Watch: Tips for Breaking into Cinematography from ‘American Horror Story’ DP Michael Goi

Emmy-nominated DP Michael Goi says persistence is key.

Michael Goi, ASC has an impressive slate of TV credits to his name, including popular hits like Glee, The Mentalist, and American Horror Story. His track record is in part what led to his service as President of the American Society of Cinematographers from 2009-2012. But the success didn’t come overnight.

In an ASC Masterclass series, Goi reveals his humble beginnings and what he did to move up. The main key, more than talent and creativity? Persistence.

“When you move to Los Angeles, you’re starting over again at the bottom.”

When he first moved to LA, he recalls, “For six months, I lived on the two hot dogs for 99 cents at the A&P…but I refused to leave and I refused to give up.” And this was after he already had 300 commercials and six features under his DP belt. “When you move to Los Angeles, you’re starting over again at the bottom,” he said.

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No Film School

Watch: A List Stephen King’s Favorite Horror Films

What kinds of scary movies does the King of Horror watch?

Stephen King is a maniac. He has not only written hundreds of published works, making him one of the most prolific writers of all time, but he has managed to scare the bejesus out of his readers for well over 40 years with his dark and twisted contemporary horror/sci-fi/fantasy works. But he’s not only renowned in the literary world. He has made an indelible mark in the film industry with 64 of his novels and short stories being adapted into some of the most iconic horror films in history, including Carrie and The Shining. (Fun fact: The Shawshank Redemption was adapted from his 1982 novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.)

It makes you wonder what kinds of scary movies catches the attention of such a well-respected and aptly nicknamed author like the King of Horror. Well, Fandor has put together a list of a bunch of his favorite spooky flicks in the video below:

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No Film School

‘Film Your Nightmares’ and 6 More Tips from Horror Godfather Yoshihiro Nishimura

Japanese horror auteur Yoshihiro Nishimura’s latest, ‘Kodoku Meatball Machine’, confirms his rep as a wizard of carnage.

Filmmaker and make-up artist Yoshihiro Nishimura lives by his own rules. Known affectionately by fans as the uncontested godfather of contemporary Japanese horror, he’s responsible for cult classics such as Tokyo Gore Police and Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl. A glance at his IMDB page shows just how influential he’s been as a make-up artist: a veritable wizard of carnage. Japan’s Tom Savini.

Wherever Nishimura dives in, he makes a huge crimson splash—but he’s far more than just a bloody face. A bonafide jack-of-all-trades auteur, he’s a DIY screenwriter, producer, director, make-up artist, FX master and editor. Even better, in the process of achieving all that with minimal outside assistance, he has developed an unmistakable—and surprisingly hilarious—style. His latest victim is the Fantasia Film Festival, where his Kodoku Meatball Machine had a standout North American debut this past month.

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Kill Or Be Killed — First Trailer for Voyeur Horror Film ‘Keep Watching’

Keep Watching Trailer

«They want us to fight back!» Voltage Pictures has released an official trailer for a horror film called Keep Watching, a creepy voyeur thriller about a family imprisoned by intruders. The concept of this one is a bit uncomfortable, but that’s what makes it horror, right? A bunch of cameras are rigged up in a house where a family is tormented, while live viewers can watch as they’re killed off. But they don’t know if what they’re watching is real or staged, they’re just told to «keep watching». (Cue eye roll now.) The cast includes Bella Thorne, Natalie Martinez, Christopher Baker, Ioan Gruffudd, and Chandler Riggs. This looks a bit too bland and uninteresting, despite the freaky concept. And I’m guessing no studio wants to deal with the backlash of releasing a movie about watching people die, but it is finished and just waiting for a release. ›››

Continue reading Kill Or Be Killed — First Trailer for Voyeur Horror Film ‘Keep Watching’

‘The Vault’ Trailer: James Franco Unlocks the Horror in a Bank Heist Thriller

the vault trailer

“Crime does not pay,” the trailer for The Vault ham-fistedly declares. But it’s probably a very accurate description for the heist thriller-turned-horror-movie that is The Vault.

