Chilliwack residents are being urged to vote online and improve a homegrown talent's chances of being included in an international horror anthology that features big industry names.
Borrowtime Films, a Vancouver-based production company, is asking the public to support its latest short film, M is for Messiah, directed by Chilliwack-native and Sardis secondary school graduate, Nicholas Humphries.
The 32-year-old shot the film overnight on a private residence off Chilliwack Lake Road on Friday the 13th in September.
"We weren't paying anybody, it was all volunteer," Humphries said."I was directing, but I also had to put myself in the movie, so we could fill out that crowd. So everybody had to do quadruple duty, whereas normally on a film set, everybody has one job to do."
The low-budget film stars Michelle Ferguson from Galacticast and Jason Vaisvila of Supernatural and Fringe, with Humphries' childhood friends as extras.
The three-minute short begins with a distraught woman being led into a circle of masked cult followers under the moonlight. Flames from an open fire flicker in the background, as the quickthinking woman scrambles to save herself from imminent danger.
"I would describe it as a cult sacrifice gone wrong with a twist," Humphries said.
It is currently among 150 other independent horror flicks gunning for a spot in ABCs of Death 2, a horror anthology that includes chilling works from 25 world renowned genre directors. Each director was given $5,000 to create a short based on a letter of the alphabet. One letter, this time around being M, is reserved for an open competition that attracts independent filmmakers from around the world.
Six entrants will be plucked from an online voting process, with another six being selected by a judging panel. The winner will be selected by directors of ABCs of Death 2. "To have a co-directing credit on a feature film with the biggest horror directors in the world would be immeasurable," Humphries said. "It would help promote my career leaps and bounds in an industry that's really hard to break into."
Humphries began his artistic adventure into film at the young age of 12 with a VHS
camcorder. The cinephile then went on to complete a bachelor of arts in film studies from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and master of fine arts in film production.
Unlike his earlier, "really sloppy" works made as a child, Humphries has gained repute with his Syfy Channel webseries Riese: Kingdom Falling and won a Best Short at Screamfest Horror Film Festival Los Angeles in 2011 for The Little Mermaid.
His first feature length film, Death Do Us Part, is being released in 2014.
In addition to making films, Humphries also teaches at the Vancouver Film School and occasionally at UBC.
"If we can get people to kind of champion something that was made by Chilliwackians from Chilliwack in Chilliwack, that might be a good way for us to break out and get more likes so we can get into the top six," Humphries said.
. To vote for M is Messiah, click the "like" button on the ABCs of Death website at bit. ly/GOv7Zo.
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