Interview with actor, Lawrence Chau

Today I’m welcoming back actor, producer, writer and host, Lawrence Chau. Thank you, Lawrence for stopping by!

 

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I was born and raised in Toronto and have lived nine lives as a journalist, a public relations executive and as an actor/ television host in Canada, Asia and America (Ghostly Encounters, The Border, On The Run: The Elusive Mr. Wee, Showbuzz Singapore, Miss Singapore Universe, Hollywood Squares Singapore, Citylife Hong Kong and most recently, In The Limelight with Lawrence Chau). I’m currently living in Los Angeles and loving the weather, but hating the traffic. I will drive you bananas with useless showbiz trivia and conversations about politics. I love pets (especially dogs) and have a thing for real estate, especially sexy lofts. I am also aligned with the segment of the population that likes coconuts, avocados, and nuts. My vices include coffee and potato chips. Words that best describe me: silly, witty, inquisitive, intuitive, creative, organized, meticulous, friendly, adventurous, tenacious and independent.

 

 

Since your previous interview, you’ve had a lot of exciting things going on. Can you share with everyone?

Firstly, thanks for having me back! Yes, I started my own little production company and launched an online Hollywood talk show: In The Limelight with Lawrence Chau (#ITLwithLC), which I host, produce and write. I’m also in the midst of developing a few short films and possibly an independent feature. Projects like that generally take a long time to manifest because there are so many cogs in the wheel. When they do surface, though, you’ll just have to have me back to blab some more!

 

 

You’re the host of In The Limelight with Lawrence Chau. What kind of guests do you have on your show and where can viewers tune in?

#ITLwithLC is familiar territory as it brings me back to my showbiz hosting roots (I used to travel the world interviewing the biggest stars as the anchor and producer of Showbuzz, Singapore’s No. 1 entertainment news program. I was Mario Lopez before Extra Mario Lopez!).

I get to interview a range of showbiz movers and shakers on #ITLwithLC — from actors to writers to filmmakers. There are fresh faces and established names in the mix. The talk show is equal parts informative and fun.

We’ve had some great guests so far: Danish actor Caspar Phillipson, who played President John F. Kennedy in Jackie; Jona Xiao who has landed roles in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Keeping Up With The Joneses, Gifted, Halt and Catch Fire and Being Mary Jane; Heather Storm, who hosts Garage Squad; and the hilarious Katz Twins, who found fame by looking like Bradley Cooper (they really do!).

Most recently I got to interview showbiz correspondent and multiple New York Times best selling author J. Randy Taraborrelli, who’s penned biographies on everyone from Diana Ross and Beyonce to Michael Jackson and Madonna. He’s also written books on The Kennedys and is hot off the heels from executive producing and writing the hit Reelz cable channel mini-series, After Camelot. That was a pinch-me-moment because I grew up as a showbiz addict reading his books.

#ITLwithLC airs online on PacificRimVideo, SurgeTV, and my own YouTube channel (Lawrence Chau).

 

 

Aside from Ghostly Encounters, will there be anymore paranormal shows for you in the works?

Never say never, but honestly nothing concrete at the moment. I get a lot of fan inquiries asking if GE will return. I wish it were! It was a great gig. We were very much one of the forerunners to a lot today’s paranormal reality shows. Fingers crossed, though, one of my horror short films will see the light of day this or next year.

 

 

You recently were at the Oscars. What was that like?

As mind-blowing as it was when they announced the Best Oscar goes to…La La Land, no wait, Moonlight! After that it became pretty much a blur thanks to way too much Chardonnay. (Read: Lightweight as I normally don’t like to drink). I thought Jimmy Kimmel rocked as a host — just as he did at the 68th Prime Time Emmys, which I was also lucky enough to attend.

 

 

What’s next for Lawrence Chau?

Aside from developing more showbiz projects, I reckon a long overdue trip to New York, my favorite city, is in the pipeline and a holiday in Europe somewhere (Italy, Spain, England, Germany, Austria…?).

 

 

Where can fans follow you?

Official Website
www.lawrencechau.com

Facebook
Lawrence Chau-Actor/Host

Twitter and Instagram
@lawrencechauact

YouTube
Lawrence Chau

IMDB
Lawrence Chau

 

 

Positive words of wisdom?

Father Time has a way of sneaking up on you, so do what you love and try to start early. Stay focused. That said, it’s never too late to change. You just have to adapt wisely and be realistic. Whatever path(s) you choose in life, be prepared for a lot of curve balls and setbacks. Life is a challenge, a grind. You have to be tenacious, adaptable. Also, something Tom Ford (who wrote and directed Nocturnal Animals, one of my favorite films of late) said also resonated: You can have talent, looks and opportunity, but nothing will manifest unless you have drive. I’m trying to figure out why some people have drive whilst others don’t.

 

 

 

 

Interview with film director, Michael G. Kehoe

Today I’m welcoming back director, Michael G. Kehoe to discuss his new horror film, AliceThank you, Michael for stopping by!

 

 

Tell everyone a little about yourself.

I was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up going to a Catholic school. My mother was a theater director in the local parish. One of the first films that caught my attention when I was very young was a film by an Australian director Nicolas Roeg titled “Walkabout”. Roeg was a Cinematographer on such films like “Fahrehheit 451”, Second Unit on “Lawrence of Arabia” just to name a few. So his attention to detail as far as composition and light was something that caught my attention for some reason.
My family moved to Ithaca and while I attended high school I became interested in drama and started acting. I wanted to direct so I approached the school and a sports booster club to produce the play “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. I produced it, directed it and played the leading role of R. P. McMurphy. The play was a success for the sports booster club and I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I was then approached by my high school English teacher to apply to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. I then waited for word, and was finally accepted.
After completing my studies there I left for California and took a job as a bartender. There is a longer story, but it would end up being a book!

 

 

Your latest horror film is titled, Alice. Prior to it becoming a feature film, it was the short film called Hush which received more than 30 phenomenal awards. Share with us Hush’s success and how it became Alice.

I had been developing an idea that would take place in one location with female leads. I happen to have 4 sisters, they’re independent and their personalities are very strong. I have a great relationship with all of them. My mother, was a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock, and she was a very positive inspiration for me to pursue a career as a filmmaker. All of this is what lit the fuse of inspiration. I began writing a screenplay and did not have a title. The screenplay was written quickly and I knew that every screenplay I write will have a follow up journey of a rewrite and another rewrite and another and a polish and a touch up, this is the life of a writer! Within the untitled screenplay I pulled a scene that although was less than 5 minutes long, it had somewhat of a three act structure. I then decided to take that scene and shoot it as a short film. The scene itself is the catalyst of the third act in the feature script.

I had several ideas on how I wanted to shoot the film and then contacted cinematographer and long time friend John Connor. We met and discussed the approach to the film for several months. We created story boards, developed movement of the shots and composition. John suggested we shoot the film with anamorphic lenses and that was the scope I wanted for the film giving it a grand look. We then discussed lighting. Lighting for this genre is extremely important and the right lighting can give the film a style that remains in peoples minds after they’ve left the theater. I must give credit to John Connor for the style and the lighting. At first he was reluctant when I said I did not want to use any lights at all. We looked at dozens of films that inspired us over the years and John came up with an idea that created the style of the film. It has his mark on it. I then brought on a talented editor Michael Trent. Michael and I had a friendship already through our sons, he loves filmmaking as much as I do and I felt as if we were old friends when we began discussing the short film HUSH. Michael talked about the science of the horror genre. I loved those discussions we had over coffee. Each and every moment was touched upon and I knew Michael Trent was the right choice. I not only consider him a friend, but he is my editor!

