The forest is cold and dark. Tall trees filter out most of the moonlight, leaving only large, dark shadowed figures hastily whipping around indistinguishably. There they stand, back to back in the dark, the weight of chainmail and heavy axes and swords beginning to weigh too much to stand, but the danger is still out there. While fighting to keep their eyes open, they listen intently for the footsteps of the ungodly monsters nearby. There is silence. Only the heavy panting of the survivors. All of a sudden a rush of wind blows as dark shadowed figures begin to attack. They come from all directions, the hungry, bloodsoaked bodies that once belong to the people of the nearby village are attacking. This is a battle of survival. This is the latest film from this week’s Featured FearMaker, Nick Lines. There is a long road that leads to Black Crusade, which begins on a small farm in Australia.
For Nick Lines, working in film just wasn’t something he thought he’d be able to do. Growing up just outside of Sydney, Australia meant he was far too distant to be able to be a part of making movie magic. Watching Hollywood Blockbusters like Independence Day, Starship Troopers and Jurrasic Park, the thought of not being a part of it all was aggravating. His only option was to draw comic books, which eventually led to animation. He would draw zombies, something that has stuck with him ever since.
Nick graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Communications (Television Production and Animation) and began working straight away. In 2005 he began working at Animal Logic in Sydney creating award winning CG on films and TVC’s such as Zack Snyder’s 300, Alex Proyas’ Knowing and Baz Luhrmann’sAustralia. He later relocated to Los Angeles in 2010 to work with The Mill, as a CG Lead and VFX Supervisor. Winning multiple Emmy Awards for Homage to Entourage and Bes Job directed by Alejandro Inarritu
“The horror genre is a fantastic way for indie filmmakers to practice the craft of making movies.”
That is an extensively impressive resumé, Nick Lines wanted to be making his own films. He drew inspiration from Sam Raimi, Wes Craven, Peter Jackson, Danny Boyle, and David Fincher as he took to his own and began making short films. “The horror genre is a fantastic way for indie filmmakers to practice the craft of making movies.” Said Lines about beginning to make films and he’s not wrong. Horror depends greatly on skilled camera angles and movement, as well as knowledge on proper lighting. Not only does horror help teach practical filmmaking, but it also comes with one hell of a community. “It has a built in audience, who are generally satisfied as long as there is blood and lots of it. It’s also fun to get your hands dirty and play with blood and gore on set.”
Nick Lines has made several short films in his time in Los Angeles, many of which have won awards. His 15-second short film Shriek won Shriekfest’s promo competition in 2015 and received an honorable mention by Eli Roth in the CryptTV 15-Second-Scare project clocking more than 1 million views.
In his latest endeavor, Nick Lines has mixed some of his favorite genres and has made a medieval fantasy zombie film called Black Crusade. “The crusades have always been of interest to me, but I wanted to add my own spin on it. I love the idea of zombies with swords and armour.” The trailer alone is exhilarating, filled with all the blood and gore Line promises his audience. The idea is to eventually make a web series and comic book, but with all projects, they need funding
Create Create Create! No excuses, just go out and make something.
While not particularly a fan of entering film festivals, the hardest part of FearMaking is getting his content seen. Festivals often charge entrance fees which can run upwards of $50, and smaller festivals don’t bring too many audiences outside of filmmakers, according to Lines. He prefers to go the old-fashioned way and use social media to get his work seen. So far he has done fairly well, having millions of views on his films. The key is to constantly create content, and as long as it’s good, someone will notice.