November 15, 2012

Indie Film: Horror filmmaker's luck is so good it's scary

Corey Norman lands a once-in-a-lifetime location for his movie, 'The Hanover House.'

By DENNIS PERKINS

Say you're a local filmmaker sitting on a completed haunted house script. You're satisfied with your screenplay, but the daunting task of raising funds and getting things rolling has you, well, daunted. So what's it going to take to get you energized?

click image to enlarge

Co-writers Haley and Corey Norman are using a house in western Maine that is supposedly haunted as the location for their film.

Kenn Gonneville photo

COMING TO LOCAL SCREENS

PORTLAND MUSEUM OF ART

(portlandmuseum.org)

Friday to Sunday: "Somewhere Between." This moving documentary about four of the about 80,000 Chinese girls adopted by American families since China began its "one child policy" is presented in conjunction with National Adoption Day.

SPACE GALLERY, Portland

(space538.org)

Saturday: "The Observers." Sure, your car has a "This Car Climbed Mt. Washington" bumper sticker, but have you stood atop the highest peak in the White Mountains and measured winds of up to 231 miles per hour? Well, the subjects of this "semi-documentary" about the crew of the Mount Washington Weather Observatory have, tough guy.

How about a real haunted house?

That's the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that has local filmmaker Corey Norman so excited about his upcoming Maine-made horror film, "The Hanover House."

"It's kind of crazy," said Norman, who's also department chair for communications and new media at Southern Maine Community College. "I'd written a script but wasn't planning on starting it right away, as I didn't have a location in mind. Then a friend told me his parents own a summer house -- and that it's haunted."

Norman said that, among the "crazy stories" surrounding the house (located somewhere in the mountains of western Maine), tenants have reported being shaken awake by a spectral old man, seeing glowing balls of light hovering over their beds, and being surprised by the ghost of a little boy at the foot of the stairs.

In his visits to the house, Norman hasn't seen anything that needs ghost-busting as of yet (although the film's teaser trailer features one shot of an unexplained glowing orb). But he's open to the idea that "The Hanover House" might end up incorporating some of the set's alleged guests.

"Yeah, ghosts are definitely something I believe in," said Norman. "And horror movies operate on that deeper level -- we're all hoping for that kind of scare."

Of course, making an independent film isn't all about finding a conveniently haunted location, and in order to scare up (apologies) the necessary funding for his movie, Norman's Bonfire Films has turned to the increasingly popular "crowdsourcing" site Kickstarter.com (tinyurl.com/hanoverhouse).

"For our last film (2011's 'The Barn'), we successfully raised the $2,000 we needed," Norman said. "We're looking for $5,000 this time, and it's really been blowing up. We've been 'hotlisted' on Kickstarter, and we've even been tweeted a few times by (British comics legend) Neil Gaiman."

The film got Gaiman's attention through his friendship with the film's star, Anne Bobby, perhaps best known for her role in the 1990 cult classic "Nightbreed" by horror director/author Clive Barker.

"That was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid," said Norman. "Having Anne in my film is just awesome."

Rounding out "The Hanover House" is a roster of acclaimed local actors.

With the bevy of talent and the Kickstarter campaign nearing $4,000 by press time, Norman is excited about the prospects for "The Hanover House."

Now if the spirit world will only cooperate.


Dennis Perkins is a Portland freelance writer.

 

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