In the 2018 SXSW Featured Session The Bleeding Edge: A New Generation of Horror, four unique storytellers came together to discuss all things horror, including the the ever-changing genre, creative visions, and the numerous platforms on which to view the content.
"There is no formula for making a good horror film — to me, you just need to make a good film and if you do that, it will stand the test of time." - Leigh Whannell
Unlike most SXSW sessions, The Bleeding Edge did not have a moderator, so filmmakers Jason Blum, Vera Miao, Steven Susco, and Leigh Whannell had a very intimate and candid conversation amongst themselves and audience members. Many of these panelists were attached to films that world premiered at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival. Blum produced Unfriended: Dark Web (screened at SXSW as Untitled Blumhouse-Bazelevs) and Upgrade. Susco wrote and directed Unfriended and Whannell wrote and directed Upgrade, which earned the Audience Award in the Midnighters category. Additionally, Blum has produced a number of films that have premiered and screened at the film festival in past years, including Insidious (2011, Whannell as a screenwriter), Creep (2014), and Hush (2016) to name a few.
The subject of identity was a major point of interest at the beginning of the session: "A lot of my identity is in the work that we do as a company, because I like the work that reflects my politics for instance, or my feelings about the world, or my feelings about race, sexism and all of those things I feel are reflected in the movies and TV shows that we chose to do," said Blum.
Although the focus of the session was on horror, towards the end the filmmakers began to talk about making movies across all genres and their personal experiences with the craft. "I try to make it as personal as possible," said Miao. "That doesn't mean my movies are autobiographical, but I think it goes to this notion of innovation, which I might flip and say it's about vision and vision comes from having a voice. And as a filmmaker, it's a craft, you have to practice it, you have to find your voice. You have to hone it."
Watch the video above for the full The Bleeding Edge: A New Generation of Horror Featured Session. Browse more 2018 Keynotes, Featured Sessions, Red Carpets, and Q&A’s on our YouTube Channel.
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The Bleeding Edge: A New Generation of Horror - Photo by Kaylin Balderrama