Low-budget Kiwi slasher movie picked up by Hollywood's most prestigious horror film festival

By Sarah Harris

A slasher film shot in one night and on a three-figure budget is the only Kiwi movie to be accepted into a prestigious Hollywood horror film festival.

Lifelong best friends Guy Pigden and Harley Neville shot No Caller I.D. in their living room with a crew of seven, $200 and a dog in January.

The film's northern hemisphere premiere at the Screamfest Horror Film Festival on Hollywood Boulevard is on October 23, it's world premiere is on October 4 in Auckland with the Show Me Shorts International Film Festival and it will also be screened in festivals in Sydney and Barcelona.

Screamfest is the largest and longest-running horror film festival in the United States. Films like Paranormal Activity, 30 Days Of Night and The Human Centipede were discovered at the festival.

No Caller I.D. follows a woman who finds herself in danger after she answers her phone and is attacked by a home intruder.

The film-makers who run Pigville Productions, a marriage of their last names, guarantee the end has a twist.

Director Pigden explained that No Caller I.D. only exists because they needed a clip for characters to watch in another movie they're making.

But instead of just making the clip they decided to shoot a whole short film.

Pigden wrote the script on one quiet night while working at a call centre before they filmed it in an evening in their Grey Lynn flat. Filming cost them $200 to alter a mask from Look Sharp and feed the crew.

Producer Neville said that while the shoot lasted until 6am he was able to nip upstairs for a nap in his own bed in between scenes. He's stoked with how well the film has been received.

"It was a very big milestone because we finally made it, a couple of dudes from Dunedin making films on the weekend led to Hollywood Boulevard. That's a dream result."

Pigden said the story was inspired by his job where he calls people whose alarms have stopped working.

"I always thought it was interesting that we had a window into people's lives, but they didn't know anything about us.

"I wanted to explore if there was someone who had those details but had a more sinister motive."

But their career choice hasn't been easy. The film-makers have sacrificed sleep, time and money for their love of film. Pigden works three jobs to save for film projects.

"I'm 33 years old and I have no assets except my camera equipment and computer gear. I'm certainly not rich and I have accumulated a lot of debt through making our film.

"But the passion and the goal is to make movies. It's what keeps me sane and loving life, I can't see myself ever stopping."

The friends are best known for spending five years making their Dunedin feature film I Survived a Zombie Holocaust that came out in 2014. They got a New Zealand Film Commission grant of $250,000 for the project.

The film took them to the 2014 Screamfest where they visited Hollywood for the first time and felt "like rock stars". Only Neville can afford to go to the festival this time.

Pigden and Neville met when they were 16 in high school growing up in Dunedin.

That year they made their first film together using a camera Pigden had bought with his money from doing the milk run.

Their initial zombie movie was followed by a film that featured the dark, creepy tunnel under their school, Pigden remembers.

"A group of kids go into the tunnel and the tunnel monster gets them.

"We've had times when we've been successful and we've had other times we haven't, we've had to do it ourselves. It's what we're used to."

Neville's ultimate dream would be to make their film-making self-sustainable where each feature film could make enough to pay for the next one.

"Like a group of friends who make movies and each movie pays for the next one."

- NZ Herald

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