|Directed by||Douglas Harvey|
|Written by||Douglas Harvey|
|Starring||Ilze Colleen |
|Music by||Douglas Harvey|
|HSRB||GS-13 for some frightening images|
|Cinematography by||Douglas Harvey|
|Edited by||Douglas Harvey|
|Distributed by||Harvey Studios|
|Release Date||March 24, 2014|
|Running Time||5 minutes|
|External Links:||Official Website|
Closet is a 2014 horror short film written and directed by Douglas Harvey. The story follows Casey, a young woman who must come to terms with an evil entity trapped in her closet.
The monster in the film is intentionally vague and is meant to act as a metaphor for the character's repressed homosexuality. The phone call Casey receives in the film is accompanied by the monster's most violent attempts to escape the confines of the closet, but is repressed yet again by Casey's inability to come to terms with her own sexuality.
Casey, a young girl at odds with a mysterious force held in her closet, must comes to terms with both the evil entity she has trapped as well as her internal struggle to break free from her own self-imposed prison.
~~ WARNING: This section contains story spoilers!! ~~
A young woman Casey is reading a book in her room when she hears increasingly loud and disruptive thumping noises from a closet down the hall. When she approaches the closet she calls out to whatever is trapped inside, but receives no answer. Investigating further, Casey opens the closet and ventures a look inside. Suddenly, a vicious and mysterious monster of unknown origin bursts from the shadows and attempts to escape.
Casey manages to fight the monster and send it back into the depths of her closet. Exhausted from the struggle, she tries to verbally appease the sinister entity but receives nothing but pained moans from within. Her phone rings, breaking her from her negotiations, and Casey is pleased to see that a friend of hers, another young woman, has called her.
Her friend asks her if she'd like to hang out - just the two of them - and the prospect brings an intense joy to Casey. But as the monster within the closet begins to slip through the cracks in the door, her enthusiasm drains. Casey finally rebuffs her friend's offer, sadly, and returns to her closet.
Explaining herself, Casey tells the monster that it isn't "time" for it to come out of the closet. More pained, suffering moans come from the closet, leading Casey to ask if it will be safe if she continues to keep it prisoner for now. She asks the monster to knock once if it is safe, and knock twice if it isn't safe.
There is no answer for several moments. But then Casey herself knocks. Not once, but twice.
- Ilze Colleen as Casey, a young woman who has been keeping a strange, monstrous entity trapped in her closet.
- Douglas Harvey as The Monster, a creature of unknown origin who has been kept prisoner in a closet despite its attempts to break free.
The short film's 5-page screenplay was written and polished by Douglas Harvey within an hours' time. It was originally written to star the writer/directer himself as a complete one-man production, but it was scrapped and held on the back burner for over a year.
Ilze Colleen, a recent addition to the Harvey Studios repertoire of performers, was available for a "quick and dirty" shooting period. From the choices of available scripts that required little to no production setup and props/characters/settings, the old script for "Closet" was chosen.
The film was originally meant to star writer/director Douglas Harvey as the person keeping a monster trapped in their closet. The film was eventually scrapped in favor of other projects.
Ilze Colleen, a friend of the director's via the EPAC pool of performers that have been part of recent Harvey Studios productions, was available for a quick shooting period and out of all the scripts available within the parameters set by her availability, CLOSET was deemed the best project to work on. Thus, Ilze was cast and the story was changed from a male protagonist to a female. The story's message remains the same regardless of the gender change.
This act of re-purposing a film's central character from Douglas Harvey to a female actor is similar to the recasting of the film One Left.
Production began on March 10, 2014 with a series of rehearsals and walk-throughs. The first five shots of the film were completed that day, but were later deemed unusable by the director because of their rushed and unprepared nature.
Filming for the scene (including reshoots of the earlier material) took place entirely on March 12, 2014. Special visual effects of the monster's hands and eyes were shot and composited over the next week and a half. Due to the unplanned nature of the production, several of the shots of the monster came out unsatisfactory, but the film was released as-is as more of an experiment with visual effects than anything else.
Editing & MusicEdit
Editing was completed on March 13, 2014 - one day after the film was shot. From this rough edit, the shots requiring special visual effects were chosen and prepared for compositing work. Writer/Director Douglas Harvey then shot greenscreen plates of his own hands and eye and manipulated these images in Adobe After Effects to create the monster character. He also provided the vocalizations that were then processed to sound more creature-like.
The music is a completely synthetic orchestral score composed by Douglas Harvey. It features a recurring pulse-pounding boom as a bass track which represents the heartbeat of the main character. Other instruments in the mix include a cello and violin. The complete score was released as a single track several days before the film was released.
Release and ReceptionEdit
Closet was released on the internet (Vimeo and YouTube) on Monday, March 24, 2014.