New Horror Anthology 'Hi-8' in the Works

Yahoo Contributor Network

Look out, "V/H/S," there's a new old format in town in the form of "Hi-8," an upcoming horror anthology that's being prepped by some noteworthy names in the independent horror scene.

While that sounds very similar to "V/H/S," this anthology will take it to another level of independence, as it will feature contributions from filmmakers who made a name for themselves on the homemade horror and shot-on-video scene during the 80s and 90s.

The project is spearheaded by Brad Sykes ("Camp Blood") and Tim Ritter ("Truth or Dare"), both of whom will also contribute segments to the film. Joining them will be Marcus Koch ("100 Tears"), Ron Bonk ("The Vicious Sweet"), Donald Farmer ("Chainsaw Cheerleaders"), Chris Seaver ("Filthy McNasty"), Todd Sheets ("Zombie Bloodbath"), and Tony Maisello (creator of the upcoming documentary "SOV: The True Independents").

Speaking with Fango, Sykes revealed that the project came together as an attempt to recapture the glory days of this scene. "I started thinking about how much fun it used to be back in the day when you'd just go out with a group of friends and a video camera and have fun shooting a movie, without worrying about budgets, fundraising, distribution, promotion, etc.," he explained, adding that it was about "just making films for the sake of making films."

When he discovered that Ritter and some other fellow filmmakers were thinking about the same thing, the duo decided to join forces for "Hi-8." Ritter had spent the past four years working on "Truth or Dare IV" and was "was looking for something to do next that was a little more collaborative in nature, and naturally, an anthology movie with different directors came to mind."

The project started to come together quickly, as Sykes and Ritter established a set of rules for the other directors to follow. One of them includes not drawing any attention to the title format, as they want "to keep the stories told in the traditional narrative format" instead of found footage.

Other guidelines include shooting on the "old school, analog formats," such as Hi-8 (naturally) or SD MiniDV in an effort to capture the roots of the project. Furthermore, there will be "no CGI, greenscreen or heavy post" and "shooting formats will be intentionally low-tech, and they will be shot on location, with practical makeup effects."

In other words, this sounds like a dream come true for those horror enthusiasts who have embraced this tiny niche in the genre over the years. In some ways, it might be a chance for some sort of vindication, as Sykes noted that "a lot of these guys have been making movie since the 1980s, and were some of the very first SOV filmmakers." He went on to refer to them as "the original independents" who were working during "an exciting, risky, dangerous time for movies."

Sykes revealed that scripts should be making their rounds to the various directors this month, and he hopes to have the film completed by the end of the summer, as which point he and Ritter will begin the festival submission process.

In the meantime, those unfamiliar with this corner of the horror genre have no shortage of material to check out; not only are these filmmakers among the most popular in this scene, but they're also the most prolific. Between them, Sykes and Ritter have directed nearly 35 films, so there's plenty to brush up on.

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