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An HMS Q&A with Anthony Altamura

Anthony Altamura has a passion for horror and a firm belief in respecting the craft. In other words, he's our kind of guy. I had the fortune of speaking with Anthony and talk about his latest project The Passage, which will be unleashed on the world after much anticipation. He gave us an inside look into his work, his love of the genre, and his plans for the future.


HMS: Anthony, thank you so much for taking the time to tell us a little bit about your film and what inspired the project.

Anthony Altamura: No problem at all, thanks for your support on the film.

HMS: First off, how would you describe The Passage; what can horror fans expect to get from the project?

AA: I think people can expect something with an old school horror vibe. We want to stay true to our roots in the love we have for horror. Expect something that you have yet to see, the devil interacting with his next victim in the truest form of terror.

HMS: Is there any work that you consider to be an influence on The Passage?

AA: Stanley Kubrick and Stephen King are huge influences to me personally. I want to bring horror to life the way that they have. By paying close attention to detail and making sure whatever is on the screen is making you uncomfortable. We want to bring you the vibe of something like The Shining with a completely different concept.

HMS: In the indiegogo crowd funding campaign, The Passage is referred to as helping usher in a “New golden age of horror films.” Can you speak more to that? Do you feel horror films have moved away from the golden age of what they once were or do you see this project as a start to something new entirely?

AA: I think they have become something less than what they once were for the most part. Don’t get me wrong, I still think there are plenty of great horror films coming out, but they tend to be the flicks most people never hear about. For example, ‘House of The Devil’ or ‘Starry Eyes’ - both beautifully dark films. That is the kind of thing we’re going for. Although ‘The Passage’ is a short film, I think we have a chance to make people realize that there are scarier things to write about than some quiet guy with a weapon in the dark, or doors opening and closing on their own. Change it up for fuck sake.

HMS: Crowdfunding has become very prominent in the horror world as of late. Can you tell us more about your decision to go that route with your project and how such tools can connect the horror fans to those in the position to make the films themselves?

AA: I mean, I think it’s cool that people want to help us bring this to life. I couldn’t be more grateful for any contributions thus far. But no matter if we reach our funding goal or not we are making this film happen and I just think it’s cool that people can become a part of the journey.

HMS: Do you see yourself doing more with The Passage concept in the future or has it always been envisioned as a one-shot short?

AA: As of now I think it will remain a short. That’s just the way I’ve always seen this story. I never wanted it to become a drawn out film that allows you to accept the monster and forget about being afraid. So most likely it will stay short and sweet, but who knows.

HMS: You've made it clear in the indiegogo campaign that you wanna’ truly scare people with this film. Can you speak more to your process in deciding how to go about that? Do your own fears play a role in your creative projects?

AA: We want to bring something to the genre that will linger in your mind. We want to introduce people to our idea of hell. And we want to leave the viewer thinking about it in their own way, being afraid of something different in the film than the person sitting next to them. The original vision of the film came to me because of a nightmare I had that scared me half to death. Normally I wake up from a bad dream and just forget it, but this one stuck with me. I guess that’s a good sign.


HMS: How long has The Passage story been an interest of yours? Is it a long-running dream project or a clever idea that recently came to you?

AA: I’ve wanted to bring this story to the big screen for a while now, I wrote it over a year ago.

HMS: Can you tell us a little about how the Nightmare Film Crew came to be?

AA: Well, Nightmare Film Crew was the name I wanted for my video production company. It started out with me buying a camera and shooting music videos for bands, but my main focus and dream job has always been to make narrative films. It’s now become an actual core group of talented individuals that love horror films and I could not be happier calling them my crew.

HMS: The Passage clearly puts a lot of emphasis on respectable effects, especially of the practical “hands-on” variety. Over the years, glossy digital effects have infiltrated the horror world and taken focus off the artistic time-tested way of doing things and lessened progression in the practical field. How do you feel The Passage utilizes this classic approach to breathe new life into the genre?

AA: We are trying to stay away from digital effects all together in this film at least. I just think it’s unnecessary for the project. We are keeping it all practical because we want it to feel as real as possible. Keep it raw, with minimal gore. We won’t be relying on things like blood squirting everywhere to make people feel grossed out and we would rather you feel uncomfortable because of where the story is going.

HMS: Can you tell us more about how you feel being a horror fan first and foremost plays into creating a quality horror work? How does fandom transfer into making something of your own?

AA: I’d say being a huge horror fan helps out big time, especially since I’m a very picky one. I’m hard to scare at this point so I think it helps that I won’t accept a scene as being finished unless I’m freaked out by it in some way. Also being that this is my first horror film, I have a strong idea of what I want to release to the world since I have yet to do so.

HMS: Lastly, since horror fans tend to be a very passionate bunch, why don't you tell us what you love about the genre and what made you want to contribute your own work to it.

AA: What I love about a good horror flick is mainly the fact that scaring an audience is not an easy thing to do. I mean, truly frightening them to the point where they can’t get images of a certain scene out their minds. It’s easier to dig into what makes people laugh, or feel sad for a character, and I appreciate any film that can pull that off well too. My main thought on that topic is bringing something like true fear out of some people isn’t an easy task, and if you can do that you can basically do anything when it comes to writing a script.

HMS: Anthony, thank you once again for giving us all an opportunity to hear more about this project. We look forward to seeing more from it.

AA: No problem. Thank you!

You can get more info about the Passage here.

P.J. Griffin, HMS

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