Teaser & Trailer
Back in late 2005, a little more than a year into my tour of duty in Naples, Italy as a US Navy sailor, I met Andrew Bliss and Thomas Ferguson through a mutual friend (Jeffrey Sinor) and joined their ongoing efforts to create a full-length horror feature film about death and the nature of existence in locations reminiscent of Dante's Inferno. Andrew was the writer/director and both he and Thomas were co-producers; Jeff was one of the actors and also assisted with various aspects of the production. I helped to create some gruesome special makeup effects using leftover makeup supplies I had on hand from Halloween, which I carted around in large trunks to catacombs and the historic Naples Underground, and had the time of my life devoting all of my free time to the making of this project -- a decision that would later change the course of my life as well as the lives of others.
We finished the initial shoot in mid-January 2006 and held a screening a couple of months later in the town of Caiazzo to much fanfare. After some additional filming and re-editing over the next year or so, the Campania Film Commission hosted a DVD release party and screening of the final version of The Suffered in August 2007. The film was subsequently picked up by ITN Distribution, marketed at the American Film Market in Cannes, France, and also screened as part of the Maryland Horrorfind Weekend's film festival in 2008. What a ride!
Here's the Stars and Stripes article written shortly after the April 2006 premiere that include this photo of Thomas (left) and Andrew (right) taken during the filming:
DVD Review by Horror DNA
Following The Suffered, Thomas Ferguson and I teamed back up to help Andrew Bliss on his short film "Vicious Bridge," which he was making for a film class during the spring semester in 2008. We created some pretty neat stop motion sequences for this one and I designed the puppet theater portion at the end (pictured above), which was also my favorite part of the production. "Vicious Bridge" also screened at the Maryland Horrorfind Weekend's film festival in 2008 and appeared in the same film block as the 2001 short "Foet," based on the story by acclaimed horror author F. Paul Wilson. Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of the short and this still is the only known image I could find of a macabre theatre scene I created for the finale.
Synopsis & Additional Information
"Living With Lycanthropy" tells a visual story about the day in the life of an average man named Larry, who also suffers from frequent fits of werewolfery he doesn’t have a lot of control over. However, in spite of his predominantly canine disposition, he still ventures out into the world, as both man and beast, and tries to live somewhat of a normal life.
I wrote the script and created this short film (my first) back in early 2012 with the aid of friends for one of my classes while attending Full Sail University, where I later earned a BFA in Creative Writing For Entertainment and graduated with honors in mid-2014. The short has since been picked up for distribution by the Shami Media Group.
Screenings and Awards
Winner Visual Thinking & Writing Snow Globe Award for Best Film June 2012, Full Sail University (Student Award)
Winner Best Horror Independent Film Quarterly Film & Webisode Festival 2012
Official Selection Independent Film Quarterly Film & Webisode Festival 2012
Official Selection Fright Night Film Festival 2012
Official Selection A Midsummer Nightmare Festival - NOLA 2012
Official Selection Vampire Film Festival 2013
Official Selection Horrorfind Weekend Film Festival 2012
Official Selection HOWL Con 2012
Semi-Finalist American Horror Film Festival 2017
Synopsis & Additional Information
It's brains over brawn when ten year-old Hattie McClain, who is tired of being tormented by bullies, takes to her laboratory to develop the ultimate solution for dealing with the problem. Sometimes our best friend is the one we create.
This short was also picked up for distribution by the Shami Media Group in 2018.
Screenings & Awards
Winner Best Editing of a Short Film International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema Nice 2018
2nd Place Winner Boomtown Film and Music Festival Small and Creepy Film Contest 2016
Best Fantasy Short Nominee Genre Celebration Festival 2017
Best Score Short Nominee Genre Celebration Festival 2017
Best Visual Effects or Design Nominee International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema Nice 2018
Best Cinematography of a Short Film Nominee International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema Nice 2018
Official Selection International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema Nice 2018
Official Selection Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival 2017
Official Selection FantaSci Short Film Festival 2017
Official Selection Imaginarium Convention 2017
Official Selection Genre Celebration Festival 2017
Semi-Finalist American Horror Film Festival 2017
Sponsor Film Scares That Care Weekend Film Festival Williamsburg, VA 2017
“Frankenfriend” was born from an unexpected opportunity when a friend sent me a link in early September 2016 announcing that the Boomtown Film and Music Festival's "Small and Creepy" film contest was accepting entries through October 1st. What made this contest particularly special was the fact that screenwriter Caroline Thompson (whose credits include Edward Scissorhands, The Addams Family, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and The Corpse Bride) helped to set it up and was also going to be judging the entries. Prospective contestants had to submit an original film, four minutes or less, in a style reminiscent of Ms. Thompson's body of work and I eagerly embraced the challenge, and soon conjured up mental images of a young girl fervently working in a dark laboratory to bring her creation to life prior to even writing a word of the script. I had an idea, inspired in part by Edward Scissorhands’ creator (played by Vincent Price) and the lugubrious Wednesday Addams (played by Christina Ricci), and only 30 days to deliver a finished product for competition.
