Jennifer Blanc of Blanc/Biehn Productions has spent a lot of time in front of the camera as well as behind the scenes as a producer, but now it's time for the do-it-all to find herself a seat in the director's chair for The Night Visitor.
From the Press Release Actress and producer Jennifer Blanc-Biehn teams up with Streamy Award-winning producer Mark Gantt (THE BANNEN WAY) and Lony Ruhmann (who is also helping produce HIDDEN In THE WOODS, the remake ) for her directorial debut on the digital feature THE NIGHT VISITOR. The film, a mix of both sci-fi and horror, will be shot in the found footage style that has become popular within the genres. Ruhmann helmed the story and will executive produce with Blanc-Biehn; Gantt will produce the screenplay written by the Marcus Bros. (HIDDEN IN THE WOODS, THE FARM).
“’The Night Visitor effortlessly blends the sci-fi, horror and supernatural genres together with a beautiful balance of charm, humor and irony. I’m super excited to be a part of Jen Blanc-Biehn’s directorial debut; her vision and passion are leading the charge.” – Mark Gantt
Filming begins April 4th in Los Angeles with a tight budget and schedule. The ambitious shoot is helped along with the majority of the cast and crew, Blanc-Biehn Productions’ alumni, offering favors and deals to help elevate the production. “In my maiden voyage as a director, I feel fortunate to have such passionate friends and co-workers that have stepped up to the plate to bring this vision to life.” – Jennifer Blanc-Biehn
The cast so far includes Brianne Davis (PROM NIGHT, AMONG FRIENDS, JARHEAD), who’s jumping aboard before shooting the Lifetime series "WITCHES OF EAST END" in Vancouver. Davis and Blanc-Biehn worked together in Danielle Harris’ directorial debut , AMONG FRIENDS, written by Alyssa Lobit, which will be released this summer by Lionsgate Home Video and Grindstone Entertainment. Davis plays the role of Jen, mother of six-year-old Ricky, who’s being tormented by a demented alien. “I’m totally thrilled to be working with Jen on her directorial debut. ‘The Night Visitor’ is such a great concept, and I love the character I’m playing; she’s strong, passionate and desperately wants to save her marriage and protect her son.” – Brianne Davis.
Additional cast members include Gary Cairns (HERO WANTED, JUSTIFIED), Jennifer Blanc-Biehn (DARK ANGEL, WRONG COPS, THE VICTIM), Mark Gantt (THE BANNEN WAY, OCEAN’S 11) and Tara Buck (TRUE BLOOD, JUSTIFIED, TOMORROW YOU’RE GONE). "I'm a huge fan of horror and sci-fi, and 'The Night Visitor' provides a great role for me to sink my teeth into." – Tara Buck
DREAD CENTRAL: New Casting News Found Hidden in the Woods
More casting news has come our way for Patricio Valladares' English-language remake of Hidden in the Woods. Read on for the early word on just who has signed on for active duty in this horrific affair.
The cast is now comprised of Michael Biehn, William Forsythe, Jeannine Kaspar, Electra Avelan, Mark Burnham, Jennifer Blanc, Richard Gunn, Caitlin Keats, Matthew Alan, Mark Gantt, Cheryl Hawker, Greg Ingram, Evie Louise Thompson, Grace Powell, Larry Carroll, Nick Nicholson, Jeremy JD Norton, Rebecca Torellas, Nick Bateman, Cody Hackman, and Luke Massy.
Hidden in the Woods is a powerful tale of urban violence and "closely faithful to the atmospheres of the original", in the words of actor/producer Michael Biehn. The film has been acquired to be handled internationally and launched in Cannes by Dimitri Stephanides of WTF, the Paris-based sales company who also represents Michael Biehn's and Jennifer Blanc's previous film, The Victim. Shot in Texas on an unannounced budget, Valladares' Hidden in the Woods promises to be one of the most exciting thrillers to look out for in 2014.
Synopsis Hidden in the Woods tells the story of two sisters who have been raised in isolation, subjected to the torment of their abusive, drug dealing father. When they finally decide to report him to the police, he kills the two officers and is put in jail. But things go from bad to worse when the girls must answer to their Uncle Costello, a psychotic drug kingpin, who shows up looking for his missing merchandise which is hidden in the woods.
Mark Gantt’s short film Donor focuses on a couple on the verge of a huge life event. Sammy (Alexis Boozer) is about to donate her eggs to another couple, and her commitment-phobic-until-now boyfriend John (Trevor Algatt) is not sure it’s the right thing to do. Over the course of their morning, the two go back and forth on everything from faith to fertility as they try to reconcile their feelings and fears.
A film like this is a straight-up acting showpiece, as it captures a moment in a day and lets the camera soak in the performances on display. Alexis Boozer and Trevor Algatt do an incredible job with the short time they’re given to make an impression in this film. The dialogue, which could be considered a little too stilted or on-the-nose on the page, comes across as natural when delivered by the duo; the film’s emotional gear-shifts never feel forced or false.
In the end, Donor is powered by performance above all, and the actors involved don’t disappoint in the slightest. If this were but part of a larger story, I would’ve kept watching. As it is, though, it’s an emotionally strong short film.
There are decisions in life that will affect both you and others for the rest of their lives. One of those is the focus of a new short from director Mark Gantt called Donor. Here’s the story:
Sammy has decided to sell an egg, and her longtime boyfriend, John is having some second thoughts, which leads the relationship into a bit of rocky territory.
What’s really happening here is 2 things. 1, we’re seeing that things that affect a woman also have major affects on the man in her life, and 2, Gantt is using this short to make a statement about women’s rights and, it seems to me, the so-called ‘war on women’ that we’ve been hearing about ad-nauseum for the past year! The bottom line here, to me, is that just because you do something, you shouldn’t think that it only affects you…and, ultimately, what any person (man or woman) does with their body is up to them.
Donor is an interesting look at an interesting and provocative topic, it’s well written, well acted and is just a great short that will make you think and have you talking. I’m giving Donor 4 out of 4 cigars, for not being just a good story, but for being thought provoking without being preachy! Find out more over at http://www.donorshortfilm.com.
The drive for "Donor" that keeps the film afloat are the duel performances and writing. Without them, "Donor" feels like an ultimately hazy and foggy film in regards toward its intent. It's a film that claims to be about god and love, but in the end I could never actually decide if "Donor" was about. Does it discourage donating eggs to help couples conceive since it may be against God? Is it for donating eggs? Is it merely an objective short film about a moment in a couple's life, meant to incite conversation among audiences? I could never quite be sure. In either case, "Donor" is a strong and very compelling short film thanks to the tight writing and excellent performances from the duel cast of Trevor Algatt and Alexis Boozer.
Meanwhile, the character of Sam seems to ride on the motives of helping people, while helping herself in the process. Mark Gantt directs the short with great directorial finesse, allowing the actors to keep the film moving along, and it works. I found the performances to be strong and very powerful and they really do add urgency to the plot and ultimate conflict involving religion, priority, and the future.
While I was never sure on the intent of the premise and mission behind, "Donor" is a very entertaining short film thanks to its set of powerful performances and good direction. This is definitely a thought provoking cinematic effort worthy of an audience.