Behind the Scenes Photos from Tinker’s Shadow

Click to enlarge photos

We filmed my 60-minute documentary on Tinker’s Swiss Cottage in Rockford, Illinois, Tinker’s Shadow: The Hidden History of Tinker Swiss Cottage, over about a period of a week last December. Tinker Cottage is a wonderful Victorian house museum with a long history of unusual occurrences many attribute to the ghosts of Robert H. Tinker and his family.

The museum’s former executive director, Steve Litteral, is a good friend of mine, as are many of the cast and crew. I was so lucky to know and work with such a talented and knowledgeable group of people, including Chicago-based photographer Greg Inda, who served a dual role as cameraman and directory of photography. Amelia Cotter of the R.I.P. Files agreed to host.

I released the documentary on Amazon Video Direct in March 2018 and we had a public showing at the museum in July. It’s now available on DVD, but the digital version is the highest quality. Please check it out if you haven’t already; it’s perfect for the Halloween season.

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Tinker’s Shadow Available on DVD

Unexplained events at a Midwestern museum shed light on its city’s past in Tinker’s Shadow: The Hidden History of Tinker Swiss Cottage! Perfect for the Halloween season, check it out on DVD or Video Direct on Amazon.com. We filmed this 60-minute documentary last Christmas and released it in April. I think it turned out very well and we’ve had a lot of positive feedback.

Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum & Gardens in Rockford, Illinois has long been rumored to be haunted, but what do its ghosts teach us about the past? Join host Amelia Cotter as she takes you inside and reveals the hidden history of this beautiful museum. Featuring interviews with museum staff, visitors, volunteers, and researchers.

The DVD is $15.00 plus shipping, or you can watch the digital version in HD for $2.99. Check it out on Amazon.com

The Staircase – A Horror Short

The Staircase (2017) was created and directed by Mario Flores, a photographer from Baja California, and stars Irauaddi Fuentes. Flores has appeared as an uncredited extra in Dirty Love (2005) and Resident Evil: Extinction (2007). The Staircase is a typical short suspense video punctuated by a jump scare.

We see a woman relaxing at home, answering text messages. Suddenly, a sound directs her attention to the second floor. A shadowy figure peers over the balcony, then a plastic ball comes tapping down the wooden stairs. She slowly ascends the staircase, until another noise sends her scurrying back down. She waits, then screams as–well, I won’t spoil the ending. But the short film ends there, at 2 minutes and 50 seconds.

The trailer on YouTube is actually more well-made and suspenseful than the movie. The “horror” element doesn’t work partially because of atmosphere (or lack thereof). It’s just way too bright. Second, the creature (or whatever it is) appears too early. There’s no way someone would go upstairs after seeing that thing looking over the balcony. It’s just not believable.

The Staircase is a decent first effort, but there’s nothing to capture your attention. It is available to rent on Amazon.com for $1.99.

A Little Halloween: A Charming Halloween Poem

This short film by iLL WiLL PrEss creator Jonathan Ian Mathers came out last October, and is a charming addition to the holiday. Mathers is the brains behind Foamy the Squirrel and Neurotically Yours. He began created flash cartoons in 2002 and has spun that into a steady gig.

I loved these cartoons when I was in college, but lost track of them over the years. I was surprised/delighted to see this Halloween short on Amazon.com.

A Little Halloween is an animated poem about a goth girl named Pauline who tries to cast a spell to make Halloween last year-round, the only time she feels accepted.

Instead, the spell spawns “Pum’Kin Guy,” an anthropomorphic pumpkin with an attitude and a Brooklyn accent. Pum’Kin Guy is Pauline’s only friend and constant companion, listening to her and protecting her from other people’s taunts and jeers.

You can rent the video on Amazon for $1.99 or watch it for free on YouTube.