Although the Frankenstein story has been told cinematically many times and in many different ways, from Thomas Edison's 1910 silent to more recent efforts such as John Logan's interpretation in his superior Gothic television series Penny Dreadful, I decided to take a different approach by turning Mary Shelley's monstrous misanthrope into a companion and protector. My own troubled childhood, which was dominated by bullying at school and an abusive home life, combined with my love of the classic monster movies that were also a staple when I was growing up, formed the basis of this vision. In fact, when I first saw James Whale’s Frankenstein with Boris Karloff on television (I was about five or six at the time), I actually cried when the monster was trapped inside of the burning windmill at the film’s climax.
With regard to my own film, in spite of having very little time and a tight budget from start to finish, my intent was to create a visual storybook and fable told in three distinct parts: the protagonist faces a problem, comes up with a scientific solution, and triumphs in the end. The rhyming narration I scripted is delivered in a style akin to Rod Serling’s perfect pitch radio voice from The Twilight Zone and the score (mainly Camille Saint-Saens's "Aquarium" sequence from The Carnival of the Animals) is evocative of Danny Elfman's music in Edward Scissorhands. Of course, no Frankenstein-style film is complete without a memorable lab sequence and, drawing heavily from a combination Grandpa Munster’s laboratory and Tim Burton’s 1984 short Frankenweenie, I used a combination of practical and digital effects to make a bit of my own mad science. Although Ms. Thompson was unable to watch and score all of the "Small and Creepy" contest entries, I would like to think “Frankenfriend” captures the essence of the films she’s infused with her own unique storytelling magic.
Charles M. Kline, Director
A young homeless man, drugged and kidnapped by crooked cops, awakens in a medical facility and soon realizes his nightmare is just beginning. An official mobile film category selection of the AT&T Shape Create-a-thon June 2-3, 2018. Filmed at the Silver Dream Factory and Warner Brothers Studios in California.
Screenings & Awards
AT&T Shape Create-a-Thon Mobile Film Contestant Warner Bros. Studios Burbank, CA June 2018
Winner Award of Merit One-Reeler Short Film Competition December 2018
Winner (Multiple Awards) Royal Wolf Film Awards February 2019
Winner (Multiple Awards) Pinnacle Film Awards March 2019
Winner (Multiple Awards) Los Angeles Motion Picture Festival 2019
Winner Best Mobile Short IndieX Film Fest June 2019
Winner Best Thriller Hollywood Blood Horror Festival 2019
Finalist Los Angeles Crime and Horror Film Festival 2019
Finalist The Lift-Off Sessions January 2019
Semi-Finalist MoziMotion iPhone Film Festival 2019
Semi-Finalist Hitchcock Film Awards 2020
Nominated (Multiple Awards) West Europe International Film Festival - Brussels Edition 2019
Nominated Best Original Screenplay (Short Film) London International Filmmaker Festival Of World Cinema 2019
Nominated Best Cinematography (Short Film) London International Filmmaker Festival Of World Cinema 2019
Nominated Best Film Awesome Con Short Film Festival At Home 2020
Official Selection Oxford International Short Film Festival 2019
Official Selection New York Mobile Film Festival 2019
Official Selection West Europe International Film Festival - Brussels Edition 2019
Official Selection London International Filmmaker Festival Of World Cinema 2019
Official Selection LA Short Scares Film Festival 2019
Official Selection The Lost Sanity 2019 Film Festival
Official Selection Dumbo Film Festival June 2019
Official Selection Pittsburgh Horror Film Festival 2019
Official Selection Caldas Film Festival (Portugal) 2019
Official Selection Salem Horror Fest 2019
Official Selection Awesome Con Short Film Festival At Home 2020
Much like my previous short film “Frankenfriend” (2016), “Human Resources” was another project I did not expect to make and this one especially took me by surprise. In late April 2018 I submitted the five-and-a-half page script I’d edited, based on a short dark comedy I’d scribed in college, along with 90 panels of storyboards I’d drawn in a little over 48 hours for an AT&T Shape Create-a-thon competition scheduled to be held the first weekend in June at Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, California.
