CHECK OUT www.thornefamilymortuary.com For more background info, photos, and a video on the Thorne Family and their "Business"
Why this project ? What's it all about ?
Good question! Hello, I'm Rj Haddy and I was a finalist on season 2 of the Syfy channel series FACE OFF. In fact, I'm currently on season 5 as one of the returning vets. So why am I here? Well, I have a passion and a strong desire to make and contribute to the world of filmmaking! As shocking as it seems, makeup effects, as showcased on the TV show FACE OFF, is not my only goal in this life. Truth be told, I have many passions that are directly connected to the wonderful world of filmmaking and storytelling. I believe that good filmmakers must first be good story tellers! I also believe that you can't sit around waiting on someone else to hand you an opportunity in life. I believe that if you want something bad enough, you have to go out there and create it for yourself. This my friends, is what has brought me to Indiegogo!
As you will discover, I have a strong desire to direct, act, as well as, write. And this film "The Family Business", will allow me to do just that. Truth be told, one of the main reasons I love special effects makeup is that when I wear it, I can turn myself into a completely different character. I do this not only through my acting, but also through the physical transformation that can only be achieved, convincingly, using special effects makeup appliances. "The Family Business" will be a film that relies heavily on special makeup and practical creature effects. It will NOT contain any CGI created monsters or sets! You have my solemn promise on that. We will return to the OLD SCHOOL way of making films and bring this story to life. Miniatures, Matte paintings, stop and go motion puppetry, cable and animatronic creature suits, along with good old fashioned makeup effects, will bring this world to life and the good news is we have pulled together the team for such an endeavor! Also, as an avid movie fan and passionate film educator, I know the ingredients for creating a good story! This film has a great story!
A Little About The Story:
We can't reveal too much, without giving away the entire thing, but it's a story of a trio of eccentric uncles, a teenager with growing pains, a rotting funeral home, along with some magic and mystery. These ingredients are all thrown together to create a very scary, yet funny ride. This is the world I envisioned more than 15 years ago while I was working for my very own Uncle at a local funeral parlor.
The story features Ashley, a recently orphaned teenager, who is forced to live with his three eccentric and sadistic Uncles who reside in the family's ancient funeral parlor. The plan is for Ashley to take up "The Family Business" , but this family business is much more bizarre than it appears to be. As the story unfolds, Ashley, along with his new friends, begin to uncover the mystery of exactly what his three Uncles do in that locked funeral home basement (and heres a clue, it ain't very NICE !). Along the way Ashley discovers much more than he bargains for!
The Crew and Something Extra :
Not only is "The Family Business" going to be a great film, it's also a Web-based Reality Series and the title fits PERFECT with what we are trying to accomplish with both the Feature ( a young man is indoctrinated into HIS family's business ) and for us as former Face Off Artists ( we feel as though we're part of a big extended family due to this wonderful business) I don't refer to them as my "face off brothers and sisters" for show, its true! We all feel as a tight knit family does because of the time we spent working on the TV show under the harsh conditions and the pressures it forced us to overcome! This Web reality series will feature all the same behind the scenes antics that you have come to love from us and also do exactly what you have been asking for showcasing MORE of the work, the actual process we go through to create. Already on board are some of your favorite special effects artists from that lil' ol' show called FACE OFF.
In addition to myself, Rj Haddy, Rj's Personal website you will see:
Roy Wooley :
Roy Wooley never dreamed of being a special effects makeup artist when he grew up in rural Alabama; it wasn't the kind of work folks around there pursued. But once he saw "An American Werewolf in London", he was hooked and his career path was set. Work in the haunted house business lead him to being a contestant on Season 3 of Face Off, which in turn led to movie work. His most recent film projects include the horror features Hell Hole and Copii: The First Entry. Still, like Rj, Roy is back for Season 5 of Face Off, in part to showcase his growing skills and with the goal of making it to the very end this time. He hasn't entirely left haunted houses behind either. In a side business, he's designed a line of prosthetics and props for the haunted house industry that are now in production. His favorite movie with special effects remains "An American Werewolf in London".
(in her own words)
I have been an Artist for as long as I can remember. I am interested in a multitude of Artistic Disciplines including Photography, Painting, Drawing, Special Effects, Make-Up, Costuming, Design, Sculpture, Graphics, Jewelry, Film- the list is endless. I have been involved in various group and solo exhibitions throughout Ohio. In 2012, I was a contestant on Syfy's Original, Face Off Season 2- where I showcased my SFX skills under extreme deadlines and mind blowing pressures.
Currently, I am focusing on developing and exploring my talents in multiple areas of Motion Picture/Music Video Production with a strong focus on: Painting/Dressing sets, Props, Various Make-Up Applications: Beauty/Creature Creations/Characters, & Practical Special Effects: Blood Wrangling/Gore/Bubbles/Bugs/Faux Weapons/Animal Replicas/Human Replication and Concept Design.
