Massachusetts Native Talks about Writing and Hollywood

Massachusetts Native Talks about Writing and Hollywood

by Jason Harris

J.P. Ouellette

J.P. Ouellette has worked on a number of films in Boston such as The Box and The Fighter. Working in the city allowed him to “learn filmmaking from some of the best crews around” while being at home.

“The mix of local and Hollywood talent brought my knowledge of film to the next level,” Ouellette said. Being an assistant to great storytellers like Richard Kelly was better than grad school.”

Kelly was the writer and director of such movies as The Box and Donnie Darko.

Ouellette started working in Hollywood after taking a risk in order to pursue his writing career. He states that “Los Angeles is the best place to be for an emerging writer.”

“The whole city is dedicated to the film business, and there are endless opportunities here to build your resume.”

His latest film, Captured, which he produced, wrapped in June and is scheduled for release in October of 2013, which is “a perfect time” to release it, Ouellette said. It’s about a rock band that goes off to shoot a music video where an escaped convict becomes obsessed with them.

“It is a classic slasher flick with a lot of psychological twists. It blends genres, and is made for the true horror fan who is tired of the same old thing.”

Ouellette became involved with Captured when writer and director Joe Arias hired him to write new drafts of the script.

“It took us (a lucky) 13 drafts to get the shooting script ready. It was the hardest writing sessions either one of us has been apart of, but it was worth it, this story will blow your mind!”

Captured took three weeks to film, but it was in the works for two years since Arias came up with the film’s concept, Ouellette said. He is in the process of working on the sound editing, special effects, and the score now.

“It’s been quite a labor of love. It’s all very exciting to see something you help create come together.”

Along with finishing up Captured, he is producing another horror movie, Do Not Watch.

“Due to the high-concept of this project, the synopsis is being kept under wraps.”

Not only has Ouellette worked on more than 20 movies in his career, you can take a look at his Internet Movie Database profile, to see everything that he has worked on, but he has also found the time to write a novel, 2501. His writing and this story’s style was inspired by Arthur C. Clarke and George Orwell. Its “hard science-fiction blended with political overtones is something everyone can get behind.” The e-book can be purchase on Amazon by clicking here.

It originally started out as a script idea, but “it was way too involved for the screen at that time.”

“I really had to dig into the characters and the science in order to find my story. Funny enough, the book now represents the outline for the proposed film version.”

He is still looking for the right Hollywood screenwriter to adapt 2501. He could adapt it himself, but he wants to step back and let someone else take care of it.

“The projected budget for this Blockbuster is over $50 million, and that is not in my price range … yet.”

He “would love Steven Spielberg to direct [2501] because of the Stanley Kubrick feel of the story.” If that happens he would love to be on-set, which he would consider “a dream project for sure.”

He does have an outline for another book, but his screenwriting schedule is keeping him from working on it.

“With 2501, I had to isolate myself while traveling in Mexico, writing the first draft freehand while sitting on the steps of the Mayan Ruins. It is the only way to get a novel done in this distracting day and age.”

Ouellette has a number of directors such as John Carpenter, J.J. Abrams, Duncan Jones, and Kelly, who has influenced him. He says that Kelly’s film, Donnie Darko, is the reason he went to film school, he said.

He has worked with many directors and actors, and wants to work with many more.

“They all have their own style to this art, and I love learning from them.”

He doesn’t have a dream project. All he wants to do is “to keep making great movies, and create opportunities to make more of them.”

‘Terror and Cheap Thrills’ in New Movie ‘Barricade’

‘Terror and Cheap Thrills’ in New Movie ‘Barricade’

by Stacey Longo

Barricade (2012), the latest offering from WWE Studios, stars Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) as Terrence Shade, a recent widower who finds himself struggling to bond with his two children after her death. He takes the kids to a mountain cabin to experience a white Christmas, but what waits for them there is less ho-ho-ho and more ho-ho-horror.

After a cozy evening by the fire followed by a snowball fight in the morning, the Shades soon realize that something’s not quite right. All three of them are sick, but Terrence is unable to drive them all in to town for help, as their vehicle has been buried in snow by a blizzard. Terrence, his daughter and son are forced to hole up in the gloomy cabin, where nothing is as it seems. Terror and cheap thrills ensue.

