I make indie horror films. AMA

Sam Salerno
Jan 11, 2018

My name is Sam Salerno. I am the writer/director of a film called "The Dark Side of the Womb" which you can stream for free on Amazon. The film is about a dwarf who marries a really big woman, and after she dies, he mutilates her corpse with a kitchen knife, climbs inside her body, goes into her womb, then she gets resurrected and she gives birth to him... yeah... now I'm trying to raise a few thousand dollars for my next project, "Kiss My Ashes" about two nature-obsessed people who find a severed penis and use it to grow a new person. Ask me anything about making indie films or about my films.


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How can you ensure you will gain ROI from this production?

Jan 16, 5:33AM EST0

What could be the contribution of this horror movie to the lives of people?

Jan 15, 3:03PM EST0

Yeah I get that the basic concept of each movie, which I i used on the AMA and what I use to market them, makes them sound pointless and like just random nonsense, but they do mean a lot of me personally, and they both have very personal stpries that people will hopefully relate too.

Jan 15, 5:40PM EST0

What are some of your main concerns in horror movie production based on the aspect of the influence it has on the youth?

Jan 13, 1:18PM EST0

I don' know. I don' think it' influence of youth is inherently worse than any other genre. I think people do bad things because they are bad and not because they watched a horror movie. If the movie is directly inciting violence then it' a problem, but merely showing violence in movies is fine. Maybe don' show them to your five hear old, but I think it's fine for teenagers to watch them.

Jan 13, 1:33PM EST0

Name one Hindi movie that has been banned. Do you think it's right to ban the movie? Why?

Jan 12, 12:35PM EST0

I don't know of any. But no, I don' think anything should be banned, unless illegal physical acts were done in the making. But free speech should cover movies.

Jan 12, 2:01PM EST0

Movies can also change the perception of the moviegoers. Could this one you're making change the way people perceive about the ability of the womb to support life?

Jan 12, 9:47AM EST0

I don' know, probably not, i dont think the movie really says anything worthwhile about the Womb. I think maybe it can change audiences perception on other things though, but the Womb scenes are so surreal and rediculous that it probably couldn't really say much on that topic. But he's, wombs seem like an incredible thing, creating life is no easy task. 

Jan 12, 12:12PM EST0

What is the main source of motivation in coming up with “ The Dark Side of the Womb?”

Jan 12, 6:24AM EST0

Well it started out as a joke. When I was in high school (around 2012) me and some friends were going to make a short film. Inception was the big film at the time, and it was about a dream within a dream. I jokingly said we should make a film called Conception, about a person inside a person. I thought it would be funny to have a guy cut open his wife, climb inside her, and then get birthed. But at the time it was mostly a joke, and I didn' have the resources to make it. A few years later, I had to make my junior thesis film in college, and I thought back to that idea and I decided to make it (that was the original short film version of dark side, which is on youtube). Then I realized when inthought about it, that the husband couldn't fit in his wife' womb, so I made him a dwarf and her really big, and then I realized that could lead to a cool story about loving each other despite your differences. 

Jan 12, 12:10PM EST0

How many people are involved in the production process?

Jan 12, 5:25AM EST0

For my first film, it was me (writer, director, and producer), a second producer, a cinematographer, and a few volunteer production assistants. I did the video diting and sound editing and sound editing myself, so our total crew was like 6 people.

Jan 12, 12:05PM EST0

How can you convince moviegoers to watch "Kiss My Ashes"? What will they get from the concept this movie is trying to promote?

Jan 12, 5:14AM EST0

Indie horror is generally far more extreme than mainstream horror, so marketing an indie horror film really comes down to having a basic pitch of a memorable title that is funny or memorable, a cool poster, and maybe a funny tagline. Basically, indie horror movies have to catch your attention and seem really funny or really gross. Like there's one indie horror co next movie called dick shark, where a guys dick turns into a shark. I haven' seen it, but I saw a poster for it and saw the titles, and it caught my attention, since it was so rediculous. For kiss my ashes, the basic premise is so rediculous and uncomfortable that people might want to see it.

Jan 12, 12:16PM EST0

What is your feeling about horror movie remakes?

Jan 11, 6:57PM EST0

Some are good and others aren't. I wish they would focus.less on remakes and make morenoriginal movies. I am not personally interested in doing a remake, as.i like to come up with original stuff. But a lot if people complain that if they hate the remake that it "ruined the series" which I don' get cause if you don' like t you can just pretend it doesn' exist and watch the original. I guess if ur gonna remake something, in my opinion you should change it up cause there' not point in just remaking the same thing that's already been made.

Jan 11, 7:20PM EST0

What are some of the best indie horror movies of the first decade of the 21st century?

