Area Man Appears In Frightfully Funny Flick
McConnellsburg resident Jeff Miner and childhood friend Todd Chamberlain, of Waynesboro, spent their youth “dabbling” with an 8-millimeter camera. Their onscreen adventures would result in a multi-minute vampire feature movie. However, the fun and excitement didn’t stop there for the duo, who would eventually join the military together and most recently star in an independent monster comedy.
Under the direction of writer and director Nap Bishop, Miner and Chamberlain along with costar Cori Coulter made their debut in “HogMaul: The Legend of Abrams County.” Based on a mythical pig-faced man who roams the woods while wielding a sledgehammer against his victims, the film’s inspiration emanated from a “hog monster” mask contrived by creature FX specialist Anders Eriksen.
Bishop’s penchant for monsters and legends as well as 1970s era drive-in horror movies served him well in bringing the flick to life throughout the filming process in rural settings throughout Adams and Franklin counties as well as Thurmont, Md.
Bishop noted there was a bit of naiveté when filming got under way. He noted when the process began in late August 2012 there was hope the shooting and editing would be done in time for a Christmas release date.
“We never guessed nearly a year later we would still be at it,” said Bishop, who added it wasn’t until this March that the entire project was finished.
According to Miner, some thought was also given to shooting “HogMaul” at some locations in Fulton County, including at Johnnie’s Diner. However, some confusion regarding ownership of the diner arose, eventually leading the film crew to surrounding counties.
In his role as Calvin Hardy, a “redneck Rambo type with a ton of kids,” Miner stated the production process itself was exciting and he certainly learned a lot.
“I thought a movie was filmed in sequence,” said Miner, who added that it’s possible for the movie’s ending to be shot first or out of order. Miner also pointed out even though there was a cast of approximately 30 individuals, which included extras, it’s possible you may never meet certain cast members or only spend five minutes with them in passing.
Chamberlain plays Bob Stummuck, while actress and associate producer Coulter, takes on the role of Jennifer “J.J.” Justice. Bishop pointed out Coulter has more on-set time than any other character and turns out to be a “real heroine standing up for the group.”
Due to the fact the movie was created on a “micro-budget,” many individuals played dual roles. Chamberlain said he outfitted his son’s Blazer to resemble a realistic law enforcement vehicle and even spent time with the sound department working the boom.
Already working on his next screenplay, a slasher, Bishop stated there will definitely be spots available for Miner, Chamberlain and Coulter, whether behind the scenes or on film.
Bishop stated it was “fun” watching these actors and actress’s confidence blossom as filming progressed and how they evolved into the characters they were playing. Furthermore, in spite of the fact it’s deemed an “amateur production,” the director said all involved approached “HogMaul” in a “very professional way” handling a variety of incidents, including inclement weather, with a fun and enthusiastic attitude.
“HogMaul: The Legend of Abrams County” as well as various movie merchandise can be purchased online at hogmaulmovie.com. Fans of the film will also be able to meet the director and pick up merchandise at Monster Mania, one of the East Coast’s premiere horror conventions. Monster Mania will be held the last weekend of September in Hunt Valley, Md.
In addition, the movie will be aired locally at the Wilson College Horror Film Festival November 1 through November 3. The public is welcome to attend the event. Weekend, one-day and all-access tickets can be purchased online at wilsonfilmfest.com.