Mark Renshaw

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Mark Renshaw
2014 and 2015 Semi Finalist, 2017 and 2018 Finalist, 2019 Quarter Finalist, Finalist, & Best Short Screenplay “Ganglers”

DG: What is your name and company name and URL?

MR: Mark Renshaw – www.mark-renshaw.com

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting? If filmmaking, which aspects?

MR: Screenwriting, plus I write prose and dabble in producing.

DG: What are you currently working on?

MR: I am adapting the Cyborn feature screenplay which was in the Shriekfest finals into a novel. The first draft should be complete by Christmas.

DG: Wow, that’s impressive! Who do you consider your mentor and why?

MR: This may seem an odd answer but there is a website called Simply Scripts which has a forum for screenplay writers. We are encouraged to upload our scripts there for peer reviews and I pretty much owe most of my writing development to the guys who frequent that place.

DG: That is amazing! Why do you think the horror/scifi genres have such a large following?

MR: People want an escape from the norm. Horror and sci-fi may include characters and elements we all identify with, but they definitely are not the norm. They are a safe way to experience the extraordinary.

DG: What do you love most about this business?

MR: The creative side. At the end of the day, this is all about telling stories. Collaborating on a creative endeavor is so fulfilling.

DG: What do you dislike most about this business?

MR: The business side. The business element treats the work as a commodity and what it can do for people personally in terms of wealth, notoriety etc. rather than what is best for the story.

DG: What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

MR: This is more of a hobby for me until the day I can turn it into my day job, but so far I’m proud that some of my stories have been published, some scripts produced and I’ve won competitions that have taken me to Pinewood Studios, the Houses of Parliament and wonderful venues such as the Nashville film festival.

DG: That’s Wonderful! Any advice you’d like to give to newbies?

MR: Keep writing, keep on getting your work out there and seeking honest but constructive feedback. Learn from it and improve. Rinse and repeat.

DG: yep! Anything else you’d like to say?

MR: Time is the fire in which we burn. If you are waiting for something to happen, all you are doing is burning time. Be brave, go out there and make something happen.

DG: I love it! thank you Mark! It was great chatting! I hope you and yours have a Happy Holiday season!

Stephen Kayfish

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Stephen Kayfish
2017 Quarter Finalist, 2018 Finalist & Semi Finalist, and 2019 Quarter Finalist & Finalist with “The Craving”

DG: What is your name and company URL?

SK: Stephen Kayfish

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

SK: Screenwriter

DG: What are you currently working on?

SK: Currently I have 2 feature screenplays in the works, the first is a political thriller about an ancient evil force who takes the form of a U.S. President. The second is about a young bullied boy who is pushed to the limit of exacting bloody revenge on those who have wronged him.

DG: Who do you consider your mentor and why?

SK: I’ve followed the three stooges religiously all my life (John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Tobe Hooper)

DG: Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?

SK: I think most people like them for the same reason I do, they’re fun, they’re a roller coaster ride of emotions, and they’re ballsy.

DG What do you love most about this business?

SK: I love the idea of creating something out of nothing and I love people are passionate about the art in which they create.

DG: What do you dislike most about this business?

SK: People who are fake or who are not authentic. Honesty and passion are a necessity in my opinion.

DG: I agree! What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

SK: Winning the grand prize at Film Empire and being a finalist at Shriekfest among other screenwriting competitions in the U.S. and abroad. I’m from Edmonton, Canada and it feels great to be acknowledged outside of the country. Now I have to work on a getting a script optioned 😉

DG: It will happen! Any advice you’d like to give newbies?

SK: There is no formula to success just hard work and perseverance. Learn to love the art and craft of filmmaking and take whatever opportunity you’re given no matter what, big or small. Oh and finish your projects if you’re a writer. You must finish!

DG: Great advice! Anything else you’d like to say?

SK: Thank you again to Denise and team for this interview and giving us nobodys a place to showcase our work. There is a lot of closed doors in this business.

