Sault Ste. Marie – May 2013
Now it’s Ryan Byrne’s turn to scare somebody silly.
The Sault Ste. Marie businessman wants to raise $400,000 to finance a trilogy of horror films he plans to start shooting in the city and Echo Bay in August 2013.
“That’s just the way the story came out when I was writing it,” said Byrne of his proposed three-film project.
“I feel we can pull off a trilogy with the people in town and the way it’s written.”
October 30th draws its inspiration from established horror franchises such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Halloween and the true story of Edmonton filmmaker, and convicted murderer, Mark Twitchell.
“That’s definitely where a lot of the inspiration came from,” said Byrne of the bloody exploits of Freddy Krueger, Jason, and Michael Myers.
He needs nine actors, three men and four women ranging in age from 22 to 31 and two older actors, for his first film. Byrne wants to begin casting in early December. Hopefuls will be asked to read from his script.
Cast and crew will be paid, if he can reach his six-figure goal.
Byrne, 29, has enjoyed watching horror films for about 20 years. The forbidden factor of watching movies usually rated restricted for audiences 18 and up was a big attraction.
“I was one of the kids watching them pretty early – just the fact that we weren’t supposed to watch it as kids,” he said.
“It’s a great start for independent filmmakers to try and burst into the scene. It’s cheaply done.”
Byrne points to Paranormal Activity and The Blair Witch Project as other low-budget efforts that went on to become box office champions. They earned a combined $342 million worldwide. He wants to make a killing at the box office too.
Byrne operated an entertainment business, Ace Deejay, for a decade before morphing that venture into Absolute Complete Entertainment in 2011. ACE also shoots corporate videos.
He’s counting on business and directing lessons, respectively learned from Richard Kim, owner of Studio Dance Arts, and Michael Hennessy, executive director of Family Life Theatre, for helping him succeed with his feature film directing debut.
Byrne acted in several Family Life Theatre productions between 2009 and 2011 including My Darling Judith and Opening Night. He also had a speaking role as a police officer when Split Decision, with Brendan Fraser and Dominic Purcell, was shot in the city earlier this year.
A trailer, filmed in one day in Echo Bay in October, was posted to the film’s website on Sunday.
“There’s nowhere to run,” the voiceover warns.
“There’s nowhere to hide.”
The 57-second clip ends with a squeaky garage door being closed.
Byrne wants the video to help to build word of mouth about his project on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
On the web: www.october30thfilm.com