president of Fangoria Film after working as a production exec at Paramount, where he oversaw “Vanilla Sky” and “Mission Impossible 3,” and at New Line, where he presided over “The Wedding Singer,” “Spawn,” “Dark City” and “Final Destination.”
As a kid when it came to horror and thriller there were several mainstays that I would sit up and watch to no end. Twilight Zone, Tales from the Crypt, and Creepshow. Rod Serling is simply amazing to me and I love that one of my current favorite directors Jordan Peele and his studio Monkeypaw Productions have successfully relaunched the series with amazing responses. I remember as a kid at maybe it was 1 am on HBO watching Creepshow. There was a segment in the anthology and no not the Leslie Nielsen but it was one of the last ones that creeped me out to this day and still make it uncomfortable to encounter bugs. It was the scientist who was the original OCD. (spoiler) He would have problems controlling roaches in this lab-like shut-in location that he lived in. Being from Texas I was really familiar with roaches and in Dallas these roaches would fly so they had an upper-hand when it came to combat. Watching not just roaches but cockroaches spew out of this man’s face is still a skin crawl of mine to this day. That creep factor is etched into my mind in a way that I was an instant fan of that movie when it was over and would watch it whenever it came on. I have owned the DVD of the original Creepshow twice now and I was fascinated when I heard it was being revived as a tv show.
These are reasons why this was one of the most exciting things to wake up and read one morning. I had been sharing links to Stay Home anywhere that would let me. I was determined to get it seen by as many eyes as possible. I had learned after making so many documentary pieces is that people are looking for things to watch but not always going to find the thing you made for them to watch. I have curiously watched films I have seen on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram simply because someone asked if people wanted to watch. There are 10000s of filmmakers in comments of some of your favorite profiles treating their work like a secret and then there are a few who will make it so that you know they have something you can watch even if it can come off as spam. I felt really good about Stay Home and I do not have this big marketing team to get it out. I had guerrilla tactics and hopefully a matching presentation. I employed similar tactics and it ended up with the eyes of Brian Witten, the executive producer of Creepshow TV series, Friday the 13th (classic!), Final Destination (classic!), and many others. It felt like I was getting approval from my childhood that came full circle as I took my first dive into narrative filmmaking in the genre that I have grown to love since a child creeped out by Leslie Nielsen being attacked by the victims he buried by the sea.
You all who have followed my story know how much churn in the desire to get into this filmmaking game. I know my way is unconventional and may at times be harder but I am doing the work. For something as simple as a comment to hit me that hard was validation to say you are on the way. I do not plan to stop I have another short film I hope to have out by October [a home invasion story]. Still writing the script but I have the vision and have been gearing up to shoot it as soon as the script feels ready to go. Small crew because we will give Covid respect. I promise this for certain. The dream will come true. I have said that I have an Oscar-winning script in the drawer just waiting for the opportunity and budget to make it but we will not rush it. Until that time comes I am not short on ideas or scripts that will keep you guys entertained as we make a transition into narrative filmmaking. I want to say thank you to Brian Witten for taking the time out to not only view my short film but also bring my childhood back to life.
If you have not watched Stay Home pandemic film watch it here or StayHomeShortFilm.com and share it! I will surely appreciate it! You can also watch the new Creepshow TV series on AMC.