We shot the short film in one day, less than 11 hours. We came prepared and the cast and crew were spot on! At the time, I fooled around with different titles such as “Dark Rain”, “The Night It Came” and several others. Then, a friend of mine read the short script and in the script there was dialogue that the baby sitter had: “Hush, I’m coming”. So, we decided to use “HUSH”. The short film went on to win 34 awards, including a Wes Craven award. The buzz for the short was extremely rewarding and it gave us faith to continue with the feature.

I then received a call from producer Malek Akkad (producer of the HALLOWEEN franchise), he had screened the short film and read the script. We met, solidified a deal and went over the ideas for the story. Malek is a passionate producer with attention to story. He and I worked diligently on the script and spent hours going over the approach of the cast. We both agreed to avoid the cliche’ of nudity and blood and worked the relationships out that would be relatable to the female audience. We moved on and scheduled the film to shoot with an 18 day schedule that ended out being shorter than that. Believe me, if I had more time we would have used it! But we accomplished what we set out to do and I am very proud of this film.

 

 

What makes Alice the “must see” film for all horror fans?

I think the element of “what’s behind the door?” is always something that horror fans love. I learned quickly that horror fans are loyal and sharp. You can’t cheat a horror fan, if you do, you’ll never hear the end of it. The genre itself has many flavors, there’s ghosts, vampires, monsters, killers, demons and the list goes on. Each of these flavors has a following that is dedicated to the history, the tone and the style. I hope we can give the fans a ride that will open the doors to a sequel! I think they’ll enjoy this as the fans enjoyed the short film. We want to scare the crap out of the audience!

 

 

What are some things people are saying about this exciting film so far?

During post, the technicians have stated that “ALICE” is creepy with great jump scares. They’ve said “you took us on one path and then jolted us to another”. No one on the outside has even seen the film, not the crew, not the cast. Only the small circle that pulled this all together. The word has been very positive.

 

 

Is there a teaser trailer available?

We’re working on a trailer right now. In fact, we will be announcing a contest on social network very soon!

 

 

When will Alice be released for all to see?

At the present time “ALICE” is due to be released in February.

 

 

Where can horror fans find updates about Alice?

Right now people should log on to Facebook and “Like” the “ALICE The Movie” page: https://www.facebook.com/alicemovie2017/?fref=ts
There will be updates and information being released. Be sure to keep an eye out for the big event we will be announcing.
People can follow me on social network: Instagram; @mikehoe11 Twitter: @MikeyKehoe https://twitter.com/MikeyKehoe

 

 

I want to thank you Sheila Renee Parker for your support and your dedication to the paranormal. Your voice should be heard all across the country. I hope you will continue to support the films I make in the future! I would also like to thank the people you inspired to follow me. I hope I can bring the film to a theater near you!

Thank you,
Michael G. Kehoe

 

 

alice

 

 

 

Interview with Marty Schiff

Today I’m welcoming actor and producer, Marty Schiff. Thank you, Marty for stopping by!

 

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Well… I don’t really know where to start. I’ve had a pretty interesting life… much of it is public knowledge. I have been focused on a career in entertainment since I was 10 years old. I started doing regional theater when I was 14. Sometimes working on three shows at a time, acting, building sets and rehearsing was common for me. By the time I was 20 I had already done two dozen shows in some capacity. Some things that are not as public are: I was a volunteer fireman for many years. I learned to drive a stick on a 1956 American La France fire truck. I have two wonderful children, both who have interests in production. My daughter works as a Production Manager for PBS and my son is finishing up college. I’ve survived some pretty serious health issues…. and you’d never know it. As the song says…”ain’t found a way to kill me yet”.

 

 

What was the initial spark that inspired you to go into the film industry?

I think, and believe, it was in my DNA. I was a TV junkie at a very early age. I can still tell you what was on the air on Saturday mornings in Pittsburgh during the early 60s. It started with a test pattern. My family was also very into going to movies. I was never a noisy child in a dark theater. My grandmother would take me to the Warner Theater on Fifth Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh nearly every Saturday. Drive-ins were big for my parents and siblings.

When I was 12 my father gave me a Kodak Brownie 8 mm movie camera. I shot hundreds of hours of film… most lost in the Northridge Earthquake in 1994. But it was my joy at a very early age. Again, without any formal training I knew how to set up shots, light, direct and edit short films. I was always daydreaming about shooting something and never paid attention much in school. My imagination was… and still is… off the hook. My goal was always to get to Hollywood… and did just that after getting my theater degree at the age of 23.

There is a very real possibility that a past life connected me to Hollywood. When I moved there in 1979 it felt extremely comfortable… not many people say that about Los Angeles… and I knew my way around without maps. I have a particular fondness for The Hollywood Cemetery and used to take my daughter there for “Picnics with the Demilles”… next to Cecil and Agnes DeMille’s burial plot.

 

 

Some of your earlier work include great titles such as Dawn of the Dead and Creepshow. What are some of the other films that you’ve worked on?

I think the one film I’m remembered most for is CREEPSHOW but my favorite film to work on, also a Romero work, was KNIGHTRIDER. It’s a non horror film but still great. Some lesser known are CHILDERN OF THE LIVIND DEAD and PARTY ANIMAL. I also worked on BLANKMAN, CAN YOU FEEL ME DANCING, THE ASSASINATION FILE and others.

As an actor my career was very heavy in television. Most people don’t realize how many times they’ve seen me in commercials and shows from the 80s and 90s. I’m very proud of OUT OF CONTROL which was Nickelodeon’s very first show they produced for themselves. Until then they had been buying shows produced for other networks. We started it all. OUT OF CONTROL starred Dave Coulier who would go on to do FULL HOUSE. OUT OF CONTROL had an ensemble cast that I loved. It was still the most fun I ever had going to work. A close second was the two seasons I spent on DALLAS. I did many shows and still get residual checks for 12 cents when one of those shows runs somewhere in the world.

 

 

What’s your favorite role you’ve ever played and why?

In film it was probably Trashman 1 in CREEPSHOW. It was so much fun making most of that performance up. Of course working with George Romero is always a treat and acting alongside my on screen partner Tom Savini is always a blast. We’ve been partners on screen 5 times. (DAWN OF THE DEAD, KNIGHTRIDERS, CREEPSHOW, EFFECTS, CHILDREN OF THE LIVING DEAD)

On TV it was HERN from OUT OF CONTROL. We had a lot of creative freedom with that show and my fellow cast members, directors and producers were just awesome to work with. An actor’s dream come true. If you search the show on Youtube there are many episodes there.

 

 

You have your very own production company called, SCHIFF MEDIA. Tell us about that.

Schiff Media was one of the first all digital production companies in the Pittsburgh region. It was started by my brother Bill and I with four XL1s and Final Cut Pro 2… we were early adapters. We did lots of commercials, a documentary or two and some special projects. We had a studio set up in the back of Schiff Printing Company and it was a lot of fun. I would move on to other projects and a new company called Jeffrey Martin Global Media. JMGM is more of a distribution company but we still do production from time to time. Recently, we produced a pilot for TV called THE ODDS… focusing on gambling.

 

 

What’s next for Marty Schiff?

I have some shows I’d like to get off the ground. A few game shows, some magazine shows and a film or two. I’m teaching directing for the Cinema Department at Point Park University, where I graduated from way back in the 20th century. I have some interests in non production businesses and I might even slow down a bit… no… that’s a lie… I’m happy working… I will sleep when I’m dead.

