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Archive | July, 2013

Week Three – Covered in Fog

30 Jul

Week three of filming found me sad to have missed week two, but I was not to be disappointed. A mysterious fog rolled in as I started to get ready to head to the house secured by iamhorror.com. I climbed into the car, unable to shake the feeling of mystery surrounding me. Again, I sped along the roads looking for the lurking house always full of questions.

The house sneaks up on you, as if it's holding its secrets at bay.

The house sneaks up on you, as if it’s holding its secrets at bay.

Of course, everyone was there when I arrived, and they were ready to go! Conversation around bagels were in full swing in the barn and the crew was scurrying everywhere to prepare for the day’s shoot. Today’s scenes were to be some introductory scenes outdoors and some secret scenes indoors. Those scenes in the closed house are the ones I can’t wait to see!

This innocent kitten is oblivious to the horror happening just outside his barn door.

This innocent kitten is oblivious to the horror happening just outside his barn door.

Again this week, the crew was applying makeup, but with a new crew member. Diana had entered their ranks to help with the makeup which would make the scenes come alive. She was excited to be there and greeted me with a warm smile and hand shake. Welcome Diana! You’re in for the experience of a lifetime!

Diana helps pretty up Denise - though not much work needs to be done!

Diana helps pretty up Denise – though not much work needs to be done!

Diana laughs with Maddy in the barn.

Diana laughs with Maddy in the barn.

Meanwhile, the scenes in and around the house were being set. I was lucky enough to be inside while the props were applied and the sun, which had burned away the secret of the fog, streamed down on us from overhead. Windows were being covered, scenes were being reviewed and equipment was readied all over the farm.

Mark with the equipment indoors.

Mark with the equipment indoors.

The house looks on as equipment is placed everywhere.

Renee and Bassam, the amazing script crew, look on while they wait for their turn to work.

Finally, it was time to film. Directors signaled for silence. “Action!” and “Cut!” broke the stillness of the farm. The animals played around crew and cast as the actors pulled off some amazing footwork. Watching this team work brings chills unmatched by the house itself – they are a group of professionals who take this film very seriously. House on Ghost Hill is lucky to have such a dedicated team working on its premier.

Week three brought more mystery to the set on the second day of shooting, when the executive producer Doug and the homeowner Steve leaned over a sub-basement shrouded in darkness. What had crawled out of there in the past? Had there been illegal liquor or perhaps runaway slaves down there? ┬áThe house had been close to both of these activities. What type of feelings would we feel down there? Residual tenseness? Sadness? Excitement from the slaves so very close to freedom, the could taste it? This house certainly was holding some huge secrets that it didn’t want us to find.

Anything could have happened down here.

Anything could have happened down here.

Doug and Steve inspect the sub-basement. The house opened up one of its doors and revealed an amazing mystery.

Doug and Steve inspect the sub-basement. The house opened up one of its doors and revealed an amazing mystery.

Just outside the gaping hole in the floor, people were working hard to set up the equipment for some creepy basement scenes. Sam, a professional videographer, arranged cameras and marveled at the camera’s capabilities.

Sam and his camera.

Sam and his camera.

Finally, filming was ready to roll. I stepped out of the house because the spaces are just too small for an extra reporter, but that didn’t stop my work. The property is so bundled in things to find that I didn’t have any trouble finding uses for my camera. I hiked the property and snapped a number of images, which came out beautifully. As most farms are, this one was dusty, though it is quite well maintained. I leave you with one final image, one for your speculation. I leave you with your own questions to answer. Is this a speck of dust from the farm, or is it something more – something or someone who just might make a guest appearance on the film itself?

DSC01233 - Copy

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Production Begins!

13 Jul

It was a cloudy, hot summer day. The clouds gave an ominous feeling as I sped over the back road looking for it. Farm after farm clouded my sense of direction; field after field turned my sight upside down. I scanned both sides of the road, searching for any sign of what I needed to find.

Finally, it appeared on the left. It loomed over the road like a great brick overseer of all the land around it. I felt like an outsider as it peered down on me while I pulled up the drive. I had arrived on the set of the newest iamhorror film, House on Ghost Hill.

The house peeks at me through the trees, asking me why I'm there.

The house peeks at me through the trees, asking me why I’m there.

