Low-Budget Horror Movie To Film Near Decatur Next Month
The director of "Prosper" calls it "Scream" meets "The Exorcist."
A horror movie will shoot scenes next month in the Decatur area.
The movie's publicist, Pekhtereva Anastasia, said in an email:
A key location in the movie, the witch's house, is going to be shot on location at Per Muu Massage in Decatur. We've had numerous rehearsals and location scouts there to date. We begin production in February for which we will be shooting there for the duration of 10 days. We have three crew members who are Decatur residents as well.
Originally from Campbellsville, KY, Smith has been producing films and working on smaller projects such as music videos, commercials and public service announcements for 12 years.
"I've been looking for the right project for my directorial debut," Smith said. "I decided over the summer, it seemed that the horror genre seemed to be the best platform to break in as a new director."
Smith said a multi-pronged distribution strategy is in place. He's working on securing a distribution deal with Relativity Media and another major distributor, with a DVD deal as a fallback.
"Prosper" is classed as an ultra-low budget film by SAG standards, which means it costs les than $250,000 to produce. How much below that is being kept private.
What he and his team are doing even before the film's principal shooting starts is aggressively building a promotional campaign online before the film's release, using help from the actors. He's trying to replicate the success patterns for "Blair Witch" and "Paranormal Activity."
"We've already developed a following on our Facebook page," Smith said two weesk after the Facebook page launched. The insights show "We've touched 45,000 people already."
Smith wants a premier at the Fox Theater.
The film has become a bit of a family affair for the property owners of the former horse farm where the film is being shot.
Mike and Shari Staines first got involved when their son, Blake, auditioned for a role. He got a part in the film, and his mother emailed Smith that the family had always talked about their plantation style home being creepy, being so far back into the woods.
Smith brought his location scout with him to their home, which is between Birmingham and Hopewell roads.
But not only is Blake and the home part of the film. Another son is serving as a snake wrangler. Smith saw the dozen snakes he had as pets, and that added another element to the film. When one of "Prosper's" lead actors turned out to be squeamish around snakes, he even got picked to be a body double.
Their daughter takes her turn as an extra, as an apparition in an exterior ghost scene.
The family's flock of Jacobs sheep, a primitive, multi-horned breed, have become part of the movie.
Other ties to the Alpharetta area include:
- Larry Mainland, who has appeared in "Walking Dead;
- Walnette Santiago, who plays the role of "Holly" in the film;
- Sherrie Tomlinson, whose acting studio, Blueprint for Hollywood, is in Dunwoody
The 13 cast members and 26 company employees, including film crew, will be spending time in the area around the location shooting. The economic effect multiplies, Smith said, where "if the film is successful, folks want to come in and just be part of that area."
Want to become part of "Prosper?" The producers are seeking contributions through crowd sourcing, suggesting donations from $5 to $2,500. (I'm sure they'll take bigger contributions.) Make a top tier donation and you'll be in a major scene in the film. Or you can work for a day on set as an assistant. Even $5 will get you a downloadable copy of the film when it goes to DVD.
We've come to the end of the story, so you know what's next: the credits!
Cast: April Hollingsworth, Davien Harlis, Nicholas Wolfe, Shayla Love, Anastasia Pekhtereva, Walnette Santiago, Renier Cortes , Samme William, Diva Tyler, Garrick Parks, Susan D'Angelo, Addy Miller, Blake Cooper, Jade Nicolette
Producers: Deronte Smith, William Bearyman, Renonda Anderson, Chris Miller