Little did I think that less than three weeks later, after having just returned from a film festival in Nice, France (where “Frankenfriend” won an award for “Best Editing of a Short Film”), that my “Human Resources” script / storyboard package would get accepted out of more than 500 submissions. But it surely did and I had only a day to decide whether or not I’d be participating — knowing full well that I was a production company of one at the time operating off of the “if you build it, they will come” principle and also lived on the other side of the country! Of course I accepted the challenge and had exactly 17 days to assemble a cast / crew (as well as costumes and props), file SAG-AFTRA paperwork and get a live production number, reserve a 12-hour overnight shoot at a standing hospital set, and arrange for travel of key members of my team from MD-DC-VA to Burbank in order to pull this off.
Somehow, my team and I managed to get all of the filming done in about 10 hours on two iPhones and had the adventure of a lifetime shooting at Warner Brothers Studios for our three-hour time slot, competing against 64 other teams (in the standard and mobile film categories) that same weekend. I spent the next week working with my editor / composer (also my DP) Dewey Tron to create a five-minute cut of “Human Resources” and submitted that version for judging. Although our film did not advance to the online voting round, I like to think that we pulled off something very special in an extremely short period of time and under much duress . . . regardless of the outcome, it still feels like a victory to me.
Charles M. Kline, Director
This is a short fan film I created for Christmas back in 2018 based on the horror movie The Babadook by Jennifer Kent. It was also my first foray into creating an animation sequence using paper. I definitely had a lot of fun creating this and did so as a way to test out different animation styles for a more ambitious project I had in mind.
(2018 - 2020)
Classic English nursery crimes are reimagined with macabre flair in the first of this three-part animated short film series.
Screenings & Awards
Winner "Best Animated Short" Paris Independent Film Festival April 2022
Winner "Animation of the Month" TMFF - The Monthly Film Festival May 2022
Winner "Best Visual Effects" Fantasm's Shock Reel Cinema Film Festival 2022
Winner "Animated Film of the Month" Cult Critic Movie Awards 2022
Winner "In Film Review" EdiPlay International Film Festival March 2022
Winner "Best Animated Film" Luis Buñuel Memorial Awards April 2022
Winner "Best Animation Film" Thrills and Chills Film Awards April 2022
Winner "Best Animated Film" Hollywood on the Tiber Film Awards March 2022
Winner "Best Animated Film" Sweet Democracy Film Awards April 2022
Winner "Best Animation" Snow Leopard International Film Festival April - May 2022
Winner "H. G. Wells Silver Award - Best Film" LA Sci-Fi & Horror Festival July 2022
Finalist "Best Animated Film" EdiPlay International Film Festival March 2022
Semi-Finalist Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival 2022
Semi-Finalist "Best Animated Short" Phoenix Shorts April 2022
Semi-Finalist "Best Animated Film" SENSEI Tokyo FilmFest August 2022
Semi-Finalist "Best Created Environment" Lonely Wolf International Film Festival August 2022
Quarter Finalist Big Apple Film Festival and Screenplay Competition May 2022
Nominated "Best 2D Animation" Lonely Wolf International Film Festival August 2022
Nominated "Best Animated Film" Swedish International Film Festival April 2022
Nominated "Best Animated Film" Beyond the Curve International Film Festival April 2022
Nominated "Best Direction" Fantasm's Shock Reel Cinema Film Festival 2022
Nominated "Best Animated Short" Vesuvius International Film Fest March 2022
Official Selection Bengaluru International Short Film Festival - Non-Competition 2022
Official Selection The Fantasy Film Festival - Le Festival du Film du Fantasme 2022
Official Selection Lebanese Independent Film Festival 2022
Official Selection Black Cat Picture Show 2022
Official Selection Tylerman International Film Festival 2022
Official Selection SIN Film Festival 2022
Official Selection Something Wicked Film Festival 2022
Official Selection Fortean Film Festival 2022
Official Selection Titan International Film Festival 2022
Official Selection 8 & Halfilm Awards 2022
Official Selection 4th Dimension Independent Film Festival 2022
Official Selection Florence Film Awards 2022
Official Selection Stanley Film Awards 2022
Official Selection RED MOVIE AWARDS Spring 2022
Official Selection The Black Panther International Short Film Festival June 2022
After completing my illustrated book Mother Noose Nursery Crimes in early 2018, I unsuccessfully tried to find an animator willing to donate some time to turning my pages into a unique short film. Then in 2020, while I was pretty much confined to my house during the early weeks and months of the Covid outbreak (like many people in the world), I purchased a new computer, downloaded a 2D animation program, and set myself to the task of learning how to do the animation. This short film, the first of a three-part series, is the result of these efforts after nearly two years of work.