 

 

How can fans follow you and your updates about current and upcoming projects?

Fans can find me on Facebook and if they are professionals on LinkedIn. If they are interested in the film program at Point Park I’m always available to discuss that.

 

 

Words of advice for those who’d like to follow in your footsteps?

It’s not easy… but so worth it… and obviously not impossible. The key to success isn’t so much talent as perseverance, practice, commitment and believing in you. And … most importantly… be passionate about it.. live it… breathe it… love it. Never give up, make interesting and smart choices and be brilliant.

 

 

 

Marty Schiff

Interview with Aaron Hunter

Today I’m welcoming Aaron Hunter, producer of the hit show, Real Paranormal Activity – The Podcast. Thank you, Aaron for stopping by!

 

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

“Sure, my profession is in the IT Industry and I support Financial Solution Software that have been developed “in house” at these tech companies in Chicago. I live in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. I have been here for 12 years. It’s funny about life and it’s true how the saying goes, what you do in college may not end up what you’ll be doing. I wanted to be an artist and a writer of fine novels! So, my first two years I took a lot of artsy courses. Including writing and ancient history. Then I started taking more history courses. I was fascinated about our human history! Now at this point I started to doubt my interest in writing fine novels and painting exotic beautiful women! At this point though I was playing a lot of video games. You see, my father was a Systems Engineer with IBM and he bought me my first computer back in the mid 80’s around 13 (dating myself). And that is when I started programming in Basic. I was enjoying this machine. So, back to college and my gaming habits. I soon realized that I could combine my love for being an artist and technology! Become a 3D Computer Animator! And also at the same time I didn’t think a scholar with a background in history would allow me to go where I wanted to go in the world. Third year I made my major to be 3D Animation and Graphics. This was hot stuff back then like it is now! Everyone wanted to make the next hot game or make movies. I didn’t care. I would do either, because this stuff was fun. One thing….. colleges never tell you HOW to get the job. So, after graduation I found out us computer graphic guys needed Agents. And at that time there were very little animation houses. Most were out in California. Like Electronic Arts. AND seeing as you didn’t have a good professional portfolio you normally were paid much lower wages, shorter contract time and did simple modeling, texturing or made a ball bounce. Just really amateur. And of course the pros that has been in it for years that had the six figure salary and longer contracts were not just going to move out of your way. So, I think it was three years that went by and I was working temp jobs. And then I saw this entry level tech position at this large corporation. I applied and the interview went well. They liked my background in computers and early programming. I got it! Not a bad starting salary either for Chicago area. And I was to learn their new piece of software that they were developing. I was housed at their corporate office and rubbing shoulders with the VPs and President. They had classrooms that I went to learn the software. And that’s how my dream died and started my new career! Funny how things work out. I liked the money and benefits though. Oh, I’m a Foody. I like trying new foods. I really like food from India and Poland. I also love to travel and just get lost. Movies are one of my vices as well.”

 

 

Why the paranormal and what was the driving force behind creating your own show, Real Paranormal Activity – The Podcast?

“Well, here’s long story number two! Let’s make this clear. I never had any belief in the paranormal or supernatural due to my background, obviously. It doesn’t make sense. Things moving around in thin air. Wizardry, Sorcery and magical stuff, man! So, I met this woman and it was a long distance relationship. I would fly out of Chicago to Minneapolis and vise versa. Round trip was only $114 and it was an hour trip one way. Very doable, adventurous and fun! We had a great time! And she rented this two-story Farmhouse out in the country. Very peaceful that sat on a large lot of land. It has this large fast flowing creek or small river going through the front lawn. You could fish in it. And a wooded area behind the home. I saw the stars for the first time in many years. I was always in populated areas if I traveled for business. I was also amazed at how freaking dark it was out there! So, when I visited and if we stayed at her place (sometimes we would travel to a festival nearby) it would be over the weekend or sometimes I would take a couple days off and stay for four days. All wood floors. It had a big unfinished basement and with these dark Cherry Wood paneled walls, beautiful! The thing is when the first few times I started coming over she began to tell me these “stories” about the house. She’s lived there for around a year and half before I came around. Anywhere from a male voice to footsteps upstairs to one of the owners seeing what they thought was their dead brother walking behind the house. At first it concerned me. She’s nuts! Then I just blew it off, because she is more educated than I am with her Masters. She was in the Army and is now a state agent. A Cop. So, there might be some truth to these things or she is doing a psych test on me. Cops are crafty that way! I ended up getting laid-off in 2010 with this whole financial turmoil the country was in and decided to stay out there while looking for a job. Never stayed out there for as long as I was about to. After about three-weeks to a month “things” started happening. Just loud noises in the middle of the day or at night. One night there was a “crash” downstairs so I went to look and door to the home was wide open! I bolt lock that thing every night, because it’s more dangerous out there than in Chicago. In Chicago I’m in a secure building in a good area. People everywhere. Out there, however it’s a different story. So, I’m doing these experiments to try to figure out what’s going on. And it seemed to be escalating! At one point (even though I had no proof) I thought that perhaps this house was unstable. Ha! I think it was the fourth event that really shook me and I left the next day to speak with my father about it and I wasn’t about to stay there. I’ll leave it at that, because there is a lot going on here. I tell the whole story in great detail at the show site. It’s Episode 42 and it’s two and a half hours long. We’ll get to all that information further down. So, I became FASCINATED with the paranormal. In Sept of that year (2010) I went back to Chicago, because I landed a job. And every since 2010 I’ve been reading and researching everything I can get my hands on about the paranormal. I already knew there is a lot of false claims, but I’m pretty good at catching them. I’m an academic. I don’t go looking for these things. I just research. And man there are some nasty stuff you can find, but they are pretty rare. There is a reason people don’t see these things or die without ever experiencing anything. My girlfriend and I split in 2012 and I continued on. I began getting into these files called “Podcasts”. Basically a MP3 file, but Apple started to provide a way for people to submit their own MP3 file and sell them or give them away. What happened is people just bought a mic and started recording what they wanted to talk about and also other things. Homemade Radio Shows! In January of 2015 my tech friend Brit and I sat down and started talking about making a little info type of show on the paranormal. Perhaps, ask people if they had any experiences and if they would send them in for us to read. So, we bought some equipment. Got the website established. Got some stock music. And KA-POW! Real Paranormal Activity – The Podcast (RPA) was born! We are now in Season 2!”

 

 

What are your beliefs regarding the paranormal?

“I answered some of that on the above question, but I firmly believe people won’t talk about it because it’s crazy stuff and they can’t even prove what they experienced or thought they experienced. And that’s one of the main reasons of the creation of the show. To provide an outlet for people. To provide answers. To provide a “family” of sorts. To provide perhaps some sort of therapy? So, we’ve had a GREAT response with the show’s fans. They ask for help. And sometimes thanks us for reading their story, because it helped them. I also believe as I said in the previous question you may not find anything. And most things can be debunked, but then again…. some things DO happen. I know that myself. If I never sat foot into that crazy house I would still be laughing at people instead of trying to provide an outlet. Be the solution not the problem, man! I do laugh at the paranormal shows. It’s entertainment. One thing. I would have the lights on to get clear video and to see where you’re going. Trust me. These things are not scared of lights. Things happened at the house during the day. And if they are afraid of light. We’ll there’s your solution. Always have light inside your home. Ha!”

 

 

What kind of guests do you have on your show? 

