I don’t typically watch horror films. The sight of blood makes me bury my face against Dave’s shoulder. The ominous music plays on loop in my head for days afterwards. The murderer-lying-in-wait makes me look over my shoulder whenever I’m alone. The thunderstorm scene (and there’s always a thunderstorm scene) sends me scampering like a dog when a real one rolls into town.
I made the mistake of seeing Amityville Horror in the theater. The result? I screamed out loud. Which caused my husband and sister to cover their faces and pretend they didn’t know me. And after watching The Ring (in the privacy of my own home), I had to sleep with lights on. So no, I don’t usually watch horror films…but then again, the movie theater isn’t usually playing a horror film that my friends helped make.
Bereavement, starring Alexandra Daddario and Michael Biehn, opened in select cities (including mine!) last week. Friends and colleagues of mine, Scott Krycia and Sean Tiedeman, owners of K Studios in Allentown, PA worked on this project for three years alongside director, Stevan Mena, who was named Best Director at the 2010 NYC Horror Film Festival and cinematographer Marco Cappetta who won the Best Cinematography Award at the 2010 NYC Horror Film Festival for this film. So when I had the chance to attend Bereavement’s big screen debut with Scott and Sean, I couldn’t pass it up.
Did I bury my face against Dave’s shoulder and experience some post-movie paranoia? Absolutely. And I also got the inside scoop on what it’s like to make a horror film and see the project finally come to life on the big screen…
(Note: Scott and Sean were involved with many aspects of the making of Bereavement, such as still photography, set decoration: second unit, grip/electric swing, animal handling: second unit, closing credit crawl, and the behind-the-scenes documentary which will be available on the future DVD/Blu-Ray release of Bereavement. Sean and Scott also filmed an exit poll commercial which is currently airing on television to promote the theatrical release of the film.)
Beyond the Gray: What challenges come along with making a movie like Bereavement?
Sean: Really long days; sixteen hours days were the norm. It takes a long time to set up a scene, so we’d start before sunrise each morning and work well past midnight, getting only a few hours of sleep each night. And then, when we started filming the night scenes, we started at 6PM and end at 6AM. It can get difficult to function after a while and it’s always bizarre to eat dinner at 6 o’clock in the morning.
Scott: Another challenge was staying warm. I often had to wear five pairs of pants just to stay warm. Shooting in a slaughterhouse was also challenging because it was infested with rats. Plus, we put down mulch on the floor and the crew walking around kicked up a lot of dust. We all had to wear face masks and it even ruined one of the cameras.
BTG: What would surprise the typical moviegoer about shooting a film?
Scott & Sean: Cool.
Scott: Mine to work for myself.
BTG: You’ve accomplished both those things. How did you get started?
Sean: I had various odd jobs after college and worked on film crews whenever I could, to get experience. I never went to work for a company. I decided right away that I had to cut my safety net and either sink or swim. Fortunately, I’ve been able to make a career out of this.
Scott: I worked for a web design company before we started K-Studios. I always had an interest in photography and videography, which I pursued in my free time. Sean and I kept bumping into each other on shoots. Eventually we decided to merge our interests and experience – and our equipment – and form our own media production company.
Scott: We started K-Studios 15 years ago.
Sean: We shoot everything from corporate videos to horror films. And we love it all.
BTG: What’s been your biggest success?
Scott: The project that’s probably gotten the most visibility is an interview we shot with Stephen King, which is featured on Bravo’s “100 Scariest Movie Moments” and airs every year around Halloween.
BTG: One last question: is the blood really made from corn syrup and food dye?
Scott: Yep, it’s usually something like that.
Sean: And the ice crystals in the refrigerator scene, are actually sugar crystals.
Well, there you have it. Thanks to Scott Krycia and Sean Tiedeman for taking time out of their busy schedules to talk with me to give us a glimpse behind the scenes of a horror movie.
If you haven’t seen Bereavement, don’t worry, it’s still in select theaters across the country this week and will be coming to DVD soon.
You can visit the film’s website to watch the trailer: www.bereavementmovie.com