One of the best horror films of recent years was Scott Glosserman’s Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. A heady mixture of faux documentary and standard slasher film, Glosserman’s debut found a documentary crew following famed slasher Leslie Vernon through his day to day life as he prepared for his next killing spree in a small town. Mixing humor and horror (and a cameo from Robert Englund), the film was a hit in the horror community.
Since Behind the Mask’s debut in 2006, fans have waited eagerly for a sequel chronicling what Vernon has been up to for the past few years – but Glosserman has worked on other projects instead. Now, though, he’s ready to return to the character that launched his career.
Entitled Before the Mask: The Return of Leslie Vernon, and dubbed a “spremake” (part prequel, part sequel, part remake), Glosserman’s follow-up promises to keep the approach that made the original film so beloved while upping the ante on everything in the process. It sounds tantalizing, but there’s just one problem – he can’t get funding.
Glosserman tells Twitch that he approached the original film’s distributor with his plan to shoot a sequel – and was told not only that there was no financing for the project, but that they wouldn’t even distribute the finished film for a fee. The director says “I wasn't surprised but I was disappointed."
He hasn’t let that disappointment get him down. Instead, Glosserman has decided to take this potential negative and do something positive with it – make his film on his own, with the help of Leslie Vernon fans.
Having fans help fund a film isn’t a new thing – sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow artists of all mediums to “pitch” their artistic endeavors to the common fan in hopes that they might raise the money to actually make the project happen. It’s like the patron system in the Internet age. The difference is that Glosserman has lofty goals for his film, hoping to make his next project the first film to raise more than a million dollars in fan financing.
Contributors the cause won’t get something as silly as a “producer’s credit” listed in tiny print on the film’s closing credits – but instead will be rewarded with a special collector’s edition DVD of the finished film.
The filmmaker is hoping fans of the original will answer the call to arms and help get this second film off the ground. “We sold mid six figure units on the original DVD and if half of those people spend twenty bucks pre-ordering the second film then we've raised more than a million dollars. So, in theory, we could crowd fund the movie. I know that's probably not a fully realistic possibility but, nonetheless, it's fun to set a goal to be the first movie ever to crowd fund more than a million dollars. That's our benchmark." Glosserman adds that even if the film doesn’t reach the mark, he can hopefully use the number of supporters to convince a studio like Lionsgate – who is launching a new low-budget film line – to hop onboard.
To help raise funds for the project, Glosserman and his team have created a Facebook app that would allow contributors to preoder copies of Before the Mask. They would only be billed when the reserve number – the amount of contributions required to make the film – had been met. If that number is never reached, there’s no charge and potential investors keep their money.
If this sounds like something you’d want to be part of (and if you love good, original horror, then you should definitely want to be a part of this…), then head on over to Before the Mask’s Facebook page and contribute to the cause. As it currently stands now, the meter tracking their progress is 3/4s of the way full. Here’s to hoping they max it out in the next few days.