This straight-to-video fright fest wasn’t bad for what can only be classified as ‘B’ horror. The creepy music plays up to sudden “gotcha!” moments, and a few times, I laughed at myself for jumping. I did find some of the apparent inconsistencies frustrating, but as the movie developed a Jacob’s Ladder feel, I realized that what I’d originally thought were consistency errors were in fact deliberate clues that helped play out the storyline. Once I accepted that not everything I was seeing was as it really happened, I was able to relax my OCD tendencies and enjoy the film more.

The role of concerned father trying to protect his kids is a stretch for McCormack, who is better known for comedic roles. He did fine, and I could feel his frustration at not being able to help his terrified and sick daughter and son. The children, played by Conner Dwelly (Passengers) and Ryan Grantham (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) were predictable as a preteen girl and younger brother, respectively, varying from irritating each other to providing sibling support.

Barricade, overall, isn’t going to win any Academy Awards, but it kept me interested. Definitely worth the buck at Redbox.

Barricade (2012), directed by Andrew Currie, is available on DVD on Sept. 25. It’s PG-13 and runs 82 minutes.

Sony Pictures to Debut Exclusive First Looks of CARRIE and EVIL DEAD at NY Comic Con

Press Release





Culver City, CA (September 18, 2012) – Sony Pictures will debut exclusive first looks at the highly anticipated upcoming films Carrie and Evil Dead at New York Comic Con on Saturday, Oct. 13 from the Javits Center.

The panel presentations for Carrie and Evil Deadwill take place between 3:45pm – 4:45 p.m. on October 13.  The Carrie panel will include the film’s stars, Chloë Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore, along with producer Kevin Misher and director Kimberly Peirce.  Evil Dead’s panel will include the film’s star, Jane Levy (Suburgatory), producer (and star of original) Bruce Campbell and director, Fede Alvarez.

Carrie is a reimagining of the classic horror tale about Carrie White (Chloë Grace Moretz), a shy girl outcast by her peers and sheltered by her deeply religious mother (Julianne Moore), who unleashes telekinetic terror on her small town after being pushed too far at her senior prom. Based on the best-selling novel by Stephen King and directed by Kimberly Peirce with a screenplay by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.  The film will be released nationwide on March 15, 2013.

In the much anticipated remake of the 1981 cult-hit horror film, Evil Deadfinds five twenty-something friends holed up in a remote cabin.  When they discover a Book of the Dead, they unwittingly summon up dormant demons living in the nearby woods, which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left intact to fight for survival.  Directed by Fede Alvarez, with a screenplay by Alvarez & Rodo Sayagues Mendez, the film will be released nationwide on April 12, 2013.

New York Comic Con is taking place from October 11- 14 at the Javits Center (655 West 34th Street, New York).  More information can be found at:

Shock Totem Publications to Release Short Story Collection

This Saturday Shock Totem will have on hand at its table at the fourth annual Killercon convention 50 paperback copies of Mercedes M. Yardley’s collection of 27 short stories, Beautiful Sorrows. This will be people’s chance to purchase a copy weeks before it’s official release.

Here is a description of the book from the Shock Totem website, “there is a place where sorrows pile up like snow and rest in your hair like cherry blossoms. Boys have wings, monsters fall in love, women fade into nothingness, and the bones of small children snap like twigs. Darkness will surely devour you—but it will be exquisitely lovely while doing so. Mercedes M. Yardley’s Beautiful Sorrows is an ephemeral collection encompassing twenty-seven short tales full of devastation, death, longing, and the shining ribbon of hope that binds them all together.”

The entire Shock Totem team, as well as some of their extended staff, will be on hand at the convention, and Yardley will be autographing and reading from her new collection.

According to Shock Totem’s editor K. Allen Wood, this Saturday will be nearly four years to the day that Yardley first submitted to the magazine. Since that day, Yardley has been a contributor to different issues of Shock Totem.

