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Demonica Pre-production: Post one – “The Beginining!”

April 23, 2012

Chris "Turnip" Simmons

In my opinion the 2nd best part about making a movie, any movie, is in the very beginning of pre-production. Before the auditions, all the scheduling, or concerns over a budget, the earliest spark of this time allows you to dream. To come up with the nugget of a concept without anything but the restrictions of your own imagination. Of course, if your imagination has been constrained for  years by the limits of indie film making then  those limitations tend to work their way in but they are less “idea crushing” now then they will be later on.

For “Insane Mike” inspiration often comes from “interesting” places. “Insane”, if you didn’t know, is a HUGE fan of 80’s horror films and all things campy that come with some of the best of them. With Demonica he initially came up with the title, a combination of “demon” and the name “Monica,” that he thought was clever. Just humor him. However, at that point it was just a name, and it wouldn’t really start to take shape until a family member who had access to a roller rink, offered to let Prescribed Films use it. It is often said that necessity is the mother of invention. For indie filmmakers access to location is the mother of inspiration and so “Insane Mike” ran with what he had available.

"An after hours party at a skating rink is interrupted by something sinister, leading to a hellish roller derby showdown for the survival of humanity. The only thing worse than demons is demons...on skates!"

So now you know were the name and the location came from but what about the story? For that we have to look to a little film from 1988, (starring 80’s scream queen and friend of PF Linnea Quigley), called “Night of the Demons.” This often forgotten gem has several kids decide to go to a haunted, (of course), house  on Halloween night where an ancient evil kills them off one by one. While the movie is steeped in cheese and is 80’s to the core it still has an interesting concept, a couple of fun character archetypes, and great demons. But what would happen if, instead of going to the evil, it could come to you?

It was those few few bits and pieces, title, location, and base idea, that was all that was necessary for “Insane Mike” to get to work on what would become the 1st draft of Demonica.  The rest is a long, winding, story that will have to wait for next time! Oh, and what is my favorite part about making a movie? It’s the opening night premiere of course, but we’re a LONG way off from that.

Join us every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as Chris “Turnip” Simmons relays the often rewarding but sometimes harrowing journey of an indie film from page to screen to release.

Next time: From idea to the page!

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