In James Franco‘s one-millionth project this year (does the guy never sleep?), he stars as a mild-mannered bank manager with a mustache who finds his bank being robbed by two sisters (Taryn Manning and Francesca Eastwood). But this this isn’t just a nuts-and-bolts thriller as the tables are turned when Franco’s manager unlocks the true horrific nature of The Vault.

It’s a day that starts off like any other for Franco’s weary bank manager: get coffee, stare blankly at the clock, gripe about a quiet bank. Until he’s staring down the barrel of a gun and two on-edge sisters who are robbing his bank. Immediately, he reveals that there’s a secret vault in the basement “where the real money is” that’s off the grid, and the sisters’ accomplice heads down to open it, but finds something…else.

Suddenly, Franco’s mustache (which appears to be from when he was filming HBO’s Deuce) seems a lot more menacing, as he unleashes whatever unseen horror that was lurking in the vault against the robbers — which look a lot like creepy hooded men in masks.

It’s like a bank robbery twist on Don’t Breathe, a film that similarly started off in another genre — in its case, a home invasion of a blind man — and turned it into a horror film where the blind man was the real monster.

While Franco does seem like the mastermind in this reversal of fates, I doubt he’s quiet the monstrous force that Stephen Lang’s blind man was in Don’t Breathe. While the terrorizing forces in The Vault look human, they are more likely to be demonic, or something else supernatural, as evidenced by Q’orianka Kilcher’s quivering description of “something down there.” Or Franco could have just locked up a bunch of psychopathic mask enthusiasts.

Here’s the official synopsis for The Vault below:

“Two estranged sisters are forced to rob a bank in order to save their brother. The heist begins smoothly, but mayhem ensues when the defiant bank manager sends them to a basement-level vault–home to something truly evil.”

The Vault also stars Q’orianka Kilcher, Clifton Collins Jr., and Scott Haze.

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‘Night of the Living Dead’ Director and Horror Legend George Romero Dead at 77

george romero dead

George A. Romero, the director of Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead, has passed away at the age of 77. The creator of the modern zombie movie, the often imitated but never matched filmmaker still looms large as one of the most important horror filmmakers of all time.

According to a statement released by his longtime producing partner, Peter Grunwald, Romero died in his sleep following a “brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer.” He was listening to the score for his favorite movie, John Ford’s The Quiet Man, and was with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and his daughter, Tina Romero, at the time of his passing.

Born on February 4, 1940 in New York City, Romero’s first film as a director sent shockwaves through the genre movie world that are still being felt to this day. Shot in black and what and on a small budget, 1968’s Night of the Living Dead helped set the template for the modern independent horror movie – a young and hungry filmmaker pulls himself up his bootstraps and makes a scary, smart, and relevant experience. The film created an entire new subgenre of horror, inspiring blatant imitations and respectful odes to this day. The success of The Walking Dead on AMC began with Romero’s contributions to the mere concept of the cinematic zombie.

Romero remained outspoken about the horror staple he helped create, later saying of The Walking Dead: “Basically it’s just a soap opera with a zombie occasionally. I always used the zombie as a character for satire or a political criticism, and I find that missing in what’s happening now.”

Night of the Living Dead used a zombie apocalypse as a background for simmering chamber piece about racial tension and features one of the horror genre’s first great, black heroes, played by the fierce Duane Jones. His politically tinged zombie tales continued with 1978’s Dawn of the Dead, which took on America’s commercialism with the force of a crowbar to an undead skull, and 1985’s Day of the Dead, which drips with despair and paranoia as it explores the apocalypse from a military bunker.

Romero found it difficult to separate himself from the genre he popularized and his later zombie movies find him attempting to find something new to say while treading turf that even he admitted was familiar. 2005’s Land of the Dead, 2007’s Diary of the Dead, and 2009’s Survival of the Dead are more interesting than most zombie movies, sometimes feeling more like bold (and sometimes not successful) experiments.

Even when he wasn’t tackling the undead, Romero continued to build his career on horror. 1973’s The Crazies is a another politically charged horror tale and 1982’s Creepshow (the first and not the last time he would work in the world of author Stephen King) remain well-regarded One of his few non-horror films has earned a devoted cult following – 1981’s Knightriders, about a medieval reenactment troupe, has received acclaim in the decades since it came and went in theaters.

