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First Look: Michael Ballif's They Live Inside Us

One of the top up-and-coming horror directors we keep a close eye on here at AITH is THE WITCHING SEASON writer-director Michael Ballif. If you haven't had the pleasure of checking out Ballif's THE WITCHING SEASON, which is a horror anthology series best described as ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK meets TRICK R TREAT, then you can do so RIGHT HERE.

And it's with this love of Ballif's work that today we are excited to pass along word that Ballif and his The Witching Season Films team are crafting their first feature film THEY LIVE INSIDE US. And if that wasn't cool enough, today we also have an exclusive quote from Ballif about his upcoming movie. Specifically, I asked the first-time feature filmmaker about his experience transitioning from short films to features. Check out his comments below!

Michael Ballif:

One of the biggest things this project has taught me so far is how vital it is to have a solid script. When making short films, I generally find it pretty easy to keep the whole idea in my head. But with a feature that’s a completely different story. Just the sheer size and scope of what you're dealing with — it’s almost impossible to keep track of all of it all internally. You really need that script to rely on, it’s just too easy to get lost. Especially when you inevitably end up shooting things out of order, which is another thing that has taken some getting used to. But I'm learning that's all part of the process.

Another big transition has been getting used to working on a tight and rigorous production schedule. For They Live Inside Us, I am working with a few actors who live out of state, which has required some very intricate scheduling. There was one block of filming where we shot 10 days straight to get everything we needed with a particular set of actors before they needed to fly home. In some cases we've had to shoot just one side of a sequence with a particular actor who is only available for a limited window, then go back and shoot the other side with their counterpart weeks or even months later. It's complicated and a little messier than I am used to — but again, all part of the process.

All that said, as difficult as making this movie has been, I am genuinely enjoying this experience quite a bit. I am learning a ton and it has been exciting to see the Witching Season Films team really step up their game. It really feels like we are taking things to next level with this project. We're excited to show you what we're working on.

THEY LIVE INSIDE US was originally created as a short film which also doubles as the fourth installment of THE WITCHING SEASON horror anthology. This 30-minute short was used as a proof of concept to pitch a feature-length adaptation of the same story, which follows

Jake, a screenwriter dealing with a serious bout of writer's block. In hope of finding inspiration for his latest project, Jake takes his daughter to spend Halloween night in the notoriously haunted Booth House. He soon realizes that there is something evil in the house and he is living in his own horror story.    

The Witching Season Films team ended up running a successful crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo to raise a small budget to make the film. Similar to the short, the feature will include an abundance of Halloween atmosphere and a variety of horror movie characters that is sure to appease horror fans and Halloween enthusiasts alike.

THEY LIVE INSIDE US is written and directed by Michael Ballif and stars James Morris, Hailey Nebeker, Emily Broschinsky, and Stevie Dutson. Ballif, Morris, Allen Bradford, and Jordan Swenson produce. The Witching Season Films team anticipates the film will be ready for distribution by Halloween 2019. You can check out a handful of first-look stills from the film below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think!

Source: AITH

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