Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What Halloween Means To Me '14: Marcus Koch

Independent filmmaker's week rolls on with Marcus Koch.  I first became aware of his work when Chemical Burn sent me a screener of Fell (which I highly recommend), and in doing a little research for my review discovered "Hey, this was directed by the same guy that did 100 Tears!"  His contributions to indie horror don't stop at his directorial efforts, though.  Not by a long shot.  His great special effects work can be seen in a shit ton (yes, exactly one metric shit ton) of the best underground releases from the past decade and a half.  Most recently his skills helped bring the guts and gore to the first installment of the American Guinea Pig series, which will be premiering at the Housecore Festival in New Orleans.  So, Marcus, what does Halloween mean to you?

"Growing up, my parents were always all about watching horror movies, decorating for halloween, and taking my sister and I trick or treating; so Halloween has been ingrained into me all my life.
In Florida, we don't really have a change of seasons.  Its hot and muggy until it's cold for about a month in January, so we don't get to see the leaves change.  No Autumn colors there. But come closer to the end of October, you could feel a change in in the air.  It was less humid, and not sure what flower bloomed that time of year, but the air smelled sweet.  I remember seeing yard decorations going up; lots of ghosts made from pieces of sheets with eyes painted on them hanging in trees and pumpkins and  homemade tombstones filling people's yards.  Every year there was a haunted house at the mall, and I loved checking it out.  One year they had an entire Freddy Krueger House.  NOES 3 had just come out, and it was a lot of fun.  I wanted to do my own haunted houses.  When I was in 5th grade, I started making my front yard into a cemetery and making an enclosed little walk through to the front door with ratty torn sheets.  As I got into middle school, I kept making it bigger and bigger, so much that I built a 12 foot wall extension to the side of the house.  I built my first multiple walled maze to the front door, made all the gory props to go inside, and did bloody make up on my friends helping me run it.  I did a huge skull painting on the front wall.  It was so much that the city code enforcement tried to make us take it down.  (jerks)   
When I was 14, I happened to be in the right place at the right time, I was at the mall, and the store front that usually housed the haunts was boarded up.  It was Oct 3rd, and there was no sign of anything happening at all, but as I was walking by the next giant empty storefront  I saw two people inside taking measurements.  I stood there listening to them, and heard them say "haunted house".... so i went up and started talking to them. Turn out the local Girls Club was going to be taking over the Mall Haunt.  I told them what I do, what kinds of props I make, told them I've done my own mazes at my house, and somehow convinced them to let me make the floor plan and do the decorations and props.  The first year went over really well, and I wound up staying with them for the next 7 years.  Each year it grew bigger and bigger.  
Then about 10 years ago, when I was 27, I managed to get hooked up with a company that builds haunted attractions for Busch Gardens Tampa and some serious other haunts with budgets.  I started working out of town at other theme parks across the country like Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens in Virginia and Sea World San San Antonio.  We even build 3 haunts in Canada and over see all the area themeing,  This is what I do when I'm not making movies. 
Halloween always has and always will be a big part of my life.  When I'm not building them, I love traveling to other theme parks and privately own haunted attractions and going through their mazes"
9 more days'til Halloween, Halloween, Halloween.  9 more days 'til Halloween.  Silver Shamrock.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...