I work collaboratively with Robert Kurtzman and play a huge role on his creative team at Creature Corps as well as teach at the Kurtzman Institute of Art.
Recent Films I have worked on include: John Dies in the End, All Cheerleaders Die, Jug Face, Fun Sized & Late Phases.
David Henson Greathouse:
David Henson Greathouse is a director, writer, cameraman, editor, actor and make-up artist. Highly regarded by his peers for his work creating special make-up effects for over 50 movies such as "The Usual Suspects," "Tales from the Crypt," "Hissss," "The Rage," "Freaked," "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers," "Necronomicon" and "Buried Alive."
Greathouse developed his skills as a kid in Cleveland Ohio, where he shot movies with his friends, built a FX portfolio of prosthetics and designed, managed and performed in multiple haunted attractions throughout the country.
In 1991, David relocated to Los Angeles to work as an artist in the movie industry. He has since contributed special make-up effects for over 40 feature films and television shows.
He returned to Cleveland every October to shoot his debut film, "Legion of Terror." A feature length documentary on a dedicated and demented ensemble of haunted house actors. The film explores the distinctive personalities, the complexites of a seasonal haunted attraction and the rise and fall of a very weird family over a 13 year period.
In 2001 Greathouse became involved with the heavy metal band, Mushroomhead. He would design and create the bands signature masked appearance and tour the world with them as a roadie and documentarian. Greathouse directed the bands music video for "12 Hundred," earning them the MTV's Headbangers Ball 2007 Video of the Year.
Greathouse is now part of Robert Kurtzman's Creature Corps in Crestline Ohio and are working toward ushering in their own brand of imagination.
And of course we cant forget, the man, the Legend, Robert Kurtzman:
For three decades Robert Kurtzman has been an icon in the world of special make-up, creature effects, and genre filmmaking. His award winning, photo-realistic effects work can be seen in hundreds of movies including Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, franchises and television series.
As the director of such genre hits and fan favorites as Wishmaster, The Rage, and Buried Alive, and as the creator of the modern horror classic From Dusk Till Dawn, his films and amazing special effects have won him legions of fans around the globe.
Robert began his career in 1984 when at the age of 19 he moved from Ohio to Hollywood and quickly began working for many of the industry’s top special effects creators. His early credits include genre classics: Predator, Evil Dead II, From Beyond, The Hidden, Phantasm II, Invaders From Mars, Night of the Creeps, and Re-Animator.
In 1988 Robert Co-founded the award winning K.N.B. EFX Group Inc. (Kurtzman, Nicotero, Berger.) Over the next 15 years K.N.B. became one of the most prolific effects studios in Hollywood with hundreds of feature film and television credits including From Dusk Till Dawn, Spy Kids 1, II, & III, Dances With Wolves, Jingle All The Way, Austin Powers: Gold- Member, Rat Race, The Cell, Unbreakable, House on Haunted Hill, Spawn, Casino, The Faculty, Sam Raimi’s Army of Darkness, 13 Ghosts, City Slickers, The Green Mile, The Time Machine, The Hulk, Ghost Ship, Evolution, Bubba Ho Tep, Wyatt Earp, John Carpenter’s Vampires and In The Mouth of Madness, Stephen King’s Misery, Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report and Amistad, Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill Volume 1 & 2, Wes Craven’s Scream 1, 2 , 3 and New Nightmare as well as the television series Hercules, Xena, Picket Fences, Outer Limits, ER, Chicago Hope and many more.
After years of designing ground breaking effects for many of the industry’s top directors, Robert began to develop his own film projects with his eye toward directing / producing.
Robert wrote the original story, co-produced, and designed the eye popping creature effects for the box office hit From Dusk Till Dawn, starring George Clooney and Harvey Keitel. Robert secured then unknown writer Quentin Tarantino to adapt his story of killer thieves on the run south of the border who hide out in an all night strip club run by vampires. Produced by Dimension Films and directed by Robert Rodriquez, the film became a worldwide success and spawned two sequels.
Robert made his directorial debut with the successful cult, sci-fi, action film The Demolitionist, and quickly followed with the horror hit Wishmaster, which he directed for Artisan Entertainment and Executive Producer Wes Craven. Wishmaster opened as the # 1 horror film and went on to become the year’s most successful independent release. It also introduced the Djinn, a new horror icon, and generated three sequels.
Robert served as Executive Producer on My First Mister which starred Albert Brooks and Leelee Sobieski. Academy Award winning director Christine Lahti helmed the film, which was released by Paramount Classics.
After 15 years as the FX Designer and Supervisor of K.N.B. EFX Group, Robert broke out on his own forming Precinct 13 Entertainment / Creature Corps in 2003. P13/ Creature Corps offers high quality creature and make-up fx as well as visual effects, film, commercial, and music video production. Robert directed, produced, and served as director of photography P13’s first in house feature film production, the new cult classic The Rage.
