Ana AyoraIn advance of the world premiere of his new slasher flick "Savage County" on MTV2 tonight, October 7, at 11 p.m. (10 p.m. Central), director David Harris has been guest-blogging on MTV News to share some thoughts on making the film. He talked about marketing the movie on Tuesday, offered up some horror-movie-making tips yesterday, and today he introduces the up-and-coming cast (like Ana Ayora, pictured to the right).

It's pretty rare for a horror movie to get an Academy Award, and even rarer for that award to go to the cast. (Quick Quiz: Which actors have won Academy Awards for horror movies? Answers at the bottom.)

Even actors who love horror movies have to look elsewhere for their field's top accolades. But horror has been a launching ground for a lot of famous names before they were famous names: Johnny Depp ("Nightmare on Elm Street"), Jennifer Anniston ("Leprechaun"), Mischa Barton ("Sixth Sense") and on and on. It's hard to get a role in any movie, but with their low budgets and brutal filming conditions, horror offers a lot of talented actors their first lead roles.

Our villains got their own teaser trailers, so I'm going to focus on our victims. Here's what you know them from and why you're going to hear a lot more from them in the future... Read More...

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Dorothy Kramer in Savage CountyIn advance of the world premiere of his new slasher flick "Savage County" on MTV2 this Thursday, October 7, at 11 p.m. (10 p.m. Central), director David Harris has been guest-blogging on MTV News to share some thoughts on making the film. He talked about marketing the movie in yesterday's post, and today he offers up some horror-movie-making tips. Come back tomorrow for his third and final blog.

I want to make another movie for all kinds of reasons: It's my dream to be a director... Maybe I'll make money at it someday... I want to have one of those chairs with my name on the back... But, more than anything, I want to make another movie because I learned so much the first time around that it seems like a waste not to use that knowledge.

Making movies is now what having a band used to be. A lot of people do it, and with digital cameras everywhere, it's an accessible way to express yourself. Everybody from Hitchcock to Tarantino has excellent advice on the creative process that's only a Google search away. There's nothing I can impart about the art of filmmaking that comes close to them, BUT I'm pretty sure I have some practical advice on making your first horror movie that they couldn't give you.

Here are my top five tips:

1. Pack a Flashlight
Scouting locations for a horror movie is very much like being in a horror movie. Everyone who knows of a scary, horrible place will suggest you visit -- whether it fits your movie or not. Scouting "Savage County," we found ourselves knee-deep in water in an abandoned basement autopsy room/morgue/body incinerator. Did we bring a flashlight? Nope. We used the flash on a digital camera to light up the room every couple of feet. It was straight out of "Quarantine." Flashlights are cheap; we were dumb. Read More...

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Savage County comicIn advance of the world premiere of his new slasher flick "Savage County" on MTV2 this Thursday, October 7, at 11 p.m. (10 p.m. Central), director David Harris guest-blogs to share some thoughts on making the film. Come back Wednesday and Thursday for additional posts by Harris.

Hey, it's David, the director of "Savage County," hoping you'll check out my movie's world premiere on MTV2 this Thursday. MTV News has been cool enough to give me this soapbox to tell you about "Savage County." And, even though I should probably be plugging the trailer, I want to take this opportunity to tell you about some of the cooler "stealth" things we've been up to.

Low-budget movie marketing has always been about showmanship (my boss, David Gale, planted Napoleon in the audience of TRL when he was releasing "Napoleon Dynamite"). But no genre beats horror when it comes to gonzo marketing -- just look at the "Paranormal Activity" trailers -- or '50s horror director William Castle, who took out life insurance policies on his audience (in case they died from fright) and put joy-buzzers under every seat in the theater to literally shock his audience. Read More...

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Please welcome Mr. Chris Sparling, the writer behind "Buried," with a guest blog post that he wrote on the eve of the film's limited opening tomorrow. In the below write-up, Chris takes us all on the journey that led him from what started as a small idea meant for an indie treatment to something much, much bigger. "Buried" is one of my favorite films so far this year, right alongside "Toy Story 3," "Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World" and "The Last Exorcism." Check it out if you can this weekend. Otherwise, wait until the movie opens wide on October 8. I'll let Chris take it from here!

With the limited release of "Buried" only days away (and the nationwide release less than three weeks away), I am incredibly proud of what this film has become. To see all the posters, trailers, and positive buzz circulating around a film I wrote is definitely the coolest thing I’ve ever been a part of. But at the same time, I also can’t help but laugh sometimes when I think of what the film could have become. Read More...

