At Days of the Dead, Cuzz Gekas and I met PJ Soles, one of my all time favorites. We talked to PJ about her career, including Stripes and Carrie. In turn, PJ told us about her newest project, The Show, an upcoming movie written for the screen and directed by Matt Russell. It is based on a short story by Bentley Little. PJ's description intrigued me and her exuberance sold me.
I contacted Matt and he graciously agreed to answer some questions. Today, I am running the first two questions.
Q-How did THE SHOW project get started?
MR-I first read "The Show" in Bentley Little's anthology THE COLLECTION, and I immediately saw the film in my head. I wrote an adaptation of it just as a personal exercise, but turned it in for a class assignment in film school a few months later. When my class responded strongly to it (I was told by one classmate that it gave him nightmares), I decided I would attempt to option it. Very quickly though, I discovered that Bentley is a tough guy to get ahold of. Unlike most people in this media-obsessed world, he's very reclusive. He has no website, no Twitter or Facebook, not even an e-mail address! It was only a happy coincidence that I came in contact with another horror novelist by the name of Scott Nicholson, who often corresponded with Bentley and was nice enough to forward my request to him (the long version of my quest to option the rights can be found on the film's blog at DeepDishCinema.blogspot.com). I received a letter from Bentley a couple of months later, and he and his agent were generous enough to grant me a $1 option, but the terms are such that I cannot make any profit from the finished film. I cannot sell copies on DVD or charge admission for screenings. I can, however, submit it to film festivals and the finished film will be posted in its entirety on the official website once it completes its festival run.
It's a big risk spending this much time, effort, and money on a short film, especially one that you cannot see profit on, but this is a story that I've been wanting to tell for quite some time, and I'm finally going to be able to exorcise this demon! I'm also very honored and gracious to be given the opportunity to bring Bentley's work to the screen. He has long been a great contributor to horror fiction (he's one of Stephen King's favorites), and I think his work deserves as much attention as it can get! If the finished film leads even one person to discover his work, I'll be happy.
Q-Can you tell us a little about the plot of THE SHOW?
MR-I can't divulge too much of the plot right now so I'm afraid I will have to resort to the official synopsis: One night while out with his best friend, Danny learns about The Show. A form of entertainment unlike anything he ever could have imagined, with an allure too tempting to resist. What their money buys them is more than just spectacle, but a glimpse into the darkest depths of human nature. As time passes, Danny soon realizes that his morbid curiosity may have consequences unlike any he could have foreseen. Consequences that will force him to face everything he's ever truly feared...
If you're one of those people who cannot wait, the story can be found in Bentley Little's book, THE COLLECTION. It's a very creepy and intense story that unflinchingly examines a lot of dark human issues while also scaring the hell out of you simultaneously, which is what great genre fiction is all about.
I hope you learned a bit about The Show Come back tomorrow for the next part. Until then, please check out TheShowmovie.com, The Show on Facebook and The Show's Twitter page.