A plucky orphan turned governess. A brooding aristocrat. A forbidding housekeeper. And mysteries wrapped in secrets then bundled into conundrums. Do you dare open the door of Nightmoor Manor?
Nightmoor Manor is a limited streaming series that's an affectionate parody of Gothic romances, featuring one actor playing all roles in short episodes that average 7-9 minutes. The first episode of the series premiered at the Greenscreen Film Festival, and has since been selected by the Short, Tight and Loose Global Film Festival (where it won an Excellence Award) and the London International Web and Short Films Festival!
From the Writer
I grew up with two older sisters at a time when the paperback Gothic novel was in its heyday. Our house was littered with dog-eared copies of books with titles like "Indigo Passion" or "Sir Blakely's Secret" or "The Laugh in the Night." I bet you can picture the covers of any of these books, because they're all essentially the same.
Night. A beautiful woman in the foreground, probably wearing something impractical like a nightgown. She has a look of haunted curiosity. In the background, a vast dark house, with always one mysterious light from a window--and possibly a dark and handsome nobleman at the gate or on the battlements or on a cliff over the sea somehow. (Geography for these stories is sometimes a bit confusing.)
As a pre-adolescent boy I knew these books weren't for me. But that doesn't mean I was immune to their allure. Who doesn't want to know mysteries and secrets, after all?
Nightmoor Manor is an affectionate look back at not just those cheesy old Gothic Romances of my childhood but to the earliest writers in the form, like Mary Radcliffe and the Brontes. All of the strange, repressed and just flat-out odd features of the genre were fodder for our take, which draws its look (on a micro-budget) from such brilliant films as Hitchcock's "Rebecca" and the 1943 "Jane Eyre" starring Orson Welles, with maybe some seasoning of Carol Burnett and Young Frankenstein in there too.
It's also a project created during a pandemic, after over a year and a half of learning how to adjust the sort of art we want to make to the oft-shifting new parameters. After several improvements required in Katherine's home studio for self-tapes and other auditions, we realized we had just barely touched on the possibilities of what we could do on film.
We took the limitations of resources and space and just sort of went for it: two rooms, one greenscreen, homemade props and costumes largely pulled from the costume trunk (though guided by our Guardian Angel of Costumes, Christine A. Richardson). With these parameters, we set to find out if it might actually be possible to make not just a film, but several episodes of a series. Nightmoor Manor is the result.
Nightmoor Manor - Credits
Writer/Director John Longenbaugh
Director of Photography/Editor Tremaine Costumes Christine A. Richardson
Composer Bruce Monroe
Cast Katherine Grant-Suttie
John Longenbaugh (writer/director)
The creator of the 19th century alt-history show BRASS, John has been writing and directing work in theatre, film and audio drama for some time now. He's never done anything quite like this though.
Katherine Grant-Suttie (Cast)
Katherine was a marvelously good sport about this whole process despite it enveloping her and two rooms of her apartment for several days and having to do her own hair and make-up, which really felt like an extra bit of hassle that she really didn't need.
Christine A. Richardson
For reasons still unclear to us, this wonderful woman, whose professional career in costume includes 16 years at the Guthrie in Minneapolis and who now is the Costume Director for the Portland Opera, sometimes grants us some time and talent. This was one of those times.
Tremaine (director of photography/editor)
Tremaine is a saint. I will not hear any other word used to describe her.
Bruce Monroe (Composer)
In 20 years of film scoring, beginning with Gory, Gory Hallelujah!, Bruce has always been attracted to Dark Matters. Nightmoor Manor promises to be his most macabre project yet, should he survive the process.
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