Horror Hotel the web series is in full production in Atlanta, GA and promising eerie tales along the likes of the beloved Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. An anthology series with episodes running 12 – 20 minutes, Horror Hotel features stories that span multiple genera’s including science fiction, horror, thriller & suspense. Like Hitchcock, there will be moments of comedy & drama for added entertainment.
Executive Producer Debbie Jo Hess answered some questions for us, enjoy!
Tell us about this project:
An imaginative set was built for the series that creates the Horror Hotel atmosphere and actually becomes a character of it’s own in every episode. Nearly all the principle photography is done on the set in Marietta, Georgia with some location shooting done from time to time.
Debbie Hess, one of the producers, designs the Horror Hotel set for each episode. “People are impressed with the atmosphere we created for Horror Hotel. and always want to know how we make our paint ‘peel’ and look so creepy. It’s the number one question we get from visitors, cast and crew. We paint the walls in blotches and then paint latex over that, then paint the final layer on top of that and simply peel the latex back. The paint sticks to it and produces that errie paint peeling effect. We also use a lot of antiques to give the room a horror chic, sorta old European hotel look” says Debbie. Al Hess, also one of the producers, makes the custom designed hotel set furniture and lots of amazing props used in the episodes. He is even constructing a miniature outside hotel model for use in some nighttime establishing shots.
Who is involved?
Horror Hotel was created by Ricky Hess, an award winning costume designer and independent filmmaker, and produced by Ricky, Debbie and Al Hess. Ricky’s extensive experience working with latex formed the foundation for his work in special effects in a number of independent films in the Atlanta area prior to producing Horror Hotel.
“We work not only with seasoned industry film professionals in the area, but with film students and recent graduates from local colleges” says Ricky. “These students need quality projects and experience with other professionals. Horror Hotel is a great outlet for them,” he said. “Moving forward, we are looking for sponsorships and distribution so we can continue making the series.”
The Hess family wears many hats to produce the series. Ricky has directed several of the episodes but has also been the Assistant Director on several as well as script supervisor, set builder, editor, whatever needs done. Debbie Hess handles casting notifications, social media, business needs, kraft services, set decoration and crew assembly. Al Hess has written a number of the episodes, built the set, designs and builds props and furniture and is the go to guy on the set for anything carpenter related.
Here is a rundown of the episodes produced so far:
Houdini’s Hand – Two burglars steal the mummified hand of a famous magician and find out what it means to come up a little “short handed”. This is our pilot episode and was co-produced by Errol Sadler of Atlanta’s own Supremacy Films (Blackhats movie) and directed by Brandon 2mill Thaxton also of Supremacy Films. Starring Atlanta actors Tony Folden, Montrel Miller, James Edward Thomas, and Mike Bend. Houdini’s Hand also has a podcast that will be available for portable listening recorded by Henry Howard , a founding partner with the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company.
Bookworm – A psychotic woman will do anything to get a hold of her favorite author’s unpublished work. The Hitchcock inspired episode stars Elle Trapkin as the wacky “Margaret Tally” and Hugh Higgins as the seedy book dealer “George Spoetzl”. Bookworm was experimental in that it was filmed in living black and white. All the actors dressed in gray, black or white and the set was designed accordingly. Colorists Nick Anderson with Cinevation Media helped to create the final vivid black and white effect in post production and final video editing. Cinematographer Donovan Henneberg-Verity and the talented DP crew including Ben Lambeth executed fabulous Hitchcock like point of view shots. Directed by Ricky Hess.
Invader – When residents at the Horror Hotel become suspicious of alien activity, a sci-fi writer becomes the target.
We took it back retro si-fi with a Ray Bradbury style episode in black and white. Atlanta actor Troy Halverson played “Joe Wood”, the secretive local hotel resident, Susan Moss as the paranoid “Helen Kravitz”, James Edward Thomas played the sci-fi writer “Rodney Silvers”, Jerry Irwin was the loveable kook,” Gerald Boyd” and Darien Johnson rounded out the cast as “Mikey Bone”, a trigger happy member of the posse. Once again Donovan Henneberg-Verity and Ben Lambeth headed up the DP department with assistance from Nick Anderson from Cinevation Media for DIT and coloring to make the black and white footage pop. Directed by Kyle Kukshtel.
Tilt – An android and her abusive owner plot to kidnap and sell a well known computer hacker to a less than desirable group. A sci-fi tale in a scrambled time frame that includes characters ranging from a future android to World War II soldiers. With Marie Barker as the perky android “Skinny”, her owner “Merle”, played by Johnny Harvill, computer hacker “Saul Kaplan” played by Ronnie Mathew, and World War II Nazis Nathan DeRussy and Tanner Gould. Directed by Ricky Hess with director of Photography Torey Haas of MonsterBuster Entertainment.
Guillotine – Beauty has a price when a pageant contestant gets a hold of a charm cut from Marie Antoinett’s guillotine. This episode is currently in production and will finish principle photography the end of March.
Directed by Brandon 2mill Thaxton. Director of Photography, Bruce Lane. With actors Stephanie Stevens, Ann Marie Gideon and James Edward Thomas.
The first season will have 7 episodes and should wrap production in late spring. Please visit our website for slide shows on the making of each episode and detailed cast and crew information.
To view more information and slide shows about the making of Horror Hotel visit the website at