‘/mar11/collingswood1’, ‘/mar11/collingswood2’, ‘/mar11/collingswood3’
We hope you have been enjoying our Indie Horror Month coverage, but believe us when we say we have saved the best for last. As a means to send the month out with a well placed shiver to cycle down your spine, we’re going to be showing one of our favorite indie movies ever. Right here. ONE NIGHT ONLY. For FREE!
Several years ago filmmaker Mike Costanza shot a movie called The Collingswood Story that despite massive acclaim no one knew what to do with. You see, in the film Costanza employed webcam technology. While that sounds like no big deal now, this film was made back when this tech was new, and possible distributors were worried that no one would get it.
As a result, unless you live in the UK, the film is very hard to find. Until now. We’ve partnered with Costanza to give the film its first and only online premiere.
We’ll let Mike himself bring you up-to-speed on the film’s storied history.
“The micro budget film “The Collingswood Story” is basically a love story gone to hell, but this time around the action unfolds online through each character’s webcam. A young girl goes off to college, and for her 21st birthday her BF gifts her with a webcam so they can stay all lovey dovey. However, the girl unknowingly rents a room inside of an old house where a previous owner had slaughtered his family. Introduce a crack-sy webcam psychic who warns the kids of impending doom, and let the horror games begin…
What we have is a very intimate story that covers a range of emotion with mounting fear and suspense. I first wrote the script for “Collingswood” right when webcams were introduced on the market (years before YouTube, Skype, etc.) I wanted to create a “personal” horror experience by having each character talk directly to the camera. But for the horror genre this concept had never been attempted. Would the concept work? Would video conferencing ever take off?
One day I happened upon a book that covered a series of grisly murders that took place at a historic house on Lees Lane. So, yup, the story is based on events that actually happened in Collingswood, New Jersey.
I was extremely spooked, inspired, and in awe of “The Blair Witch Project” and its prodigious phenomenon – and how much the filmmakers were able to achieve on so very little. The film opened the floodgates for other filmmakers such as myself and proved to a whole new generation that so much could be achieved on a micro budget.
When I first tried to shop “The Collingswood Story” around, I was told “No one spends time on their computers!” and “No one knows what video conferencing is!” So the film went underground. I had just worked with an incredible cast, we all had a great experience, but now what? Naturally as a proud papa I always believed in the film. I knew I had something; the trick was how do I get people to see it?
I started off by sending DVD screeners out to online horror critics. Some of the reviewers were reluctant at first and rightly so – here I was sending out a film that had no distribution and no prior festival screenings!
Soon horror critics around the world screened a “Collingswood” DVD. The reviews, to my delight, were very positive. Quotes included “A Low Budget Triumph’, “The Best Low Budget Horror Movie Since The Blair Witch Project”, and “Inventive and Frightening.” From there “Collingswood” got invited to many film festivals and won the Best Cast and Best Indie Film award.
The cast and I owe a huge thanks to the online horror community who has been extremely supportive and helped put “Collingswod” on the map.
Now that social networking is the norm, there’s been some heat on the film again. No matter who you are, no matter where you are in the business, it’s always a long and tedious process. Best advice for budding filmmakers: Learn to cut through the bullshit. When a producer informs you that he/she will get back to you “asap”, know that means you’ll never hear from them again. Always remember: Stick to your vision. Keep moving forward.
Uncle Creepy, who has been a huge supporter of “The Collingswood Story”, asked me to screen the film on Dread Central to close out indie horror month. I am truly honored by this and want to thank Steve Barton and Dread Central for debuting this never before seen version. Hope you enjoy watching it, and thanks for keeping indie horror alive!
One final note: Watch it in the DARK! Be sure to turn off all the lights in the room while viewing “The Collingswood Story”.
It’s our pleasure to announce that Dread Central will present The Collingswood Story on Saturday night, April 2nd, 2011 at 9:00 PM Pacific time, 12:00 Midnight Eastern. Tune in and let the terror begin.
Check out a trailer and some stills below.
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Enjoy free horrors in the comments section below!