Adam Reider is a Montreal filmmaker about to take one giant bound forward into the realm of feature length films. He’s worked hard and earned accolades for his short films that have appeared in Just for Laughs and won prizes at film festivals around the US and Canada. Now, he’s launched a Kickstarter campaign to generate seed money for his first full-length piece, Woodland Grey, a horror film featuring the legendary Bill Moseley.
Reider explains that the film is about a hermit who saves the life of a hiker in the forest by bringing her back to his cabin. They develop a tense friendship, but before she leaves, she discovers something horrible behind his backwoods home.
Hermits seem to be more in our consciousness these days, following the recent publication of Into the Woods about the Maine hermit, Chris Knight. Reider knows exactly what I’m talking about. “The film is inspired by the North Pond hermit,” Reider says. “The idea of a hermit is an interesting way to live and think. But something I realized quickly is that a movie needs more than one person, unless you’re Robert Zemeckis and that movie is Tom Hanks on an island. I thought what element can I introduce into his life to make it more compelling? As someone who loves creepy movies, I wanted to make this creepy as well. It’s very much about the guilt that people carry with them through their lives.”
The story has attracted considerable attention from actors, producers, and even Fangoria magazine. In particular, Reider is excited for Bill Moseley. “It’s so cool,” he affirms. “When I met with the producers, they asked ‘Who do you want in the movie? Give us your wish list.’ Moseley was top of the list.”
Reider also enlisted the help of Jesse Toufexis as a cowriter. The two met through a mutual friend and they clicked right away. “I’ve never written anything with a partner before,” Reider says. “At some point, I’d written 20 pages of five different scripts and was wracking my brains which one to write. I thought maybe I needed another voice.”
Toufexis answered his call out and during their first meeting, Reider knew he found the right person. “I remember thinking for our first meeting, we would talk about a few ideas and how writing as a team would work, and maybe we would meet again. By the end of the first meeting, we were outlining. He was excited about different ideas and we were spit firing ideas at each other. Our style works really well, we’re pretty blunt with each other. We’ll straight up say ‘That sucks.’ He has a literature background in scriptures, history and theology, all these resources. It’s very complimentary to what I contribute as a film writer. It’s perfect the way it worked.”
Another great coup for Woodland Grey is being recognized by horror magazine Fangoria. “I read it as a kid. It was super exciting to be mentioned,” says Reider. He’s especially proud of the fact that at end of article, it said to check back soon for updates on other Adam Reider projects.
With all these go signs, Reider felt ready to put the message out on Kickstarter, which serves as much as a way to advertise something as a place to raise money. “In order for people to give money, you need to have a little bit of money already. We’re starting with nothing,” says Reider. As an experienced crowdfunder and with a proof-of-concept trailer he shot and other marketing materials, Reider decided to use Kickstarter to try and reach his goal.
“What people don’t realize about crowdfunding is that I’m not trying to get a few people to give a lot of money. It’s about a lot of people giving small amounts of money. $1 is a good donation. The power of a group to crowd fund is powerful.”
He’s very clear about his goal too. “To be honest, making feature length films has always been the goal,” Reider says. “I have experience from all the shorts, but feature films make a career. Every year I get a year older and that’s one more year that I won’t have an opportunity to make a film.”
Given the success of his shorts, I ask Reider if he has any words of advice for others who are starting out on the path of making films. “I tell people all the time who are interested in making films, there’s only one difference between filmmakers and non-filmmakers. Filmmakers make films. Find a way. Be resourceful. Push out there and just do it. A lot of my movies take place in my basement, my backyard, my van. That’s what’s available. Everyone has a smart phone. There are movies at Cannes and Sundance shot entirely on the iphone. Go in knowing the first few will be awful. They will suck. And then, after some experience, they won’t suck anymore.”
“Also, don’t be afraid to call yourself a filmmaker. When I started I thought it was pretentious to call myself a filmmaker. But at some point you are that. A filmmaker. It still sounds weird and pretentious, but you have to own it. There’s no excuse.”
The Kickstarter for Woodland Grey runs until September 16 at 6 p.m. Don’t wait another minute and give your donation, no matter how small, HERE.