Sunday, May 19, 2019

Campus Alert

September 7, 2015 Locations and Sites
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Estimated reading time — 3 minutes

This is a short film I wrote, directed, edited, and created special fx for. Campus Alert follows a student on campus who is stalked by a strange masked man at night while the campus is on high alert due to incidences of assaults and muggings. Terror ensues for all parties involved. I like to thinks of it as a slasher film with a fun twist!

But for those interested, I’d like to talk a little bit about the inspiration for it. I had the idea for setting a horror film on a college campus for a while. I have a slight case of insomnia from time to time so sometimes when I’m up all night I’ll get the urge to go outside and go on walks. While living at my school’s dorms, I’d go on these walks on campus at weird hours. Not to mention the school’s library is opened pretty late most weekdays, usually to 1 and sometimes even 2 AM. The whole scope of that setting at night, with all the open space and empty buildings, you get a real sense of aloneness. Not to mention when you are alone, you get weird vibes whenever you come across other people like you who wander around at weird hours. You’re not sure if the person is a potential threat. On one of my late night walks, I remember someone with a foreign accent yelling across a parking lot at me “Am I safe?” from afar when he noticed me. And even though I would walk about at weird hours, I never actually ever felt unsafe. After all, I was living in Salt Lake City which was one of the whitest, safest cities around for the most part. Especially in the area of the University.

So for a while I thought about possibly doing a horror film about a female student being stalked by a masked man, basically Halloween set on a college campus. But I could never really come up with any ideas on how to develop it further, until a while back students at the University were receiving “campus alert” notifications about two assaults that happened on campus within a short period of time and warned students about being careful when walking at night. Which I guess made me underestimate the safety of college campuses in the area as an adult male. This eventually lead to the idea that this college set slasher film should be set on a campus that is on high alert because this thing has been happening a lot at night. To a point that masked killers roam freely at night, which a lot of friends of mine who have seen the film reminded them of The Purge.

And even though I love slasher films like Halloween and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I’ve never really been all that interested in creating a film that focused entirely on a damsel in distress scenario. Eventually that lead to an idea which I don’t want to spoil too much, but there are a few twists and turns within the 8 minutes. Kind of akin to films like The World’s End, From Dusk till Dawn, and the Anna Paquin short in Trick r Treat. Basically this is a fictional college campus where a lot of crazy **** happens after dark.

I also love old school horror films such as The Evil Dead and I used this as a chance to do some practical gore fx, all done in camera and nothing digital. This is not just meant to be scary, but also fun and for fans of more old school horror flicks.

Hope you enjoy.

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Campus Alert

Credit To – Brendan Morrisey

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