“Wow, good question. All kinds from professionals to non-professionals that have experienced something. We have Psychics, Mediums, Empaths, Investigators, Authors and even a guy who produced a paranormal movie. And you have your own episode on the show as well. Episode 18 where we speak about your book. I had fun by the way. You were very easy to speak to!”

 

 

Care to tell us one of the scariest ghost stories shared by a guest?

“In another interview I was asked that and it stumped me, because I’ve been reading stories and books since 2010. So many! Since then I thought about it just in case I was asked that question again. There was this family that moved into a Farmhouse. What’s with these farmhouses? Anyway it was the father, mother and daughter. And that first night the daughter woke up to a scream and talking from her parent’s room. The next day she asked about it and nothing much was said. The daughter always had an odd feeling about her parents room. As time went on the parents divorced and the daughter went with her mother to live. The father stayed in the house. When the daughter would stay at her father’s house. She would stay at her parents old bedroom. She felt scared and moody while in that room. Finally she decided to ask her mother what happened that first night when they stayed there. Her mother told her she woke up and felt being watched. Moonlight streamed in through the windows. She glanced around the room. Something was wrong. Her eyes fell upon the open closet door. Inside the closet…swinging back and forth was a hanging man! Neck broken to the side with these eyes glaring right at her. She then screamed and woke-up her husband. She told her husband what she saw and they soon started arguing, because the father didn’t believe in such junk!

 

 

Where can listeners find your show, Real Paranormal Activity – The Podcast? And what is the show’s schedule?

“Oh man, we’re all over the place now! Two places we would recommend. First, use your mobile device and use a podcast app. Then do a search for us and then you can download the episodes for free. And listen to us anywhere! Second, go to the website at www.RealParanormalActivity.com . We release a new episode every Monday! And also throughout the year we do bonus episodes for Christmas, Halloween or when I may mess up and be late for a Monday release. So, I do my best to make it up to you guys. Because without our audience we wouldn’t have a show. Just talking to air. And we’re flattered that we even have fans, because we’re no one. Thanks for listening guys!”

 

 

What would you say to a non-believer if they were to question you about the paranormal?

“That’s good! You should question me, because what I just told you is crazy. And you questioning me means that you are a logical and critical thinker!”

 

 

What’s next for Aaron Hunter and Real Paranormal Activity – The Podcast?

“Secret plans to take out the competition! No, we are expanding onto other networks and into other market places. So, we will continue to do that and grow the show. Brit and I have talked about adding a new section to the show. Something a little different. Nothing will change with the current show. Just additional content. I also spoke about a idea that I think is really amazing back earlier this year. And I said I thought it would be implemented sometime in March. That time has passed and life keeps us busy. We are still very interested in doing it, but need to speak with another party. I think it’s something no other podcast has done and we like that. Don’t keep doing the same stuff guys! Be creative and take the complaints. People will come around if it’s truly a good idea. And there is a reason I’m being very vague. Don’t want to give away too much.”

 

 

Any words of wisdom you’d care to share?

“Be kind.”

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with writer and director, Michael G. Kehoe

Today I’m welcoming back producer, writer and film director, Michael G. Kehoe. Thank you, Michael for stopping by!

 

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Well, I’m a filmmaker, born in Brooklyn, New York. Went to a catholic school and at an early age film was something i became very interested in. My family moved to Ithaca, New York when I was thirteen years of age. While in high school, although I was active in sports, I signed up for the drama department and began playing leads in the school plays. This is where it all started. And if I tell you any more then there would be no reason for me to write a biography of my journey!

 

 

Your chilling short film Hush has received 32 awards! A major congratulations is in order! Please share with everyone Hush’s success….

HUSH has received an incredible amount of attention. I for one never realized that this film would do as well as it has done. I felt that we had something special, but the fever from it has been infectious. I never thought that I would be writing let alone directing “horror films”, and mind you, I am not drawn to blood and guts at all. I’ve always been interested in the “what’s behind the door” types of films. The edgy feeling you get when you walk through your house when the lights have gone out and you hear a noise that should not be in the other room, because no one sleeps in there! This is what gets me going.

 

 

Hush has been seen throughout many film festivals. Were these events only nationally or were they internationally as well?

HUSH has been all over the world! Korea, Spain, England, South America, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Japan, and all over the United States. We’ve done very well abroad as well as the states.

 

 

In your previous interview, you shared with us some of the exciting feedback Hush had been receiving. Since your 32 awards accomplishment, what else have people been saying about your frightfully fascinating film?

 
The audience has been great and very supportive of HUSH. I have found that the horror fans are extremely loyal and have such a passion for certain types of horror. The horror genre is like Ben and Jerry’s 31 flavors of ice cream. There are Vampires, Zombies, Ghosts, Killers, Monsters, Possessions, Evil Spirits, and the list goes on and on. I tend to lean toward the hauntings, be it ghosts or what you think is a ghost. I enjoy taking the audience on a ride and making them think they are traveling in one direction, then divert them in such a shocking way that they are now on a completely different direction! Listening to the audience shriek and scream from the shock of the moment, not a bloody disgusting moment but a moment when they have no clue that something was going to happen. Catching them off guard is the key.

 

 

And here is an exciting treat for those who weren’t able to attend the festivals…. Hush has now been released on YouTube! Michael, care to share the link so that no one will miss out?

Yes, everyone can see it on YouTube and write a review as well. Please pass it on to family and friends. We’re hoping for this link to go viral that will help with the next step!
Here’s the link: https://youtu.be/nfKoFNGU_7E

 

 

It’s certainly no secret that Hush was created from the script of the feature film that will go into production under another title. Yet, it’s understandable why details can’t be released about this upcoming project. Where can people read about future updates?

Much of the information I will be releasing will start out from my Twitter site and will also be posted on my FaceBook page and Instagram. There are some BIG announcements coming about the feature film and we will be including some of the fans to actually be on set as guests. So, people can follow me on Twitter @MikeyKehoe

 

 

What’s next for Hush and what’s next for Michael G. Kehoe?

We begin principal photography in early 2016, which is just around the corner. My Director of Photography, John T Connor and I have been working on the story boards and John has the film in his head already. We work quite well together and move quickly due to our Siamese Twin connection! My editor, Michael Trent is on board as well. Michael is very talented and knows the story inside and out. When Michael sits down to edit he and I are on the same page so I don’t have to be over his shoulder. What you will see will be Michael’s cut. I am very fortunate to have both John Connor and Michael Trent on my team. For me the next film in development is a Sci Fi thriller on location in Iceland. The script is completed and there is quite a buzz about it. In fact, I have already been to Iceland to scout the movie for locations and I am very excited about this picture. Iceland is a wonderful location, unlike anything I have ever seen. People think that the entire country is covered in snow and ice, how wrong they are. It’s spectacular and our film takes full advantage of the secrets Iceland holds! I look forward to sharing more with the fans of HUSH who I hope will become fans of mine. Thank you for this opportunity to share the thoughts and journey. There is more to come!

 

 

Michael G. Kehoe with the head of a Spanish Film Fest.

MK

 

Michael G. Kehoe at the Zed Dead Film fest.

MK 1

 

MK 2

 

MK 3

 

 

 

 

*** Hush review by Sheila Renee Parker ***

Hush is a respected adaptation of supernatural events that delve deep into the human psyche. The film’s production is tastefully done and is void of any unnecessary vulgarity and unwanted nudity. The performances are well executed and believable, all the more reason to send chills directly to the bone. With its terrifying atmosphere and shockingly dark storyline, it easily leaves the viewer wanting more. Fortunately for us movie goers, this phenomenal short film has been created from the script of the feature film that will go into production under another title. Certainly exciting news!

