While I am on a roll of posts featuring friends from my hometown of Bridgeport (include Malicious Intent and AC Slater), I thought this recently-updated-to-YouTube short film would fit in nicely.
"Dead of Night" is the last film ever made by Cheezo Studios, a home-based production outfit created by Josh Smallridge and friends around 1992. With inspiration from the likes of Tarantino and Romero, Josh directed his cast and crew of junior high-aged friends to make movies with one goal in mind: to entertain themselves. "At the beginning we had no script and really no idea where the story would end up," says Josh, nly a vague idea of what we wanted to do. Everything was improvised." But as the years passed, the stable of participants grew, methods became more professional, and Josh began writing scrips. Using a home video camera, and two VCRs to edit, the Cheezeo produced a dozen movies throughout the crew's high school years.
While at WVU, Josh was in a club that sponsored an annual Holloween film festival, Josh and friends continued to make low-budget horror flicks that would screen for the first time to an audience beyond his close friends and family. "We made four very good films during my college years," says Josh. "Movies that I am still proud of till this day." With "Dead of Night," Josh says his intention was to tell a ghost story that was more creepy and less gory than previous filmmaking efforts. Made in 2004, it won third place at the Halloween film festival.
This film simply reminds me of how lucky I was to be surrounded by so many creative and imaginative people growing up - musicians, artists, writers, filmmakers. I have always been proud of the things my friends have made and it continues to be a huge inspiration in my life. They have played a massive role in shaping me into the creative person I try to be every day, and I thank them for that. Enjoy some Cheezo.
"Dead of Night" (1 of 2)
"Dead of Night" (2 of 2)
A CHEEZO STUDIOS PRODUCTION A FILM BY JOSH SMALLRIDGE STARRING SHANNON JONES AARON HATHAWAY JARED SMALLRIDGE JOSH SMALLRIDGE JUSTIN SMALLRIDGE MIKE WHALEN ASHLEY GLASPELL KEVIN OLNESS PRODUCED BY JOSH SMALLRIDGE WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY JOSH SMALLRIDGE