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July 6th, 2004

In The Works: “Gothkill”

by John Coakley

Of all the art forms, filmmaking is probably the most collaborative, the most expensive, and therefore the most likely to be compromised. Even a low budget feature length film needs financial backing and the cooperation of dozens ?ɬ if not hundreds ?ɬ of different people, from producers to grips to extras. So anyone who plans on writing and directing their first feature has their work cut out for them right from the start.

JJ Connelly has directed some film shorts and has extensive behind the scenes experience on Broadway, but even with those credentials it would be hard for someone to get their foot in the door. So while it’s impressive that his script for Gothkill has been even considered at all, it’s downright amazing that the script has made it to the pre-production stage. A production team has been assembled, locations are being considered, and Connelly has been chosen to direct.

I spoke with the man himself recently and here is how he described the project: “It’s about urban legends that have been going around the New York Goth and club scenes over the years. I just really wanted to make a horror movie for the fun of making a horror movie.” Any representation of a subculture is going to be scrutinized very closely by the members of that group, but Mr. Connelly’s Goth cred is secure. The pyrotechnic effects person for the project also works with local act Hate in the Box, one of the most promising and creative Goth bands to come around in ages.?Ǭ Schedules permitting, they might even make it into the film itself.

Understandably, Mr. Connelly was reluctant to give away too much of the plot when filming hasn’t even begun. I did learn that, instead of film, digital video will be used, which is becoming a very popular choice for low-budget filmmakers. And Gothkill’s editor is Brian O’Hara, an experienced Horror vet with such films as Rejuvenator and Rock & Roll Frankenstein under his belt. “It’s always great to walk into the editor’s suite and see posters up of films that you saw. It’s kind of cool to be working with somebody and it turns out that you’re a fan of their work, ” Connelly says.

A lot of people dream of making films but very few actually attempt to do so. And of those who try, even fewer make it as far in the process as JJ Connelly has. Still, the real work has yet to come. What is it going to be like for a first time director when he’s thrust onto the set and faced with the daunting task of putting what’s in his head on the screen? I’ll keep you posted.

John Coakley

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | New York





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