Short Film by Detroit Filmmaker Featured at Screamfest L.A.

’Fake Plastic Blood’ by Nathan Gallagher of Nain Rouge Productions was the only short film out of Michigan featured at the annual horror film festival.
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Nathan Gallagher at Screamfest LA. Photograph courtesy of Screamfest L.A./ Nathan Gallagher.

Nain Rouge Productions has done Detroit horror fans proud.

The Detroit-based film and media production company, which got its start just three months ago, was the only company from Detroit featured at Screamfest L.A. — the largest and longest-running horror film festival in the United States.

In addition, their film, Fake Plastic Blood, was the only short film from Michigan at the festival. It tells the story of a girl named Clara who takes a couple blue pills to get through her roommate’s party. After taking the pills, she starts hallucinating a mannequin following her.

The film runs about 12 minutes and was created as a low-budget project through Wayne State University before being submitted to, and eventually picked up by, Screamfest L.A.

“I always thought mannequins were scary (and) I don’t know that there are many films that touch on that,” says Nathan Gallagher, the film’s writer and director. “I thought the film had merit, so we submitted it to higher lever festivals, and Screamfest accepted us.”

This was the first time that Nain Rouge Productions got to represent their work, and the Michigan horror scene, at a large festival, and while the film didn’t win any awards at Screamfest L.A., which ran Oct. 11-20, 2022, Gallagher says the experience was both fun and valuable.

“The highlight was screening to a cold audience. Getting their cold reactions was very genuine and it gave me a new perspective on the film,” he says. “When you’re making a film, it’s hard to tell what’s going to land and what’s not going to land for audience. I always try to keep the audience in mind, and I got to see that it actually did land — they laughed when I wanted them to laugh and gasped when I wanted them to gasp.”

Hour Detroit’s Robyn Banks, another writer and producer with Nain Rouge Productions who also attended the festival, agrees with Gallagher about how valuable the experience at Screamfest L.A. was, and looks forward to the future of Nain Rouge Productions.

“I had a lot of fun at Screamfest,” Banks says. “My biggest takeaway was just being able to meet and network with so many incredible filmmakers and industry professionals. It was also my first time in Los Angeles, so overall the experience was very new to me. I’m just really proud of Nathan, and I’m excited for what we’ll be able to do next as a company.”

Screamfest L.A. was just the start of a festival run for Fake Plastic Blood. According to Gallagher, the film will be touring the U.S. and will even make a couple of stops overseas for the next year. You can find a list of showtimes and locations at fakeplasticblood.com.

In addition to Fake Plastic Blood, Nain Rouge Productions has three other short horror films: Unfamiliar, Wendigo and Reunited, which are all available to watch on the Nain Rouge Productions YouTube Channel.

Another short sci-fi horror film called Worms is currently in the works.

For more information on Nain Rouge Productions or Fake Plastic Blood, visit nainrougeproductions.com.

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