Killercon 4 happens in Las Vegas from Sept. 20 through 23.

If you can’t make it to Killercon, you can preorder the paperback version of Yardley’s collection on the Shock Totem website by clicking here. The site also states “it will be available in limited edition hardcover, paperback and e-book format.”

Author’s First Novel to Debut at Killercon

Author and New England Horror Writer member L.L. Soares first novel, Life Rage, will debut at Killercon in Las Vegas, happening from September 20 through 23. The novel is being published by Nightscape Press.

From the publisher’s website, “Sam Wayne is a psychologist who specializes in anger management. He’s very good at his job. Almost too good. In fact, he considers himself something of a miracle worker. A mad man is on the loose, ripping people apart with his bare hands. The police have no clues. Those who see him and survive never seem to make out his face. All except for one … Colleen has led a wasted life, bringing home a new man to her bed every night. Until that night. Witnessing her friend torn to pieces right before her eyes, she sees the murderer’s face clearly. She manages to escape, traumatized by what she’s seen, and keeps running until she falls into the arms of Jeremy Rust. An ex Hollywood playboy, Jeremy now hides out in a secluded beach house with his mysterious roommate, Viv. Viv has an insatiable hunger. Like Colleen, Viv never stays long with one partner. Because those who sleep with Viv never manage to live very long, once she finds the key to their soul. The number of murders keeps growing, until an eruption of rage begins to spread like an epidemic. Everywhere, crowds of people mindlessly rip each other apart. An event that will tie all these characters together in a final showdown of supernatural forces. But not everyone will survive the explosive fury of Life Rage!”

Life Rage will be available in trade paperback, and as an e-book for Nook and Kindle.

‘A Good Turnout’ for ‘Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye’ Reading

‘A Good Turnout’ for Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye Reading

by Barry Dejasu

Author Paul Tremblay reading from Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye. Photo by Barry Dejasu.

About 15 people attended author and NEHW member Paul Tremblay’s reading of his newest book, Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye, at the Brown University Bookstore Wednesday evening.

Tremblay mentioned to his listeners that his book’s title came from a song by Neutral Milk. While writing Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye, he didn’t limit himself to any particular direction for the book, but rather let the story unfold on its own.

During the Q & A, there were a number of questions about his craft, both for his current novel and for his writing in general. Two of the questions asked of him if he intentionally took inspiration for certain characters and plot devices from works by Pynchon and Flannery O’Connor, which he hadn’t.

At one point, Tremblay talked about how he is drawn to creating empathetic characters, rather than sympathetic ones, which incited a projected conversation with some would-be naysayers.

“I didn’t like that book, because I didn’t like the main character, ” one naysayer said before ending their statement with an expletive.

There were several other authors in attendance including Paul DiFilippo, Jack Haringa, and John Harvey to support Tremblay.

A number of his books sold including No Sleep ‘Till Wonderland.

Pictures from the Last Day at the Hebron Harvest Fair

The vendor pass we received on Thursday. Photo by Jason Harris.

A new set-up for the NEHW booth on Sunday at the Hebron Harvest Fair. Photo by Jason Harris.

The sign promoting Sunday’s authors. Photo by Jason Harris.

Alec Wallman, winner of last year’s NEHW raffle at the 2011 Hebron Harvest Fair, stopped by to say, “hello,” and to purchase 52 Stitches. Author Stacey Longo is in the background. Photo by Jason Harris.

NEHW member books on the table. Photo by Jason Harris.

A different view of the NEHW table. Photo by Jason Harris.

A front view of the NEHW table at the Hebron Harvest Fair. Photo by Jason Harris.

A front view of the NEHW table at the Hebron Harvest Fair. Photo by Jason Harris.

Author Reading at The Brown University Bookstore

Author and New England Horror Writer member Paul Tremblay will be reading from his newest novel, Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye, this Wednesday at the Brown University Bookstore.

Tremblay’ Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye was published last month by Chizine Publications. According to Cinema Knife Fight writer Barry Lee Dejasu, who also works in customer service at the Brown University Bookstore,  describes Tremblay’s book as a “strange, dystopian novel, [where] a man fulfilling his six-year time at Farm learns that his mother has dropped out of contact back in City and he begins a personal journey to try and find out just what happened to her.”

