The Nickel asked 2012 Horror Challenge winners "Team Pizza Slobs" to give us a behind the scenes peek at their filmmaking experience.
Mike Feehan: My brother told me about Nickel's 48 Hour Horror Film contest while we were eating Chinese food with my Nan. I'm a very lazy person and usually even the thought of doing something productive seems exhausting to me, but I thought this sounded like a lot of fun. I texted Mike Fardy (who I'll refer to as Fardy to avoid confusion) my friend of 15 years, who is the person I contact when I want to do something silly. He's also had a lot of experience making short films, which I thought might come in handy when making a short film. That Friday we went to Halloween Alley and pick up our prop, which actually meant we could take any mask we wanted. We went back to my house and tossed around ideas for our movie. Later we got the email giving us our character, "A Crazed Cannibal", which fit with our idea. The next day Fardy had finished the script, we were really stoked on it, and we started getting ready. We planned on shooting at Red Cliff at night and using Fardy's lighting kit. After failing to find somewhere that rents power packs, I bought one from Walmart with the intention of returning it the next morning. However, apparently power packs need to be charged for 24 hours before their first use. I didn't believe that, and so I charged it for 5 hours, but it turns out that's true.. it didn't work. Our only other option was to use my dad's generator, so with two cars full of actors and crew we drove to my parent's shed, where Fardy and I tried for about 20 minutes to start the generator. We had no idea what we were doing, so eventually my girlfriend, Elsa, stepped in and got it working. At that very moment it started to pour rain. The kind of rain that ruins camera and lighting equipment in about 5 seconds. The car of actors drove off and we went back to my house and tried to figure about what to do now that the 48-hour contest had become a 24-hour contest. I considered giving up, there was no way we could make our movie now, but Fardy was silent and just stared at the floor for about 10 minutes. Then he said "Okay, I just came up a new movie."
Mike Fardy: When Mike Feehan messaged me about the Nickel's 48 hour horror film contest I just kinda started bouncing around in my chair being excited and that didn't really stop until we finished. I learned a lot of things and that's my goal in most things so yeah, goal achieved. I really wanted to make a genuinely scary film and I feel like Feehan and I wrote a great script for that, then the rain ruined everything. So when our time got cut in half I just went to what I knew, making people feel super weird while they giggle uncomfortably, and then voila "Respect Your Eldritch" was born. The thing I liked most about this contest is that if we had made this same movie in almost any other circumstance I would have never released it. I actually didn't really like how it turned out, all I could see were the mistakes and the things I wanted to re-shoot or re-write. I get sweaty when people watch it while I'm around and I can't make eye-contact with them for a while after. The important thing I learned was the attitude, "who cares put it out there". Nothing is ever perfect and even if it is my perfect is probably stupid to 90% of the people who are going to view it. I think it's important for... "creatives?" to put out a lot of "whatever work" to learn from it. Just to be clear I'm not saying no one should ever put work into anything, just that many of the ideas that get stuffed in the back of your binder or thrown in the garbage or burned in a small pit in my backyard would be more useful to the creator if they just put it out there and let the audience decide if they like it or not. But what do I know? 1) If real blood is anything like corn syrup and chocolate sauce I will never murder anyone just based on how hard it is to clean up. 2) It's very hard to yell and drink at the same time. 3) I had a wonderful time with this project and I'm very grateful to everyone who made it happen!