As the founder of the New York Cinema Market, a self-taught moviemaker and corporate banker, Paul Chau believes independent moviemaking should be an open process. Now Chau is using his latest film, Scalp, as a teaching opportunity for those interested in making horror films that place more emphasis on the unseen. “Bottom line,” Chau says, “is that I believe your imagination can create great fear if the other senses are engaged.”

To that end, Chau has launched a website currently featuring only a trailer and the movie’s first scene, as Scalp is still in its early stages of filming. Through the website, the rest of production will be a process open to the public. The pre-production event on February 23 featured a look at the storyboards, shot list and special effects used to film the first scene. The production itself, which will take place sometime in May, will be open to the public and give them a chance to see and participate in the moviemaking process. “With the onset of DV cameras and editing programs like Final Cut and Premiere Pro,” he says, “there has never been a better time to make a film at a low cost and on your own terms.”

The filming location, Ghost Lake, New Jersey, swirls with rumors of hauntings. Chau himself never saw any ghosts while filming the first scene there, but those who do attend the production might want to come prepared. “That night, I was like, ‘Okay, while I am not superstitious, I know you use crosses for vampires, but what do you use for ghosts?’”

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