DG: You aren’t a nobody Stephen! Thank you for sharing your tips! It was great chatting!

Winners 2019

Shriekfest 2019


BEST COMMERCIAL
“Blood Bath”
Directed by Colin Costello

BEST MUSIC VIDEO
“Withorwithout” by the band Parcels
Directed by Benjamin Howdeshell

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SHORT FILM
Baker Chase Powell
in “We Die Alone”

BEST FEMALE PERFORMANCE IN A FEATURE FILM
Jamie Tisdale
in “Portal”

BEST MALE PERFORMANCE IN A FEATURE FILM
Chase Williamson
in “Greenlight”

BEST SHORT SCREENPLAY
“Ganglers”
Written by Mark Renshaw

BEST SUPER SHORT FILM
“Peep”
Directed by Zachary Dehm

BEST THRILLER SHORT FILM
“We Die Alone”
Directed by Marc Cartwright

BEST HORROR SHORT FILM
“OverKill”
Directed by Alex Montilla

BEST SCI-FI FEATURE SCREENPLAY:
“Dark Noise”
Written by Christopher Allan Poe & Jen Badasci

BEST THRILLER FEATURE SCREENPLAY
“Agriturismo”
Written by Nick Rufca

BEST HORROR FEATURE SCREENPLAY
“The Blood-Red Night of Hatchet Valley”
Written by Edward Martin III

BEST SCI-FI FEATURE FILM
“Volition”
Directed by Tony Dean Smith

BEST THRILLER FEATURE FILM
“Greenlight”
Directed by Graham Denman

BEST HORROR FEATURE FILM
“Making Monsters”
Directed by Justin Harding and Rob Brunner

Marc Cartwright

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Marc Cartwright
Director of 2017 Official Selection “Savor” and 2019 Best Thriller Short Film “We Die Alone”

What is your name and company URL?

Marc Cartwright – https://www.glasscabinfilms.com/

What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

Filmmaking – I am a director and also produce some of my content.

What are you currently working on?

Currently the film I directed, We Die Alone is in the beginning of its festival run so I am excited about traveling with that project in the coming months. This screened in Shriekfest 2019 as well. I am also working with my producing partner Baker Chase Powell on developing two features. We are each taking aspects of our lives and creating stories that we will assist each other in producing. My goal is to direct both films.

Nice! Who do you consider your mentor and why?

I think I have a few different people that I look up to and trust depending on what aspect of my filmmaking I am exploring on any particular day. At the moment, I don’t think there is one person I go to for all mentorship. My friend Q. Allan Brocka is a phenomenal director and I enjoy speaking with him about the business. I like advice from people that have achieved the things I look forward to achieving.

Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?

Horror and sci-fi audiences, to me, feel more community based. The horror genre speaks to a very accepting and open mindset, so I feel the draw is as much about the experience of being with other horror fans as it is about watching the movies. The Drama or Comedy genres, for example, tend to be about individual projects, where as horror feels more like a general coming together, in a safe environment, to share, express or experiment with life’s darkest “what if” moments.

Well said. What do you love most about this business?

I have always thought in the past that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. I really love that this business has taught me to open up and trust others to share in creating a particular vision or something that was important to me. I have learned a lot about myself and others through working on various projects and have gotten to meet a lot of interesting people in this business.

What do you dislike most about this business?

On the flip side of that, because you can’t do films all alone, you have to rely on others and not everyone approaches each project with integrity. That can be frustrating when there are so many moving parts that rely on each other for success. Through working with people, you learn who your team is, but you also learn some valuable and sometimes expensive lessons along the way.

I hear ya. What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

I was really excited to have my short film SLOVEN play on PBS. It was my first time seeing my work on television and that I got paid for a broadcast. I was able to watch with my family, who have always been my biggest champions. To see them proud is always a career goal that I look forward to.

How nice. Any advice you’d like to give newbies?

Anything you agree to do, do it well. Just because something isn’t important to you, doesn’t mean it’s not important to someone else. How you do anything, is how you do everything. Be clear in your communication and expectations with people. Always put it in writing!

