How to Build a Successful Career in the Horror Industry

Hosted by Rebekah McKendry, PhD

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Rebekah McKendry, PhD

Webinar hosted by: Rebekah McKendry, PhD

Co-host of Blumhouse's Award-Winning Shock Waves Podcast

Rebekah McKendry was the Editor-in-Chief for Blumhouse Productions as well as the Director of Marketing for Fangoria Entertainment. She is also currently a co-host of Blumhouse’s award-winning Shock Waves Podcast (along with Ryan Turek, Blumhouse's VP of Development) and host of Fangoria’s Nightmare University Podcast.She is an award-winning director, writer, and producer with a strong focus in the horror and science fiction genres and has a doctorate in Media Studies focused on the Horror Genre from Virginia Commonwealth University, an MA in Film Studies from City University of New York, and a second MA from Virginia Tech in Arts Education. Rebekah now serves as a professor in the renowned University of Southern California’s Cinematic Arts Department, specializing in directing and the horror genre. There are few people in the world who understand the world of horror filmmaking better than Rebekah, and she’s excited to share what she knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

The world of independent horror is like no other arena in the film industry. The appetite for new horror films is strong, consistent, and seemingly endless, as always-hungry audiences continue to seek out new titles. As a result, hundreds of horror films are made each year and the market itself is incredibly profitable. Yet in such a saturated market and with such a volume of horror films being released, it can be very hard to stand out. After all, out of hundreds of horror films, there are always only a couple BABADOOKs or GREEN ROOMs that have real staying power. A lot of people are able to work in the horror space, but staying in and thriving can be a lot more difficult. The challenge lies in figuring out what you can do to make your project and your work stand out.

The independent horror film industry can be a difficult world to navigate, fraught with unique challenges and hurdles. Rules and trends that apply to the film industry on a larger scale can often differ when zoomed into just horror. It’s important, then, for filmmakers interested in the independent horror space to understand this market specifically and better operate within it. How do you get meetings, get your work read, create a name for yourself, and get attention? How can you create projects and own your craft to continue to work within the constantly changing space of horror cinema? The horror world does have plenty of obstacles, but there are many steps you can take at any level of your career to get ahead of the curve.

Rebekah McKendry was the Editor-in-Chief for Blumhouse Productions as well as the Director of Marketing for Fangoria Entertainment.  She is also currently a co-host of Blumhouse’s award-winning Shock Waves Podcast (along with Ryan Turek, Blumhouse's VP of Development) and host of Fangoria’s Nightmare University Podcast. Rebekah now serves as a professor in the renowned University of Southern California’s Cinematic Arts Department, specializing in directing and the horror genre. There are few people in the world who understand the world of horror filmmaking better than Rebekah, and she’s excited to share what she knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community.

Rebekah will explore how to understand trends and tastes in horror, changes in distribution models and budgets, and how you can prepare for a long career. She will begin with a brief history of independent horror cinema, focusing on how horror tastes have evolved, how the genre has developed, what sort of trends have been created, how distribution models have changed, and social issues and problems that have come along with it. She’ll then delve into the current horror film market. She’ll outline the key players who are producing notable horror films and discuss the successful budget ranges that we are seeing right now. Rebekah will go over the production models that are being used in the horror space, including the conventional “studio” model, as well as the Blumhouse model. Next she’ll get into the microbudget film, what that looks like and what you have to maintain for it to work. Rebekah will then talk about distribution and how to navigate this part of the industry. She’ll teach you about the contemporary trends in horror films, outlining what’s popular and why, and what might be coming in the future. She’ll discuss the specific need and push for diverse voices within this genre and speak to the opportunity for social awareness in these films. Next Rebekah will teach you how to thrive in the horror industry as a filmmaker. She’ll go over how to craft a project, how to generate hype and get exposure for it, how to navigate conventions and festivals and what you can do to help get your script read. You will leave this webinar with a firm handle on this unique and tricky subsection of the film industry.

 

Praise for Rebekah's Stage 32 Webinar

 

"This was awesome! Succinct but full of up-to-date information and very motivating. I love that she harped on "just make something!" So positive and supportive and I learned a lot!"

-Allie R.

 

"This was amazing! I was hesitant about spending $50 on this but it was worth every penny!"

-Taylor D.

 

"I thought Rebekah had by FAR the best webinar I have seen yet. She has such passion and coveys it- and she obviously has been in the industry and around it in so many ways her whole career - fantastic!"

-Gail B.

 

"This is exactly what I needed to see and hear, and Rebekah provided so much good information that I can apply to my projects."

-Irene C.

 

What You'll Learn

  • A History of Independent Horror Cinema
    • Evolving horror tastes
    • Genre development
    • Creating trends
    • Distribution changes
    • Social issues
  • The Current Horror Market
    • Who produces horror films including key players
    • Successful budget ranges of horror films
    • Defining microbudget, low budget, etc.
    • The Blumhouse model
    • The “studio” model
    • The acceptance of the microbudget
      • What do you have to maintain at a microbudget level
    • Where are horror films being distributed and how to work in the space?
      • Theatres
      • VODS markets
      • Online markets
      • Festivals
      • Self-distribution
    • Exploring contemporary trends
      • What’s popular and why
      • Adhering to trends or not
      • Predicting future genre trends
    • The Need and Push for Diverse Voices
    • Social Awareness in Horror Films
  • How to Thrive in the Horror Industry
    • Crafting a project
    • Generating hype and getting exposure
    • Conventions and festivals
    • Networking
    • Getting your script read
  • Q&A with Rebekah

About Your Instructor

Rebekah McKendry was the Editor-in-Chief for Blumhouse Productions as well as the Director of Marketing for Fangoria Entertainment. She is also currently a co-host of Blumhouse’s award-winning Shock Waves Podcast (along with Ryan Turek, Blumhouse's VP of Development) and host of Fangoria’s Nightmare University Podcast.She is an award-winning director, writer, and producer with a strong focus in the horror and science fiction genres and has a doctorate in Media Studies focused on the Horror Genre from Virginia Commonwealth University, an MA in Film Studies from City University of New York, and a second MA from Virginia Tech in Arts Education. Rebekah now serves as a professor in the renowned University of Southern California’s Cinematic Arts Department, specializing in directing and the horror genre. There are few people in the world who understand the world of horror filmmaking better than Rebekah, and she’s excited to share what she knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community.

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Reviews Average Rating: 5 out of 5

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