Liane Moonraven is a horror author, and the President of Moonraven Films as well as the Carmen Online Theater Group. Liane in collaboration with her business partner, Jay J Bryhan, are shooting a horror movie in Birmingham, England called “Clarington Darkness Awakens”.
How did you get involved in the horror genre?
I didn’t get sucked up into the horror vacuum until much later – the Stephen King era. When his books came out, I devoured them, one at a time, including The Bachman Books. I’ve always been a classic horror fan – Alfred Hitchcock being my favorite movie/television series maker. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is my favorite piece of literature. I’d always “flirted” with writing horror, but nothing more than a few stories. So I always had it in me but it wasn’t until the paranormal field and my own personal experiences piqued my interest enough to put my toe in the water. Horror is cyclical and its time is here again.
What’s been the most challenging thing to date?
Creating protocols and procedures for the show. Because we are scattered all over the world, our biggest challenge was getting us to sound like we’re all in the same room. Through trial and error and tweaking and a very dedicated cast, we’ve been able to do it.
You started this popular online theater group. Carmen Online Theater Group. Tell me about it and how did you come up with the concept?
The Carmen Online Theater Group was created when one night I was having a conversation with my friend and mentor, actor Paul Sampson. I was telling him about the dark history of the community I was living in and some of the things that had happened in the past and while I had been living there. I casually said to him that I thought it would make a great horror story – and the idea stuck. Because of a previous project I’d worked on, I really wanted to do audio theater. I felt it was going to be the next big “thing” in entertainment.
What was the inspiration? Were you a fan of old time radio?
Oh my gosh, yes! I remember the first time I heard Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds. I was totally fascinated. But I’m also a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock. I’d say he’s my idol – a masterful storyteller with the ability to tell a complete story in a short amount time. He was an absolutely genius. I love watching his movies and television series over and over. The Twilight Zone is my second favorite. Just brilliant! My true inspiration though comes from The Tom Joyner Morning Show. He used to air a soap opera style segment that could not have been more than 3 minutes but it was the best 3 minutes on the air. I got it – the light bulb came on without me knowing it. “Short, sweet, impactful.” I had no idea – none whatsoever – that I would end up modeling that, later on.
Your horror series called the “Burbs,” which airs weekly on Spreaker is becoming hugely popular? What do you credit that to?
First of all, thank you. I’m very humbled by the success of “The Burbs.” I think it’s popular because of my formula for the show which is an original, never-heard-before script, intense drama, powerful actors all in a bite-sized chunk. Just enough of the story to move it forward but enough to keep people going “WHAT???” at the end. It was all part of my diabolical plan. **insert evil laugh here**
Tell us about Moonraven Films and your current project?
Ah! I created Moonraven Films in early 2015 after I had written my first full feature film. I had started writing The Burbs but put it to the side because I had actually spooked myself while writing it! So I focused on the feature film. Well, like a lot of indie filmmakers, I had to delay the project so I picked The Burbs back up and created the Carmen Group. When I pulled in U.K actor James Jay Bryhan as my business partner, early 2016, he took over Moonraven Films as Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer. James’ experience in film and television is invaluable. We have actually already started shooting our first short film, along with Cinematographer Ian Dangerfield (BBC) in Britain!
I’m very excited about it. James wanted to do a prequel to The Burbs. He wanted to create a film that would give a back-story to what’s currently happening in the audio drama. We talked about it, I understood his vision and wrote a script. With his years of experience and contacts in the industry, he pulled together a cast and crew, produced it and now we are on our way!
When will it be released?
It would be lovely to have a release around Halloween. We’ll certainly be done with post by then.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
In addition to The Burbs, the Carmen Group also produces other longer, complete, theater plays – all horror genres. Additionally, we will introduce new programming, rolled out in phases over the next few months. My goal is and always was to have a complete audio theater network and we are rapidly headed in that direction. We are currently in the festival circuit, awaiting results.
Our official website is www.carmentheateronline.com and most of our dramas can be heard on our You Tube channel. There is also a section on the website where you can watch some of James Bryhan’s short films and his feature film, The Apostate – Call of the Revenant.
The Burbs airs every Thursday at 10pm/ET on spreaker.com Season 4 begins April 14th but be sure to tune in to NEVERLASTING LOVE, an original erotic horror story that James and I co-wrote and also co-star in.
Liane Moonraven it’s been a pleasure speaking with you.
Thank you for having me!