Before the world shutdown during the pandemic, production was already underway for a local horror movie project produced, directed, and written by two Midland men.

“All My Friends Are Dead”, created by Brandon Giles and Mark Ginter premiered for local audiences on Saturday in Bay City.

The story follows a young woman who invites her friends into the woods to dump her father’s ashes. The group sits around the fire, telling stories to frighten each other, but the events that happen around them are more sinister.

The production, featuring local actors and staff, became a passion project for all according to the creators.

The movie was shot in multiple local locations, including the Historic Masonic Temple in Bay City.

Giles said his favorite scene can be seen in the trailer for the film, where two campers break off from the group.

“When we were shooting it, Mark lit up the tent so there’s silhouettes inside of it,” Giles said.

For Ginter, his favorite part of the production was the effects the pair used. The blood and prosthetics used in the film were homemade.

“You have a five-gallon bucket of fake blood and intestines,” Ginter said. “I became a helicopter parent, I wanted to handle the actors with kid gloves. The actors were such troopers with it.”

While having fun, the creators also wanted to ensure the set was a safe place.

“Having actors commit to longer term rolls was a big riskier because of all the things happening around us, so we tried to make it as easy as possible for people to be in the film,” Giles said.

The pandemic also changed other aspects of production, including the plot. The film originally was supposed to be a standard “set in the woods” movie, but it became an anthology so that they could film with smaller groups of actors.

“Everything was rapidly changing with covid. No one knew where it was going to end up, so we pivoted,” Ginter said. “Let’s work with these scenes rather than working on filler and cut scenes. It gave us a variety of ideas to work with.”

Giles and Ginter hope audiences tune in, not for the horror, but for the talent.

“There’s so many talented people from mid-Michigan in it,” Giles said. “People should come check it out because it’s locally produced, locally made, a real team effort. It’s not a brooding intense horror there’s a lot of us laughing at ourselves.”

The pair plans to start pre-production for a new horror film next year.

Anyone interested in joining the crew can contact them on the Gallows Production Facebook Page or the Lower Spirits page.

“All My Friends Are Dead” is available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

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