Training School For Horror Filmmakers Coming To Birmingham

Brian Yuzna, famed for his work on horror movies such as Re-animator and Society, has unveiled plans to set up a horror training academy in Birmingham.


Developed alongside Birmingham City University’s School of Media, film director and producer Brian Yuzna has announced plans to open a training academy aimed at film graduates with a keen interest in horror. Initially running for a year, the project will produce a feature film potentially available to international audiences, with students schooled on the genre’s earliest examples during the silent film period to today’s penchant for the found footage thriller.

Yuzna, famed for his work on horror movies Re-animator and Society as well as family hit Honey I Shrunk the Kids, has previously ventured into Europe with the Fantastic Factory studio in Spain in 2000 which has produced low budget horror, sci-fi and fantasy films with a focus on developing local talent.

He said: “The idea is to coordinate with the University to create a course that would result in a feature film that could actually be sold on the general film market. We would look at what constitutes a horror or genre movie and how it fits into the history of cinema. Basically, if you don’t know the genre you’re working in you’re at a disadvantage. Just as an architectural student needs to understand the style that they’re working in, you can’t make a movie without context.

“I think Psycho was the film that really knocked it out of the park and kind of established the model for the slasher movie.

“There’s a wider acceptance now of horror movies, or what I refer to as ‘genre movies’. I always feel like horror is supposed to be transgressive, there should be something about it that goes over the edge. Horror is the rock and roll of cinema.”

Dr Xavier Mendik, Associate Professor in Film at Birmingham City University and Director of Cine-Excess international film festival, said: “We are honoured to be working with an acclaimed genre icon such as Brian Yuzna on this exciting new project, which will help train the next generation of horror film talent.

“It is now widely accepted that horror cinema is an important format for exploring wider social trends and tensions, but no one has yet come up with an educational format which sees aspiring filmmakers taught by established masters of the horror genre.”

Yuzna’s visit to the University comes ahead of this year’s Cine-Excess International film festival, which takes place at the University of Brighton between 12 -14 November. The Festival will move to Birmingham City University in 2016 to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

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