Horror Hotel was created by Ricky Hess, an independent filmmaker in Atlanta, GA. Ricky was introduced to indie filmmaking by doing special effects, creating costume designs, editing and even acting in some short horror films his friends were making. He decided to do an anthology style web series similar in style to The Twilight Zone or Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Ricky wants to tell stories that have quirky characters based around a seedy old motor court located on the outskirts of nowhere.
After looking at a number of actual locations Ricky decided it wasn’t practical to film inside actual motel rooms due to space restrictions and technical difficulties. Ricky’s mother, Debbie, allowed Ricky’s filmmaking friends to use her garage for filming other projects and they always behaved themselves. She suggested that Ricky build a motel set in the garage where her car normally lives.
Debbie became the Executive Producer, Casting Director, Distributor and ultimately important in Indi filmmaking, Kraft Services, making lunch for everyone. Debbie also designed the look of the set using a shabby chic motif with the room changing looks for each episode to match the mood and storyline.
Ricky’s dad, Al Hess, helped to tack together the flats and submitted some odd short stories to convert into scripts. Al says he gets his story ideas from odd news stories and unique characters from family members. Reality is far stranger than fiction.
People often ask if there was any weird happenings during filming. There was one strange and startling incident where everyone was downstairs filming episode “Guillotine” We heard an extremely loud crash upstairs. We thought a visiting baby had taken a nosedive off the couch. After inspecting all around, there was no sign of anything falling, nothing broken or out of place. The cause was never determined. The baby was sleeping soundly.
Ricky advises other indie horror filmmakers to not rely entirely on shock effects. Ricky says the filmmaker should engage the audience with good storylines and accent it with horror elements. He says the most important thing is to finish the project. If you don’t finish the project it doesn’t matter how cool the special effect is.
Ricky Hess has already started filming Horror Hotel, Season Two which promises more twisted tales of science fiction and suspense. Principal photography is now complete for episode “Aliens Stole My Boyfriend.” It’s about two gorgeous Alien chicks that are cruising the Galaxy looking for boyfriends. The cute Alien girls crash land their space buggy in the parking lot of the Motor Court. They’re here to recruit boyfriends to take back to take back to their home Planet Moe. Seems the boys on Planet Moe were decimated by Testosterone fever. The Aliens are welcomed by a friendly Earth boy and a very unfriendly Earth girl. The cast includes Stephanie Stevens, Kalyn Elizabeth Wood, Austin Freeman, Anastasia Peck and James Edward Thomas.
Season Two will undoubtedly continue to tantalize and entertain horror/sci-fi/mystery fans with more twisted tales of the uncanny side of human nature including lust, greed, jealousy, vanity and more that drive the stories on Horror Hotel.
Check out the trailer for the series below.
Visit them at www.horrorhotelwebseries.com