Even if George Romero just made the first modern zombie movies and created a formula that would be repeatedly borrowed and reinvented for 50 years, he’d be remembered as a horror icon. But George Romero did all of that while making thoughtful, funny, scary, and relevant movies that wielded shock factor like a fine blade. His work was pointed and political, even as it was inspiring generations of moviemakers, make-up artists, and monster fans. His thumbprint lurks on film and television, clear as day to anyone with access to a movie theater or a television. He will be missed.

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12 Terrifying Classic TV Horror Movies

TV Horror Salem's Lot

A look at 12 incredible made-for-TV horror films from the ’70s and ’80s

We can credit Dan Curtis for a bulk of the wave of incredible horror movies made for the creepy cathode ray in the 1970s. Sure, terror produced for the small screen had its precedent with The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Thriller and other such stand alone anthology programs, but it was the smash success of Curtis’ Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows that truly birthed the phenomenon of the dark, romantic and usually female-centric made-for-TV horror movies that bled out of the idiot box with regularity. Because Dark Shadows was indeed targeted towards women, specifically housewives who at the time were home to appreciate it and who thrilled to the blend of Harlequin novel bodice-ripping, bloody intrigue and supernatural horror. Curtis managed to make the answer to post-code horror movies of the 1930s, which were also romantic in nature, while also offering more literary alternatives to the wave of more graphic R-rated horror films that were becoming the post-Night of the Living Dead and Texas Chainsaw Massacre norm.

Outside of Curtis’ amazing output of serious-minded, scary and compact, network-friendly fright fests, plenty of other producers followed suit and now, when we look back at that ripe Golden age, we can truly appreciate these films. Sure, horror has once more become a staple of television with every other new series seeming to have its roots in the macabre and arcane, but back in the 1970s and early 80s, these movies were a big deal and, because they were aired in prime-time and easily accessible to children, an entire generation of horror fan often got their first taste of the genre via these pictures.

And what a taste it was. And still is.

In this list, we have isolated 12 of our favorite classic made-for-TV horror movies. Let us know if your favorite made the cut in the comments below!

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He’s Not Gone Yet — Official Trailer for ‘Cult of Chucky’ Horror Sequel

Cult of Chucky Trailer

«Hi, I’m Chucky. Wanna play?» He’s back for more! An official trailer has debuted for the latest Chucky doll film, titled Cult of Chucky. This is technically the seventh film in the seemingly never-ending Child’s Play series, after Bride of Chucky, Seed of Chucky, and Curse of Chucky most recently. This one is also going straight-to-DVD and we’re making an exception to post about it, just because it’s another Chucky movie so why not. The story follows Fiona Dourif as Nina, who is in an insane asylum where she has been convinced she murdered her entire family, not Chucky. Things are getting better until the doctor brings another «Good Guys» doll in as a therapeutic tool. Also starring Jennifer Tilly, Alex Vincent, Michael Therriault, and Brad Dourif as the voice of Chucky. This looks like more of the same from the others, but what do I know. ›››

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First Official Trailer for Horror Film ‘Polaroid’ About a Deadly Camera

Polaroid Trailer

«Sometimes to deal with tragedies we make up urban legends.» The Weinstein Company / Dimension Films has debuted the official trailer for a horror film titled Polaroid, about an Polaroid camera that kills people. Well, not exactly. The story is about a high schooler who finds an old Polaroid camera, and anyone who gets their picture taken by it will die in a «violent and tragic death.» Not the most original concept, but seems like it has some good kills in it. Starring Kathryn Prescott, Mitch Pileggi, Grace Zabriskie, Tyler Young, Keenan Tracey, Samantha Logan, Priscilla Quintana, Madelaine Petsch and Javier Botet. This is based on the horror short Polaroid also from director Lars Klevberg, who is making his feature debut here. ›››

Continue reading First Official Trailer for Horror Film ‘Polaroid’ About a Deadly Camera

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