According to Amazon, “join Farm today! It’s only six years of your life! Farm is the mega-conglomerate food supplier for City, populated with rabidly bureaucratic superiors, antagonistic and sexually deviant tour guides dressed in chicken and duck suits, and farm animals illegally engineered for silence. City is sprawling, technocratic, and rests hundreds of feet above the coastline on the creaking shoulders of a giant wooden pier. When the narrator’s single mother, whom he left behind in City, falls out of contact, he fears the worst: his mother is homeless and subsequently to be deported under City to the Pier. On his desperate search to find his mother, he encounters ecoterrorists wearing plush animal suits, an election that hangs in the balance as the City’s all-powerful Mayor is infatuated with magic refrigerators and outlaw campaigns, and a wise-cracking, over-sexed priest who may or may not have ESP, but who is most certainly his deadbeat dad. Whether rebelling against the regimented and ridiculous nature of Farm life, exploring the all-too-familiar and consumer-obsessed world of City, experiencing the all-too-real suffering of the homeless in Pier, or confronting the secrets of his own childhood, Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye’s narrator is a hilarious, neurotic, and rage-filled Quixote searching for his mother, his own dignity, and the meaning of humanity.”

Tremblay, who lives outside of Boston, is the author of the novels The Little Sleep and No Sleep Till Wonderland. He has also authored the short story collections Compositions for the Young and Old and In the Mean Time, two novellas, and his essays and short fiction have appeared in the Los Angeles Times,  Five, and Best American Fantasy 3. He is the co-editor of four anthologies including Creatures: Thirty Years of Monster Stories (with John Langan).

Check out Tremblay’s website by clicking here.

The reading starts at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 12, at The Brown University Bookstore, which is located at 244 Thayer Street in Providence, RI  02912. The store’s phone number is  (401) 863-3168 if you have any questions.

Pictures from Friday and Saturday at the Hebron Harvest Fair

Author Kurt Newton reads to a group of people at the Hebron Harvest Fair. Photo by Jason Harris.

Artist Cheryl Normandie standing next to her work at the Hebron Harvest Fair.. Photo by Jason Harris.

The above picture is just one of many that will be in this post. If any pictures catch your eye, feel free to call Normandie, who lives in Brooklyn, Connecticut, at (860) 779-0827. All photos of her artwork were taken by Jason Harris.

Some of Normandie’s witches. Photo by Jason Harris.

A young fan enjoying the children’s book, Pookie and the Lost and Found Friend. Photo by Stacey Longo.

Author G. Elmer Munson signing a copy of his novel, Stripped. Photo by Jason Harris.

Author G. Elmer Munson signing a copy of his novel, Stripped. Photo by Jason Harris.

Author Stacey Longo taking time out to get her picture taken with a cow. Photo by Jason Harris.

Author Alan S. Kessler signing a copy of Satan Carol. Photo by Stacey Longo

Author Alan S. Kessler signing a copy of Satan Carol. Photo by Stacey Longo.

Author Rob Watts hanging out with some young fans. Photo by Stacey Longo.

Author Rob Watts getting a stern warning from Vernon Post Captain Austin Agnew for talking with some young fans. Photo by Stacey Longo.

Author Stacey Longo with Senator Richard Blumenthal at the NEHW booth at the Hebron Harvest Fair. Photo by Jason Harris.

Author Stacey Longo with Senator Richard Blumenthal at the NEHW booth at the Hebron Harvest Fair. Photo by Jason Harris.

Author G. Elmer Munson eating some chocolate covered bacon. Photo by Jason Harris.

Author Stacey Longo modeling a cane carved by a member of the Mystic Woodcarvers Club. Photo by Jason Harris.

Work by the Mystic Woodcarvers Club at the Hebron Harvest Fair. Photo by Jason Harris.

More work by the Mystic Woodcarvers Club. Photo by Jason Harris.

The NEHW table at the Hebron Harvest Fair. Photo by Jason Harris.