As you go through your every day life, following the usual habits, traversing familiar pathways, seeing the same people day in and day out, you may never know what is hidden just below the surface of another. Human relationships: the closer you get, the more dramatic it becomes–and sometimes even a little scary–but what a bore life would be otherwise!
You may find that shy gal has an uncanny wit, a quiet guy may be leading an adventurous life, someone boisterous may have a heart of gold—you just never know. And a seriously responsible authority figure in uniform…may be a multi-talented movie maker!
Enter Victor Claudio: writer, producer, director, creator of something he is passionate about: horror films. Claudio has done six movies: His first was “The Secret” © followed by “Andy,” © “Insanity,” © “Andy II,” © “Silent Christmas,” © and “La Llorona.” ©
“La Llorona” © was inspired by a Mexican legend passed along throughout generations. His grandmother told him and his siblings, all brothers, about La Llorona. Several films have been done on La Llorona, so he added a new twist to this old character.
Claudio is in the process of writing his next masterpiece “EVP” © which is inspired by and based on real events. Production is slated for January 2012. He reports that ideas come at the most unexpected moments, and when this happens, he runs with it.
How did this all come about? It started long ago. From the time Claudio was seven, like many young boys, he was spell-bound by horror movies. Classics like “Creepshow” and “Child’s Play” are his all-time favorites, and he was inspired by Wes Craven, Stephen King, Clive Barker, George A. Romero and special effects icon Tom Savini.
As a youngster Claudio played pranks; often his own family were handy victims for the likes of his “Gummi Worm gag” and other scare tactics. He also enjoyed gathering his brothers together to perform skits for their parents. Although he is not the eldest, all his brothers were willing to follow and take direction from him—and still are. They star in his movies, and without so much as an acting class, are convincing in their roles.
Sometimes Claudio got the impression his parents wondered, “Why is he doing this?” Yet he was a natural so they encouraged him to continue. In fact, now they are in some of his movies!
He signed up for film and video classes at Columbia College but didn’t complete his education due to a lack of funds. Like many a talented artist with a yen for perfection, he found he would second guess himself. He sometimes wondered if this was really for him, yet he was magnetically drawn to it. Such a calling is impossible to ignore.
So after he left school, he decided to make a movie, and the result was “The Secret.” © He says the processes he used back then could only be described as “old school” like using two VCRs to edit the movie and cassette tapes to add the music. Claudio chuckles as he thinks about the leaps and bounds in technology since then. He now uses a digital Sony camcorder and Epson computer technology. For special effects he implements a combination of props and computer graphics like Cyberlink PowerDirector.
Once he gets a new movie idea, he contacts family and friends to see who wants to be involved. Sometimes he knows immediately who will be right for a particular part; for other parts, he holds auditions. Many times he uses his trusty family members and tried and true friends, but he is toying with the idea of infusing some new blood (pun intended) into his next film.
He feeds and waters and motivates his actors and crew. This is their pay for being in his movies, this and a little bit of fame and pride for a job well done. Because his genre of choice is horror, interesting things can happen on the set: for instance, he discovered his mother could do an amazing scream. He admitted it was rather disturbing to hear her scream like that, but she was having fun. Sometimes hand-holding is required, like when the starlet of “La Llorona” © was afraid of the main prop and didn’t even want to be in the same room with it.
Once a movie is done, Claudio holds a raffle for a variety of folks to come and preview the movie and critique it. That way he can tweak it before the big day. Then let the party begin, and that is exactly what happens! Claudio throws a lavish bash to premiere his movies. You might be able to spot him in the darkness of the back row. He studies people’s reactions; the jumps and screams from his audience let him know he has succeeded. It’s the “Gummi Worm trick” all over again, on a grand scale!
He now has such a large and growing fan base, he had to host two movie parties for “La Llorona.” © Whereas he enjoys opening his home for these events, he is thinking of premiering his next film at a private night club.
When I asked Victor how he funds his movies, he said they are funded in part by his executive producer. Look for Victor Claudio and his production company Howling Moon Productions © to become a bigger part of the Chicago cult movie scene. And with Halloween right around the corner, why not tune into his YouTube channel and have a few good screams yourself.