Jan 11, 5:53PM EST0

Emir Skalonja makes some cool stuff like The Plague. Also, William Hellfire's Upside down Cross is really cool. James Bell makes cool stuff too, like Tantrum. Of course, my personal favorite is The DARK Side of the Womb, but that' because I made it :)

Jan 11, 5:59PM EST0

What kind of antagonist do you like featured in your horror movies?

Jan 11, 3:05PM EST0

I like antagonists that feel like they are in someway symbolic of pycological issues. If the antagonjst is a lktwral monster, let him stand for some issue inside the mind of the protagonist that they judt learn to overcome. If the antagonist is a real person who is a killer, let them be able to state their motives in the movie. Like in my movie the Dark Side of the Womb, the bad guy is a serial killer, but I gave him a 10 minute scene where he is alone and we get to see how he got that way.

Jan 11, 4:24PM EST0

Site five reasons why many people like psychological horror movies.

Jan 11, 2:44PM EST0

I personally love psychlogical horror, so this question is exciting to me. I guess for me personally, I want to feel lime the movie connects with me on a personal level. A movie is maybe 2 hours long, which is such a short time. But if it  can tap into the viewers mind, their psyche, their history, then suddenly it moves beyond the scope of a two hour time period. It becomes a thing you keep coming back to on your journey to self discovery. Research silent hill 2, I think to me itnis the best psychological horror of all time, even though it's a video game. I can' really come up with a list of 5 reasons like your question stated, because think my thoughts on the matter are difficult to put into words, it' more something I can feel.

Jan 11, 4:28PM EST0

Do you think myths and lores applied in horror movies can become an effective element of a horror movie?

Jan 11, 11:10AM EST0

Yes. There' a new show called Lore that talks about real life myths and occurences that influenced horror movies. I think horror movie makers need to rppt the scares of their movies in things that psychologically disturb people, and old myths and lores were created for similar reasons, to explain our fears in a fictional way.

Jan 11, 12:30PM EST0

How do you create suspense in a horror movie?

Jan 11, 10:42AM EST0

My strategy is to make sure you pace things slow and to make sure that there aren' any surprises. Shocking surprises can work for comedy, but I think for horror you can' surprise them, ijnstead you need a long,.slow, drawn out sequence where the audiencr.knows what is going to happen, and they suffer from too much antici...pation.

Jan 11, 12:32PM EST0

What can you say about competition in the movie industry worldwide? How does this affect your profit margin?

Jan 11, 6:41AM EST0

I don' k ow.much about Hollywood, even though I'm from LA, because I just produce and release my proojects myself so I'm not nvolved in the Hollywood scene. This is the first time ever where indie filmmakers can spend essentially no money on a project and make somethijng that looks comparable to the big budget Hollywood movies, since the technology has gotten so cheap for good cameras and stuff. Nowadays, even many of the movies you see in theaters are I die films that the big, famous studios just bought after completion and put their name on.  Because of this, movie budgets have become polarized, where they have super high budget films like Star Wars or Marvel, or they have relatively low budget indie films, but there isn' much in between.

Jan 11, 12:36PM EST0

I hate scary movies. Which is the scariest Hindi horror movie for you?

Jan 10, 11:11PM EST0

I haven't seen any Hindi horror movies. But two horror movies that I thought were scary were "The Autopsy of Jane Doe" and an old 80s movie called "The Changeling."

Jan 11, 12:27PM EST0

Why do you think some people laugh at horror movies?

Jan 10, 8:06PM EST0

I feel like many horror movies, such as my.movies, are meant to be laughed at. Most people don' realize that probably about half of the horror movies out there aren' really meant to be taken seriously. Then there' the ones that are meant to be scary and are laughed at, which is.peobably because people like to make fun of stuff if they see that other people like stuff that they don' personally like.

Jan 10, 8:13PM EST1
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What could be the worst reaction of people who watched “The Dark Side of the Womb”?

Jan 10, 3:44PM EST0

Well some people get really grossed out and disturbed by it, which is a negstive.reaction, and I would prefer that they would like it, but at least if it really disturbed them, then at least it me a somewhat of an impression. I guess the worst reaction would be that someone just didn' care about the movie and it didn't affect them. Even a bad reaction seems better than no reaction.

Jan 10, 6:22PM EST0

Which age bracket do you recommend to watch horror movies?

Jan 10, 1:30PM EST0

I think any age beyond like 10. I used to watch horror movies at a very young age. I think parents should probably not let their kids see every horror movie, but many of them are fine. For my films, I would maybe say wait till they'e like 13. I found that many older people (40+) liked my first movie, so really any age I guess.

Jan 10, 2:04PM EST0

Have you formulated marketing strategies to promote the movie?

Jan 10, 6:15AM EST0

No.  I don' really know how to do that beyond judt setting up the indicator campaign. 

Jan 10, 1:18PM EST0
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