Local Haunts

Los Angeles, California | Film Feature

Comedy, Drama

Katie Sanderson

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $26,745 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

109 supporters | followers

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Local Haunts follows three vampire friends in a quaint bizarre beach town. Its unique blend of horror, comedy, and supernatural elements provides hope through themes of grief, love, redemption, and coming to terms with the past.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

Our goal for Local Haunts is to grapple with the topics of mortality, grief, and loneliness through the lens of a fun beach vampire film with eccentric characters and an imaginative world.

The Story

Set in the bizarre beach community of Lost Cove, Local Haunts follows three vampires as they navigate the complexities of immortality and grapple with the weight of their past lives, lost loves, and time-torn connections.

Phaedra, a brash starlet, moonlights as a "vampire" horror host for local television. Tuesday, an aloof wallflower, is burdened by her past as she navigates a new relationship. And Katrina, a wise and supportive sage, acts as the elder that they go to for comfort and guidance. 

As Samhain—their old-world celebration of Halloween—draws near, the rift between Lost Cove and the spirit world thins. With this comes figures from beyond the veil, bringing back memories of past lives, not all of which are fondly remembered. 

Phaedra, Tuesday, and Katrina lounging in their pad

The rough idea for Local Haunts had been brewing around in my head for about a year before we began the writing process. The intent from the beginning was to take the melancholic and sincere tone of a slice-of-life film and apply it to the vampire genre, all while infusing elements of camp and b-movie cheese. What draws us to the vampire genre above all is the more human ramifications of immortality. What would it be like for a person to deal with an ever-evolving life, constantly faced with impermanent relationships and the grief that will inevitably follow? It isn't unlike the life of any one of us, just compounded on itself for decades to centuries. While that is a gloomy idea, our other intention is to never lose the film's buoyant tone, approaching these topics with style, playfulness, and sincerity.

As a writer and director, I'm heavily inspired by the films of Jim Jarmusch, Richard Linklater, and Wim Wenders. One thing that they all share is their ability to let the characters inform the plot. They aren't afraid to sit in stillness with their characters and speak volumes with their everyday activities and seemingly small moments.

We aim to achieve an interesting mixture of high and low art with vibrant characters, an otherwordly setting, and a message that resonates with the viewer. A film that ultimately lingers with an audience and gives them an intangible feeling of togetherness and melancholic warmth.


Local Haunts is a genre-bending film that merges elements of gothic horror, 60's exotica, B-movie cheese, surf culture, hangout cinema, and punk rock to create a unique and thrilling viewing experience. While a lot of our inspiration leans on classic horror tropes and subject matter, the predominant tone throughout the film leans on its comedic, dramatic, and romantic elements. 

Local Haunts is comparable to films like Fallen Angels and Repo Man in terms of its genre-bending style. Like Mystery Train and Twin Peaks, Local Haunts has a strong sense of place and uses the setting of a small coastal town as another character in the film. The film explores the unique culture and community of the town and how the supernatural elements of the story intersect with the everyday lives of the characters. Similarly to Only Lovers Left Alive, Local Haunts explores the theme of immortality and the complexities that come with it.

The vamp's watering hole, Gazi's Point

While it's our hope that every human on the planet will resonate with Local Haunts, we have a few specific audiences in mind.

First, the horror community! In all seriousness, our #1 goal for the reception of the film is for it to achieve some level of horror cult status. This is why we're so thrilled to have actors like Sky Elobar and Alexander Folk on board, who have thrived in films like The Greasy Strangler and Fright Night Part II, films of this exact caliber. While niche, this community is incredibly loyal and rabid for content.

The second group is folks in their 20s and 30s. We feel like our generation will resonate with the themes of loneliness and isolation while also reveling in the fun and camp as well. These characters are fully formed and complex with real angst and emotion, but they also know how to have a good time.

An older audience would resonate as well. Beyond the nostalgic nature of the film's aesthetic, we believe they will also respond to the grappling with age, grief, and mortality. Not to mention that vampires, at their core, are just old people.

Tuesday's nightmares

If you've made it this far, you're probably wondering how we expect to make a full-feature film with the grand total we plan to raise. We realize that this is feasibly how much we would need to get the ball rolling. Along with outside investors, grants, and our Seed & Spark donations, we feel like we will be in the perfect place to create the scrappy film we see in our heads. Above is a breakdown of what our Seed & Spark earnings will go to. Also, check out our wishlist tab to see a more thorough breakdown of these needs.

Festivals, festivals, festivals! They provide a great opportunity to get our film in front of a diverse and engaged audience, as well as generate buzz and build a fan base.

This is our first feature film and yes, this is an advantage! A study by the Sundance Institute found that first-time feature films were more likely to be acquired for distribution than films from more established directors. The study found that 50% of first-time feature films that premiered at Sundance were acquired for distribution, compared to 35% of films from more established directors.

We would love to submit Local Haunts to prestigious festivals such as Sundance, Toronto International Film Festival, and SXSW. These festivals have a strong reputation for showcasing innovative and unique films. We would also cast a larger net by submitting to genre-specific festivals like the Fantasia International Film Festival, Screamfest Horror Film Festival, and Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, as they are great opportunities for our horror dramedy to get exposure.

Once the festival circuit has ended, we plan to release the film on any streaming platforms we can get our hands on. This will provide a wider reach for the film and allow audiences all over the world to watch it. Our team has been lucky enough to have films premiere at the various festivals below and we are hoping to widen that reach with Local Haunts!

