Ghosts Don’t Exist
We shot our last short, “Love Story of Henry & Carol”, in November of 2007. By the middle of December, Eric had come up with a great idea for a full length feature. A retiring paranormal investigator is pulled back in for one last shoot when a client says he can help the investigator contact his dead wife. When they arrive at the client’s house, he says he can guarantee contacting her, because he’ll be doing it from the other side and then kills himself.
It was a slamdunk idea. So much so that he had a first draft only a month later. We began immediately looking for investors.
We had a bunch of meetings with potential investors. A vast majority of them said no, which we expected. It’s hard to get people to invest in something that isn’t some kind of sure thing for getting their money back.
Around May of 2008, Eric was listening to the radio and heard a football player on a local radio show. On a whim, he thought, “Chris Cooley does some quirky stuff. Maybe he’d be interested in investing in a movie”. So he sent an email to the contact on his website hoping to get some kind of bite from them. 2 months later, he and his brother Tanner were on board to Executive Produce the movie. It was the big break we had been hoping for.
Even with Chris being a local celebrity, it still took us another 6 months to secure enough funding to greenlight the movie. There were many meetings with many people and even a big event held down at a DC Club to try and woo potential investors.
With this being Eric’s first full length directing gig, he wanted to make sure he had enough time and not have to rush anything. I ran the numbers and figured that we needed a minimum of $50k to be able to make the movie we wanted to make. By February of 2009, we had enough and greenlit the project.
We immediately started looking for cast, crew and locations. Due to Chris Cooley being onboard with the film, we were inundated with a ton of potential crew members. We were able to whittle them down to the final crew we hired.
The Cast was another thing. We held a casting call over two days at a conference room we rented in DC. There were over 200 people who showed up. Some from as far away as New York. Just to give a 3 minute reading of the script. Even with that, we actually found two of our potential cast members from Youtube. They were unable to make the casting call and had submitted a video through there.
We had a call back with a couple different actors and had them read lines with all of the different actors to see which ones worked the best together. We finally settled on our group of actors and crew.
- The shooting began on May 2nd and lasted through May 18th. My primary duties during production were to make sure that anything the UPM needed was taken care of. As well as settling contract and personal issues.
Once filming wrapped, the hard work of editing began. I served as Post-production UPM for this film as well. My goal was to coordinate the editing, color correcting, sound design and scoring of the film. I also, immediately began working on getting everything ready for delivery, in the hopes that we would get distribution.
There were multiple drives from Northern Virginia to Richmond, where the editing was going on, to get drives and files and such.
The film was finished with it’s editing in January of 2010 and was excepted into the following festivals:
- DC International Film Festival
- Eerie Horror Film Festival
- Chicago Filipino American Film Festival
It won the following awards:
- DCIFF – DC Filmmaker Award
- DCIFF – Best Picture, Best Actor
- EHFF – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor
Ghosts Don’t Exist secured distribution later that year with Echo Bridge an was released to DVD, VOD and Cable TV in late 2010.
Camera – Red One
Credits – Producer, Executive Producer, Post Production UPM.