Tag Archives: horror

Towson EMF alumnus premieres latest film

[Originally posted on Oct. 22, 2013 at my Journalism II Blog]
Between rushing to premiere his found footage horror film and slaving at the editing bay on his most recent productions, Towson University Electronic Media and Film alumnus Chris LaMartina, 28, is tired.

On top of his 40 hour workweek at 15four Video Strategy, LaMartina has committed an additional 20 to 30 hours per week on his own productions. It’s 9 p.m., and sitting alone in the dark at 15four’s office, he reviews footage that a colleague edited earlier that day.

LaMartina works as a editor and producer for 15four. But on his own feature films, he wears many hats, including writer, director, producer, composer and editor.

“I’ve always sort of joked and called editing the dark night of the soul, because you’re forced to look at your mistakes and you regret some of the decisions you’ve made and you only see the negative because it’s a very judgmental phase,” LaMartina said.

Chris LaMartina
Chris LaMartina reviews a colleague’s edited footage at 15four Video Strategy. (Photo By: Mark Burchick/TU Student).

As a 2007 graduate of Towson University, LaMartina and his producing partner Jimmy George, 33, have produced seven feature length horror films, all of which have received DVD and Video On Demand distribution.

With the premiere of WNUF Halloween Special, his latest found footage work, LaMartina will once again share with the world one of the few things that makes him happy. Continue reading Towson EMF alumnus premieres latest film

Preparation for the “WNUF Halloween Special” Premiere at the Creative Alliance

[Originally posted on Oct. 8th, 2013 at baltimorefilmguide.wordpress.com]

On Oct 18th, The Creative Alliance will screen a “re-discovered” Halloween TV special from the late 1980’s. WNUF Halloween Special is a television broadcast which captured an investigation of the haunting of the Webber household, as told by WNUF TV reporters. The gentlemen who discovered the VHS recording of the broadcast and brought it to light will be introducing the film for its first public premiere.

What may come as a surprise to those who have seen the broadcast is how authentically 80’s it feels. So authentic, in fact, that reviewers have been stupefied to find that the film was made by former Towson University students early last year. I was fortunate enough to speak with Jimmy George, 33, the producer on this “literally found footage” film over the phone this week, as he and Director Chris LaMartina, 28, prepare for their Creative Alliance premiere.

Continue reading Preparation for the “WNUF Halloween Special” Premiere at the Creative Alliance

It’s That Time of the Year Horror Fans!

[Originally posted on Sept. 27, 2013 at baltimorefilmguide.wordpress.com]

October is for horror fans.

Cable channels will soon begin to play their month long horror movie marathons. AMC hosts their Fear Fest marathon, while TCM plays some retro flicks on Wednesday nights. Netflix, Redbox, and the few remaining video rental stores will be advertising horror classics and new releases that audiences should check up on.

If you don’t consider yourself a fan of scary movies, it’s fairly difficult to avoid them this time of year. I know that I don’t particularly enjoy them, but there is something about October that seems to put me in the mood for a good scary movie. However, because I’m not a huge fan of the genre, I have a hard time picking out what I would want to watch this time of year!

That’s why I have always enjoyed Cinemassacre’s Monster Madness, a month long movie review session that is now celebrating its seventh year. Hosted by James Rolfe, Monster Madness delves into all manner of horror films, from the cult monster movies and the b-grade sci-fi’s, to the gory slashers and the psychological thrillers. It acts as a perfect primer for the inexperienced horror watcher, covering the full spectrum of film history.
Continue reading It’s That Time of the Year Horror Fans!

Hosting a Film Series

[Originally posted on Sept. 18, 2013 at baltimorefilmguide.wordpress.com]

As the co-president of a coed media production fraternity, Lambda Kappa Tau, I find myself constantly planning social events in the back of my mind. As we head into our Fall rush period, I wanted to insure that my fraternity brothers and sisters would have a relaxing and fun opportunity to hang out together before having to meet dozens of new recruits. This thought occurred to me at our semester’s first meeting. In that moment, looking around the room at all of my friends and colleagues, I decided that I was going to host a Fall film series.

I’ve gradually come to decide that my screening series would be focused on movies that either are about making movies, or offer an opportunity to talk about the filmmaking process. For example, I intend to screen American Movie, a documentary about a Wisconsin-based filmmaker attempting to make an independent horror film with his family and friends, later in the semester. The film has so much rich content to talk about for an audience of media producers, including the passion with which Mark Borchardt, the filmmaker, approaches the project and how he gathers his resources. In addition, beyond the horror film that Borchardt intends to make, the documentary itself is an incredibly moving story told in a very objective way. Continue reading Hosting a Film Series

Fears, Dreams and Self-Examination

Most nights when I try to sleep, I’ll end up rolling around in bed, staring at the ceiling. After enough time has passed and my mind begins to wander, I find myself thinking about how vulnerable people are when they sleep. One of my more rational fears is that of alien abductions. Psychologists and neurologists can attribute alien abduction stories to sleep paralysis and other sleep disorders, but that doesn’t stop the fact that there is an infinitesimal chance there is life on other planets. And because there are infinitesimal opportunities for alien existence, there is an infinitesimal chance they are traveling the universe by now. Given these clear statistics, I have no qualms in saying that I fear aliens climbing in my windows and snatching my people up.

I’m describing my fears to you to attempt to get at a larger, more universal idea. What are people TRULY scared of? Yes, I realize that most people are not scared of being abducted by aliens, but in some people this translates to being kidnapped or mugged. All of these are examples of being vulnerable or losing control in a situation.

I once listened to a podcast interview with John Carpenter (the link is dead at the moment, but hopefully it comes back up), the director of Halloween and The Thing, where he talks about why his films are so beloved among horror aficionados. Carpenter noted that all great horror films feature two types of universal fear: fear of losing control and fear of the unknown. When you consider Halloween, the viewer quickly sees these two fears realized. Laurie has lost control of the situation; Michael has intruded into the house and she has no chance of saving the children she was tasked with babysitting. On top of that, Michael is a masked killer who seemingly materialized from nowhere. These two fears are crystallized onscreen in what has become revered as one of the greatest horror films of all time.

Continue reading Fears, Dreams and Self-Examination