Native Monroe to adapt a horror short film into a feature film
A native of Monroe who is working on a documentary retracing the history of his hometown is now turning one of his shorts into a feature film.
Nate Thompson, a Toledo resident and photographer who graduated from Mason High School in 2014, posted âCult Affairsâ earlier this year via YouTube.
Running over six minutes, the short is described as a horror film that follows a character facing a cult. To date, it has over 10,000 views.
“Following a business arrangement gone awry, Mr. James is brought before the same cult he went through to find a suitable solution,” the official synopsis read.
Thompson said the project, which stars himself, Nygel Sejismundo, Joshua Moore, Tee Rupp and Javon Harris, was still intended to provide a concept that could be used as a framework for a larger project.
âThe (short) shows what full functionality will look like with more time,â Thompson said.
Thompson said he plans to start filming the bigger project in the coming months. Until then, he will be showing the short film at festivals, promoting the upcoming feature film. The short film took a day to shoot – about seven hours to shoot – and about 14 days to edit.
âI edited it, returned it and watched it – I ended up doing it about 10 times,â Thompson said.
Thompson said he plans to shoot scenes in and around Monroe. He will be approaching the sites in the coming months to discuss possible partnerships, he said, adding that the region had sentimental significance to him.
âMonroe has always been important to me – that’s where I was born and raised,â Thompson said. âWalking around and seeing the architecture around the city – it always reminded me of a movie theater. â¦ I knew right away that we had to go to Monroe.
Thompson mentioned a few downtown locations as possible filming locations, including some back alleys and along the River Walk.
â(These places) are too beautiful not to be used,â he said.
After filming was completed, Thompson said he expected it would be around a year before the feature was ready to debut.
âHonestly, I am planning a release in October 2022,â he added. âIt will take about a year to do it and prepare it. “
Building on the themes introduced in the short, Thompson says the feature will delve deeper into the cult and tell a story through the experience of a new character as she faces a family tragedy.
âFollowing the murder of her parents, a woman tries to return to her hometown,â says Thompson. âFull of questions, she reveals an underground cult that is responsible for the terror in the small rural town. This is where she realizes the devil lives inside. “
The subject is interesting for Thompson because he says that almost anyone can belong to a cult. Those in them present themselves as chameleons, he added.
âThe whole idea of ââa cult is that it is weird and abnormal,â Thompson said. “… I think cults in general freak people out.”
Thompson has stated that he prefers making horror films to those in the comedy or romance genre. Horror movies need more thinking, he said, adding that the experience gives him a chance to be more creative.
âThere are a few extra layers you can get away with in the horror genre,â Thompson said. âThe fan base alone – especially in independent horror – nine out of ten times people will buy a (horror) movie to see if it scares them. They don’t buy (a movie) to see if it makes them laugh.
The short film version of “Cult Affairs” has screened at three virtual festivals, including the Catskill International Film Festival, the Thrills, Chills and Kills Film Festival and the Lift Off Sessions.
The short film will screen at the PA Horror Con and Film Festival, to be held in August in Breinigsville, Pennsylvania.
This will be the first in-person festival that Thompson has attended since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thompson expects larger crowds to flock to festivals in the future, driven largely by the desire to see new content and to be outdoors and social.
He said the pandemic affected the horror genre in particular because many studios were unable to film, creating a shortage of films in general. This gave independent filmmakers a greater opportunity to present their content to viewers, Thompson said.
âThere are a lot of people out there who have watched what came out in the horror genre before,â Thompson said. “In the last couple of years, there haven’t been as many releases as is normally released (by the studios).”
Festivals provide visibility and opportunities to earn money. Thompson said a large portion of the income from his works is generated through the sale of merchandise. He also uses YouTube to distribute his content, which is essential to increase awareness of his works.
âI create each of my projects with the belief that no investor is going to give me money,â Thompson said. “… I always found a way to do it myself.”
For more information, email [email protected] or find Nate Thompson on Youtube.