Horrifying flick

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Horrifying flick

Movie poster of the new horror thriller 'The Final Project' (Taylor Ri'Chard Films)

Movie poster of the new horror thriller 'The Final Project' (Taylor Ri'Chard Films)

Movie poster of the new horror thriller 'The Final Project' (Taylor Ri'Chard Films)

Movie poster of the new horror thriller 'The Final Project' (Taylor Ri'Chard Films)

Sami Ismail, Contributor

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‘The Final Project’ is a horror film about a group of college students and their film project. The students film a documentary on an old, Civil War era plantation—which is said to be haunted—but they don’t believe in spirits.

After seeing the film, I spoke with the Writer, Director and Producer, Taylor Ri’chard, who told me about the process of making his vision come to life.

As a child, he grew up in Louisiana, where he would hear Ghost stories, and he watched many Alfred Hitchcock films. He used his childhood experiences and passion for horror stories to develop ‘The Final Project’. After the script was completed by him and his co-writer Zackary Davis, preproduction took him about a year.

When he started filming, he had problems with one of the locations he shot at, which was also used for the TV show ‘Vampire Diaries’. His comment was, “we couldn’t really get what we needed out of it.” He had reshoot a lot. He had to find different parts of the same set to shoot at so it didn’t look like the TV show.

The characters in the film seemed natural, but Ri’chard said, “There was room for improv, but most of the scenes were scripted.”

While casting, he “looked for the characters in the personality traits of all the actors.” That is why all of the characters looked so natural in the film. It’s because “they were all just being themselves.”

Some of the dialogue that he and Zachary Davis wrote was from actual personal experiences, which also helped it seem natural. The characters and the actions that they took ran parallel with reality, of course, without horrors.

His advice to aspiring actors, who were auditioning was to, “Walk in the audition room as the character you are portraying. You should study the script really well because you’re an actor and no one is looking for anyone, but the character in you.”

His advice to young filmmakers is to study the business of filmmaking if you want to generate any income from it.  “Writers and directors get lost in the creative side of filmmaking. At the end of the day, we all we know how to make a movie. It is crucial to understand budgeting and that we have to pitch and sell our ideas to investors.” Once they have the movie completed, they also have the challenge of getting the movie into the theater.

His advice to HCC students is to, “Do it because you love it, anything else is a waste of your time.”

Unfortunately ‘The Final Project’ didn’t complete its purpose of entertaining the audience by building fear. There wasn’t a buildup of tension before each action took place. The action scenes happened too quickly and didn’t delve deep enough into the psychological effects of all the characters. They reacted, but cameras didn’t capture those reactions properly. At the end, there wasn’t a closure of what the antagonist’s motives were. The movie left me hanging with a lot of questions.

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