Blogger's Celebrated Horror Short Gets Feature Deal At Paramount
Clark Barker was working his way up the ranks from production assistant to production coordinator on sketch comedy series like Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and Funny or Die Presents… when he set up a Kickstarter page for his proposed directorial debut, a sci-fi horror short called Vessel. One of the site's many success stories, he raised $10,125 (well over his goal of $8,500) and set out to make a short that would blend practical and special effects to create a creepy tale of an alien attack on an airplane. That short went on to win critical praise for its ambition and solid scares from /Film, Shock Til You Drop, Film School Rejects and Film Threat, and caught the attention of Paramount, which has now acquired Vessel to spin it into a full-length feature.
Influenced by the late '70s/early '80s sci-fi horror movies like The Thing, Alien and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Vessel centers on Flight 133, a redeye from Boston to San Francisco that is halfway across the country when trouble from outer space strikes. Check out the short in full below:
Variety reports Barker is being given the opportunity to direct the film, while horror-centric scribe Stephen Susco will write and produce. Recently, Susco has co-produced the demonic hit The Possession, penned the upcoming Texas Chainsaw 3D, and collaborated with Barker to develop the plot for the feature-length Vessel. At this stage, there's no mention of the short's original writers, Matt and Ross Duffer, being involved the feature's production, but the Duffer brothers have their own horror feature in the works, writing and directing Warner Bros' 2013 release Hidden, which co-stars Andrea Riseborough and Alexander Skarsgård.
For Barker, a big part of the allure of making the Vessel short was emulating the old "dark and dirty" style of creature design that relied heavily on practical effects and costuming. So we can assume he'll look to pursue a similar approach here, Paramount permitting. But even if he does have to make some creative concessions, cheers to Baker for forging a path to making his dream project, not once but twice.
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