Great advice! Anything else you’d like to say?

Visit me on social media: Personal – @mcphotog, Glass Cabin Films (production company) – @GlassCabinFilms, Latest film WE DIE ALONE – @WeDieAloneFilm

Thank you. It was great chatting!

S. Joe Downing

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

S. Joe Downing
Actor in 2017 Official Selection “Conduit” and 2018 Best SciFi Short Film “Safe”

DG: What is your name and company URL?

SJD: S. Joe Downing, http://imdb.me/SJoeDowning, https://youtu.be/f1MJiyA-jS0,

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

SJD: Acting

DG: What are you currently working on?

SJD: I’m currently going to be working on a project called Days of Salvation by Amrik Pabla. It’s a series about a man who wakes up without remembering anything after a blast in a post-apocalyptic setting.

DG: Sounds fun. Who do you consider your mentor and why?

SJD: I’d say anyone who I can learn from can be my mentor. Life is about living and it doesn’t matter what sex, race or age someone is- I’m eager to learn.

DG: Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?

SJD: I think people love that adrenaline and feeling of not knowing what will happen. They assume they know and sometimes they are right but sometimes they are wrong and they love that surprise and feeling of shock.

DG: What do you love most about this business?

SJD: I love working on different films and being able to bring something different every time. The psychology aspect of digging into a character intrigued me and it causes me to become more mindful in my own life.

DG: That is so very true! What do you dislike most about this business?

SJD: I’m not attracted to egos and people who flaunt success. I think we all have successes in the biz and we should be proud but not impose it onto others.

DG: What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

SJD: I have a film called ECCO coming out in major cities that I was fortunate enough to be a part of. I only had a small role but it was a pleasant surprise that it’s being distributed to theaters.

DG: Congrats! Any advice you’d like to give newbies?

SJD: It’s true what they say, “Never Give Up”, “Fail forward”, and “take one step at a time.”

DG: Great advice! Anything else you’d like to say?

SJD: I’m always looking for new opportunities and characters to play

DG: Thank you. It was great chatting!

Brian W. Smith

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Brian W. Smith
2003 and 2018 Screenplay Finalist

DG: What is your name?

BS: Brian W. Smith

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

BS: Screenwriting.

DG: What are you currently working on?

BS: A series of short horror scripts, a pilot and a couple of monster tales.

DG: Who do you consider your mentor and why?

BS: I was lucky to have a great support system in my family, my mother and older siblings. They encouraged reading, creative writing, art. My film and screenwriting idols are Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Paul Verhoeven, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Jordan Peele, Kevin Williamson and Brian De Palma.

DG: Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?

BS: Horror/SciFi can offer scares and vicarious thrills for an audience, much like funhouses and rollercoasters. They can help us see our world differently and affect change. Horror can shine a light on plausible dangers to be aware of, like checking the backseat of a car before driving. SciFi can influence futurism and forward thinking. Inspiring people to look beyond what is in front of them and reach their greatest potential.

DG: What do you love most about this business?

BS: Right now it’s an exciting time to be a creative. There are many resources available online that can inspire and promote films, scripts and the creative process. Culture is constantly evolving, new technology is designed and artists can try their hands at any skill to push their stories along.

DG: That is so very true! What do you dislike most about this business?

BS: We still have a ways to go to recognize diversity in our culture and the creative arts. There have been strides made in recent years and they make great PR pieces, but there could be more progress made. Not a dislike, but more of an observation.

DG: What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

BS: My script “Hallow’s Point” was a finalist at Shriekfest in 2018.

DG: Yes! It’s a good one! Any advice you’d like to give newbies?

BS: Learn the rules first, then find ways to reinvent them. Make your scripts fun to read. Structure and pacing are key. Read lots of books and screenplays for fun and research. Be informed. Socialize. Watch documentaries. Listen to music. Inspiration can come from anywhere. Be open to it. There are no bad ideas.

DG: Great advice! Anything else you’d like to say?

