A dark and stormy night. An innocent babysitter all alone. An escaped psychopath out for blood. You know how this story will play out… Or do you?
Interview with Writer/Director Ryan Spindell
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Hey thanks! We’re over-the-moon excited about being part of the Palm Springs International Shortfest! As both fans and creators of short form content, it’s been a dream of ours for as long as we’ve been making films.
THE BABYSITTER MURDERS is a proof-of-concept short for a feature film we are putting together called THE MORTUARY COLLECTION. The film revolves around four dark and twisted tales, all set in a sleepy New England town where nothing is as it seems. We like to pitch it as Stephen King’s PULP FICTION.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
Many people are quick to write horror movies off as mindless exploitation, but we think that they can be so much more. We think that good horror, can be funny, cinematic and, above all else, thought-provoking. Our goal with THE BABYSITTER MURDERS is to reinvigorate the genre, for fans and non-fans alike. To prove that horror can be more than thrills and chills, horror can be beautiful.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
One of the biggest themes we address in THE BABYSITTER MURDERS is the concept of popular gender roles in cinema, especially within the context of a horror film. Our intention is to shine a spotlight on the hackneyed tropes that often plague genre cinema, and then hopefully turn them on their heads. Is our story about a woman in a man’s world, or is it the other way around?
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
The script for THE BABYSITTER MURDERS changed immensely from page to screen. It’s important for me to be flexible in my approach, so I look at my scripts as rough blueprints for what the film will ultimately become.
Initially, this project had a much more fantastic tone, but during the rehearsal process, the lead actors brought such a dark intensity to their roles, that I decided to rework the material to play up their strengths. The result, I think, is a more interesting and unique piece. I have found that this is usually the case when you collaborate with great people.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
The feedback for our film has been overwhelmingly positive and this whole festival experience has been incredible. We never imagined that our little horror film would travel so well and we’re humbled to be along for the ride.
The biggest compliments we’ve been getting are from people who tell us that they don’t like horror films but they loved THE BABYSITTER MURDERS. It’s a testament to the idea that good stories made with love always work, no mater what the genre.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
If anything it has reinforced our idea that people are hungry for interesting films that challenge the trappings of what we traditionally think of as genre cinema. Movies that make you laugh, cry and scream, sometimes all at once. We’re excited to be a part of this new wave of fantastic films, and only hope to have more chances to contribute to the movement.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
We’ve got a feature script, a ton of artwork and an award-winning short film under our belts, so at this point we are looking for collaborators who can help us get the full feature film made. If there are any financiers out there who are looking to spend a little money and make a ton, drop us a line!
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
In an ideal world we would get a standing ovation, a key to the city and ten million dollars to launch our production company, but we’d settle for a hug. In all seriousness, we’re just excited to show our film to a receptive audience. We’ve been working on this project for what seems like forever and it’s amazing to finally be able to share it with the world.
Would you like to add anything else?
If you like our film and want to see more, check out our website www.TrapdoorPictures.com. You can also find us on Twitter, Instagram and all the other social media platforms. Stop by and say hello.
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
The BabySitter Murders
Director: Ryan Spindell
Producer: T. Justin Ross & Ben Hethcoat
Writer: Ryan Spindell
About the Writer/Director:
Ryan Spindell is an award-winning writer, director and graphic artist who lives in Los Angeles California and knows like ten sweet karate moves.
About the Producers:
Ben Hethcoat is an independent filmmaker and actor based in Los Angeles. He is currently directing a documentary about the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office and recently participated in a storytelling lab with CNN Films and Tribeca Film Institute.
T. Justin Ross is an independent feature film producer based out of Los Angeles. Justin also serves as Head of Development for Main Line Pictures, and is President of American Storyworks, inc.
Key cast: Caitlin Custer, Ben Hethcoat, Mike Nelson, Alison Gallaher, Bradley Bundlie
Looking for: Feature Film Financing (THE MORTUARY COLLECTION)
Made in association with: Trapdoor Pictures
Release date: TBD
Where can I watch it? We are screening at the Camelot Theatre on Friday, June 24th at 7:30pm