Fun Size Horror witnesses the talent of indie filmmakers from around the world firsthand, daily. It's an honor. We strive to provide a platform and create opportunities for up-and-coming artists because we know how tough it is in the business of film and entertainment. It's always encouraging to discover someone that pushes themselves to achieve their goals. We're interviewing songwriter, filmmaker, actor, and graphic designer based out of Atlanta, Trey McGriff, who just released his new puppet short horror/comedy GIFT THAT KEPT GIVING, which he is self distributing across multiple platforms and BlueRay. Watch the Trailer Below!
McGriff started Whiskey Child Records and you can hear some of his music on Chiller TV, SyFy, Showtime, MTV, Sirius XM Satellite Radio, Cackle TV, and more. His experience as an artist and musician has lead him into film and he will begin directing his first feature this year starring horror icon Michael Berryman.
Tell us a little about yourself and what you've been doing.
I have been fortunate to land some acting roles in new films being made here in Atlanta. It is quickly becoming a huge film state and I've been here for over 14 years. I also enjoy writing songs for TV and film placements. It is all very hard work and very challenging for any artist out there. I love making art and I received a visual arts degree in college, so I have always been the one in the band to design shirts, cd's, posters, tapes, dvd's, blu-ray's, etc. I have been sponsored by Jagermeister and Pabst Blue Ribbon in the past when I was focusing on performing my original songs in a live format. I've made several short films and will begin directing my first feature horror/thriller film this year.
What is Whiskey Child Records?
Whiskey Child Records is my own label I created around 2002 when I realized I could only play a few styles of music in the live aspect of my band at the time. I write songs and music in several styles of music, so having my own launching pad for the music was a natural direction for me. I also release music, merchandise, movies, and more under Whiskey Child Records. I named my label after my old cat named Whiskey. He was like my child for 14 years, so I named my label Whiskey Child Records. Most of my label t-shirts are cat-themed :)
The Gift That Kept Giving is for sale, including BluRay, which is not entirely unique for short films but different than the typical festival route or online release for shorts. Have you tried independently selling shorts before?
Yes, you are correct. I decided to make some BluRay Discs to sell and to help create more of a buzz about my film. As you know, short films are really not available on Netflix, Hulu, and many other streaming channels, so it's very difficult to gain fresh pairs of eyes to view these types of films. I also advertise in several popular international Horror Magazines, so that helps get the word out as well. I have sold my previous film, Kuriosity Killz, and it's available on DVD currently at KuriosityKillz.com. I was very happy with Gift That Kept Giving and figured folks would like to see it or have a limited-edition copy on BluRay eventually. My camera and editing program were much better for this film and I feel like I captured nice performances by all the actors as well, so this film was worth of going on BluRay. I hope the fans enjoy it as they find it on the web and beyond. It is very much like a Twilight Zone episode or Tales From the Crypt episode in my opinion. Both of these productions inspired me to write Gift That Kept Giving. I also love the film Creepshow!
What are the different platforms one can find your film, and what made you want to try selling a short film this way?
What goals do you have either in film, music, or both?
I would love for my short film Gift That Kept Giving to be included in anthology or Twilight Zone-styled film on Netflix or Hulu one day. Unfortunately, there are just not many outlets for short films, so it takes a lot of creativity to get your idea out there and it may have to be packaged along with others short films, to actually make it on the main streaming channels and into your living room tv. I am working hard to direct my first feature film ShovelHead The Movie and also creating new music to submit for Film and TV soundtrack and background inclusion.
What advice do you have for other artists trying to do it on their own?
I've never had anyone's help marketing my songs, so it's 100% up to me to find opportunities for my music. I've tried several music placement companies over the years, but none of them ever landed an actual movie placements, so ended up being a waste of money paid out to these services who act like they may help songwriters. Just a heads up to not waste money on these types of services. My advice is you are much better off finding the music supervisor and working hard to submit your music in the style they request. The same plan works for marketing your own short film or feature film, you have to find outlets and then network the best you can to get your work in front of the fans! A lot of artists create the work, then sadly, just don't have the energy to market their work. I believe that is why we don't hear from many short filmmakers after they create their films. It can be discouraging with very little options for short films, but you have to keep pressing forward and discover opportunities to showcase your music, art, and films! Keep creating and keep marketing your work. I will be doing the same.
Have a short horror film you want others to see? Know someone who does? Submit here!