Unmasking Cyber Horrors: An Inside Look at #trolledsos - A Game-Changer in the Realm of Experimental Horror Cinema with Director John F. Uranday
#trolledsos is not just a movie - it's a ground-breaking experimental horror feature film that aims to unmask the dangers and consequences of cyberbullying. This dark web show brings to life the story of four unsuspecting students and a mysterious entity, the Troll, who is hell-bent on teaching them a lesson they won't forget.
Behind this terrifyingly real project are John F. Uranday and Bobby Cloud, founders of the Penwheel Universe, a film company known for pushing the boundaries of conventional storytelling. What started as a friendly conversation in 2018 has now blossomed into a hub of creative projects, with two feature films hitting the festival circuit simultaneously this year.
Uranday, with his rich background in the music industry and a deep passion for films, steered the direction of #trolledsos, crafting a horror film unlike any other. Shot in just 8 hours with improvised dialogues, unprepared actors, and the clever use of multiple cameras, #trolledsos captures a 360-degree real-time experience that is bound to unsettle even the most ardent horror fans.
The motivation behind the film was personal for both Uranday and Cloud. The latter found himself the target of online harassment, sparking the genesis of the movie. Throughout this interview, Uranday candidly shares the challenges they encountered during production, the inspirations behind the unique filmmaking process, the audience's shocking reactions, and the profound messages the film seeks to deliver.
From scenes that sent chills down the spine of the entire cast, to a finale that was an inevitable culmination of the real-time narrative, Uranday unpacks the many layers that make #trolledsos a horror film with a potent social commentary. Drawing inspiration from masters like Hitchcock, Uranday and Cloud have rewritten the rulebook of filmmaking, with a firm belief in storytelling over expensive equipment.
As the conversation flows, Uranday also takes a moment to shed light on their upcoming action drama, A Gun's Life. If #trolledsos is anything to go by, viewers can only imagine what awaits them in this next venture of the Penwheel Universe. Join us as we dive into the mind of John F. Uranday and unpack the creation of a film that redefines horror and challenges audiences to confront the dark realities of cyberbullying.
What inspired you to make this film? Can you share a little about the genesis of the idea?
Bobby Cloud, the producer and lead actor of the film, was being harassed online at the beginning of the pandemic. A man began to send him private messages and threatened him.
How did you approach the subject matter of this film? What research or preparatory work was involved?
We decided to approach it from the perspective of the main character. We considered how a parent or teacher would go about instructing a child or student about misbehavior.
Can you share some of the challenges you faced during the production of this film? How did you overcome them?
The challenge was to make it look as real as possible. We tackled this by shooting with 6 cameras simultaneously and capturing the project in real time, from a 360-degree perspective.
Your film has been described as "powerful" and “innovative”. What do you believe gives it this quality? Was this something you consciously worked towards?
I believe it's the fact that it could truly happen and that it doesn't take a lot of imagination to believe that someone could be capable of this type of vengeance. The fact that people relate to it is what scares them.
Can you discuss some of the important themes and messages you wanted to convey through this film?
The film aims to convey that people should take responsibility for their actions and understand the consequences of bullying behind a keyboard.
In what ways does this film resonate with your personal beliefs or experiences?
The character is not that far off from the lead actor/producer Bobby. The character's moral compass is just a little darker than his own.
How have audiences responded to the film so far? Have there been any reactions that particularly surprised or moved you?
Initially, they are stunned. After they absorb it, they seem to relate to it very well, even asking if they can hire the Troll.