Horror Film Masterclass with David F. Sandberg

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By 2013, filmmaker David F. Sandberg had already built a career making videos in Sweden, but something was missing. He still had the burning desire to direct full-length horror features. According to David, “I figured that in order to get someone with money to trust me with making horror films I better have something to show for myself. So together with my wife Lotta Losten we started making no budget horror films in our apartment. The second film we made was Lights Out.”

Although it was initially made only for Bloody Cuts Horror Challenge, where it won for Best Director, Lights Out went on to become not only a viral sensation, but got the attention of James Wan. In July, the feature version of Lights Out will premier directed by Sandberg and produced by James Wan. Sandberg has also been tapped to direct Annabelle 2 for a 2017 release.

Sandberg’s story should be a wake up call to all of us who are sitting around waiting for things to happen. As the following videos will demonstrate, you don’t need money or even a lot of actors to create compelling shorts. You just need the creativity to use your own resources and start creating stories. If you think you would be a good horror filmmaker, there is nothing standing in your way. If you can create a truly original horror short that scares people, the sky is the limit.

Here is David’s own take on the subject of going from low budget shorts to features.

Here are some of the wonderful videos that David created to show how he puts together his horror shorts.

The Demon Face

At first I thought the Demon Face at the end was some sort of expensive prosthetic. The truth behind it is far more interesting.

True to his roots, upon the release of the feature trailer for the Lights Out feature, David released another break down video to show how that all came together.

Behind the Scenes: Lights Out Trailer from David F. Sandberg on Vimeo.

Don’t miss my 2 hour interview with David.

Lights Out David F. Sandberg Annabelle 2


David and Lotta have also made a number of other shorts and breakdown videos. Here is another great one called Closet Space.

And the Making of Closet Space.

See You Soon  A 14 Second Horror Film.

Here are some more great shorts and behind-the-scenes videos from David and Lotta.

Lighting a Film with an IKEA trash can – Behind the scenes of ‘Not So Fast’ from David F. Sandberg on Vimeo.

Some more IKEA budget filmmaking – Behind The Scenes of Coffer from David F. Sandberg on Vimeo.

Not So Fast from David F. Sandberg on Vimeo.

Attic Panic – Short horror film from David F. Sandberg on Vimeo.

Behind the scenes of Attic Panic from David F. Sandberg on Vimeo.

The Importance of Sound from David F. Sandberg on Vimeo.

Cam Closer from David F. Sandberg on Vimeo.

Pictured – Horror short from David F. Sandberg on Vimeo.

And of course, don’t forget to go see Lights Out in theaters July 22.

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