“The market provides an opportunity for storytellers to meet and make valuable connections with industry executives, financiers, producers, programmers, and other key parties who can potentially support and partner on their projects,” according to Variety.
Much thanks to IFP Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival for granting us this opportunity.
Mark, Becca, Taylor, and C.J. are excited to meet fellow filmmakers and spread the word about Case Unsolved!
Production is wrapped on the 12-minute proof-of-concept for Case Unsolved. THANK YOU to the amazing cast-and-crew for helping us nail Phase One of this wild and wonderful horror adventure!
And special shoutout to these super stars!
Costume designer Jessi Sheehan, Steadicam Op Tom Szklarski, costumer Kelsey Cox, AC Laura Flick, Gaffer Guillaume Le Mezo, PA Andrew Weiler, HMU Artist Bri Thoma, Art PA Miranti Urbaningrum, set builder Jeff Loftus, graphic designer Aireen Arellano, casting director Trent Raffaelli, sound design team Bryen Hensley, Josh Meyers, and Katie Waters!
GHOSTESS WITH THE MOSTEST
Makeup artist Antanisha Stokes killed it with her brush skills in bringing our ghost to life for our Case Unsolved sample reel. And actress Megan Hovde brought that death stare for days!
So It Begins
The Case Unsolved team will use the prize package from our Pitch at Industry Days win to shoot a 10-15 minute proof-of-concept for this project. We’re hard at work right now assembling the sets, and we’ve encountered some sweet finds at Chicago prop rental house, Zap Props.
Nothing inspires me more than old stuff that seethes with backstory, so I had a DAY combing through their archive with production designer Mina Fitzpatrick!
We had such a time pulling together set pieces for our “creepy abandoned warehouse” look. THANKS, Zap Props!
Case Unsolved Wins!
The Case Unsolved team pitched our project at IFP Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival’s Pitch at Industry Days, a competition in which five narrative feature projects pitch to a live audience. A panel of judges awarded the winner with a prize package of production services valued at $20,000. Check out our presentation in the video above to hear more details about our feature film and why we’re making it. (Spoiler alert: we won!)
Writing Case Unsolved
It began with a very impassioned conversation with Jonathan, my partner of 4 years.
“You’ve never seen Unsolved Mysteries?!” I shrieked.
“Is this another Nickelodeon thing?” he asked as he typed away at his laptop in bed. (It was impassioned on one side, anyway.) I grunted, grabbed the iPad, and showed him a YouTube clip of the old 1980s show, its eerie and insistent theme song, and its unsettling if cheesy recreations of paranormal events.
He took a second to examine the spooky trappings of this broadcast TV creepfest. Ghosts and demons and fog machines, oh my! He nodded his head in casual agreement, like tasting a not-altogether-bad fast-food soup. “I can see how it would’ve scared a 5-year-old.”
“ALL the five-year-olds,” I said. “It SCARED us and scarred us, a whole generation.”
We saw a comment listed on YouTube. “I still remember the tip hotline number,” the anonymous user reminisced.
Jonathan laughed. “Wouldn’t that be funny if you dialed the tip hotline number and there were creepy ghost sounds on the other end of the line?”
My eyes widened with a new fervor. “Yeah, and then afterward, the ghosts from Unsolved Mysteries started coming after US?” The cogs ticked. “That’s not a bad idea,” I said.
Shortly after, I wrote Case Unsolved in a 48-hour blaze over a hot summer weekend. To get myself in the mood, I built a Spotify playlist and filled it with instrumental cues from some of horror’s most iconic soundtracks. (“Laurie’s Theme” from Halloween. The shivery synth pleasures of Disasterpeace’s It Follows score.) I knew I was onto something when night fell and I didn’t bother to turn on the living room lights. By Page 45, I was fully immersed in the creepy vibes of the story, giving myself goosebumps, and jumping at the slightest vibration or ding from my phone. I offset the goosebumps by writing my own version of a banter-y His Girl Friday-style couple. I was loving every second of the process.
By Sunday night, I wrote every screenwriter’s favorite words: “FADE TO BLACK. END.” I smiled… went to bed… and the Unsolved Mysteries theme started clanging around in my head. I couldn’t sleep that night, both from the excitement of the new script, and from the terror that a ghost from the old show might actually be looming over me. It was the most satisfying bit of insomnia I think I’ll ever have in my life.