JARED HOFFA - Producer, Co-Writer, Lead Editor, and Star of "Project Slasher"
"Project Slasher" is an interactive short horror film from Be A Productions. It stars Ambre Lake as a kidnap victim who faces almost certain death from two masked killers. It's up to the viewer to help her make the right decisions so she can escape.
FMV World recently chatted with Jared about the process of making an independent interactive movie.
FMV World: Why did you make an interactive film as opposed to a traditional short film?
Hoffa: I'm a HUGE advocate of video games (Especially Left 4 Dead on Xbox. I challenge any of you!) and spent a good amount of my life computer programming. When the idea was originally pitched to me by the Director, Logan M. Futej, he wanted to shoot a low-budget non-traditional horror film in Pennsylvania. The script was great and the setting was perfect, so I started thinking about it.
Then one day I thought how cool it would be if the viewer could CHOOSE what happens in the film. I had no idea how it could work, if at all. But that's what we set to do. We shot the film before we ever figured out how it would work.
What was the budget for the film? Have you made a profit?
I almost have to laugh out loud when I'm asked this question. Because we didn't really know what to expect, I got a $2000 credit card, stock piled crew and equipment in a mini-van and drove 700 miles to the outskirts of Pennsylvania. I think the budget (with advertising) came to about $1800.
Have we made a profit? Yes and no. The extensive exposure and constant emails about people loving the film has proved to be more than we set out to do. Since we didn't really expect to make a cash profit (and haven't) we were happily surprised with the exposure. That said, feel free to buy the DVD at projectslasher.com =).
Ambre Lake got a lot of exposure being on "Rock of Love." Has this brought attention to the project and, if so, is it all positive attention?
I get asked this question a lot. And the first thing I like to tell people is above and beyond "Rock of Love" Ambre is an exceptional actress. I know a lot of people know her from the show but I've known her for some time now and I've never met anyone who works as hard as her. The show has brought a substantial amount of attention to the film, most of which was positive. But after that initial "wow factor" of Ambre doing a horror film, a new wave of people are commenting on the technical aspect of the film which is great! We were able to have our cake and eat it too.
Did Ambre film the project before or after the television shows aired?
We shot the film in January of 2006. As I mentioned before, we shot on a format that wasn't even supported by any editing systems, so it was difficult to even view the film on a computer. When I was finally able to finish up the project, Ambre called me to tell me she was on the show. We finished in May of 2008, a little after the show was over.
What are your favorite horror films?
The Shining, High Tension, 28 Days Later. I also like some of the older horror films like Mario Bava's Black Sabbath, The Body and the Whip, and the Mask of Satan.
Have you played any of the older interactive movies/fmv games? Did any of them inspire you to make "Project Slasher?"
I was actually just talking about this with my Cinematographer! I was browsing fmvworld.com and saw you have Action Max posted up there. I remember when I was a kid playing Haunted House on that system. I think subconsciously it inspired me because I remember being terrified and addicted to the game.
But above and beyond anything, DOOM has always inspired me. I bought the game in 1993 on floppy disks and to this day still play it. I have both of the books (yes they wrote books on DOOM and DOOM II) and a poster in my room. The game really made me feel like I was there, and after unloading round after round into countless enemies, it never got old!
Do you plan on making any more interactive films?
Right now we're looking at expanding "Project Slasher" into a feature. If you liked what we had in the original, the feature is going to be a hell of a lot more fun! It includes a lot more interactive choices and some new technology that will update the film so it never gets old.
For more information please visit ProjectSlasher.com.
Special thanks to marshall99 for bringing the movie to our attention.