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Here we are with the final guest blog for "The Last Exorcism" from producer Eli Roth. It's been a fantastic week of coverage for a movie that more than deserves it. There have been some really smart films this summer and this one is no exception, but it's far more than just a cherry on top. No one sells it better than Eli himself, so read on to hear about the exciting final days leading to today's release. And seriously, make sure you check out the movie this weekend-- it's well worth your time.

by Eli Roth

Once Lionsgate bought the film, I noticed something strange on that release date. Why was August 27th so familiar...? Oh, yes, I know: because my friend Alex Aja's film "Piranha 3D" is opening the same day, which I have a cameo in. This put me in a very odd position. I'm friends with all the "Piranha" people, and I want their film to be a big hit, but putting us on the same release date puts "The Last Exorcism" in direct competition, and could split the horror fan base. Read More...

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Our week-long focus on "The Last Exorcism" continues today with another guest blog, this time from director Daniel Stamm. As we learned from producer Eli Roth in yesterday's post, he took a very hands-off approach during the production, the better to give Stamm the breathing room to really put his flavor on the film. The result is quite powerful, as you'll see when the movie opens tomorrow. Make sure you come back tomorrow as well, for Eli's second guest blog as well as his Twitterview, which is happening at 11:30am eastern.

by Daniel Stamm

In film school they teach you the importance of vision and preparation. Certainly good things to pack when making a film. They are heavy things to carry around, though, and they can make it hard to move. What making "The Last Exorcism" taught me was to readily abandon it all if necessary and go with what feels right in the moment. Read More...

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I'm very pleased to share with you the first of three guest blogs coming this week in support of "The Last Exorcism," which hits theaters this Friday. In today's post, producer Eli Roth charts the development of the film, from his signing on as a producer to its eventual pickup by Lionsgate. Look out for another blog tomorrow from director Daniel Stamm and a second one from Eli on Friday, to go along with our planned Twitterview that day, which starts at 11:30am eastern. And that's that. Take it away, Eli!

by Eli Roth

I've always loved exorcism movies, ever since "The Exorcist" traumatized me at the ripe age of 6. I saw that film and literally could not fall asleep for two years without believing the devil was going to possess me. My parents would argue that we were Jewish and that we didn't believe in that stuff, but I was certain I would be the first test case. My father's a psychiatrist/psychoanalyst and a professor at the Harvard Medical school, so any kind of altered personality was always approached from a psychiatric point of view in my home. Perhaps that's the very thing that intrigued me about possession: the thought that maybe he's wrong, and that another spirit can literally enter your body and take you over. And what if that spirit was none other than the devil himself? Read More...

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UPDATE: David just e-mailed to point out a slight error in this story. "Metal Gear Solid" movie planning next actually reached the script stage. David wrote up a pitch and some notes, which I misconstrued to mean there was a full-blown script. There is not. Plans for a movie fell apart not because of any lack of interest in the pitch, but rather because of the complicated machinery of studio politics.

David Hayter very graciously donated his time last week to serve as the guest editor here on MTV Movies Blog. He was the ideal person to commentate on the state of video game adaptations as the 5/28 release of "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" drew closer. The movie is out now, and while it didn't fare as well at the box office as it could have, it was actually a reasonably solid film, thanks largely to the clever way in which the story wraps up.

Now that it's out, we can look forward to other upcoming game adaptations. "Kane & Lynch" is incoming. "Hitman 2" as well. Further out we've got "Mass Effect" and "Warcraft." But whatever happened to "Metal Gear Solid"? Some time ago it was reported that he'd assembled some ideas for an adaptation of the game, a series in which he stars as the voice of Solid Snake. So I asked him: where are those movie plans now? Read More...

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All this week, "X-Men" writer and Solid Snake voice actor David Hayter has been serving as guest editor here on MTV Movies Blog. In daily updates throughout the week, his uniquely extensive background in both the video game and film industries has offered clear insight into the often-troubled interplay between the two mediums. With "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" in theaters today, a very high-profile game adaptation, I thought it might be best to close out the week with a look at the reverse situation: when movies become video games.

Games based on movies do not have a very good history. "The Godfather" was fun, "The Bourne Conspiracy" had some strong moments and few will say that "GoldenEye" was anything less than amazing. By and large though, making a game that's spun off from a movie is a bad move, one likely motivated by money and nothing else. Hayter echoes that as well: it always comes back to the money. Read More...


Welcome back to this week's series of guest blogs with David Hayter. The accomplished screenwriter/video game voice actor was kind enough last week to spend some time discussing a range of topics with me about games, film and the interplay between the two industries. With "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" hitting theaters tomorrow, Hayter's extensive background on both sides makes him the ideal person to commentate on what is certainly the largest video game-to-film adaptation to date.

Today's blog focuses on the adaptations that have come before. While there's never been an across-the-board success story, numerous attempts have been made to translate a variety of popular games for film, and in a number of ways. It's a difficult thing to do, taking an interactive experience and turning it into a passive one while maintaining the spirit of the source. In my chat with Hayter, we discussed a few examples that have gotten it right and a few that haven't, as well as the unique challenges filmmakers face when taking on such an endeavor. Read More...


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