Writing Through Things

Recently, many people have been asking me to describe what my upcoming short film is about. As I struggled to find the words to describe it, I realized that, at its core, it’s a home invasion story. Once I realized this, I looked back on my previous short film 3:03. I realized that my past film was also a sort of home invasion story.

Suddenly everything clicked together for me.

A couple years ago, I had an experience. I was living in an apartment, and one day, while I was alone in said apartment, one of the maintenance workers just walked in. He didn’t knock. He used his own key. I had no advance warning. I was at my most vulnerable. I no longer live in that apartment, but for the rest of my time living there, I never felt safe.

While I was processing that immediate fear I was feeling, I wrote the script for 3:03. It was filmed in the apartment where the event occurred. The film was about a woman who woke up in the middle of the night to a disturbance in the hallway outside her door. It was heavily based on a nightmare that I had.

At the time, I took that at face value. I thought it was just based on a nightmare that I had. It’s only now, in retrospect, that I’m realizing that my scripts are reflecting the fears that I’m working through in my own life.

I guess it makes sense. Every film that I’ve written up to this point has been based off of real experiences I’ve had. From a creepy public restroom and streetlights turning off around me, to a sort of home invasion, it’s all been based on true events.

Maybe that’s why people say my films creep them out. Maybe it’s because the feelings are genuine. For me, it’s very real.

Of course, this got me thinking about the horror genre. I started thinking of all the recurring themes that come up in horror films. Good horror films reflect real life fears at their core, and this is why the genre has such a loyal fanbase. Watching a good horror film can allow the viewer to process fears in a safe setting. In that same way, horror films can be therapeutic for their creators as well.

I’m not sure exactly when I’ll be done with my phase of writing home invasion films. I’m not even sure yet what my next project will be. Since I don’t have anymore home invasion stories up my sleeve at the moment, perhaps you could say that I’ve worked through the fear at this point? I guess we shall see.


Pin 5:29 – 60 Second Version

If you’ve been following the production of Jason Rugg’s Pin 5:29, then you’re in luck because the 60 second version of the film is finally here!

Check out the film below.

There may very well be a longer version that is released at a later date. This longer version would explore a more atmospheric pacing in the beginning to give a more detailed backstory leading toward the eventual end.

Stay tuned!

3:03 (2016) Online

At last! Now that the My Rode Reel competition is over, I can finally promote my newest short film as a film, rather than a contest entry.

After taking some time to add the new E Leal Productions bumper to the beginning of the film, both 3:03 and the Behind the Scenes video can be seen on Vimeo.

If you want a deeper look into the film’s production, check out the behind the scenes video below!

Lights (2015) Online

After a 10 day countdown on social media sites, the day is finally here. Lights is now available for viewing online.

Lights is a suspense thriller following Mia, a young woman who starts noticing streetlights turning off around her. Mia decides to start documenting her experiences, but she will soon find that some things are better left unseen.

For the best viewing experience, watch the film with a sound system or headphones. Check out the short film and let me know what you think!

It Follows (2014)

I saw the trailer for It Follows quite a while ago, and I was really interested. So when I got my movie theater email this week, I was super excited to see that it was having a limited showing in my local theater. I rushed out to see it as soon as possible. The audience in the theater was pretty minimal, as was to be expected from a release that didn’t really have a lot of publicity.

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