On a morning walk, an elderly man finds a lost mitten and begins a paranoid search for its owner.
Writer/director: Amanda Row
Producers: Amanda Row, Justin Oakey
I wrote and directed this film for the ABCs of Death 2 contest.
The challenge was to create a short horror film using the letter M as inspiration. I had just started work directing a series of nightmare sequences for the Netflix original program Hemlock Grove and, being the young buck I am, felt I needed to prove to my peers that I was creepy enough for the job.
With very little time and essentially no budget, I needed to think of something short and simple that could chill an audience without using the standard blood and guts that a lot of horror does today.
I am a lover of scary stories and a believer that those with the most powerful imaginations are the ones most terrified by them. It’s not about what you see, it’s about what you don’t see – the premise for this short was born from that assertion.
I enlisted a few friends to help me out: my perfect lead David Boyce, whom I met serendipitously years earlier while waiting for a ferry and ended up the star of my fourth year thesis film in 2010. His adorable face and captivating eyes were the first thing I thought of when this character was conceived.
A friend and talented cinematographer James Klopko was up for the job – due to work on previous films with him I knew he was not only good at making a handheld camera look cinematic but also great at working with very minimal resources.
My good friend and long-time colleague Mark Matusoff offered his services as my sound recordist and designer. Interestingly enough, the soundtrack was created by messing around with a variety of sounds a friend of mine, Laura Bates, made by abusing a violin.
Then my long-time partner in crime Justin Oakey leant his skills as an editor to finish up the final product.
I also need to mention that the one piercing note at the end came from the lungs of a talented opera singer friend of mine: Robin Whiffen.
The film unfortunately did not come anywhere close to winning the ABCs of Death contest, but it certainly gave my co-workers confidence in my ability to make the hairs stand up on the backs of their necks.
About Amanda Row
Amanda Row is a writer and director born and raised in Toronto with a special flair for terror.
Directing her own films since she was a child, she graduated from Ryerson University’s film studies program in 2011 following six years as a working actor with formal training.
Since her graduation she’s directed and written a prohibition-era iPhone game with legendary comic book artist Ken Lashley (DC Comics, Marvel, LucasFilm) for the game company Transgaming Inc.
Following that success, she briefly worked as a production designer due to a heavy visual arts background. She also wrote and directed a series of successful independent shorts, commercials and music videos.
Her short films and music videos grabbed the attention of director David Straiton (House, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Fringe) which earned her a spot directing a special nightmare unit for the Emmy Award-winning Netflix original series Hemlock Grove.
Her work impressed the likes of director Eli Roth and producer Eric Newman and led to more work in the horror genre.
While the subject matter of her work tends to err on the side of creepy and unreal, she uniquely marries it with a realist approach and a photographer’s eye for composition.