We want to express a huge 'thank you very much' for looking at our crowdfunder campaign. We are beyond excited to bring the story of Local Haunts to life and we couldn't do it without the support of people like you. We truly believe in this project and the impact it can have on its audience. We are the closest we've ever been to making this film a reality. We're almost 100% cast and we have a passionate and talented crew assembled. This campaign is imperative for us to get the ball rolling on production. 

We would love to have you along for the journey as we work towards making Local Haunts a reality. Your contribution plays a vital role in bringing this story to life. If you so desire, please share this with a friend or two. Send them to our Instagram or this campaign page. Or become a Local Haunts ambassador! Help us spread the word and together, we can make this film happen. Thank you again for your support!

 

Wishlist

Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Covid Protocol

Costs $500

We will be taking Covid testing precautions prior to our set days.

Cast

Costs $7,000

Help us pay our talented cast!

Crew

Costs $3,500

Though everyone is getting equity of the project, we'd like to pay day rates as well.

Location, location, location!

Costs $1,500

This list includes beaches, an eclectic "vamp pad" an auto body shop, and a tiki bar!

HMU, Wardrobe, & Blood

Costs $2,000

Hair, makeup, and wardrobe bring these vampires to life (or death)

Vampires may not eat, but we sure do

Costs $1,500

Help us keep filming through the dead of night! We need snacks and meals to keep us going.

Post Production Process

Costs $3,000

Time to cut this thing together!

Premiere Venue

Costs $1,000

We're hoping to have several screenings of Local Haunts, with a premiere in LA!

Lights, Camera, Lenses, Action

Costs $8,000

We will be renting camera lenses, sound equipment, and various g&e.

Art Department, Props, Set Dec

Costs $3,000

Help us make the vamp pad as vampy as it can be! The tiki bar the most tikified!

Festival Fees

Costs $1,000

We are curating a list of festivals to submit to so we can expand our audience to get eyes on it!

About This Team

Who We Are

Jordan McLaughlin | Director / Co-writer

Jordan is a writer/director interested in making genre-fluid films with characters who are bizarre and otherworldly, but also fiercely human. A graduate of the UNC School of the Arts, Jordan has written and directed a number of live-action and animated shorts. His previous works include the animated shorts They Bite!, a whacked-out horror comedy, and Blue & Hues, a music-driven heist adventure. Both films went on to screen at festivals, including the Cucalorus Film Festival and the Riverrun Film Festival. 

Savannah Gisleson | Co-Writer / Production Designer

Savannah is a writer, film director, and New Orleans native. A University of North Carolina School of the Arts graduate, she has written/directed many short films and music videos, including an international project in Berlin. Her past work has screened at festivals across the U.S., including the Austin Film Festival. She recently completed her first feature film, Apocalypse A-Go-Go.

Katie Sanderson | Producer

Katie is a passionate filmmaker with a drive to raise the standard of independent content. She has a knack for bringing creative projects to fruition and firmly believes that successful films can be achieved at any level with the right team and resources. Katie's collaboration with Jordan began with her production of his short film, American Waste, a live-action hangout dramedy that received exceptional reviews from indie critics such as Film Threat and the UK Film Review. Her portfolio includes a diverse range of films that have been showcased at over 50 film festivals. With a BFA in producing from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Katie now resides in Los Angeles, California, where she works as a studio logistics manager at a well-established marketing agency.

Isaiah Wolfe | Co-Producer

Isaiah attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, graduating in 2015. In the years following, he produced his first feature documentary film, Sud Yod, about the Muay Thai fighter's journey through life in the slums of rural Thailand. After moving to Los Angeles in 2018, Isaiah worked in production at the accredited animation studio, Titmouse (Big Mouth, The Midnight Gospel) and has worked on a wide variety of projects from independent documentaries to animated feature films.

Ariano Trevino Angelone | Cinematographer

Ariano is an award-winning director of photography raised around the industry his entire life. His work has been recognized by the ASC, The Academy, and EnegraCAMERIMAGE. Growing up in New York and Los Angeles, he knows what it takes to survive and thrive creatively in the film world. He has worked amongst industry professionals for years and continues to produce work regularly. 

Bonnie Von Duyke | 1st AD 

Bonnie von Duyke is a multi-talented artist with a deep passion for various forms of art, including classical violin, acting, and film production. Hailing from the East Coast, Bonnie discovered her love for filmmaking at an early age, creating projects alongside her eleven siblings. Her skills as a musician and filmmaker have gained recognition across various networks and streaming services. Bonnie has produced several music videos and short films that have received global acclaim. As a Producing fellow at the American Film Institute's graduate program, she is thrilled to continue her education and looks forward to contributing to the team that brings future feature films to life.

 

Sylvana Gibson | Hair

Sylvana is a born & bred LA girl. She is a hairstylist, makeup artist, and wigmaker. She graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with a BFA in wig & makeup design. She has designed the hair & makeup for a number of short films and music videos and has worked within the LA theatre industry. She has recently completed a Certificate of Achievement in Cosmetology. 

Scott McLaughlin | Composer

Scott is an award-winning Composer/Percussionist/Keyboardist, Scott McLaughlin has composed music for national television, radio, short narrative and documentary films, podcasts, and live applications. As a Drummer/Percussionist, Scott has toured the United States and Canada. 

Current Team

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