Local filmmaker Stephen Biggin, who says he's dabbled in film in the past and has done "industrial videos" for various businesses, originally planned to make a few short films; then he realized the short movies had enough in common that he could merge them into one feature. Those shorts became his directorial debut, Witchtown.
"While we were working on those shorts, just to see what happened, we decided to do a Kickstarter campaign," he says, adding that he raised close to $1,000 for Witchtown, which cost a mere $8,000 to make. The movie screens at 7 p.m. on Friday at Visible Voice Books. Admission is free.
"We were shocked to see that strangers were giving us money. That made us get our act together and finish the script and move forward from there."
Biggin says the plot centers on two bumbling occultists who "attempt to introduce an evil to the world that it has not seen in thousands of years."
"There's social and political commentary in the film mixed with old-school goofy horror," he says. "We really wanted to not just make it a fun watch but also put some kind of message in there without being too preachy."
Mostly shot in the Toledo/Perrysburg area, the movie includes drone footage of downtown Toledo. Biggen also cast the movie with friends and family.
"They were mostly people who hadn't acted before, so that was kind of a challenge in itself," he says. "We had to convince them that they could do it."
Biggin has submitted the movie to several festivals and says it was recently accepted to a horror festival in Detroit.
"We just want to get it out there as much as we can," he says, adding that he's been working with a "prominent local band" on a video treatment and has written a script for a documentary about water pollution. He says a Witchtown 2 is even a possibility. "We'll go to anyplace that will allow us to set up a table at a convention and share this. We just want to keep getting the word out and see what happens."