The production was shot and edited entirely at his Precinct 13 Entertainment production facility. The Rage stars Andrew Divoff, Erin Brown and Reggie Bannister, and is a throwback to 70’s and 80’s drive-in movies. The film received rave reviews and toured film festivals around the world. Robert and P13 produced the upcoming independent film The Dead Matter for director Ed Douglas of Midnight Syndicate fame which was released 2009.
Robert also directed Dimension Extreme’s Buried Alive starring Saw’s Tobin Bell and the MGM action thriller Deadly Impact starring Sean Patrick Flannery and Joe Pantoliano.
Since its launch, Robert and his Creature Corps have worked on a wide array of projects with credits that include the effects design and supervision on Late Phases, Alex Cross, Fun Size, John Dies at the End, Jug Face, All Cheerleaders Die, The Spirit, Hostel & Hostel 3, Jinn, Longmire (TV), The Devil’s Rejects, Buried Alive, Living Hell, Undead or Alive, Mad TV, Deadly Impact, The Rage, The Dead Matter, Children of the Corn (2009), Hiss, RA – One. ( for more credits see IMDB filmography )
As you can see we've already got a power house team to put this film together so you know its going to look amazing ! ! ! ! This is JUST the beginning ... in the next few weeks MORE FX artists you'll recognize from Face Off will join in our crusade and sign on so keep coming back and checking out who is the newest addition to our cast and crew!
What We Need & What You Get
We are working hard to raise an initial $100,000. Although we expect to need much more, the rest will come from private donations, matching grants, and other fundraising sources. In all honesty it would be amazing to surpass the $100,000 and get to the $125,000 mark or higher! As we said, the more we end up with, the better quality we can achieve with our final product.This initial fund raising campaign will see the production through the pre-production process, the creation of all the original sets, props, costuming, miniatures, creatures, and effects character makeup. It will also pay for location rentals, stipends for key personnel and actors, plus special vehicles and pyrotechnics to be used during production. Of course there are many other things that film sets require ans the list could go on forever.
There will be a great deal of "sweat equity" involved with this maiden voyage and we will also bring in intern positions to fill the some assisting positions. This not only helps us maximize funds in order to create the highest quality film that we can, it also helps those wanting to learn the movie business get some hands-on skills training.
Not only is "The Family Business" going to be a fun and scary movie full of old school tricks, gags and references, but as an industry, this is a great chance for loyal WEST VIRGINIANS to promote filmmaking in our home state! If you are like me, it's disheartening to see the wrongful stereotypes that West Virginians have to face when the state is negatively portrayed in the national spotlight. Well, if this project is visible enough (and I feel that perhaps because of my limited 15 minutes of fame, it might just be) I can use the fan base I have and along with all of you we can start the ball rolling to change all that! The beauty of this project is that it could be a real boon for the talented and hard working film professionals in our state. I see this production becoming a calling card to other production companies who are considering bringing their productions into our state. And WHY NOT? Hollywood isn't just in Hollywood anymore.
By that, I mean that the magic of professional high quality filmmaking can happen anywhere. Big budget films have and are being produced all over the south and eastern sea board. WHY NOT WV ? We have the tax breaks, as well and the scenery from city settings to countrysides that could satiate ANY location scouts! We have the talent and knowledge to produce the types of films that people want to see, free from studio meddling and tampering. ADDITIONALLY if we are successful with this Indiegogo campaign, it can prove that we can produce MORE films in WV, employing MORE professional crews and crafts persons. The sky is the limit and it can all start or end here! WV what are you waiting on!? GET ON BOARD with us NOW! I know you have it in you!
As an educator at heart, I have a vested interest in the ability for others to be able to continue to find work locally in their passion. Many years ago I wrote the curriculum for West Virginia's ONLY full-day High School Film, Television, and Multi-Media Arts and Sciences department. I taught and led that department for eight successful years before taking the change to strike out on my own. Many of the kids I taught, my graduates, now work steadily in Radio, Television, and Film. I am proud that I had the chance to help those kids follow their dreams and achieve to greatness. Now I am taking my chance and I am confident that it's the right time to move into this new profession. With your help we can make my dream become yours and we can make this film happen!
I hope you will donate what you can and help me achieve this this dream.
Other Ways You Can Help
While we have come up with some very cool and fun rewards to say "Thank You" to those who have donated, there is another way you can help. Even if you have already donated (or you chose not to) help us get the word out! Use the indiegogo share tools at least once a day to annoy all your friends and blow up their news feeds! The more people that see this, the better our chances we of meeting and exceeding our goal! And you know what more funds mean? Yes, it means the best production possible!
Thank you all for looking at this page! Check back often for more updates and news!