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SHORT FILM

DEMENTIA

A young man has a disturbing dream about the death of his girlfriend. After waking, he finds his zombie-like girlfriend haunting him.

Year: 1998
TRT:   6 Minutes
Format:   8mm SD VHS Transfer / 720×480
Category:   Horror
 

ABOUT

I took some film courses at Scottsdale Community College in the program’s early days. Most of the classes were in trailers in the back of the school. I wasn’t a fan of school and barely made it out of high school alive, so if I were to go to college, it was to do something fun. 8mm Production was one of the classes I attended. We had to make a 3-5 minute short film for the final. At the time, Sam Raimi was a significant influence on me. His ability to harness available resources and do whatever he wanted – horror, comedy, gore, slapstick – he just did it. And so did I.

I filmed it in a night or 2 with a few friends. And when I received the developed film, one roll was utterly black. Either the camera messed up, or I messed up. Either way, I had to rush, get another camera from school and another roll of film, film again, then sent it to the lab – again. It came back, and editing started. I didn’t have time to schedule a little edit bay at the school, so I cut it by hand.

The music was also original. My friend and highly talented drummer, Dan Ford, pulled a 48-hour shift and carefully placed each midi note into a timeline of some ancient music program our other friend Marco found. The name of the program eludes my memory at this moment. Remember, this was 1998, so none of us knew what the hell we were doing – except for Marco – he was making custom Quake Skins at the time, and he was like a genius with these crazy electronic boxes called computers.

This program could only do 2 minutes of music at a time and had to make a new file. We would play the music through computer speakers into my four-track recorder and time it with each file. After a few tries, we got the piece perfect. A year later, my dog ate the tape. I was lucky enough to find one of the messed-up versions and placed it into the version you see here.

If I remember correctly, this film was fun enough to continue the story. We started to make a more extended version – not sure if I even have any of that – maybe I’ll leave that nicely tucked in the deep dark recesses of my memory.

I hope you enjoy this little trip into the past.

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