2015-08-13 / Front Page

Local artist to make horror film

By Ben Meiklejohn Staff Writer

An image for “The Vanity” portrays the horror film’s main character, Haggar. Biddeford resident Jakk Blood is crowdfunding for the project and has a September deadline to raise enough money to make the film. (Courtesy image) An image for “The Vanity” portrays the horror film’s main character, Haggar. Biddeford resident Jakk Blood is crowdfunding for the project and has a September deadline to raise enough money to make the film. (Courtesy image) BIDDEFORD – A local filmmaker is hoping to raise $7,000 to fund his first feature film, “The Vanity.” The film’s producer and director, Jakk Blood, is using crowdfunding website Indiegogo.com to gain support for the project.

Crowdfunding is a form of online fundraising where ideas are pitched through social media sites to networks of friends and associates.

Blood has until Sept. 14 to raise the full amount. If the full amount is not raised, all donations will be refunded and the project will receive no funding. As of the Courier’s deadline, the campaign has raised $243.

Blood has worked on other projects in recent years, including Damien Zygote’s “Amish Devil” and a music video Blood produced for local rockers 13 Winters.

“I’ve worked on everybody else’s project, but this is my first feature film,” Blood said. “I have a great team working with me from my past projects.”

A professional photographer for eight years, Blood said he hopes to infuse his photography talents into the film.

“My goal is to make every scene look like a painting,” Blood said. “Everyone always tells me my photos look like clips from a movie … I want to make each frame look like something interesting … It’s not technically a silent film, but it’s going to be a visual film – not much dialogue.”

Blood said the story idea is something he’s been kicking around for four years: “old-school horror and terror mixed with a fairy tale setting.”

The plot follows a desolate female hermit, Haggar, who lives in dark and dreary woods and discovers a set of magic gemstones, which violently throw her into a bright fairytale world where she is beautiful. When a creature in that world discovers that she is not supposed to be there, he takes the stones from her, sending her back to the woods.

“But because she broke the rules of worlds, now the woods are not only dark and dreary, but horrible,” Blood said. “The whole movie is her trying to find her way back (to the fairytale land).”

Blood said he sent some ideas to Vixie Vega of Bangor, with whom he had worked in “Amish Devil,” and wrote the script for the movie.

“She was a star of ‘Amish Devil,’ but while she was there, she did so much more than just acting,” Blood said. “I sent her some ideas, and she sent me a couple of incredible ideas for a script.”

The script is more of a psychological thriller than a blood-and-guts horror film, he said.

“It’s not so much shock. It’s going on a journey with her through it, how she mentally degrades. I want to take the audience on her trip,” he said. “It’s like having something that, for you, makes you happy and then having that get torn from you and following the mind and how it degrades. Hopefully it will speak to a wide variety of people.”

The main character, Haggar, will be played by Biddeford actor Sarah Forbes.

“She has a very other-worldly beauty that would go along well with a fairytale setting,” Blood said.

Forbes, who lives in Biddeford and graduated from Thornton Academy, said being part of the movie appealed to her because she likes horror and she also likes Blood’s filmmaking.

“What he’s trying to do with ‘The Vanity’ really speaks today with what is going on with people and trying to reach the perfect beauty and everything,” Forbes said. “How it can be ripped away easily without even really noticing.

“I know this movie is going to be over the top and knowing Jakk, it will be a scary one.”

Blood said donations to Indiegogo.com will fund operations because he already owns the equipment he needs to make the film. The film will be “heavy” on special effects, but not computer-generated imagery, which Blood said can be costly.

“Everything is going into production. We’re going to be very frugal and try to do everything ourselves, as much as we can, with special effects,” he said.

Blood said since the film crew is not getting paid, he also wants to make sure they don’t incur personal costs of their own and are reimbursed for travel and materials.

“They’re already volunteering their time. If at least we can be able to pay gas for them or feed them,” said Blood, “especially actors – actors like to get fed.”

A portion of the funds will also be used to rent a theater for the premier showing of “The Vanity” at Cinemagic IMAX Theater in Saco, he added.

Blood said he hopes to demonstrate that you don’t need a studio to make a film and you don’t need to move to Hollywood.

“I’m totally content with staying in Maine and making movies,” he said.

In some ways, Blood speaks of his passion for filmmaking as if he were Haggar with her magical gemstones.

“It’s really cool to make your own worlds and share that with other people and have them build it with you and get a final product to show other people,” he said. “I want to get as many local people as possible and create a really cool world that everyone gets to live in for a while.”

Whether Blood gets a chance to live the fairy tale or remains in the woods will depend on if his Indiegogo campaign is successful.

“I do believe I’ll be able to reach the goal,” Blood said. “A lot of people are posting about it, so I think there are some people totally down to contribute, but I do want to see it get closer to the goal.”

For more information on “The Vanity” crowdfunding campaign, visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ horrortales-the-vanity-a-maine-horror-film#/story.

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