So today staff Member Jeremy and I are heading off to a convention that we have never attended before. I found out about the show thru a friend, Tim Gross of Gross Movie Reviews fame, and thought since it was an Ohio convention that I needed to go. This was even more important to me because the show’s focus was on supporting independent filmmakers in Ohio and as many of you know we here at Gutmunchers are all about the indy filmmakers.
Convention day started off like they always do with out traditional stop at McDonalds for breakfast. Yeah I’m going to talk about food again because you know I'm fat. After a tasty breakfast of a Bacon Egg and Cheese biscuit we jumped in the car and let the Garmin get us to the convention center. Well sort of that is. The damn thing actually took us to someone’s house! Lucky for us it did get us within a couple miles of the hotel/convention center so we weren’t late.
After checking in and getting our press passes we hit the dealers room. Right by the door were our favorite Bastards of Horror Tim and Charlie. Also there were Rich from Horror Realm and Rick “of the Dead” Fusselman. It was great seeing the guys and we chatted for quite a while. Rick had a stack of video store posters for sale and I picked up a couple killer items from him including a Mutant poster (big John Cardos fan) and a sweet looking Silent Night Deadly Night video poster. I took my purchase out to the car and headed back into the show for some of the events that I wanted to attend.
Before I get into the panels I wanted to make something very clear. Many of us have gone to shows before. Most of them are opportunities to meet the actors, directors, and makeup effects people responsible for our favorite movies. We sit in rooms and listen to stories about how they made the movies that we all love. Or we hit the dealers room and spend money on autographs. Horror Hotel isn’t one of those shows. This is especially so of the panels which are geared more towards aspiring actors and filmmakers. It is a chance for those that have been making movies to share what works and more importantly what doesn’t work.
The first panel that Jeremy and I went to was the Fight Scenes and stunts panel hosted by Ray Szuch. Ray is a local martial artist that has worked on several movies and produces his own television show. Not only was he very informative in how to get good stunts on screen without spending a lot of money but he was also one of the nicest guys that I’ve ever met. He is a wealth of knowledge and experience as well as knowing all sorts of others that can be helpful. If you are making independent movies in Ohio you need to talk to Ray.
Next up was a panel about acting in a low budget horror movie. In this panel were Kristina Michelle, Travis Bowen, and Michael Trivisonno. This was an excellent look at the ins and outs of working on low or no budget movies. There were some great stories about some of the contracts and things that directors and producers do to cut corners. I asked a couple of questions including one about any shady things that they have seen a director try to do on set. This was a very interesting and informative panel.
I took a break from the panels to wander around the dealers room and meet some of the filmmakers who were at the show. One of the people that I met was Matthew Brooks who made an interesting looking movie called Bone Cave. You can expect a review for the site in the near future. I also spent some time with Tim Gross at their table. Somehow I made the decision to but a giant box of VHS tapes from him, though I now own some “classic” Jean Claude movies on tape now so I suppose that is a good thing.
After tossing my latest purchases into the Jeep we headed back into the show for the next panel. This was the one on scoring a film and featured one of the guys behind Midnight Syndicate, Edward Douglas. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Ed at several other shows but I’ve never heard him discuss how he scores a movie. It is funny because when I’ve reviewed independent movies I’ve always know that there was something off in the music, but I’ve never been able to put my finger on it. After hearing Ed talk about film scores and music I have a much better idea and appreciation for those independent movies that do the music right. I suppose this is what happens when you spend time with smart people.
In between this panel and the live recording of the Reel Show I took the time to find Michael Trivisonno in the dealers room. He was in one of my favorite Ohio Indy horror films, Bigfoot from director Bob Gray, so I needed to meet him. What a great guy. Not only did he sign my DVD but he also spent quite a few minutes just shooting the breeze about movies and the other projects that he is working on. I’m very excited to check out what he has been up to and you guys can expect reviews of his film projects to be coming to the site very soon. Meeting Mike was one of the highlights of the day for me.
Jeremy and I stopped back in to watch the live recording of the Reel Show. This is one of the programs that is on Reel TV Network. They actually wanted to interview yours truly. Normally I'm very shy… Yeah not really. I had a great time talking to Kristina about the site and my love of all things movie related. I’ve checked out some of her earlier shows are really dug them.
It had been a long day since I had to get up early to drive up to the convention. Both Jeremy and I were starved and I realized that we were very close to one of our favorite Japanese buffets. Yeah that is right I'm going to talk food again! So we took off and went to grab some food and reflect on the day. I had a wonderful time at Horror Hotel. Being around people who have a true love for movies and are actually out there trying to make them recharged my batteries. This is something that we as fans need to support and encourage. I know that I’ve already said this but it is worth pointing out again. If you are an independent filmmaker or an aspiring one you need to go to the next Horror Hotel show. You can count on seeing me there too.
Written by: John Shatzer, www.gutmunchers.com
"Trio of Terror" reviews Horror Hotel
Read it HERE