Hush recieves a definite 5 stars from me! ~ Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Michael G. Kehoe

Today I’m welcoming film director, producer and writer, Michael G. Kehoe. Thank you, Michael for stopping by!

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up going to a Catholic school. My mother was a theater director in the local parish. One of the first films that caught my attention when I was very young was a film by an Australian director Nicolas Roeg titled “Walkabout”. Roeg was a Cinematographer on such films like “Fahrehheit 451”, Second Unit on “Lawrence of Arabia” just to name a few. So his attention to detail as far as composition and light was something that caught my attention for some reason.
My family moved to Ithaca and while I attended high school I became interested in drama and started acting. I wanted to direct so I approached the school and a sports booster club to produce the play “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. I produced it, directed it and played the leading role of R. P. McMurphy. The play was a success for the sports booster club and I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I was then approached by my high school English teacher to apply to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. I then waited for word, and was finally accepted.
After completing my studies there I left for California and took a job as a bartender. There is a longer story, but it would end up being a book!

 

 

What are some of your on-screen accomplishments?

As far as acting goes, my first on-screen appearance was being a biker on a film titled “Savage Dawn”, that film starred Lance Henrickson, who I met years later and we talked about that picture, he said not to remind him as it was the worst picture he was ever on. I would tend to agree. I then had a small role in the film “Iron Eagle” starring Lou Gossett Jr. and Jason Gedrick. From there I was in an episode of a television series called “Downtown” and then appeared in a TV Movie “A Different Affair”. My next acting job I landed was in a film titled “The Danger Zone”, I was the 1st Assistant Director on that film and drove to work on my motorcycle. At the time I had long hair and looked like a biker, the film just happened to be a biker film and they asked me to play a role in it. I did a small scene for the same company in a film called Vampire at Midnight. (I’m rushing through this!). I then went to Mexico on a film titled “The Taking of Beverly Hills”. I played Griff in my own film “The Art of a Bullet”, had a small scene in “Vanilla Sky” and “Jerry Maguire”, had a cameo in “Mission: Impossible 3”.

 

 

What got you into the film industry? What was the spark that ignited it all for you?

Kevin Elders, the writer of “Iron Eagle” and I became friends while I was bartending. We discussed the possibilities of me getting out from behind the bar and Kevin made me a promise that he would make that happen. Just before his picture was picked up by Tri-Star, he pulled me out of the bar and landed me a job on a movie being Sylvester Stallone’s assistant on Rocky 4.

 

 

Your newest film is titled, Hush. Can you share its chilling synopsis?

The short film “HUSH” is a scene taken from a feature script I wrote that is an Untitled Horror Script. It takes place one night while a young college student is baby sitting her professor’s daughter. A storm front has moved in and the power to the house goes dark. When the little girl calls for the baby sitter to come upstairs, the baby sitter is in for a night of terror.

 

 

What inspired you to create this film? Was it based on imagination or actual events?

I had written a horror script just prior to the Untitled Horror and my producing partner had to go on location which put the film on hold. So, instead of sitting and waiting, I wrote a story that combined some elements of events that occurred in upstate New York while I was growing up. I had heard about a story of a house in a small town not far from where I was from where a woman who had committed suicide was haunting a condemned house. When I was 17, I went to the house with several friends and I remember entering the house with a great feeling of fear. That moment stayed with me and helped in the writing of the script. I’ve always been interested in the afterlife. My first short film titled “SECOND DANCE” was about suicide, I had several people close to me die in one year, one of them from suicide. I wondered what was happening before they crossed through that threshold? What was on the other side? Can we reach those that passed on? What if they were angry when they passed? These are questions I continually think about and maybe this was part of the inspiration. I remember a time when I was in Ireland with my mother, brother and sisters. We stayed in a town in Donegal called Moville. There was an Inn called New Park. We checked in for 3 weeks. On the first night my mother heard someone coming up the stairwell outside our door thinking it was odd that they were arriving at a country Inn at midnight. So the next morning at breakfast my mother asked the woman who was the Inn keeper about the people coming in so late at night. The woman brushed it off and said “No one is here but you and your children”. My mother then asked if she was walking up the stairs at midnight and the woman replied that her and her family stayed in the cottage a little ways down the path from the Inn. This interested my mother, she was always talking about spirits and the dead.
So, the next night when my mother heard someone walking she asked me to go out in the hallway to look. I had no idea what would be out there and I didn’t think there were any spirits or ghosts that would be out there. Besides, I was a tough kid from Brooklyn and no ghost was going to frighten me. Well when my mother asked me to go out in the hall, my brother closed the door leaving me in the dark. The tough kid was no longer tough and I began banging on the door.
We then heard that the home was Field Marshall Montgomery’s home that he bought for his mother before he left to fight the Nazis in World War 2. Apparently, they got into an argument before he left. She later died never coming to terms with her son and now walks the stairwell at night waiting for him to return. This was a story we heard from a number of old timers in the town. This also inspired me.

 

 

Hush has been receiving very impressive reviews. What are some of the exciting things that people are saying?

We’ve received 29 awards and all the reviews have been positive. On one particular screening I noticed a man who when standing was about 6’ 6” and when he sat down he looked like he was 5’8” same height as me! At a certain part of the short film there is a moment that shocks people and this guy leaped out of his seat screaming. I had to meet him in the lobby and record him. I still have the moment on my phone where he explained how the film made him jump out of his seat! Others have followed us from festival to festival wanting to know more about the feature film. I receive emails and posts that are always positive about the film. I was extremely nervous releasing the short film always thinking that I could do better. But the fans of the film have been so kind and supportive. I have a friend that I went to grade school with that I have not seen in years told me her 15 year old daughter loves the short film and wants to visit the set of the feature. She has already said that she is willing to travel to see the short at any festival. Lucky for her it is playing near her in Philadelphia in October at the First Glance Film Festival. These moments keep the fire burning for me. This is who I want to make films for. I want to avoid the blood and guts and get into the real terror of what is behind the door????

 

 

Where can people find the movie trailer for Hush?

The trailer for HUSH at the current time is at hushthefilm.com
As I mentioned the title for the feature will be different as another company has a film in production already titled Hush. So if people stay in contact and follow me on Twitter I will keep everyone informed as to the new title that we are working on. My Twitter handle is @MikeyKehoe
We are working diligently on the preproduction of the film and can’t wait to scare the S#!& out of everyone!!!

 

 

And for all of us movie goers who want to see Hush, tell us where we can find it?

On November 11th I will be releasing the full short film of HUSH on YouTube and will be announcing it on my Twitter account. I am holding off because we are still in a number of Festivals around the world.
Such as:
First Glance Film Festival – Philadelphia, PA
Catalina Film Festival – Catalina Island, CA
Celluloid Screams Horror Film Festial – Sheffield, England
I Filmmaker International Film Fest – Marbella, Malaga Spain
Ithaca International Fantastic Film Fest – Ithaca, NY

We are submitted to the following but have not yet been notified:
British Horror Film Festival – London, England
New York City Horror Film Festival – NYC
Sacramento Horror Film Fest – Sacramento, CA
Screamfest Horror Fim Festival – Beverly Hills, CA
The I Heart Horror Film Fest _ Garden Grove, CA
Macabre Faire Film Fest – Mastic Beach, NY
Amsterdam Lift-Off Film Festival – Amsterdam
Chicago Paracon & Film Fest – Chicago
The Indie Horror Film Festival – Gatlinburg TN
Tokyo Lift-Off Film Fest – Tokyo, Japan

 

 

What’s next for Michael Kehoe?

