Zac Locke, former Head of Business Affairs at Blumhouse and partner with Divide/Conquer, has launched Rotting Press out of the TIFF Market, a new micro-studio dedicated to uncovering, supporting, and promoting the unheard voices of horror.
The new operation, headed by Locke and backed by Silicon Valley funding and proprietary marketing/distribution algorithms, focuses on film production, financing, acquisition, distribution, and marketing, using Locke’s years of experience in both the independent and studio film sectors to guide the company’s strategy.
Rotting Press’ initial slate of titles include Locke’s feature directorial debut FLOAT, which just wrapped principal photography on the Russian River, and FROGMAN, the feature directorial debut from award-winning filmmaker Anthony Cousins currently ramping up production. A third film, a contained creature-feature, is in pre-production and slated to begin shooting at the beginning of 2022.
“Having been on all sides of the filmmaking process myself, I’m excited to be in a position to help empower independent genre filmmakers,” says Zac Locke, “Rotting Press’ resources, along with our ability to leverage new distribution and marketing platforms, will hopefully result in some fresh new voices and wild original films reaching horror fanatics and general audiences alike.”
While with Blumhouse, Locke’s Biz Affairs credits included the Academy Award-winning feature Get Out as well as installments of the popular Insidious, Purge, Sinister, and Ouija franchises. Highlights from his time at Divide/Conquer include serving as an Executive Producer on Universal’s Black Christmas, Amazon’s The Voyeurs, Emma Tammi’s TIFF 2018 selection The Wind, released by IFC Midnight, and Kelly Oxford’s 2020 AFI selection Pink Skies Ahead, released by MTV Entertainment Studios.
FLOAT, written and directed by Locke, stars Scarlett Sperduto and Grant Morningstar, who both also star in Robert Rippberger’s upcoming feature Those Who Walk Away, as well as actress and model Kaya Coleman and newcomers Kate Mayhew and Miguel Muñoz. The horror-thriller follows a vlogger and her crew embarking on a river float where they are plunged into a life and death battle with a mysterious local, a sinister paranormal force, and their own fears.
Minnesota-based filmmaker Anthony Cousins, who contributed to the 2020 horror anthology Scare Package, makes his feature debut with FROGMAN following over a decade of work directing and shooting celebrated and singular genre short films. TIFF Midnight Madness programmer Peter Kuplowsky will executive produce.