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Producer Greg Lamberson dropped us a line to let us know that principal photography has wrapped on Sam Qualiana’s Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast up in the Buffalo area, and he also provided us with a half-dozen new behind-the-scenes stills.
From the Press Release: Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast, the feature film debut of 25-year-old writer/director Sam Qualiana, has wrapped production in Lockport, New York, outside Buffalo. Qualiana originally made a Snow Shark short seven years ago, when he and his brothers attached a shark fin to their dog. After winning the Buffalo Screams Horror Film Festival’s “Filmmaker to Watch” award for his short crime drama No Road Out, he decided to remake the Snow Shark short using the skills he had developed in the intervening years. Reaction to the project was so positive he turned it into a feature instead and started shooting on weekends, before the script was completed, to beat the spring thaw.
“It was tough getting all the exterior shots before the snow melted,” Qualiana says. “We cancelled some shoots due to warm weather and managed to do some cutaways outside with fake snow.”
“Sam’s approach reminded me of Roger Corman,” says producer Greg Lamberson, whose Slime City Massacre was just released on DVD by Media Blasters. “He had a great concept and title and the courage to jump right in. He was originally trying to raise $3,000 through IndieGoGo, and I told him I could raise more than that so I brought in my SCM partners Marc Makowski, author John Maclay, and Cemetery Dance Publications founder Richard Chizmar.”
Synopsis: After a scientist (Michael O’Hear) discovers the titular creature is feasting on the local residents of a small Western New York town, the mayor (Robert Bozek) hires cryptozoologists and a shark hunter (Andrew Elias, Kathy Murphy, Andy Taylor) to help the sheriff (C.J. Qualiana, the director’s father) track down the beast. At the same time a former snow shark attack survivor (director Qualiana) makes plans of his own to stop the creature. Jackey Hall (Chainsaw Cheerleaders) plays a woman who demands answers when her husband disappears.
“The fact that the script was original and had never been done before is what got me interested in working on this film,” says Hall. “Working in the snow was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Yes, it was very cold, but when you’re focused on working, you don’t really seem to notice it as much. It was an amazing project to work on, and everyone was so nice and professional! You could tell that this movie was something they all poured their hearts into. I’m very proud to say I was part of it.”
The production eschewed CGI in favor of practical creature effects. John Renna, who also plays a victim, built a full-size shark head to eat himself and the other actors, and Arick Szymecki and Andrew Lavin of Anomaly FX created a miniature shark and landscapes.
“We’re pretty pumped about our work for Snow Shark,” says Szymecki, another Slime City Massacre veteran. “We’re usually known for our zombie and slasher gore so getting to show our classic monster movie influences is exciting. Even at scale, this ancient snow beast is pretty big, and it’s been a blast taking it from digital concept to a silicone force of nature!”
For post production Lamberson and Qualiana have turned to two experts in the world of low budget horror: Brett Piper (Shock-O-Rama), assisted by Mark Polonia (Splatter Beach).
“I’ve wanted to work with Brett for a long time,” says Lamberson. “I know he and Mark will give Sam’s film that extra polish that will help set it apart from other films in this budget range.”
The filmmakers hope to complete the film by early fall, in time for the film festival season, when the search for distribution will begin.
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