Exclusive First Look Images from The Haunting of Whaley House; Director Talks!
We caught up recently with The Haunting of Whaley House writer and director Jose Prendes, who chatted with Dread openly about the production and also provided us with a handful of exclusive production stills from the now wrapped film. Read on for the skinny!
Produced by The Asylum, The Haunting of Whaley House stars Stephanie Greco as (according to the film’s official synopsis), “Penny, (who) is a skeptic, despite the fact that she works as a tour guide at The Whaley House, considered America's most haunted house. One night her friends convince her to let them into the famous museum to see if it is as haunted as everyone says it is, and they find much more than they bargained for. Just because you don't believe in ghosts doesn't mean they don't believe in you!”
Joining Greco in the festivities is genre vet Lynn Lowry (George Romero’s The Crazies), among others, as well as The Woman cinematographer Alex Vendler and producers Paul Bales and David Michael Latt.
Shot over the course of twelve days this past March in Long Beach, CA on the RED MX camera system, filmmaker Prendes said of the experience, “Well, we were an Asylum production, but we were pretty much left alone. The cast and crew were basically all of my friends who came together and helped me make the best haunted house movie we could make. We became a family and it all worked because people gave a shit. It’s very easy to find a lot of people who will just go through the motions on a movie set, but no one on this production was there for the money. They were there because they liked the script and wanted to make something special. We all really just enjoyed being around one another, and that totally translated to the footage. That love and admiration of the material and of each other really makes the film special.”
Of the film, The Haunting of Whaley House is currently in post-production and is scheduled for a home video release via The Asylum on July 31, 2012.
“Working with The Asylum is always challenging,” Prendes further offered of his experience directing the film.
“Beyond the typical things like having no money and no time, we had to also deal with producer’s notes that we could not address because they made it impossible to do so,” he expounded. “One night we had an actress that was supposed to get topless, (as) that was their request that the movie have nudity in it, so I had to contrive a way to get nudity into the picture. Well, our actress arrived and we dressed her in this short skirt and cardigan pulled tight over her ample bosom. The scene went off great and it was fun and we got the ‘boobage.’”
“The next day, however, they comment that she was ‘showing too much.’ What the hell kind of a note is that?” Prendes asked. “If she was supposed to get topless, were we to dress her in a ski parka? So the producers then said we needed to reshoot (the scene), but of course we couldn’t because we didn’t have the time or money to do so.”
As for the cinematic scares in front of the camera, Prendes describes The Haunting of Whaley House thusly.
“I read these things, and I know everyone says this type of thing, but it’s a unique haunted house movie and one where I wanted to keep the audience guessing and wondering where it would go next,” said the filmmaker. “My goal was really the make the characters likable and believable so that when shit gets real, the audience is with you one hundred percent, no matter how crazy it gets.”
As for the ‘crazy,’ “The effects were provided by Mark Villalobos and Co. at Monster FX, and they are a great team,” Prendes said of visceral aspects of the film. “They provided a mix of old school ‘bump in the night’ creations with some gruesome Evil Dead-style blood and guts.”
Prendes (whose next project is the western feature A Magnificent Death From A Shattered Hand which he will write and produce this fall, along with actor Thomas Jane who will direct, produce and star) remains enthusiastic about his horror feature and is planning to tour the festival circuit with The Haunting of Whaley House.
“I will be traveling with the movie to horror conventions and festivals to get the word out,” Prendes told us. “It is such an ‘un-Asylum’ Asylum movie, and I mean that with all due respect. I love those guys for giving me money to make a movie, but they’ve built a negative stigma with fans that can sometimes hurt them. I want people to give it a chance so I am bringing it to them. Plus, it’s a real audience movie and I want them to watch it as a shared experience. I’m hoping to premiere it at Comic-Con this year, and our Facebook fans will have reserved seats!”
For more, get daily updates on the production and stay connected through The Haunting of Whaley House official Facebook fan page.
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