Wednesday, 23 October 2013 14:06

Halloween premiere in Swift Current for locally-produced horror movie

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
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This Halloween the scariest place in Swift Current is most likely to be the Living Sky Casino Sky Centre, where a locally-produced horror movie will be screened for the first time.

Swift Nightmares has been created by the same crew responsible for last year’s zombie movie Zombageddon, but according to producer Devon Oman their latest effort is quite different.
“It’s going to be more serious, more scary and all that because Zombageddon was more of a cheesy, Grindhouse-type movie,” he said. “This time around it’s more serious ... We just wanted to try something else out and give a chance to other people to do creative input.”
Another difference is that the new movie will have three stories in one with a bridge story written by Wendy Lockman.
“It’s kind of Tales from the Crypt,” he said. “It’s ghosts, vampires and clowns and they all tie together.”
The vampire story, called Shadowing, was written by Reuben Parker, who also directed it in association with Brian Dueck.
Oman wrote and directed the clown story, titled No laughing matter. Lockman wrote the ghost story, 'Til death, and co-directed it with Jerry Monkman.
According to Oman, the three-story format of the move resulted in a slightly more complicated production process.
“Each story had their own group of cast and crew,” he said. “So it was a bit harder to do, but at the same time it worked out.”
Another unique challenge was that cast and crew members were all volunteers, as in the case of the first movie.
“Nobody gets paid, so we have to work around people’s schedules too because they have to work and they have a life,” he said.
The cast and crew involved close to 100 people, but it was not difficult to find eager volunteers.
“We had a lot of people who wanted to be a part of this movie,” he said. “I keep getting people come up to me saying ‘Hey, I’d like to be in your movies and if you ever make another movie we love to be a part of it.’”
Last year’s showing of Zombageddon on Halloween raised more than $4,000 for the Swift Current SPCA and all proceeds from Swift Nightmares will also go towards the animal shelter.
“Personally I have three dogs I rescued from the SPCA and I strongly believe in it,” he said. “I just love animals. They don’t have a voice and they deserve a second chance.”
Oman is a founding member along with Bob Taylor and Logan Demorest of Dead Prairies, the local volunteer and not-for-profit production group that made the two movies.
“It’s more of an interest and I love horror movies,” Oman said. “I’ll rather not make money from moviemaking because that’s when stress comes in. ... There’ll always be stress in making movies. It’s just a lot more fun when you know the money is not going towards yourself, it’s going towards a good charity.”
They have submitted Zombageddon to some film festivals, but so far it has not been accepted at any.
“We’ll keep on trying,” he said. “Never give up, right?”
Depending on the success of the Swift Nightmares premiere, they might have a second showing of the new movie at the Living Sky Casino.
Dead Prairies is also planning a Nov. 1 announcement of a new project that will be different from its first two movies.
“I’d like to branch out of horror movies, just to give different chances to people because some people don’t like horror movies,” he said. “It will be completely different. It’s going to be pretty huge.”
Tickets for the Oct. 31 showing of Swift Nightmares at the Living Sky Casino are available at Pharmasave at $10 per ticket. Doors will open at 7 p.m. and the show will start at 8 p.m. There will be a lot of door prizes and Oman said there will probably also be a costume contest.

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