Interviews

COREY TRAHAN

Dr. Corey Trahan was born in 1976 and raised in Beaumont, TX. Trahan has had a relatively active role in the film industry through the years, though mostly on the audio side.  He is noted for creating original film scores, foley, sound engineering and general film audio production/mastering.  He has also written a number of short movie scripts.  The Witch’s Bargain was his first film as Director.  Trahan’s most recent film thrust, however, has been as executive producer and owner of HorrorWeb Productions, a production studio out of Austin, TX.  HorrorWeb has a large social media following and is well known for releasing highly produced interviews of horror-related artists, actors, etc. and for their Tub of Terror production, in which Scarah, a horror-host, has discussions in her tub about currently released horror movies.  The company is also largely responsible for makeup/fx, scene production and wardrobe on a number of music videos directed by Budro Partida along with set design, makeup/fx and wardrobe in the Witch’s Bargain.


Hi Corey, nice to meet you and thanks for granting us this interview.


How was born your passion for the world of cinema?

Though I’ve always loved watching horror and fantasy films, I only considered film as an option after I was asked by a close friend to do soundscaping for her short horror film.  I’ve been an audio engineer most of my life, and I found applying my audio capabilities to film new and exciting.  Additionally, for the last 16 years I have owned and operated horror theme parks in Texas.  These Halloween parks are very similar to films in a number of ways.  For example, they need quality set production and direction for a team of makeup/fx talent and actors.  So, although I never really considered film as an option, I suppose my life as a director began over 16 years ago, albeit in a different type of business.  A few years ago, I decided to take my expertise as a theme park director/producer and audio engineer into the cinematic world 100% by creating the film production company, HorrorWeb, with a group of close friends, in particular Donavon Cavanaugh, my director of photography and Sarah Webb, otherwise known as Scarah in the Witch’s Bargain.  HorrorWeb has since then amassed a large social media following and has released numerous micro shorts, comic books and interviews celebrating horror artists/actors.

…And how was born the passion for the Horror Genre, there is a particular movie that inspired you?

When I was a young boy in the 80s, I loved watching B-horror movies with my friends.  We would have sleepovers and watch films like Night of the Demons (1988),  Return of the LIving Dead (1985), etc.   Although I loved them all, horror-hosted films were usually my favorite, particularly if they involved fantastical elements, such as Tales from the Crypt (1989).  This film particularly inspired me because of the castle/dungeon set production and the quirky-horror combo personality of the Crypt Keeper.  In fact, you can directly see his dungeon inspiration in sets within my horror theme parks. 

Dark content in any form has always been gravitational to me, whether it was music, film, or whatever really.  I think, when I was young, horror films just represented something taboo, something my parents didn’t exactly want me into.  Now that I am older, however, dark content has a more evolved, deeper meaning.

How would you describe your RFA Winning Short Film “The Witch’s Bargain”?

The Witch’s Bargain is HorrorWeb’s first cinematic short film and my debut as a film director. It was produced by my HorrorWeb team with the help of my assistant director Kayla Stojek. The short is about 30 minutes, so it’s more of a featurette really. The end-game of the film is to be distributed as the pilot episode in a T.V. Series or as part of a feature anthology. The short is a horror host format and begins with Scarah, Damsel of the Doomed, introducing herself and telling her story. The first episode/anthology story is unique in that the actual story features the host! In the film, The witch Scarah searches for an immortality spell and finds that it demands a pretty heavy price!  

Moving forward, the reminder of the T.V. Series or anthology will have Scarah hosting general horror stories that are unrelated to her character. I’ve always loved creature features, so I can definitely see a number of episodes as such.

What was the hardest scene to film?

The most difficult shot of this film, outside of our DP getting poison ivy in the well scene, was definitely the introductory cemetery scene where Scarah confronts her mother’s tombstone.  It was one of the first real cinematic scenes we had ever shot.  We had a new Sony a7s camera we were not very familiar with at the time, one camera man and thus made quite a few photography mistakes.  The location was also off a rather busy road, and it was not possible to shut it down, so we were constantly fighting with road noise.  We had to reshoot that scene three times!  In the end though, I am proud of how it came out and our perseverance. 

What are the main ingredients to create an horror movie?

I enjoy horror movies that cover a wide spectrum of emotions, such as laughter, fear, etc.  I think horror films are most effective when they can do this.  Emotional dynamics help the audience reach peaks without the “numbness” you might feel from narrow scope films.

Tell us a memorable and interesting during your career.

The most memorable moment of my film career thus far is winning Best Director at the Austin AfterDark Film Festival.  It was a wonderful experience with my crew.  The Witch’s Bargain was extremely difficult, largely in part because we were first-time filmmakers with no professional training.  I felt like that award symbolized my team’s faith in me as a first-time director through all the mistakes and long, grueling shoots and reshoots.

What are your future projects?

We are currently filming the second episode/anthology piece of this series, entitled “The Black Quarry”.  In it, Scarah tells a story of a black metal band going to shoot a music video near an abandoned quarry. The film is about the length of The Witch’s Bargain and is a creature feature, with inspirations from The Evil Dead (1981).  I’m excited to say that our Austin/Lubbock based HorrorWeb film team has nearly tripled in size for this featurette, with some of our new team members being directors themselves.  So stay tuned to HorrorWeb’s social media folks, because big, horrifying things are coming! 

Any final thoughts at the end of this interview?

Our HorrorWeb team and myself would like to thank the Robinson Film Awards for everything they do for the independent film community,  Winning an award with you guys absolutely helps inspire and motivate our team to do bigger and better films!

Full Bio

Dr. Corey Trahan was born in 1976 and raised in Beaumont, TX. There he attended college and obtained B.S. degrees in Physics and Chemistry before moving to Austin, TX in 1999 to attend graduate school at the University of Texas in Austin. He received a Ph.D. in quantum physics in 2003 and remains in Austin today where he works as a physicist for the Army Corps of Engineers. Aside from his scientific career, Trahan is a professional guitarist and vocalist, having played for a number of Texas regional rock bands over the last two decades. He currently plays guitar and/or sings in the bands; The Immortalz, Residue and Scientific Jesus. Trahan also has over a decade experience in sound engineering and in music production. 

In 2007, Trahan leveraged his passion for horror and dark arts along with funds from his first scientific position to open a Halloween theme park with a partner in Lubbock, TX. To date, Nightmare on 19th Street has been in business for over 15 years and has entertained around a quarter of a million people. The Park consists of multiple, highly produced haunted houses and a staff consisting over 140 people, including 100 actors, a team of makeup/FX artists, wardrobe, etc. In October 2021 the park will expand to a second, 15-acre location in Trahan’s hometown of Austin, TX. The new park will be called Bat City Scaregrounds.

Trahan has had a relatively active role in the film industry through the years, though mostly on the audio side. He is noted for creating original film scores, foley, sound engineering and general film audio production/mastering. He has also written a number of short movie scripts. The Witch’s Bargain was his first film as Director. Trahan’s most recent film thrust, however, has been as executive producer and owner of HorrorWeb Productions, a production studio out of Austin, TX. HorrorWeb has a large social media following and is well known for releasing highly produced interviews of horror-related artists, actors, etc. and for their Tub of Terror production, in which Scarah, a horror-host, has discussions in her tub about currently released horror movies. The company is also largely responsible for makeup/fx, scene production and wardrobe on a number of music videos directed by Budro Partida along with set design, makeup/fx and wardrobe in the Witch’s Bargain.

Trahan and his company, HorrorWeb Productions, are currently involved with a number of new film projects as both a Director and Producer. 

https://youtu.be/sDwJPoYkSBw

RFA