Nick Simon ‘s comedy-horror film UNTITLED HORROR MOVIE has completed principal photography during lockdown with the entire writing, pre-production, and filming process taking place remotely amid the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The film is directed and co-written by Nick Simon, best known for the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival pick, The Girl in the Photographs, and Fox’s The Pyramid. Luke Baines (“Shadowhunters”, Under The Silver Lake) also penned and stars in the project. The film comes from Sundance and SXSW Grand Jury Award-winning producer Bronwyn Cornelius (Clemency, Never Here) and Marina Stabile (Clemency, Beatriz At Dinner). The project is a tongue-in-cheek satirical take on acting, celebrity, Gen Z, filmmaking, and horror.
The film stars an impressive lineup of young talent from around the country including Claire Holt (47 Meters Down, “The Vampire Diaries”), Darren Barnet (“Never Have I Ever”, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D”, American Pie), Emmy Raver-Lampman (“The Umbrella Academy“, Original Broadway Cast of HAMILTON), Katherine McNamara (“Arrow”, “The Stand”, “Shadowhunters), Luke Baines, and Timothy Granaderos (“13 Reasons Why“).
The supporting cast includes Kal Penn (Harold & Kumar, “Designated Survivor”, “Sunnyside”), Kevin Daniels (“Sirens”, Ladder 49), and newcomer Sohm Kapila (“9-1-1”, “Never Have I Ever”).
With their hit TV show on the brink of cancellation, six actors decide to film their own horror movie. In their search for a plot, they unintentionally summon a spirit with an affinity for violence, who starts picking them off… one vapid actor at a time.
Set on computer screens and found footage style content, UNTITLED HORROR MOVIE explores the behind-the-scenes lives of moderately famous actors who will do anything to save their careers and keep “sharing their craft with the world.”
Director Nick Simon, who was mentored by master of satirical horror Wes Craven, said “I’ve always believed that film should be a collaborative art form, and I don’t think there’s a truer example than with this picture. The actors did everything from lighting themselves — guided by our incredible DP, Kevin Duggin — to recording their own sound and doing their own hair and makeup. As crazy as that could have been, it was easily one of the most enjoyable experiences in my professional life. It was one of those once in a lifetime moments when everything aligns at the exact right time.” Nick Simon is also currently working on a choose-your-own-adventure-style horror film with Steven Spielberg‘s Amblin Partners.
Writer and actor Luke Baines adds, “There’s a joke in the film that says: ‘The only people who say there’s creative freedom from making their own stuff are the ones who can’t get a studio to finance their movie.’ I want to publicly contradict myself and say I’ve never had more fun or felt this amount of space to take risks and make mistakes, although I do wholeheartedly miss having a full crew. I think I speak for the rest of the actors when I say we’ve never had more respect for each and every department.”
“Like the rest of the cast and crew, I was eager to find ways to keep our industry and creativity alive in the midst of the pandemic,” said producer Bronwyn Cornelius. “It was inspiring to work with an amazingly innovative team. We hope this project and the approach sparks optimism and illustrates that even amidst the challenges the entertainment industry is facing, creativity will not be stopped, and that there is always a way to move forward.”
Commenting on the production, producer Marina Stabile said, “With cast and crew spread across four different states and three time zones, the nature of the film allowed us to work with the best team we could have asked for and made this such a unique experience.”
Randy Sinquefield’s Spectrum Studios financed the picture. Post-production is anticipated to wrap by early September, and the film is currently in the acquisition process. CAA Media Finance represents the film’s worldwide distribution rights.