We begin principal photography on the feature film that the short film Hush was taken from. But please know that when you see a feature film titled “HUSH” it may not be ours. So, once again @MikeyKehoe on Twitter will have all the information.

 

 

Any positive words of advice for your fans?

I would love to thank all the fans that have cheered us on throughout the festival journey. And for the future filmmakers I would say “Dream Until Your Dream Comes True”. “Never Give Up”. Someone gave me a chance and I always believe in paying it forward. I hope to share a number of films with those that love cinema. If I am at any of the festivals or screenings, I would be more than happy to share some moments and talk with those who are following my work. Thank you for this opportunity to share these words with everyone. I hope I can entertain you all in the time to come. I hope we can do more of this and keep everyone informed as to the progress of the films to come. Please keep an eye out for our feature as I mentioned we will update everyone on Twitter.

 

 

Michael Kehoe

 

Hush 1

 

Hush 2

 

 

*** Hush review by Sheila Renee Parker: ***

I’ve actually had the privilege to watch the entire short film titled, Hush. The following is my review.

Hush is a respected adaptation of supernatural events that delve deep into the human psyche. The film’s production is tastefully done and is void of any unnecessary vulgarity and unwanted nudity. The performances are well executed and believable, all the more reason to send chills directly to the bone. With its terrifying atmosphere and shockingly dark storyline, it easily leaves the viewer wanting more. Fortunately for us movie goers, this phenomenal short film has been created from the script of the feature film that will go into production under another title. Certainly exciting news!

Hush recieves a definite 5 stars from me! ~ Sheila Renee Parker

 

Interview with Ryan Buell

Today I’m welcoming Ryan Buell from A&E’s television series, Paranormal State. Thank you, Ryan for stopping by!

 

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Well, most of your readers will probably know me as the host/star of A&E’s “Paranormal State,” a docu-drama series that ran for a successful six seasons. The show followed myself and the organization I founded (Paranormal Research Society, or PRS) and our investigations. When it comes to me, I was raised in South Carolina. I had several experiences that I believed were paranormal when I was a child. The experiences, mixed with other circumstances, made me a bit of a loner (and still am, I suppose). In high school I focused on journalism, debate, drama and broadcasting. I became the editor of my high school newspaper, and we changed up the format, which as a result saw a rise in readership from the students. In college, I continued my focused in journalism. I chose Penn State, which is 600 miles away from home. So I felt a certain freedom entering adulthood and being able to explore certain parts of me that I wasn’t able to before. One of them was paranormal investigation (which I’ll get to later). In my early years, I started an online website dedicated to online news reporting. Somehow I found myself in the middle of the Internet journalism boom, interacting with other key founders of the online journalism world. Originally I wanted to pursue filmmaking at Penn State, but I found myself bored and unchallenged. Ironically enough, through “Paranormal State” I got to pursue that side of me by executive producing the show during its later seasons, as well as directing some of the episodes. I am also a freelance journalist. On occasion, when I feel there’s a story of importance, or when I’m approached with a lead, I will report on it, as I did in 2011 during the Penn State Sandusky Child Abuse scandal.

Right now, I’ve been enjoying seclusion and a more quiet life. I travel between my home here at Penn State and South Carolina, especially in the summer, where I spend a lot of time at the family lake house. I’ve had to take a few years off for personal and medical reasons, and now that my health is improving with every month, I’m slowing weighing in on what’s next for me. I’m open to doing another show if the right idea comes along. I’ve been doing some writing, and for years I’ve been mostly finished with my first novel but never had time to push it through. So that’s one of my biggest priorities, as well as rebuilding PRS.

 

 

What is PRS and how did it get started?

Paranormal Research Society is the organization I founded in 2001. It has four research departments. As for its origin, it began with an eager teenager who was simply looking for answers. With the Internet starting to take shape, I wrote to the few paranormal groups I could find in the Pennsylvania area, but none responded. I don’t blame them. I was an 18-year-old. I did a few investigations under the guise of making them special-interest feature stories for the college paper. The following year, 2001, I transferred to Penn State’s main campus, which is one of the largest in the country. It boasted over 600 student organizations. Yet, despite Penn State’s enormity and diversity, there wasn’t a single organization remotely close to exploring the paranormal. So, during the second week of school, in a brand-new town and campus I didn’t know, I decided to try starting a group. I posted flyers. And I reserved a room in the student activities building. About four people showed up. Another walked in late, but he shared my excitement and passion, and he helped me build PRS. By our second meeting, we had 20 interested people. It’s a college town, so people came and went. It was hard work. We didn’t get to ghost hunting for at least six months. We had to create a charter, a constitution, solidify membership and then go before a committee to receive official group status. At the time I never considered taking it off campus and just making like the other groups out there. I think the challenge is what drove me. It became clear our group didn’t fit into the traditional categories that they were used to dealing with. For example, when I had to answer questions before the committee that approves new groups, they asked if our work and/or research was dangerous. I answered honestly, “yes,” explaining that there have been many instances of people being attacked or killed and police/science could not explain why. After that, I was forced to go before the Environmental Safety Department to get approved. On the form, the committee listed concerns, such as “demonic possession” and “psychic attacks.” The head of the department literally was bewildered, not knowing how to respond. He said, and I’m paraphrasing, “You say this stuff happens but I can’t see what my department can do to respond to these claims of potential harm. If the purpose of your group is to enter homes with asbestos and educate them on why they need to remove it, then I’d be able to figure this out. But I have no idea how to respond to the committee’s concerns that you may put students in jeopardy due to them becoming demonically possessed.” He signed the form, which essentially meant he didn’t see us as being a risk, and we had to go back to the committee. We went again and again before the board, each time with a new problem they pointed out. I don’t believe they were trying to deny us, I think they were just confronted with new questions and conundrums that they don’t have to deal with. They’re used to clubs like the Chess Club, or Salsa Dancing Club, or Relief For Haiti. So right off the bat, we were the oddball, or rather, I was.

And it continued. PRS started receiving case requests. It was slow, but it gradually grew like clockwork. They were reaching out to us because of the Penn State name. They felt we had reliability. And then there was our first time working with the police. A student went missing on Halloween 2001, and around the start of summer, we put the police in contact with a psychic who specialized in missing persons cases. From there, the press covered it. And then, we started hosting a paranormal conference. In 2004, the Roman Catholic Church approached us for the first time, to work on a highly confidential case that would later be granted the rare rite of exorcism. It involved a Pittsburgh politician, former commissioner Bob Cranmer and his family. We kept the case a secret until just recently. In August 2014, Cranmer released a book about his haunting.

I could go on and on, but we just kept having unique events happen to us. You could say that, at times, the paranormal, in some form or another, found us.

 

 

What are your views on the paranormal? Do you believe that there are just as many good spirits as there are bad?

First, let me be clear, PRS has no official view on the paranormal. It does not defer to any one religious view. We have conducted research and performed numerous investigations, and its investigators, including myself, file opinions, but these opinions are only that of the investigators. So, my personal views are not the official views of the Paranormal Research Society, even though I am its founder and current Director.