 

Luckily, I recognized my friends on the porch and the house quickly lost its grip on all my greatest fears. It seemed sad to lose me so quickly.

I hopped out of the car and began to explore the mystery all around me. The house rests on land which has served a number of different purposes. It has been home to whiskey bootleg, a dairy farm and a number of different families. It is an amazing combination of brick, love and sweat.

The cast and crew were breaking for lunch when I arrived and everyone was in a jovial mood. The morning shoot had gone really well. People were spread throughout the barn talking and eating together. Cows and horses looked on as conversations about religion and astrophysics ensued around coolers of soda.

Laura and Aili pose!

Laura and Aili pose!

Mark takes a break outside.

Mark takes a break outside.

Brian, Tony and Andy prefer the cool barn for relaxing

Brian, Tony and Andy prefer the cool barn for relaxing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The light feeling soon turned to serious tones as, one by one, people started to get back to work. Scripts came out, make up brushes flew and talk started to go back to scenes or lines. Like a light switch, people turned from frolicking to serious work. This group was quite synced with each other – I barely knew where to stand at times because they seemed to have a deep connection that told them when to work. Maybe it was a predetermined schedule, but to an outsider, these people really seemed to sync up at just the right moments.

Laura touches up AmArA before the shoot inside.

Laura touches up AmArA before the shoot inside.

Patrick is ready to go!

Patrick is ready to go!

Kendra makes sure AmArA looks picture perfect.

Kendra makes sure AmArA looks picture perfect.

Tony checks over his lines after lunch.

Tony checks over his lines after lunch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone headed into the house. This was why I had come! I was so excited to see the inside of this house. I needed to prove to the house that I was not to be had by its foreboding stare! We walked in the back door and I was immediately struck by the idea that someone was watching me.

Of course people were everywhere – but they were staying quite busy working on House on Ghost Hill. I was working independently and no one had reason to watch me. It didn’t matter – I felt eyes on me that I just couldn’t place with any real head.

I walked through the house, marveling at the ambiance all around me. The walls were decorated with vintage pictures and the decorations screamed of decades past. The modern camera equipment did nothing to take away from the fact that this house breathed history. Even if I didn’t believe in ghosts, I would still look over my shoulder at night in this house.

Perhaps someone from these blurry old time photos was looking over my shoulder....

Perhaps someone from these blurry old time photos was looking over my shoulder….

 

As the crew busied themselves with setup, the actors got to work right away. Lighting had to be just right, cameras needed to be prepared and lines needed to be rehearsed. The scenes were being set! I watched and listened as the actors practiced. They were so convincing that I jumped when the script called for a man to yell at a woman! I thought a fight had ensued! The crew members reassured me that they were just acting, thank goodness!

The official script!

The official script!

Tony and Andy practice the lines that led up to the "argument scene".

Tony and Andy practice the lines that led up to the “argument scene”.

Nostalgia mixes with modern equipment with this milk jug and camera case as filming begins.

Nostalgia mixes with modern equipment with this milk jug and camera case as filming begins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, everyone was geared up and ready to go! The crew was moved out of the shooting area and the filmmakers wove their magic! All the crew, myself included, waited outside as the cameras rolled inside.

Kendra finds a new friend between work....

Kendra finds a new friend between work….

...as does Alex...

…as does Alex…

...and Denise!

…and Denise!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the crew was on break, I had the pleasure of speaking with the owner of the house. He was kind enough to let me read some of the house history. According to the local legend, the Underground Railroad ran very close to this house. Additionally, there is a rumored secret tunnel in the basement where the Herrera family ran their bootleg whiskey during prohibition. They would funnel the sweet liquid to the basement, sneak it into the barn, then move it out in trucks disguised as normal milk trucks.

This house/movie set has an interesting past. It has been home to a number of distinct individuals and large personalities. Perhaps, upon post production, we could learn that our actors had some “extras” helping them out!

This movie is a must-have. Make sure to keep up with its progress here and on iamhorror.com

Finally, a few last pictures of the masters at work:

Ted works with Patrick and Alex on a shot...

Ted works with Patrick and Alex on a shot…

...while Doug and Bassam work on some scenes in the barn!

…while Doug and Bassam work on some scenes in the barn!

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