Its 1:00am in a small cabin in the Tasmanian wilderness.  Nick lies on the floor covered in blood, a circle of black candles and runes form a perfect circle around him.  Jess stands over him, smiling, casually playing with her cleaver.  “Seriously” I think, “what the hell are we doing here?!”

We are half way through the 2016 Tasploitation challenge.  Our footage is almost collected; we are up to our final scenes revealing Jess for the flesh-eating succubus she really is.  As she verbally unloads on her unfortunate victim ( also fiance) I wonder a little as to how she is so good at this.  We certainly were not organised enough to have a script, she is not a horror fan and I only had time to give her the briefest description of what Lovecraft horror was.  But there she was spouting a tirade on cannibals, Tasmanian history, old gods and scaring the crap out of us.  More so Nick, who was lying under her casually held meat cleaver (we were also not organised enough to have a prop meat cleaver).  I can only put it down to the fact that she was enjoying it on a lot of levels.


One of our most useful devices it turns out was a spray bottle for Nick’s face.

The Tasploitation Challenge is a 48 hour film comp where participants are given a sub genre of horror a line of script and a prop.  Then its up to the team to make a six-minute film.  We lucked out a bit getting Lovecraft as our subgenre.  While I was the only one with film experience so to speak Nick and Jess came with some unexpected skills.  Nick is a self-confessed rope nerd and was able to aid in several scenes including my hanging (which I am never doing again) and a long home-made slider which came in handy during our pivotal scene.  And Jess, well-being a natural red-head is sole-less and therefore a convincing cannibalistic succubus (Oh man, I hope she doesn’t read this).

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The source of the evil. The Pickled Frog hostel.


This bag smells terrible!

Our take away from this experience was that dialogue scenes are much harder than I thought.  Sound is still as hard as I thought.  Watch out for the wide-angle lenses for catching light stands in the shot.  But most importantly, never let the cast put a hessian bag on your head and hang you from a rafter…  Just don’t do it.

At the end of it all I was truly relieved when Jess and Nick said they had fun.  I find often friends do not know what they had signed up for when they help me with projects and quickly regret their helpfulness.

The team has already decided to be back for the 2017 challenge.  I said I would stay down in Tassie after the Christmas break.  Jess has promised to watch more horror.  And Nick promises not to be eaten until then.

The Hunter of the Dark from jasonmacqueen on Vimeo.