Two Hartford Educators Given Leave of Absence for Being Horror Filmmakers in Their Personal Time

Horror, especially indie horror, is a creative outlet that, although incredibly fulfilling, often needs additional sources of income to keep its artists in the black financially. Should a person who’s a professional educator be forbidden from pursing a love of horror filmmaking on the side?

Welcome to Hartford, CT, the land where, apparently, the right to free speech has gone to die. Last week A reporter for The Hartford Courant, Matthew Kauffman, decided to go digging into Moongoyle Entertainment, a production company that specializes in creating racy indie horror films. Some even contain nudity! OMFG! Kauffman’s issue with Moongoyle Entertainment was the fact that two of the filmmakers behind the production company, Aaron Vnuk and Mark Foley, are educators, a principal and a guidance counselor, within the local school district. So it looks like Kauffman is not a horror fan and he feels no one else, especially an educator, should be either. Apparently those that work in the school district need to cut themselves off from society and live a sheltered life. We saw how well that worked out for Catholic priests.

The film that drew the ire of Kauffman is entitled Slicing Beauty; it was directed by the local principal, and the script was written by the local guidance counselor. And the funny thing is that, judging by what we’ve seen of Moongoyle Entertainment, and you can judge by yourself in the video below, they are a micro-budget indie filmmaking company that no one would have ever heard of, ever. It’s just a recreational time creative outlet for the two men. But with the attention that Mr. Kauffman has drawn to them with his article, Moongoyle has now been covered in international media. Way to squash the revolution.

The Hartford Courant has now dedicated three major articles to this story, which is nothing more than the stirring up of a bees’ nest by a reporter that was obviously having a slow news day. Just by reading the following paragraphs from one of the articles, you can see all the effort that went into exposing these horrible, horrible men who were, *GASP*, making movies in their spare time using pseudonyms so as not to overlap their hobby with their careers. Check it out.

“In 2010, the pair formed a company that became Moongoyle Entertainment, with a website that includes the tagline, ‘Fresh blood. Hot babes. Cool flicks,’ and features numerous photographs of buxom, blood-splattered women. Corporation records show that the company is owned by the two educators. But on Moongoyle.com and in movie credits, they use the names Mark Daniel and Aaron Thomas Howell — pseudonyms derived from the men’s first and middle names.

The Courant determined their identities by comparing information in state corporation records on Moongoyle to state educator records, both of which contain the men’s names and home addresses. The Courant further corroborated their identities by reviewing film credits showing that the men have gone by the different names at different times.

Now that is investigative journalism at its best. Woodward and Bernstein would be proud of this heavy-hitting report about two guys making movies that include – HEAVENS NO – nudity! Come on, folks. Both of these men are suspended from their jobs as we speak. These guys did nothing wrong. They made some movies in their spare time under pseudonyms. Just the fact that they thought enough to keep their professional lives and hobby separate by using pseudonyms shows that they were trying to be responsible. It just seems like one writer had nothing worthwhile to dig into one day and decided to take two good men down for no good reason.

Oh, the controversy!

What’s your take on this story? Let’s hear your opinion below. Those of you who side with the filmmakers can voice your opinion at the We Support Moongoyle Entertainment Facebook page.

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Andre de Lorde

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