The Summoner, an 80s-inspired dramatic and comedic short with some horror undertones, will soon hit the festival circuit. The film stars Le Cassette’s Adam McNab and Mhairi Calvey. According to director James Secker, who’s interviewed below, the film was just completed after a rewarding production.
The premise: In a world where spirits of the dead are the most pervasive and dangerous threat we face, humankind must call upon the skills of an enigmatic ghost-hunter who gets more than he bargained for facing the most deadly threat of his career.
Secker says he feels great right now. The production was stressful, because they had a tight four days to shoot. Post-production has been less taxing, though, he says.
“Post-production is always the most enjoyable, crafting a film that is constantly changing,” he says. “The film really feels unique and it stands on it’s own with the new retro films released recently.”
“It’s been a very long and exhausting journey, but I’m very pleased with the final result,” he continues. “The film has elements of action, horror and romance, it has something for everyone to enjoy. I can’t wait for people to finally check it out.”
Among the enjoyable parts of the production for Secker was choosing the film’s soundtrack, which Lazerdiscs Records released last year. It features contributions from Waveshaper, Dream Fiend, Sellorekt/LA Dreams, Maxthor, Vincenzo Salvia, and several others.
“Choosing synthwave artists that fit the bill for the right scene; sending references back and forth — It was a terrific experience and all of the artists nailed their tracks,” Secker says. “It’s catchy, consistent and one hell of a soundtrack. I’m really proud of it.”
When considering the film, Secker puts a lot of hope in people digging McNab’s title character and the other characters who inhabit his world.
“Adam McNab really put his all into this role, from the fights to the emotional scenes,” Secker says. “He’s the driving force of the movie and gives a powerhouse performance. Adam is an insanely talented individual who is always wanting the best for the project he’s working on. I think everyone will appreciate what he has done with the character.”
Secker was able to raise funds just beyond the film’s modest $9,000 goal, giving him and producer Rob Yeomans some leeway to fund elements of the production, including special effects. In light of his successful campaign, which employed social media efforts and beyond, I asked Secker if he had any tips for those who are currently crowdfunding or looking to crowdfund their projects.
“Reach out to various websites and pages for articles, Q&As, trailer posts, etc.,” he said. “Keep updating social media as much as possible with fresh new content. Post in the evenings when people are active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Contact investors and contributors directly.”
“Most importantly: know your audience, share in various groups that cater to the genre of the film project to find new followers and fans,” he says. “It’s a long and tiring road, but keep at it, never give up and you’ll be rewarded handsomely.”
Secker and Yeomans will submit to various festivals at the end of this month. They hope to start screening the film at festivals worldwide from August through next year, he says.
“My main hope, though, is that people just have a great time watching the film,” Secker says. “We made a film in which you can open a couple of beers, kick back, and enjoy with friends.”
For updates on the the film, check out its Facebook page. In addition to starring McNab and Calvey, The Summoner also stars Alexandra Hansler, Kate Marie Davies, and Mike Carr. Full disclosure: Vehlinggo is tangentially involved in the project.
Speaking of McNab, hear his pipes on this EP teaser Le Cassette recently released.