Shriekfest Independent Horror Film Festival

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This month Festival Director Denise Gossett spoke with Michael Rich, 2016 Official Selection and 2018 Winner Best Super Short Film "Cabin Killer"!

DG: What is your name and company URL?

MR: My name is Michael Rich and my personal website is


DG: What is your specialty...filmmaking or screenwriting?

MR: I'm a director who dabbles in screenwriting.

DG: What are you currently working on?

MR: I am currently working on developing a horror feature film, as well as a short film titled "The Man Who Returned" based on a 1930s pulp story.

DG: Who do you consider your mentor and why?

MR: I had an interesting film professor in college named Gil Bettman, who helped me make my thesis film, which played at Shriekfest 2016. He taught me a lot about camera placement and lenses. He's a straight forward guy and helped me realize what's actually important to telling a story and to just ditch all the nonsense that doesn't matter.

DG: Great advice! I loved your thesis film "Ambulance"! Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?

MR: Horror and sci-fi movies are just so much fun to watch! I dread watching a bad drama, or romantic comedy, but horror films always deliver the goods in at least some regard. Whether it's gross-out effects, or cheap scares, they're worth a watch. And when they happen to actually be well-made, that's just a cherry on top.

DG: I agree! What do you love most about this business?

MR: The camaraderie. That moment when someone believes in the vision you have and is willing to go along for the crazy ride that is filmmaking.

DG: What do you dislike most about this business?

MR: I see a lot of lower level workers get exploited and demeaned. I had a boss tell me I should just "move back to where I came from" because "I don't have it." It was totally vicious and mean, but I promised myself I would never treat anyone like that if I'm ever in a position of power.

DG: Wow! No one has the right to do that to anyone. I'm so sorry that happened to you! What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

MR: Winning "Best Super Short Film" at the 2018 Shriekfest. I wanted one of those bloody reel trophies so badly!

DG: I love it!!! Any advice you'd like to give newbies?

MR: I'd say just do it! If you want to make movies nowadays, the only barrier is yourself. Grab a cell phone and run around the backyard with some friends and try and tell a story. Don't worry about reading how-to books or watching YouTube tutorials. Just shooting movies is the best way to learn.

DG: I agree. Great advice! Anything else you'd like to say?

MR: Long live Shriekfest. And please take 10 minutes to watch my short film "Cabin Killer" here:

DG: Thank you so much Michael! It was great chatting!

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