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Coffee With: Jason Mills, a scary success
Halloween comes just once a year, but for Ladner filmmaker Jason Mills, scaring people is a year-round job.
After being featured by South Delta Leader in 2011 for creating his debut film, They Came From the Attic, the B-movie horror flick has been picked up by Lion's Gate Entertainment in the United Kingdom.
York Entertainment took his film to various festivals and it got noticed by the major movie syndication company. Unfortunately, it's not available here.
"The thing with low-budget movies is they're bigger in Europe," explains Mills. "Here, they're more Hollywood based."
But Lion's Gate is a gap in the door for Mills to try and push open for distribution in Canada.
It took 14 days to shoot They Came From the Attic, but years to finish in post-processing.
It was all shot locally, as well, using the heritage Kirkland House in Ladner and a farmhouse on Deas Island. He also used many local actors, such as Nicola Elbro from Ladner.
Perhaps appropriately, Mills got the idea of the film from a dream. He enjoys telling scary stories that are classically creepy but campy, fun and with a fair necessity of the suspension of disbelief.
"It about creatures in the attic of a house, so it's pretty unlikely to happen," he says laughing.
Mills enjoys horror so much that he usually decorates his home into a haunted house on Halloween, though he was so busy this year shooting his new movie, The Changing of Ben Moore, that he didn't have time.
The Changing of Ben Moore delves into the realm of The Blair With Project and Paranormal Activity by using a handicam angle to put the viewer into the perspective of a person in the movie.
"I really get into those movies. They're becoming bigger now. That's why I made The Changing of Ben Moore," he says, adding it's quite a bit scarier than his first movie.
The latest script he's writing right now is called Question Mark and it's going to be filmed in Hope.
He will be shooting the sequel to They Came From the Attic in Ladner in 2013.
"My brother (Simon) works with me, too. He does the special effects and all the computer animation, so it's huge having him," he says.
"There's a really cool scene in The Changing of Ben Moore where a guy rips an arm off somebody because he's possessed and it's awesome."
Although Mills has his films distributed in the U.K., he prefers to shoot everything in B.C.
"I love Ladner, I like shooting my movies here."