BS: Keep writing. Keep creating and generating content. Short ideas can be an effective calling card as much as features. Submit to festivals that might respond favorably to your genre of choice and help promote your work.

DG: Thank you It was great chatting!

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Screenplay Finalists 2018

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SCREENPLAY FINALISTS

SHORT SCREENPLAY FINALISTS


  • Magic written by Kenny J. Wright
  • The Creaky Door written by Evan Baughfman
  • A Perfect Circle written by Evan Baughfman
  • Split Up written by Tom Radovich
  • Live From Toledo, Erin Darling Reporting written by Michael Gibrall
  • Miscreant written by Rocky Ramsey
  • Best Friends written by Edward Martin III
  • My Dead Sister written by Janet L. Loftis
  • The Legacy written by Renfield Rasputin & Jeffrey Stackhouse
  • H.P Lovecraft’s The Terrible Old Man written by Samuel Fisch
  • Hiking Buddies written by Megan Morrison
  • Finding Haven written by Jeffrey Stackhouse & Wendy Lashbrook
  • Past Partum written by Jeffrey Howe
  • In the Woods written by Rachel Greenhoe
  • Duet written by Lisanne Sartor
  • Mourning Meal written by Jamal Hodge
  • Prey written by Sergio Hira
  • The Sacrifice written by Judson Vaughan & Josh Torok
  • The Origin of Fear written by Mark Renshaw
  • Comedy Killer written by Stephen Kayfish & Daniel Nielsen

FEATURE SCREENPLAY FINALISTS


  • No Child Left Behind written by Daniel Shea
  • A Quiet War written by Carroll Brown
  • Pervert written by Rona Mark
  • Where the Devil Resides written by Travis Heermann
  • Blackwood Falls written by Jennifer Nicole Stang
  • The Motherless written by Ron David Ray
  • From Natural Causes written by Martin Blinder
  • Stay the Night written by Christopher Courtner & Sara Polton
  • An Idiot’s Tale written by Michael Mortimer
  • Hallow’s Point written by Brian W. Smith
  • Shaky Shivers written by Andrew McAllister & Aaron Strongoni
  • Tenant Zero written by Kirk Anderson
  • Horror Fest written by Rolfe Kanefsky
  • Requiem written by Daniel Abatan & Thomas R. Burke
  • The Dark Spiral written by Morgan R. Tegtow
  • American Backwoods: Verhaunt written by Flood Reed
  • I, Phiend written by Jeff Bassetti
  • Area 54 written by Aaron Barrocas
  • The Coldest Horizon written by Jeffrey Howe
  • Black Goose written by Janet Hetherington

Elliot Feld

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Elliot Feld
Director of 2018 Official Selection “Killer Kate!”

What is your name and company URL?

Hello! My name is Elliot Feld, and my company is Feld Films. You can visit our site at www.FeldFilms.com.

What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

I am a writer, producer, and director. I work a lot in the commercial world, producing some pretty cool projects.

What are you currently working on?

Most recently, I produced a first-look at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. It was a great project, and we had the opportunity to spend quite a bit of time in the park. On the narrative side of things, I’m currently working on a satirical web series that I hope to film within the next few months.

That’s very cool. Who do you consider your mentor and why?

I suppose I have two mentors. Steven Spielberg is my filmmaking mentor and idol. I aspire to reach his level of technique one day. He’s an amazing director and artist, and he’s worked in all the different genres, which I love. I interned for Randal Kleiser (Grease,White Fang, Flight of the Navigator) for about 2 years, and I learned a lot from him during that time. He became a mentor to me as a young filmmaker. I can’t thank him enough for his help on multiple projects.

Nice! Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?

Horror is the most accessible genre, I think. It’s relatable, and people like the thrill of horror. I always compare horror movies to roller coasters or theme park rides. It’s the unexpected that keeps you gripping your seat with your eyes glued. We want to be surprised, and we love to be scared.

What do you love most about this business?

