Zack Parker plans filming $2 million gothic thriller in Indiana in September

Director Zack Parker will take his mostly Chicago crew to his native Richmond, Indiana this September for five weeks to shoot his second feature, the projected $2 million “Quench.” Parker shot his debut feature, the horror pic “Inexchange” on the campus of his alma mater Ball State University in summer 2001.

“I’ve been a little hush about the story because it’s something that’s never been seen on the screen before,” Parker said. “‘Quench’ is a gothic drama that deals with an outsider’s perspective of the ‘real vampire’ culture that exists in small towns ? they see themselves as an alternative religion. It’s not a horror film ? we’re looking to do something more intellectual but still very dark and intense.”

Parker and his Los Angeles-based producing partner Jim Ojala are raising the budget from private investors through their production company Along the Tracks. Financing, Parker said, is contingent on the pending attachment of several “promotable talented actors” by L.A. casting director Rosemary Welden.

“She’s opened the doors up to agencies and a lot of relatively known people have submitted directly to the film,” Parker said. “We’ve had really great responses but we weren’t offering enough money,” which is why they’ve upped the budget from its original $1 million.

ASC Heritage Award-winning New York-based DP Zack Resnicoff will shoot on 35mm. Parker lamented that of 250 DP applicants, only ten came from Chicago. “We got more submissions from Poland and India,” he said.

Composer is J. Andrew Rush, who contributed to the “Mothman Prophecies” and “Rules of Attraction” scores and also composed the score for “Inexchange.”

Parker’s short “Deception” premiered at the 2001 Slamdunk Film Festival in Park City, garnering him the credibility to raise the $180,000 budget for “Inexchange.”

He moved to L.A. to oversee postproduction on “Inexchange,” for which he’s now seeking distribution. He worked as a freelance DP there, shooting, among other projects, Ojala’s short “The Incredible Torture Trio,” which screened at Troma Films’ 2003 Tromadance Film Festival and is distributed on a Troma compilation video.

Ojala is a regular freelancer for makeup and special effects shop Almost Human, the main makeup/effects contractor for “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel.”

Parker relocated to Chicago last year to start preproduction on “Quench,” and has worked intermittently as a DP here. “I’ll always come back to the Midwest to shoot my films,” he said. “I wanted to be a little closer to home since I was looking to shoot in Indiana.”

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? by Ed M. Koziarski,