In the summer of 2009 in Memphis Tennessee with a script co-written by Dan Alvarado and a crew of talented actors and filmmakers from Los Angeles and Memphis, I directed Savage County as what was originally intended to be a fifteen-part web series that worked as either short chapters or as a feature-length “film for new media.”
Greenlit by David Gale, and MTV Networks and produced by BR2 in Memphis* it was a project that was exciting initially only for its potential. When we made it, we didn’t know where it would live, or how it would work within the network’s many tendrils. With a production budget of $250,000, it was always possible that it might just be an expensive experiment in online horror.
Since then, it’s become much more. Thanks to a campaign by Eventful, millions of people watched the Savage County trailer and 150,000 people demanded that MTV air the show. It premiered on MTV2 on October 7th, 2010 reprised on MTV Tr3s on October 30th and 31st, and is being represented for sale by Cinetic Media through their FilmBuff service.
Savage County is currently available on Xbox, Playstation, iTunes and DVD.
Leading up to the release of the film, we released a number of assets to give the audience a taste of the film, including two original comic books (the first is HERE, the second HERE), five exclusive trailers, an iPhone and iPad app, and an immersive transmedia experience by award-winning producer Nina Bargiel.Perhaps most notably, we commissioned artist Vincent Castiglia to create an original poster executed (as is all his work) in his own blood.
In making Savage County, I was inspired by the innovative horror filmmaking of the seventies – an era of films that did a lot with limited means. In paying tribute to these films and this time period in horror filmmaking, I’m proud that we were able to do so much with our limited means, while taking advantage of all the new possibilities that new platforms offer.