My favorite part of the business? Working with all the cool people. The film industry draws a great crowd. From the crew to the cast to the fans, it’s so much fun to interact with all the different folks. It feels like a big family reunion every time we walk on set, and I love that!

That is so very true! What do you dislike most about this business?

The politics behind the camera are my least favorite part of the business. I don’t like that people are often put in positions where they must sacrifice their ethics in order to keep their job. This part is slowly being exposed, but I’m not sure it’ll every completely go away. I hope it does!

What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

I directed a film called Killer Kate! which actually premiered in Los Angeles at Shriekfest. It’s always been my goal to direct, and having the opportunity to work with my entire family was incredible. It was huge for me. Additionally, working in the commercial industry as a Line Producer has been very satisfying and I’m proud to work consistently on both sides.

That’s wonderful! Any advice you’d like to give newbies?

My advice to young filmmakers is simple – stay busy. Keep working, and keep the gears moving. The more you work, the more you’ll network, and the picture will come more into focus. This industry is a marathon not a sprint. Keep your chin up and keep swinging.

Great advice! Anything else you’d like to say?

Nope! Thank you for the chance to interview, and I look forward to the next festival.

Thank you Elliot, It was great chatting!

Damien LeVeck

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Damien LeVeck
2016 Winner of Best Horror Short Film “The Cleansing Hour”

DG: What is your name and company name and URL?

DL: Damien LeVeck, Skubalon Entertainment, http://www.SkubalonInc.com

DG: What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting? If filmmaking, which aspects?

DL: I am a Writer/Director. My production company, Skubalon Entertainment develops a variety of film, TV, and alternative media content, focusing primarily on horror/thriller/action.

DG: What are you currently working on?

DL: I am writing a pilot for a horror anthology series based on true stories that were recorded in Ireland. The series is similar to Black Mirror, except each involve demon possession and exorcism. I am also writing a larger scale horror/mystery feature that simultaneously investigates the paranormal and deeply-guarded secrets within the Vatican.

DG: Wow! Who do you consider your mentor and why?

DL: My friend Craig Titley is a film and TV writer from my hometown of Mattoon, Illinois. Since I moved to LA almost 20 years ago, he has been one of the most kind and supportive people I know, helping me every step of my journey into the entertainment business. Craig is not only incredibly smart and talented, but he’s a genuine and kindhearted person—a rare combination in this industry.

DG: Very cool. Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?

DL: Fear is an emotion experienced by every human being across all cultures and religions. It is the only emotion that forces us to confront our own mortality. I believe supernatural horror has such a large following because it speaks to the very essence of the audience’s existence—this inbred awareness of our dualistic nature. We are physical and immaterial. Supernatural horror can raise the age-old question of what happens after we die? And, what if unseen entities in our universe are malevolent and dangerous? Films like this give the audience permission to delve into a dark and philosophical world where they can live vicariously through characters for 90 minutes and then retreat to the apparent safety of the reality with little to no consequences. That’s a fun ride, a guilty pleasure and I think the reason for the genre’s popularity.

DG: Well said! What do you love most about this business?

DL: The challenge. Every aspect of making a film is challenging and difficult for varying reasons. It keeps me on my toes but also increases my gray hair by the day.

DG: LOL. What do you dislike most about this business?

DL: Mean people and those who prey on others’ vulnerabilities are the worst part about this business. We’ve all worked for horrible people, and if you haven’t, you haven’t worked in entertainment long enough. It can be a traumatizing experience. The silver lining is that it can be edifying to teach you how NOT to behave. Regardless, I am saddened and disgusted when I hear any stories of abuse of any kind by people in authority. It’s deeply immoral, and I am proud of everyone who is taking a stand against it. I hope we are ushering in a new era of snuffing out bullies.

