Revenge of the Ringworm Children (2007)
נקמת ילדי הגזזת
Design School Graduation Project
Script, Production and Post-Production, Creative Management, Design and VFX
For my final graduation project in my Visual Communication degree at H.I.T, I created a 3 minute trailer for a fictional movie called "Revenge of The Ringworm Children" - נקמת ילדי הגזזת, which was 8 months of very intensive production involving 3 days of shoot, 35 people, and above 5k of expenses (we got a lot of generous help).
Based on actual events.
in august 1971, a group of four teenagers go on a road trip to celebrate their last remaining days of summer before they each get drafted to the military. after an encounter with a local merchant, the group are misguided to an abandoned territory where they are captured and taken to an underground facility. they wake up separately and find themselves victimized by a deformed psychopath who has a bizarre fascination with human scalps.
Starting my Journey:
the project basically started when I first watched the trailer for "The Hills Have Eyes" Remake in 2006.
I got so inspired by this trailer, and being the horror fan that I am for many years, it is then and there that I made a decision that this would be my Graduation project. I decided I want to make this kind of Trailer but in HEBREW!.
a Trailer for an Israeli Slasher Film / Horror Road Trip
Adapt the genre to the Israeli locale in a 60's/70's setting. the adaptation has to be reliable, with homage for the horror classics of the genre such as: "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "The Hills Have Eyes".
I examined to all the horror films that featured what I wanted to create: "Silence of the Lambs", "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1974,2003,2006), "The Hills Have Eyes", "Creep", "Wolf Creek", and one of my personal stylized favorites "House of 1000 Corpses". I dissected them bit by bit, watched all the commentaries and behind the scenes to get some understanding of the problems I could face in production. in addition, I also made extensive research of the genre, it's origins and the stories behind them. there was also the visual research to explore - the graphic themes used in these type of movies and trailers. all this to make the recipe that will work for me. but the real challenge was to find the right story to combine with the recipe.
Slasher Recipe ingredients:
Deserted Torture House
Car with about 2 couples
Deformed antagonist individual or several
several layers of evil - some characters that assist the main antagonist
a time setting or period like the 70's
the use of pastoral atmosphere like: desert, sunshine
The Ringworm Children:
the story was suggested by my friend Haish Harel - a true story of radiation experiments that were performed on transit camp children in the 50's. it was what I was looking for - a true horrific tale that really happened in Israel, that I could use and intensify for my recipe. after getting in touch with various sources about the events that really happened, I got inspired once again to write my synopsis for the Trailer.
a child is being prepared for radiation treatment (Courtesy of the Spielberg archive, Jerusalem)
The Writing Process:
I started with a Synopsis that had several major modifications. it was depended on what locations, props or actors I may find so adjustments were made accordingly. for example: I found a 10 meter deep well in my abandoned house travels, so it got in the script. it was also got greatly improved by the fact that my Colleagues to this endeavor: Gil Shapiro - my Director, and Roy Dinar - my Producer, helped me with my lack of experience in preparing for a professional shoot or scripting. when the Synopsis was ready, I began to write the script.
coming from a visual field, I felt much more comfortable seeing exactly how the story unfolds so I prepared, prior to the actual Storyboard, a Story visual reference made of different parts of similar films.
Storyboard and Concept art:
with the help of my Brother Amir (I don't draw very well, but I can color very nice!), I was able to prepare a storyboard and concept art. here's an example:
I needed two locations: a Desert, and a deserted house. for the Desert, I knew I wanted a place that is far away from cities or even electric posts. after many gas expenses I found a place near the city of Yeruham.
a deserted house was finally found near the City of Ramle. lucky for me it had a 10 meter deep well I could incorporate into my film.
at first I thought "well, I will just get a group of friends to play the part" but my friend and the Director Gil Shapiro advised against it. we began the process of Auditioning and I made this and hanged it on every acting school or workshop I could find:
We must have seen 60 people in these auditions, and they were a lot of fun (check the Behind the Scenes at the End of this Page). at the end of this process, we had our Cast.
Actress Nitzan Mintz Killing it with a Squeegee
I decided I needed 2 vehicles: a Jeep for the young travelers, and an old Volkswagen. after searching various car forums, I found two people that were kind enough to let me hire the vehicles
I was set to create the perfect Hebrew Trailer, and Filming is one thing, but I also needed the graphic treatment to act its part because after all - I was a Graphic Design student, not a Film student. after looking at references, I decided my Film needs a grunge type of treatment like Tarantino's "Grindhouse" film
then I began my research and tried different things:
and finally came up with this:
I found it the typography supported the deformed appearance and the hair was a strong motif through the whole principle idea so that seemed appropriate. the green color was for the added toxicity.
Compositing and Color Grading
there was one shot where we forgot to replace the review mirror, that did not suit the time period of the 70's.
a little touch of stablization and rotoscoping and this was fixed. for color grading, a yellowish/greenish
toning was done to give a more periodic atmosphere.
(Hover to Interact)
(Hover to Interact)
(Hover to Interact)
I also wanted a mini-site to feature the trailer and behind the scenes. during that time, it was popular to watch trailers through the movie's mini-site so I followed along. I had assembled the composite from different shots of the well by the still photographer Avihai Rohkin:
the Slasher film tradition warrants an epic poster. I needed a good posture of my antagonist Amir Amran. as it happens, the moment Amir went to take a leak turned out to be perfect for my purpose.
a Combination of different photos was needed for the final Composite:
The Final Composite:
The Making of:
Production was very intensive and very difficult, and without the amazing generosity of so many people, I wouldn't be able to pull this through. you can see the full list of credits and labor in this entertaining behind the scene video edited by my Friend, Broadcast designer Eliraz Dekalo.
Where's the Movie?:
a few years after I made this, there were a few attempts to revive this project and create an actual film, but they weren't successful and I decided to pursue other endeavors. "Revenge of the Ringworm Children" legacy will live forever in the Israeli horror hall of fame (at least until Israeli Wikipedia removes it) and that's something.