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The Manor House – Pilot Scene


When your production resources are minimal, writing a decent film script can be an exercise in total futility. The problem is that words are cheap, and its easy to get carried away. Anybody can type up an epic multi-car chase scene through downtown San Francisco, but you’ll probably be in for some sticker shock when it comes time to start planning to shoot it.

A few years ago we sat down and started brainstorming for a horror movie script with that knowledge in mind. So we started with what some people call a “Robert Rodriguez List;” a list of things we knew that we could get access to for little or no money. At the top of that list was the Manor House.

The Manor House

In the spirit of feasibility, our script takes place entirely at the Manor House. The story follows a young woman, played by Heather Cole, who is charged with cleaning and preparing the house for a foreclosure auction. As she spends more time in the house, she begins to question the strength of her grasp on reality. Eventually, she comes to the unpleasant realization that she is either not completely sane, or not completely alone.

The Manor House Clapper

We wanted to try to get this film funded via Kickstarter for production in the fall of this year. Obviously we’re a little behind. We got picked up for a few big projects and now we’re hoping to get to this for production in the spring of 2014. This short video is essentially a glorified screen test/teaser for the film, to give people an idea of what it might look and feel like. It was shot on location in the basement of the Manor House.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera

For the gear nuts, this was shot with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. The camera was another big reason that we finally felt comfortable pursuing this project in a serious way – we can achieve a very high level of quality and control on a very small budget. The body alone is now just $2,000. That’s truly incredible for what you’re getting.

Grading was done in Adobe Camera Raw via After Effects.

The Manor House Behind The Scenes