DG: I agree! What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

DL: In the last three and a half years, I made an 18-minute short film (THE CLEANSING HOUR), had two children, and made the feature-length version of the short, which will be released later in 2019. People like to talk about the challenge of parenting one child much less two or more. However, I can say with confidence that writing and directing THE CLEANSING HOUR feature was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my entire life—and it is the one thing I am the most proud of. However, it would not have been possible without the love, support, and hard work of my beautiful wife and producer, Natalie, and my bulldog producers Shirit Bradley and Dan Clifton. It was this collaboration that enabled me to make a movie that I am proud of while also doing the more important job of being a dad and husband.

DG: Any advice you’d like to give to newbies?

DL: Work harder than everyone else with a positive attitude, mindful of the fact that there will always be somebody willing to take your place. Be excited to work for free. Have a “yes” attitude, joyfully working through every obstacle and challenge in your way. So many young people today are entitled and think they are above low-level, hard work. This is a destructive attitude. Starting at the bottom and paying your dues will shape your character, work ethic, and build wisdom that lasts a lifetime.

DG: Great advice! Anything else you’d like to say?

DL: Skubalon Entertainment is accepting open script submissions for low-budget horror feature films at skubalonentertainment.com.

Set a Google Alert for “THE CLEANSING HOUR.” It will be released later this year. I recommend you don’t watch it alone or in the dark.

DG: Thank you Damien!

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Evan Baughfman

SHRIEKFEST INTERVIEW

Evan Baughfman
2017 and 2018 Short Screenplay Finalist

What is your name and company URL?

My name is Evan Baughfman. (Pronounced BOFF-man—although BUFF-man helps with my self-esteem.) My website URL is: http://www.evanbaughfman.com/

LOL. What is your specialty…filmmaking or screenwriting?

I’m a screenwriter, and I’ve also had success as a playwright and as an author of short horror stories.

What are you currently working on?

Right now, I’m working on a horror stage play for teenage audiences. I teach Theater and Creative Writing at a middle school, so I write for a variety of age groups. I’m also 75% done with a gory Y.A. novel chock-full of bloodthirsty monsters. In addition to this, I’m outlining a full-length haunted house screenplay. I have a twist on that sub-genre that I don’t think has been done before.

Wow, you are busy!!! Who do you consider your mentor and why?

Currently, no one’s advising me, but the works of Edgar Allan Poe have inspired me from a young age. Many of my award-winning short screenplays are set at fictional Edgar Allan Poe Middle School.

In other words, I don’t really have a mentor…yet! But I’m more than willing to learn about the ins and outs of horror filmmaking from anybody who wants to take me under their leathery batwing! I live in the L.A. area, and I’m ready for the next step of my filmmaking journey.

Nice! Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?

These genres lift the veil on the unknown so that we may take a little peek at it. They offer intriguing explanations for the unexplained, exploring places and characters that otherwise only exist in our dreams or nightmares. Horror/science-fiction stories are some of the purest examples available of imagination set free.

Nicely said! What do you love most about this business?

Because of my screenwriting, I’ve met some really awesome people and gifted storytellers. It should be more general knowledge that people who make horror, in particular, aren’t “scary” or “weird.” They’re some of the most supportive and open-minded people I’ve ever met.

That is so very true! What do you dislike most about this business?

A few of my short screenplays have been recognized at different horror festivals and competitions. But it hasn’t been easy to get these scripts into the hands of interested directors and producers. It’s maybe expected that I’ll have to direct my own script, when I don’t really have the knowledge or background yet to competently do so.

It can be difficult at times, but keep persevering! What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

I had two separate scripts, “The Creaky Door” and “A Perfect Circle,” place as Finalists in the Shriekfest 2018 short screenplay competition. Both are adaptations of original stories from my personal catalog.

Any advice you’d like to give newbies?

Read a lot of screenplays to see what’s worked for others and how you can make those things work for you. Also, just write as often as you can. It doesn’t have to be a screenplay or even horror/sci-fi related. Do whatever you can to keep those creative juices spattering onto the page.

Great advice! Anything else you’d like to say?

I’m ready to collaborate on new projects with anyone who’ll have me. I promise I won’t bite. I dulled my fangs down during my last dental visit.

LOL. Thank you. It was great chatting!

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