I was raised Catholic and I am still a practicing Catholic. My personal religious views have, at times, come into conflict with my role as a paranormal investigator. To say anything else would be a lie. However, I also do not believe that the Roman Catholic faith currently has any official stance on ghosts, other than comments made by the Pope and other cardinals, bishops and priests throughout the centuries. In modern times that Church seems to take the stance that there are no ghosts, as many within the Church believes it contradicts the teachings that when we die, we are judged and enter either Heaven or Hell. There is the belief of purgatory, a sort-of in-between state some of us may go to after we die where we are processed. Some priests who have accepted the belief of the paranormal have used purgatory as a possible explanation for the existence and appearance of spiritual activity. Other priests, mostly traditional, believe all spiritual activity is either the work of the Devil or of Angels.

When I investigate, I do my best to leave my Catholic faith in the background. Instead I have formed what I believe to be a practice similar to that of a journalist and detective. Often, the two are the same, only one carries a badge and the other, a pen.

My beliefs have put my in a strange position at times. After “Paranormal State” began to air, some criticized me for being too Christian or allowing my Catholic beliefs to interfere with my investigations. On the other hand, some within the Church have criticized me for not being Catholic enough, and for allowing non-Christian practices and beliefs, such as the use of Pagan and Wiccan rituals and members and other non-Christian rites to be performed. In truth, we often conform to the clients’ religious beliefs when it comes to the end of our investigation – trying to explain and possibly remove the spirit(s).

Objectively, PRS does not perform house cleansings nor exorcisms. We assist. Personally, I have assisted in house cleansings, deliverances and formally approved rites of exorcisms. But I do so as an individual after PRS’ work is done.

I have seen things I cannot deny. I have witnessed levitations, heard voices whisper in my ear, seen apparitions, watched objects move upon command, and watched as other people have suddenly undergone drastic personality changes and speak languages unknown to them. We always have a psychologist, psychiatrist or some other member with a medical background with us to not only rule out the psychological and medical explanations, but to also document, if applicable, the lack of a natural explanation.

I believe spirits exist. How or why are beyond me. I have my theories, but no proof to back that up. Some may feel as if I am being too cynical or skeptical. Whenever I speak like this, someone who is a believer feels as if I am trying to be too political when in truth I am simply trying to be honest. We have documented these unexplained phenomena’s. But just because a table levitates, it doesn’t mean it’s a ghost. To blame it on a ghost is to project a belief, similar to that of a religious one. Now, when you add voices, apparitions and then the ghost offering to perform some sort of manifestation, similar to what happened during the Enfield Poltergeist case, then theories are formed. And traditional methods have to moved aside for more… unconventional options. Such as believing that we may be dealing with a spirit.

For almost 150 years, the practice of paranormal investigation has shown us many things. And just like with some of life’s mysteries, some famous paranormal events from a century ago have become solved, like the fairy pictures that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle believed to be proof positive of their existence (it later turned out the photos were a fake).

One day, perhaps, we may learn that there are rifts in gravity. Or perhaps the spirits we see are simply a rift in the space-time continuum. In other words, we are seeing people from the past and in the past, they are seeing what they believe are spirits. Who knows?

I know I’ve thrown around many different theories, but these are my beliefs. My beliefs in the possibilities that there are spirits, there are bad spirits, there may not be spirits, there may be other explanations.

When I step away, taking what I’ve seen and practiced as an investigator, and what I’ve seen through the lense of my religious faith, I currently believe in the spiritual world. Are there bad spirits? Well, there are most certainly people who have done bad things. So why should the spiritual world be any different? Just as some may believe we are the only living beings in this universe, something that seems childish and ignorant as we have discovered more and more inhabitable planets, it would also be childish to believe that there may only be human spirits. There may be ancient spirits, whom some call demons. They were never human. Perhaps there are inter-dimensional beings, as the late journalist John Keel believed when he investigated what is now known as The Mothman Prophecies case. But back to the simple question, are there good and bad spirits? All things being equal, yes. Just as there are good and bad humans. Are there more bad than good or vice-versa? Both are possible. I don’t believe anyone is beyond redemption. Choices are made. And the choice to return to the light can be attained.

We’ve all been a bad guy to someone in our lives. Perhaps we were once a bully to one person in elementary school? We broke someone’s hearts. Or we made a mistake and did something awful that hurt the ones we love. And then, later in life, we change. We learn from our mistakes. Maybe these “evil” spirits, maybe they won’t be one day? Or perhaps, they won’t change? After all, some have spent their entire living lives doing more and more horrific things, like Hitler. Who knows the answers to these questions? I cannot definitively tell anyone that one way is truer than the other, or that one belief is more superior than the other. I cannot say that Christianity is more superior than other religions, even though I am Catholic.

My investigations, I believe, have made me more tolerant. And more at peace with my own experiences, despite not having the particular kind of closure I originally sought. But my life is not over, nor is my work. Perhaps ten years from now, my beliefs will change.

It’s okay to question. To your readers, I encourage them to question the very things I’ve brought up. I encourage other investigators to do the same. Perhaps one day, we may collectively find answers. There is one thing, however, that I remember whenever I think of the subject of belief/proof and whether or not we will ever know the answers. The nature of the unknown is to remain unknown. Just as it is the nature of a lion to be a lion and what comes with it. I think the thrill is that we may never know, but it is OUR nature to never stop searching. And that, I believe, is one ultimate truth.

 

 

What was it like being the host of A&E’s “Paranormal State” and being a part of the investigative team?

This is a hard question to answer. After I founded PRS, and we started to receive notoriety on our own, we started getting inquiries from TV networks and producers about doing one show or the other. As hard as it may seem to some, my immediate desire wasn’t to do a show, although I saw the value in it. The ability to use the media platform of a TV show to inspire thought and to let others know they aren’t alone. And to give PRS a chance at becoming something bigger. Eventually, I was approached by a producer who offered to develop a show based on PRS and myself. A&E was interested and they greenlit the show. It was hard adjusting to having a team of 20-25 people following you around. Two or three cameramen, a director, sound guy, producers, various assistants to get batteries or set up lighting, etc. As I would do a case, they would light around me, film around me. They adapted around us. There was no movie set. Nothing staged. And as the show progressed, I made very clear rules for production. For example, limited contact with the clients. No contact with the psychics we brought in. And when it came to Dead Time, when I and/or my team would try to communicate with the spiritual world, production would have to back off at a specific distance. And usually only one camera man and sound guy would be allowed in the house or location. I felt these rules had justification for allowing us to do our job and leaving the environment as natural as possible, and at times I believe it paid off.

Doing the show allowed us to travel all over the country. We weren’t limited to just a 4-hour radius. It also gave us funding to improve our equipment. And bring in specialists. It gave us a major boost.

On the flip side, there is the fame element. My life literally changed on December 10th, 2007, the night the show premiered. I remember riding back home the next day and suddenly millions were talking about me, about us. We had to quickly grow thick skin. People attacked us. People wanted to get close to us because of our “fame,” and suddenly one big problem we faced was… who could we trust? Thankfully we lived in a small college town and we were mostly sheltered from the sudden onslaught of fame. But there were many times where I had to go and promote the show, which was reasonable, but I felt very uncomfortable with the public role. Being a public person. People wanting autographs or looking at me differently. As a result, I became more of a recluse. All my close friends and family know this. I enjoyed the fact that “State” was a success, but fame comes with a very heavy burden and a terrible price. It’s all about a balance. I was young when it happened. Plucked from being a simple college student to a TV star. Appearing on talk shows, my face on billboards, etc. It was neat to see, but I had major trouble dealing with the fandom. It made me more closed off.

