B. Harrison Smith may be trying to turn the West End of Monroe County into a mini Hollywood as he started filming his second movie, "Six Degrees of Hell" in Saylorsburg, Aug. 1.
Smith filmed his first movie, the thriller "The Fields" starring Cloris Leachman, two years ago in Kunkletown, his hometown, scheduled to be released the fall of this year.
Now he's filming a horror movie that he wrote at Saylorsburg Lake House's Hotel of Horror (www.hotelofhorror.com.)
The Hotel was Smith's inspiration for writing the script "because of the quality of the events that take place inside of it. It is truly inspired, imaginative stuff and not your usual run of the mill Halloween attraction. Their haunt is raw material for nightmares."
Why does he want to make horror movies?
"Why not? Sure beats bad romantic comedies or something like 'Zookeeper,'" he says. He is co-producing the film with Joe Raffa, who is also the director and one of the members of the cast.
The tag line to the new movie is "Hell is six degrees away." The log line is "A Halloween tourist attraction is the center of a supernatural perfect storm that threatens the lives of a group of young friends and the soul of a small town."
The story line is about a facility that used to conduct experiments on death in the late 1920's. It is ready to reopen today as one of the premier Halloween attractions in tourist-centric Metcalfe, Pa. Uncle Jack's Halloween attraction has 100 rooms of Hell and there's always a vacancy.
College freshmen Chris Allen (David Bonner) and Kellen Hudson (Joe Raffa) help Uncle Jack's Halloween owner, Jack Sampson (Brian Gallagher), unwittingly open the door to evil as they bring in items from renowned psychic, Mary Wilkins's (Susan Moses) collection of haunted objects from police cases as props for their top of the line tourist attraction.
Local TV ghost hunter and young protégée of Mary Wilkins, Erik Sanborn (Kyle Patrick Brennan), crosses paths with college students, Chris Allen and June Galloway (Nicole Cinaglia).
June seems to be the true center of this supernatural perfect storm. They find themselves drawn to the building and the evil force that has reawakened to claim its own, connecting them in ways they never imagined.
Erik confronts an evil that has haunted him all his life – one he believes is responsible for his sister's death years ago.
The threads of their own personal horrors draw them together in a tour of pure evil and a maelstrom that literally unleashes Hell on earth.
Smith is a screenwriter and independent film producer of "The Fields" (www.thefieldsmovie.com) and the upcoming "Believe" and "TinyTown." He is actively developing and producing the dark comedy "Mamu" for director Keith Gordon.
His film "The Fields" recently sold to Fabrication Films (www.fabricationfilms.com) and sold well to the foreign markets at Cannes while a fall 2011 domestic release is planned.
Armed with a slate of solid projects, Smith envisions building a repertoire of actors and filmmakers to bring his projects to the screen.
Charlie Anderson, an award winning cinematographer based in the Baltimore/DC Metro area, will be the director of photography for "Six Degrees." He recently wrapped principle photography on his fifth feature length movie, "You'll Know My Name" (YKMN). YKMN was shot in Sicklerville, New Jersey, and was Charlie's fourth feature shot on RED as Director of Photography and has also worked as a RED Tech on 2009's Sundance selection, "Toe To Toe" and as an editor for the award winning web series "Fear Clinic," starring Robert Englund, Kane Hodder, and Danielle Harris.
Owners of the Lake House's Hotel of Horror in Saylorsburg, Dan and Marlo Ambrosio opened their doors to the crew of "Six Degrees of Hell" after reading the script and sharing the filmmaker's opinion that the Lake House was the perfect setting for this story. Using its real performers to intertwine with the film's actual actors, the partnership is to create something that transcends 3-D, by creating a truly interactive experience that fans and audiences can experience for long after the film is over.
"Marlo and Dan Ambrosio, aside from being gracious hosts to the film, are passionate about the Hotel and its standing in the community. What they do is more than Halloween 'fun.' They and their performers are artists and out to give the best experience to their patrons. They have been a joy to work with as they dedicated so much to this film," says Smith.
Smith thought Corey Feldman was perfect for the film's role of Kyle Brenner, a paranormal investigator who is researching the events of the movie after they have happened. He is a friend/associate of the character Erik Sanborn.
Feldman is best known for his work in "Stand By Me," "Gremlins," "The Goonies," Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter," and "The Lost Boys (I-III)."
"I sent him the script, he read it, loved it and wrote back he was interested," says Smith.
The filming is scheduled to wrap up Aug. 21 and he's hoping for a release of the movie for Halloween of 2012.
Smith says that "Six Degrees" promises to deliver terror on the level of "Poltergeist", "Fright Night" and "will raise the bar on the horror genre by delivering something new, different and…scary as hell."