Katherine McNamara was not just interested in the possibility of a virtual Shadowhunters reunion. She also signed up for Untitled Horror Movie.
The horror-comedy is based on six co-stars, who learn that their popular TV show is going away and decide to make their own movie. They make a horror movie, and accidentally summon a demonic spirit with a passion for violence.
Nick Simon directed Untitled Horror Movie. The script was co-written by Luke Baines, McNamara’s Shadowhunters costar. She was originally set to star in Simon’s The Girl in the Photographs. However, due to Shadowhunters commitments, she couldn’t. This movie provided McNamara with an alternative. “full-circle”Now
“I’ve been wanting to work with Nick since then, because I think he’s so wonderful. He not only has a great sensibility for story, but he’s so wonderful to work with as an actor. And, of course, how can you not love Luke Baines? He’s one of my dearest friends and the most wonderful person to work with,”She tells Digital Spy.
“We were all at a point where we were so starved for any kind of not only social interaction but creative productivity. To experiment and tell a story with your friends, and dive in, and see what happens, it sounded like a perfect idea.”
(Yet?) Another Distribution Company
Smartly, Untitled Horror Movie doesn’t refer to the current global situation, even though it was shot during it.
The cast does not meet up except for one scene. It plays out as a screenlife movie over videos calls. Simon however finds ways to make it more interesting by intercutting scenes the cast are filming in their new movie.
It may be the most meta movie about the pandemic, with each member of the cast being well-known for their roles in TV shows. Baines and McNamara also star in the movie, along with 13 Reasons Why’s Tim Granaderos from Never Have I Ever, Claire Holt from The Vampire Diaries, and Emmy Raver Lampman of The Umbrella Academy.
McNamara has been through similar situations while waiting for renewals and could draw on that experience for the role. “Something that a lot of people were experiencing this last year was the unknown – and having to cope with that,”She elaborates.
“Obviously, as an actor, that’s a lot of what you deal with, particularly in a situation like this, where you’re waiting to see if a television show is being picked up to series. There’s a lot of just having to deal with all this latent energy of the waiting game.
“I think that what I learned from being part of a TV series over so many years is more what I took away.
Untitled Horror Movie was shot during the pandemic. The cast had to act in the movie as well as be their own cinematographers, make-up artists, stunt people, and all the rest.
Although they might have had experts to guide them before filming (and during the shoot for any issues), the cast was on their own when the cameras started rolling.
“I always ask too many questions on set. So [I drew on] all the questions that I’ve asked, and all the things that I’ve gleaned, and the kindness of crew members as they teach the random actor who’s standing in the corner how to do X, Y and Z,” McNamara says.
“All the thanks truly goes to Kevin Duggin, who was our director of photography, as he so patiently taught six actors how to light and do sound, and do a lot of these things at 3 in the morning, which I’m used to. But then having somebody go, ‘Hey, can you transfer all of that footage onto this hard drive, and also upload it here, and do this, this and this?’
“I’m not the best at technical things. You know what happens when you start screaming at 3 AM and throw yourself around your home, only to realize that you have to stop losing all of the footage everyone worked so hard for?
(Yet, Another Distribution Company
Thankfully, there weren’t any “huge disasters” – such as, say, somebody forgetting to press record – but it was a huge learning curve all the same.
McNamara also missed the opportunity “camaraderie”She would not be opposed to filming another movie on the same set as hers. “I think it was a really fun experiment [even though] I’m very much a person who likes to be in the trenches with everyone else,”She reflects.
“You become a sort of travelling circus of wonderful people and creatives that are all combining efforts to create something greater than the sum of the parts. When you’re doing it all on your own, you learn a lot, but it’s arguably not as fun, because half of what I love about doing what I do is getting to be a part of that on-set family.”
Untitled Horror Movie is not getting a standard release. It will instead be made available to its fans directly, bypassing traditional distribution.
The film will have a worldwide premiere on Saturday (June 12), with a virtual red-carpet, a watch-along party, and a Q&A session with the cast. It will then be accessible worldwide on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and other platforms starting June 15.
(Yet, Another Distribution Company
It remains to be seen if Untitled Horror Movie will continue to attract strong fans due to its cast. McNamara is well aware of how loyal Shadowhunters fans can be, two years after the series’ finale.
“If you had asked me before I started the show if I thought that the fandom would be this strong years after, I would have said absolutely not. But having spent several years with the Shadowfam and watching them – I’m so inspired by them,”She is enthusiastic.
“They truly have taken this community beyond the show, beyond our characters, beyond anything, and created something so special, and such a positive force for love and acceptance in the world. I’m just so grateful to be a little part of it.
“I have complete faith that Shadowfam will survive, even beyond the end. It’s all that you can do as an artist to inspire good in the world and to be a catalyst for something greater. These lovely, kind people created the Shadowfam to do exactly that.”
Untitled Horror Movie has a worldwide premiere event on June 12, before being released on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and other digital retailers on June 15.
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