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Grayson Whitehurst’s “THERE’S SOMEONE IN THE HOUSE” interactive POV horror experience (Interview)

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NYU Tisch student, filmmaker, and junior strategist Grayson Whitehurst has been hard at work developing an entirely original home security spec spot. He directed and edited THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE HOUSE, which is a series of interactive POV videos that enable the viewer to choose an escape route. The informative, yet dark approach for awareness of home invasions will linger with viewer long after the videos have ended. The eerie music and shadowy stalkers are sure to induce panic. Watch out: if you don’t choose wisely, the burglars are quick to corner you in.


 



There’s only one objective: Escape.

Can you make it out alive? Try it:



We had a chat with the demented director about the project. Check out the conversation below:


FANGORIA: The idea for THERE’S SOMEONE IN THE HOUSE is very creative and original with a horror video game atmosphere to it. How did the basis for your project come about?

WHITEHURST: THERE’S SOMEONE IN THE HOUSE is the product of a lifelong fascination with the home invasion genre combined with the perspective of someone who grew up on games like DEAD SPACE, ALAN WAKE, and THE LAST OF US. The project was originally conceived in a class called Short Commercial Forms at NYU taught by Jonathan Weinstein, with the brief being that we had to create a Public Service Announcement for a cause or issue we were passionate about. I had wanted to do a home invasion project at the time anyways and the POV angle arose because we knew it would give us significantly more creative leeway within our budget. The brief specified that the PSA should be under 3 minutes; however, when I came to Jonathan with a convincing pitch and skeleton for each pathway in the project, he was totally on board.



FANGORIA: Being an interactive POV experience, viewers are pulled into the story with the chance to choose their own routes. Can you give us some insight to the process of how you chose each potential path and executed the video to coincide with them?

WHITEHURST: This project was designed for a class in which the primary objective is to make impactful content that is, above all else, concise. While I would’ve preferred to start with the narrative and tie in statistics relevant to the story, it ended up being the reverse – I would find pertinent, compact statistics and build the narrative backwards. This ensured that I could create short and sweet pathways that packed a punch, all while retaining the integrity of the statistics themselves since they functioned as starting points for each of the different routes. I’m usually a staunch proponent of putting the narrative at the forefront, but THERE’S SOMEONE IN THE HOUSE reinforced the idea that each project has different demands and should be handled as such (a fictional narrative isn’t a PSA, a PSA isn’t a branded content spot, etc etc).

FANGORIA: Although it’s only a spec spot, I believe you could successfully develop this interactive experience on a bigger scale. Are there any plans for interactive projects like this in the future?

WHITEHURST: I wanted this to be a 360 VR experience so badly, but I’m a starving college student right now and resources like that are unavailable. Nonetheless, I’d love to make an eventual foray into narrative VR projects – at least before theaters start decking out their auditoriums with headsets! I’ve become more and more involved with interactive work over the past few years which is awesome, but there’s still something magical to me about creating traditional narratives. Interactive content is still quite fresh and as such there’s more room for gimmicks, whereas the same gimmicks would fall flat in a narrative. My next big project is my senior thesis, which is a 15-minute horror that will serve as a sort of calling card for a feature-length script that I’d love to direct after I graduate. So yes, there are plans for interactive projects in the future, but for now, my primary focus is telling the best stories I can!

To find out more, visit: GraysoneWhitehurst.com

Stay tuned here at FANGORIA.com for more of Grayson’s petrifying projects!

About the author
April Bedan
April serves as a FANGORIA Staff Member and Manager of its record label, Fangoria Musick. She also works full-time within the University of Texas system where she serves as a data specialist in Admissions and Enrollment Management. She spends her scarce downtime making music videos and short films of things from your nightmares.
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