Panel: Getting Started in Cosmic Horror Filmmaking
Take a peek behind the curtain of independent filmmaking with Guest of Honor Dennis Paoli and other visiting filmmakers. What are the challenges and benefits of doing cosmic horror as a starting film? How does one even take the first step? Learn how to begin, what you need to know to set yourself up for success, and what to watch out for.
Screenwriter of 2023's Suitable Flesh, directed by Joe Lynch and based on H. P. Lovecraft's "The Thing on The Doorstep", Dennis Paoli achieved his greatest enduring cult popularity by penning the wickedly witty scripts for two superior 80s H.P. Lovecraft adaptations directed by noted horror genre icon Stuart Gordon: the terrific Re-Animator and its equally excellent follow-up From Beyond. Paoli and Gordon first crossed paths working for the experimental Organic Theater in Chicago. Besides those two films, Paoli has also written The Pit and the Pendulum, Castle Freak, Dagon and the Masters of Horror episodes "H.P. Lovecraft's Dreams in the Witch-House" and "The Black Cat" for Gordon. Paoli has done several screenplays for prolific low-budget movie producer Charles Band: a segment of the horror anthology Pulse Pounders, Spellcaster, Meridian, and Ghoulies II. He collaborated with Larry Cohen and Nicholas St. John on the script for Abel Ferrara's supremely creepy and underrated sci-fi/horror winner Body Snatchers. In addition to those credits, Paoli wrote the gruesome The Dentist for Brian Yuzna. Outside of writing screenplays, Dennis Paoli has a regular day job as a Writing Instructor and Coordinator of the Hunter College Writing Center at Hunter College in New York. He's especially knowledgeable on Irish literature and has taught a course on Gothic fiction.
Cody Goodfellow has written nine novels and five collections of short stories, and edits the hyperpulp zine Forbidden Futures, and has won three Wonderland Book Awards. His comics work has been featured in Mystery Meat, Creepy, Slow Death Zero and Skin Crawl. As an actor, he has appeared in numerous short films, TV shows, music videos by Anthrax and Beck, and a Days Inn commercial. He wrote, co-produced and scored the Lovecraftian hygiene films Baby Got Bass and Stay At Home Dad, which can be viewed on YouTube.
Born in Vero Beach, Florida, Gregory is a self-proclaimed “Military Brat”. Having spent a great deal of his formative years on Air Force bases oversees, he began to see the world, people, and stories around him with his own unique perspective. A perspective in which the most compelling narratives lie not in the triumph of the Super Hero but in the invincibility of the Human Spirit.
Joseph Scrimshaw is a filmmaker, writer, and comedian based in Los Angeles. His film, "The Narrator," starring Phil LaMarr won the Silver Award for Best Experimental short at the Portland Festival of Cinema, Animation & Technology. He’s delighted to be back at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival after showing his 2022 film, "Unboxing The Cosmos," and multiple appearances with Tim Uren as the comedy cultists, Chuck & Dexter. Joseph’s also written for television and radio, performed across the country as an actor and stand-up, and did a commercial with the monkey from Friends. A true highlight of a varied career.
Tedd Walley is the creator of the graphic novel series Mathilda: The Forces of Evil vs. The 3rd Grade, and has written Horror movies and short stories. He is a Movie artist for Netflix’s Point Blank and CBS’ NCI: New Orleans, an Artist for The Misfits, Blowfly, Genitorturers, and Endless Night Vampire’s Ball. He is a two time NISOD award winner for college art education.