Trailer turned movie scores a ‘TEN’


What sort of story would you come up with if you were given the word TEN?  The Brattle Theatre’s Trailer Smackdown asked filmmakers to do that last year. The result is a locally shot post-exploitation flick sporting an all-female cast wearing plastic pig masks.

Yep, the soon-to-be launched trailer for the upcoming movie TEN brings home the bacon.

After the Brattle assigned the word TEN as the film title this past year, it was up to competing production teams to make a fake film trailer to an imaginary movie.

One of the trailers was awarded as the “Curator’s Choice,” conceived by Michael Epstein, his wife Sofia Cacciola and their colleague Sarah Wait Zaranek.

The trailer for their take on TEN will debut online March 3 at midnight.

For the team, they saw the project as a way to portray a post-exploitation psychological thriller of a group of women trying to escape a haunted mansion on a spooky island (premised on supposed events of the 1972 Spektor Island Massacre, however there is no substantial evidence of such events).

“Sarah was really interested in using pig imagery and we came up with the idea of a killer, called The Butcher, killing off the characters and putting them in pig masks,” Epstein explains.

And while most suspense plots have strong male characters, TEN is driven by an all-female cast.  “With the exception of one character, the script would hardly need rewriting if it were all men,” Epstein adds. “That doesn’t mean that an all-male cast would result in the same movie, but rather that the women in the film are characters first and women second in some sense.”

After the TEN team received recognition, they initially set the project aside without any intentions of following through with a full-length feature.  Most of their work included music videos and short films.

But after growing interest in exploring a new area for the team and running a successful Kickstarter campaign (raising over $12,000 from 258 backers in a month), the trio was able to hash out their first feature film.

And TEN seems to be a recurrence in the filming process. It took Epstein 10 days to shoot the movie.  Coincidence?

“We knew going in that we had to get through everything quickly … Hollywood films shoot about one minute of movie a day, a typically indie shoots about four minutes a day. We were shooting closer to 10 minutes of movie a day.”

Nobody knows for sure if the massacre at Spektor Island is true or not.  Like the cleverly crafted marketing blitz from The Blair Witch Project in 1999, faux facts of a mass killing on the island may have cleverly been planted.  Either way, that’s not stopping horror enthusiasts from checking out the cinematic thriller which is slotted for press previews in August.

TEN original test concept trailer