Fuzz on the Lens: From Fan Film To Indie Film
Scaretissue.com is proud to present guest contributor Steven Della Salla from Fuzz on the Lens Productions. I met Steven and Mike on the set of Fear Clinic earlier this month, and was very impressed with their movie Halloween Awakening. Fuzz on the Lens Productions is a self sustaining production company out of Staten Island, New York and huge horror fans. Like them on Facebook (FuzzOnTheLensProductions), or follow them on Twitter (@FuzzOnTheLens) or Instagram (fuzz_on_the_lens) for the latest news. You can also subscribe to their YouTube channel (fuzzonthelens).
We asked Steven what it was like to make a Halloween fan film and have that transition into an opportunity to work with those in the franchise on various projects. Here is what he wrote:
I have been asked to explain how Fuzz on the Lens Productions has managed to turn our fan film, Halloween Awakening “The Legacy of Michael Myers”, into an opportunity to work with the real Michael Myers on his new film. In order to do this properly I have to go back over a year to September of 2012. This is when my friend and business partner, Mike Leavy, discovered the Halloween Movies Fan Film Festival.
Halloweenmovies.com is the official website of the Halloween franchise so we knew that a festival sponsored by them would afford us a great opportunity to make something that would stand a good chance of being seen by the right eyes. The only catch was that the deadline for submissions was about a month away. This left us with a pretty steep hill to climb, especially since we were starting completely from scratch, but we knew we couldn’t miss the opportunity. Good chances are few and far between so whenever one shows itself you have to make the most of it.
We didn’t waste any time and we got to work right away. The production process that is normally broken into three phases became one big phase. All the stages had to overlap in order to meet our deadline. Casting happened as we wrote, editing happened as we shot and all the while we were figuring out a way to make everybody’s work and school schedules fit together. After all of this we were left with shoots that lasted all night and long days that seemed to blend into one.
Besides devoting the time and effort that was necessary to the project; it still could not have gotten done without some strategic writing. The script had to work in a way that wouldn’t put us in a deeper hole than the one we were already in. It also had to do so without compromising our major goal, which was to bridge the gap between the two diverging storylines of the series. This meant staying within our means and making it look like we had more time and more money than we actually did. Long story short, a lot of hard work lead to a 47 minute film being completed in time and being accepted by the festival.
This brings me to the purpose of this article. How did we end up with a trip to the set of Penance Lane (ST Edit: Penance Lane is Tyler Mane’s upcoming project after portraying Michael Myers in both Halloween I and II.)? As I mentioned earlier, the wheels were put in motion when the right eyes saw the project that we had worked so hard on to complete. Those eyes belonged to Justin Beahm, a very popular writer and editor for Fangoria Magazine, who also happens to be a producer on Penance Lane. Now it seems like the story could end right there, but that would be way too easy. Our connection to Mane Entertainment is not that direct. The winding road continued when Justin showed another new friend of ours, Tamara Glynn, the film. Tamara is also connected to the Halloween series as she starred in Halloween 5 as Samantha Thomas. She liked Halloween Awakening and the work that we put into it so much that she invited Fuzz on the Lens to be the official production company of her first annual Hot Springs International Film Festival.
Along with asking us to go and work, Tamara asked if we had a film to show at the festival. We did not, but like before we had an opportunity that we could not pass up. So again with very limited resources and a deadline looming we set out to make a movie. Using some of the same techniques as before, we had a finished product in time to make the more than 20 hour drive (we live in New York by the way) to Hot Springs, Arkansas. While in Hot Springs we premiered our feature film Catch of the Day and gathered footage and interviews to make promotional videos for the festival. We also had the chance to become friendlier with Tamara and Justin as well as meet a bunch of other really cool people in the industry, most notably for the purposes of this story, Tyler Mane and his wife Renae Geerlings. Together they formed Mane Entertainment and wrote, produced and starred in Compound Fracture (which will be available for sale soon). Now they have moved on to their newest feature, Penance Lane, which is currently being funded via an Indiegogo campaign.
Since we’ve been fortunate enough to meet them, make a good impression and stay in touch, we are now able to aid in the fundraising efforts; and when shooting begins in the near future we will be on set with the production team. As filmmakers we are extremely excited about this opportunity and can’t wait to see where it takes us. Just like everyone I have mentioned in these last few paragraphs, Mane Entertainment has afforded us the ability to grow and continue to move forward towards our ultimate goals and we are incredibly grateful for that.
So that’s our story so far. We will keep you posted during our journey down Penance Lane and wherever else the road may take us.