New short film website with a gruesome edge launched in Belfast. Click Play Audio for a podcast interview
Screaming Room.co.uk is a new website from suspense flick enthusiasts Bill Taylor and Brian Mulholland – two young men with an unhealthy obsession for all things frightening and a determination to pass it on to whoever they come into contact with.
The website currently hosts eight short films and one music video produced by the dastardly duo and was recently featured on the website of renowned horror magazine, Fangoria, as one to watch in 2009.
The concept for Screaming Room was developed after Taylor and Mulholland entered a short film competition. Their love of the horror genre inspired them to continue filming, and soon they had enough short films to warrant creating a host website of their own.
The films featured on the site, from Scaredy Pants and Master Bates Hotel to Horror 101, betray Taylor and Mulholland’s own wicked sense of humour, and tackle such stock horror storylines as the haunted apartment block and séances gone wrong.
The filmmakers have long harboured a fondness for the freaky. And they're not the only ones.
In 2008 director George Clarke and his Yellow Fever Productions released the award-winning feature Battle of the Bone, whilst other Northern Irish production companies got in on the horror act with the likes of Shrooms and Freakdog.
More recently big budget Hollywood flick Twilight attracted a whole new audience to the horror genre. Taylor and Mulholland believe that the demand for the gruesome has never been stronger.
'I think the appeal of horror is escapism,' suggests Mulholland. 'You go to the cinema to go through some range of emotion and escape into the screen. When I was a kid I would sit in front of the screen and the world outside would disappear.'
'But horror is one of the easiest ways to get noticed in the film industry,' Taylor adds, 'because for very little money you can produce something quite spectacular.'
'If you're just starting off, you can't have car chases, but you can have a girl alone in a house,' continues Mulholland. 'From the off you've got light and sound, which you can then manipulate to scare someone.'
The films hosted on Screaming Room were produced with virtually no budget and with the bare minimum of equipment, and manpower. Taylor and Mulholland are now calling on other first-time filmmakers to take advantage of their online platform to host their own short films.
'It's one of the things that hopefully Screaming Room will tackle - to get everybody together under the one website,' explains Mulholland.
'We would love nothing more than that people go out there with their cameras, mobile phones, whatever,' Taylor admits, 'and record anything that they think is scary and will entertain people, and we'll put them on the site, no questions asked.'
Log on to Screaming Room.co.uk for more information on how to submit your films and watch others, and to keep abreast with news from the Screaming Room HQ.