Behind the scenes of making a movie

Nearly 500 horror buffs, VIPs and other movie goers filled every seat in two theaters while attending the red carpet premiere showings of “Apparitional” at the Goodrich Capital 8 Theater on Saturday evening.

Nearly 500 horror buffs, VIPs and other movie goers filled every seat in two theaters while attending the red carpet premiere showings of “Apparitional” at the Goodrich Capital 8 Theater on Saturday evening.

Saturday’s “Apparitional” events started with a panel discussion featuring the movie’s cast and crew inside of A-Hall on the Missouri State Penitentiary campus. 

Although the building was sweltering, nobody seemed to mind as curious locals stepped to the microphone to quiz the “Apparitional” team about their experiences. 

Director Andrew P. Jones spoke about what inspired him to write the film and he talked about the challenges of filming on a very small budget by Hollywood standards. 

Jones — who has experience working on reality TV — said he and his wife Linara Washingon, who stars in the film, are both fans of the horror genre. 

“On boring Saturday nights, one thing we like to do is go to video-on-demand and look for ghost stories. But we rarely find them,” he said.

He said the movie was inspired in part by his own experiences in reality TV and his intrigue with the supernatural. “What if a team of investigators went to a place that was really, really scary?” he asked. 

One questioner wanted to know if the cast or crew experienced anything scary while shooting in the prison. 

“Yup,” announced leading man Jeffrey Johnson.

“I was wanting it to happen, so maybe I willed it,” he admitted. “But there’s no question. I felt something.” 

Johnson said the incident happened when he was out of breath because he’d been running up and down a long corridor. He told the ghost: “Hey, man. I’m just making a movie here ... I don’t mean any disrespect.” 

Other cast members reported feeling creeped out in the cells and seeing curtains move mysteriously. 

Audience members wanted to know what other projects the cast and crew have worked on. Washington has appeared alongside Bratt Pitt and James Gandolfini in a movie called “Killing Me Softly.” Bill Lithgow had a role on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” John Zderko has appeared in episodes of “The Mentalist” and “Criminal Minds.” 

“I’ve died on a lot of TV shows,” joked Johnson. “I’m thinking about making a death reel of all the times I’ve been killed.” 

He’s also the voice of the T-Mobile commercials. 

Jones also talked about the challenges he faced making “Apparitional,” noting the entire film was shot in 13 days — seven in Jefferson City and five in Los Angeles.

Marketing the film and finding an audience is tough, he said. 

“Even Steven Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’ almost didn’t get theatrical distribution,” he said. “We’re hoping for a Halloween home video release.”

Jones was asked if “Apparitional 2” is in the works.

“Funny you asked that. I’ve certainly been working on it in my head,” he said. “It really depends on if people like this movie.”

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