I’m older now. I’m 33. And even though I’ve been offered other show projects, I obviously had to take time off due to health and personal reasons. I also wanted to enjoy life. And it’s been difficult. I know one day I will undoubtedly return in some form. You never leave the public eye, unfortunately. I still get approached because the show is still popular in syndication. And I’m grateful for that. Now that it’s been a few years since I retired from the show, I’ve been allowed to enjoy some privacy and pursue other things. And I’m considering and looking at some options right now.

 

 

While filming Paranormal State, were there any cases that made you think twice or did you go into full investigative mode, ready to take on anything?

Maybe I’m hard-headed but I’ve never paused or worried about a case due to it being dangerous. The more dangerous it was, the more I felt it was justified that we go in there to help them, as well as try to resolve it. That’s something that is built within me. Whether I succeed or not, I suppose time and history will tell. But no, I never thought twice.

 

 

What kind of methods do you prefer when investigating the paranormal?

Well, it all depends on the case. Each case is different. But I acknowledge that when it comes to investigating hauntings at location – such as a home or other dwelling, we do have standard techniques and then we build from there. That said, I tend to believe that the foundation for my own investigative methods go to my journalism background. The who, what, when, where, why and when it comes to the paranormal, most certainly we must ask, how. For me, you can have all the tech in the world (and it is important), but if you do not have an investigator capable of investigating with their own senses by asking questions, observing behaviors and following leads, what’s the point? So, my role is to play the journalist and lead detective. My team, such as tech, can be interpreted as the forensics side. My psychologist and other medical specialists… their role is pretty defined. They help me determine if I’m on the right track. The historian or photography experts, they are powerful resources that also help me formulate my theories.

 

 

How do you prepare yourself before going into a haunted location?

I get asked this question a lot, and usually it’s from people seeking advice on how to protect oneself. All you can do is have faith. Where that faith comes from is up to you. There are no guarantees that we can be completely protected no more than we can say that about driving on the freeway for several hours. I prepare myself by studying the clients in a basic nature. I read their initial testimonies. Thanks to my case managers, who do some leg work ahead of time, I see, on paper, their testimonies unfold and progress. I develop a game plan. It’s hard to describe, but it’s a gut feeling I’ve developed over time. I get a strong intuition of how to go in to the case. And I have made peace with the fact that once we go in to a case, all bets are off. Sometimes that happens, but more frequently the case turns out as expected. But one must always be prepared to be unprepared. Or at least come to terms with it.

 

 

What’s your most frightening experience?

I find this to be one of the most difficult questions to answer. You’d think I’d have a ton of stories. I do. And there were moments where I seriously questioned whether myself of a member of the team or a client would make it out alive before our work was over. I have been involved with many dangerous cases ranging from working with the Catholic Church on demonic cases, cases that resulted in great harm and even death to a client, working with law enforcement and even undercover work. Some of the undercover work scared me the most, but I obviously cannot go in to that. Some people see “Paranormal State” and think there’s transparency there. That that is our entire history. But it’s not. PRS has endured many hardships. We’ve had to pay a heavy price for getting involved with dangerous situations. It’s difficult to talk about because to do so means divulging information that could be hard for someone who was involved with it to read. But I will go in to one. It is a case we label “demonic” and it we were brought in, confidentially, by the Catholic Church to assist with gathering evidence to ascertain whether it met the requirements for the formal rite of exorcism. There were so many things I couldn’t explain in that case. We’d drive home thinking we all were going crazy, only all eight of us, plus other specialists the Church assembled, witnessed the same thing. And then there’s the evidence we caught. I was warned before going by three different individuals with psychic abilities, all separate from one another, that they had a strong feeling that I was going to be stabbed in the lower right side of my back. All three told me this before I left. Obviously, I found it both remarkable and a little intimidating, but what was I to do? I just had to hope it wouldn’t happen. One of the clients, who we later felt was exhibiting signs of what is defined as “possession,” said he felt the urge to attack me and it was becoming stronger as my team and I uncovered more and more evidence. We assigned investigators to keep an eye on him. Yet, despite that, he got extraordinarily close to me with a knife, approaching me from behind. If it wasn’t for one person taking quick action, it may have happened. We saw a black shadowy mass, like a black cloud, materialize and move around. Blood materialized on the walls and two separate forensics teams could not find a natural explanation for it. The first team thought it was something other than blood. But they couldn’t determine it. The second team, more advanced, determined it was blood. The scariest moment for me came the day before we were scheduled to return to the case. I started having these weird “moments,” where I’d see “666” everywhere. It was almost comical. I thought that I was clearly matrixing. When I got to my home in the evening, the house was cold, and the thermo-stat read “66.6” degrees. What followed is so over-the-top it seems so unlikely to be true, but it happened. To sum it all up, I was given a warning. I sat at my computer, and was chatting with an investigator, when a poster ripped and flew off the wall, down to the floor. That obviously got my attention. I told my investigator, and we both tried to laugh it off. I thought to myself, “well, if it happens to another poster, then that’s beyond chance in my books.” Not one second after I thought that, a second poster tore from the wall. I told my investigator what had happened, then walked away from the computer. I pulled out some of the tech, and every thermal device read 66.6 degrees. I tried making a call, but no one would answer. And then… I felt punched in the stomach. Then in the back. Then in the stomach again. I ran upstairs, and as I did, it felt as if there were several others behind me because of the way the wooden stairs shook. You’d think I’d run out the front door. Instead, I locked myself in the bathroom. It was clear panic. Thankfully, the investigator I was talking to online, took my silence as cause for concern, and within 15 minutes, a few investigators arrived at my house. This was my first time behind physically assaulted by an unseen force. I have no explanation for it. It wasn’t the scariest moment of that case, and I’ve since dealt with other more bizarre incidents where this one almost seems elementary, but in terms of memory… it was a moment where I had felt my life had turned upside down and I considered for a moment that perhaps I was going to deep into territory I shouldn’t be in. After all, why was the Catholic Church calling in a 22-year-old? Ultimately it didn’t deter me. I’m not trying to sound brave. I had a strong team around me. I felt safe, and this case needed us. Now, I look back and smile.

 

 

What’s next for Ryan Buell?

I wish I knew. I’ve asked that question for years. ? I had to take some time off. I didn’t realize it would have to be this long. It was for various reasons. Health and personal. After investigating so many cases for so long, I needed a break. I’m working on two books, and really, I’m trying to return to where I left off. I’ve been entertaining the idea of doing another show, and I’ve just been seeing what’s out there, and I am brutally honest. If I don’t feel passionate about it, I won’t do it. Right now, I’m open. Open to exploring. I guess the short answer is, I have a few things, but also, I don’t know. And it’s both terrifying and exciting.

 

 

Any words of advice for fellow paranormal investigators/enthusiasts?

Yeah. Be patient. I know you want to go out there and start right away, but you need to do some home work. Study. Read books. Not just the modern stuff, but some of the older research that came before us from some very reputable and respected investigators. And, take breaks. You need to remember to live. Most investigators who delve in to this full-time rarely make it far. There’s an insanity into this world. Take breaks, walk away and enjoy your life. Family, friends. After all, what’s the point of living if all we do is focus on the dead? And finally, as I said, the nature of the unknown is to remain unknown, so you’re never going to find all the answers. You may find some, and it may be personal revelations. The journey is more important than the end or the start. So, learn (I don’t care how old or how long you’ve been doing it, I still consider myself a student of the paranormal), be patient, don’t forget to live and try to follow your moral compass when doing this. Morals and ethics are important. It may take time to figure it out, and you’ll make mistakes, and that’s ok.

 

 

Ryan Buell’s Links:

Website: The PRS Bureau

Facebook: Ryan D. Buell

 

 

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