Ghost Searchers is a suspense thriller short film that follows Matt and Jeff, two small-time paranormal investigators in the wake of a community becoming more skeptical of the supernatural. When presented with a crucial opportunity to revive their dwindling careers and finances. The Ghost Searchers do whatever it takes to help the spectator move on.
"The film does not bother with jump scares, choosing instead to build the story organically, allowing it to feel realistic and every day, without losing view of its personal significance...
" - indieshortsmag.com
"the film plays with our imagination, it recognises there are sides of life yet to be fully understood. A smartly observed and well constructed piece that delivers a satisfying outcome...
" - ukfilmreview.co.uk
"impressed with what the filmmakers managed to create... good character development, which leads me to believe there may be more films with these characters... Man, I kinda hope so.
" - horrornews.net
"The blend of supernatural makeup over its dry, comedic inclinations... Pair that with the incredible attention-to-detail on the practical effects, and you have an amazing treat...
" - theburrowreviews.com
"The movie consistently reminded me of Robert Rodriguez's 10-minute Film School, as creativity and excellent use of practical effects are on full display in every moment of this ghostly escapade...
" - filmthreat.com
"Ghost Searchers is a no-budget indie that accomplishes quite a bit... The film engages and entertains, serious themes lurking underneath the surface of its good cheer and bits of humor.
" - theindependentcritic.com
Festival Selection and Awards
Official Selection, 17th annual Another Hole in The Head Film Festival
Good Life Audience Award, 17th annual Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema
Official Selection, 10th annual Los Angeles Lift-Off Film Festival
It's been a long and amazing journey. We started pre-production on Ghost Searchers in November of 2018. At the time the scope of the project was small. A simple two-character script, filmed in one location.
Ultimately that plan fell through when I wrote a 35-page script with four characters, interactive props, practical effects, and three locations. With Lauren and Hannah's help, I was able to develop the characters further and build a solid story structure.
The picture below shows the development stages of our version of the "Ghost Detector" we call it the Paranormal Presence Detector (or the PPD). We were able to make this prop from scratch and remotely control it. It created some unique on-screen moments. It captures what the Ghost Searchers are all about, a lot of heart and some gaffers tape.
After an extensive audition process that lasted for a couple of months, I was able to find some amazing local actors. Max, Jonny, Dylan, and Ashley brought a mix of acting styles and talent. They were amazing to have on-set. They brought the characters to life!
Here's a picture from day one of rehearsal. Rehearsals were a great way for us to get to know each other better and also flush out the characters. Also, this is how the kitchen looked before the day of filming. It took a long time to clear the kitchen and make it look like Robert had recently moved in.
Unfortunately, my luck ran out with finding the crew. On the first day of filming, my DP and Sound Mixer canceled. It was devastating. Thanks to Max, Jonny, Dylan, and Yuliam (who stepped in at the last minute) we were able to push through. On the next three days of filming, we had Conor on-set who took the pressure off me by taking on multiple roles behind the camera.
Another cool decision was to make all the effects practical. Yes! all the kitchen cabinets opening, fireballs, and the floating kettle were not computer-generated. I love the 80s filmmaking style where they used complicated rigs, makeup, lighting, and quick cuts to get the effect across. It was tough to get all those rigs working, but it was a lot of fun!
Overall, it was a team effort.
These are some of the pre-production materials that played a huge part in bringing Ghost Searchers to life. You can download them for free.
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