It was your typical Wednesday afternoon. The monotony of the work week had reached its epitome much quicker than usual. This was likely because of the mounds of school work that I knew still awaited me. As I sat in Classroom 2 finishing a marketing plan and reveling in the upcoming Easter long weekend, Entertainment Business Management department head Jessica came in with a proposition that, unbeknownst to EBM10, would shape how we, and much of VFS, spent our summers.

Working in teams of two, we’d be producing short-films for our term three and four projects. Sounds simple enough, right? There was a catch though. The short films would be based on the works of the late H.P. Lovecraft, the grand-daddy of horror and science-fiction, and be one-minute each. That’s right, one minute. You’ve already spent longer reading this entry. Aside from the almost none-existent runtime, each film was to be heavily special effects driven and would be filmed on state-of-the-art red cams. As the stakes began to rise, Jessica revealed another caveat; if we decided to, the teams could select the stories they wanted to base their films on. Considering the plethora of homework that still remained in the pipeline, it would’ve been the logical solution to simply say no-thanks. But being the keener I am I jumped at the opportunity to do even more work. Sometimes, I wish I’d think through some of these decisions, but I digress.

The task was to read three of Lovecraft’s short stories, write briefs about the story line and style we’d like to see for each film and hand them in by Tuesday. It would be a weekend spent under the incandescent glow of my laptop and Ikea lamp.

I spent the next four days reading stories about psychotic painters, space aliens, crazed cats, and everyone’s favourite, cannibals. I make it sound daunting, but it was really just a regular Saturday night for me. After pages and pages of Victorian horror stories, my teammate, Mike, and I made our three selections: The Outsider, Pickman’s Model and, the eventual victor, The Rats in the Walls.

Once the powers that be selected the one about the rats, the writing department was put to work writing screenplays based on our brief. Nine entries were submitted and Dylan Thompson’s screenplay emerged victorious.

With a screenplay in hand and a dedicated team of animators, compositors, sound designers and makeup artists, we now begin the task of putting together a gothic horror film and interactive property that would make Alfred Hitchcock proud. Those decisions we made on a fleeting long weekend in April now form the basis for this multi-departmental, four month long project, the likes of which the Vancouver Film School has never seen before.

Now that I have your attention, I’m sure your aching for more details. Sorry, but I can’t tell you anymore! What’s the point of watching the movie if you’ve seen it all in the trailer? You’ll have to keep coming back to find out more! We’ll be updating weekly with production details and behind the scenes looks at Project Space Squid: The Rats in the Walls.