Local film company to celebrate sixth year, inks Comcast deal

P.J. Starks, left, and Eric Huskisson, co-owners and producers of Blood Moon Pictures, are shown.

Blood Moon Pictures, a production company led by local filmmakers P.J. Starks and Eric Huskisson, will celebrate their sixth year in business in December.

And there’s no sign of the duo slowing down.

Starks and Huskisson will be in attendance at the 13th year of The Scarefest Horror and Paranormal Convention on Oct. 23 at the Central Bank Center in Lexington, taking part in the Indie Filmmaker Panel at 6 p.m. on the Main Stage.

Starks said that Brandon Griffith, co-owner of The ScareFest, reached out to him inquiring about getting more filmmakers involved with the convention and integrating more independent filmmakers with the event.

“I kind of threw the idea and said, ‘You should do an indie filmmaker panel,’ Starks said. “And (Brandon) said, ‘That sounds great! Do you know anybody that would want to do it?’ ”

Starks and Huskisson will serve on the panel alongside Brittany Blaton, Antonio Pantoja, Shawn Burkett, John Mason, and Brian Dorton.

Griffith also gave Starks and Huskisson an opportunity they couldn’t refuse.

Their most recent release, “13 Slays Till X-Mas,” will have their first theatrical premiere in Lexington at 7 p.m. Saturday at Krikorian Theatres at LexLive, located on the second floor of 301 S. Broadway.

“It wasn’t a situation where we had to submit our film,” Starks said. “(Brandon) reached out to me and was like, ‘We want to play it at the convention.’

Starks and Huskisson said that they’re looking forward to being able to see the movie on a large screen outside of their local premiere at Kentucky Wesleyan College last November.

“While we were filming the project initially, we had a whole entire festival run planned. Then the whole pandemic happened, the shutdowns took place, and, of course — that killed any possibility for us to do a festival run....,” Starks said. “We never really got a chance to see it on a big screen or at least a theatrical screen. ...This will be our first time seeing it in a theater … I’m really excited to see what it looks like….”

“I’m excited about it. I’m looking forward to seeing it in a regular theater,” Huskisson said. “I know some people that actually worked on the film are going to be there ... and one of my old college roommates is in Lexington and he’s coming…. I love seeing people’s reactions. I hope some people show up!”

With things finally opening back up and “13 Slays Till X-Mas” released officially in March, Starks and Huskisson have still been hard at work.

“We’re working on getting (‘13 Slays Till X-Mas’) onto streaming services,” Starks said. “It was being looked at by a major streaming service and then they started taking (awhile), so we were really sitting on it, not doing much of anything.”

Starks said they were eventually able to ink a deal with Comcast to stream the film starting in December.

The film also made its way to rent or purchase on Amazon Prime this past week.

However, Starks and Huskisson hinted that there is something big on the horizon but can’t reveal all the details quite yet.

“There’s one name for a service, and it is potentially huge, or at least huge for us, if it happens,” Starks said. “It’s potentially major for us and the project.”

“It’s a streaming site through a huge company,” Huskisson said. “To get on there, that would be huge in itself.”

Starks and Huskisson also wrapped up filming cameo spots out in Pennsylvania while on the set of Justin M. Seaman’s “The Barn Part II,” starring Linnea Quigley, Ari Lehman, and “The Toxic Avenger” director Lloyd Kaufman.

Starks acted alongside Diana Prince, known for playing Darcy the Mail Girl from “The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs” while Huskisson also helped out as a production assistant.

“It was a good time,” Huskisson said. “I love being on set with somebody else so you see what they do compared to what you do.”

“13 Slays Till X-Mas” will also be showing next weekend in Owensboro at the OMG!Con at the Owensboro Convention Center on Oct. 30, where the pair will also host a seminar about producing indie horror films. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. with the event starting at 9 p.m.

“We’re still working out some of the details, but ultimately — it’s just going to be Eric and I talking about our experiences going from two guys in middle America making these small independent movies but still being able to reach a much wider audience …,” Starks said. “We’re going to be talking about projects from conception to completion — the process that you go through, the challenges, the hurdles, and things of that nature….”

Huskisson is glad to be able to have another showing on their own home turf.

“What cooler way to spend the night before Halloween and being in your hometown and watching a horror movie that was partially filmed in your hometown by local people,” Huskisson said. “I think that’s cool. I know a lot of other parts of the film were filmed in other states and stuff, but it is a Blood Moon Pictures film, it is P.J. and I’s film, we did produce it here. ...It’s cool that it was made here at local houses, local businesses, one of the colleges….”

Even with the busy schedule, Starks and Huskisson are already eyeing their next big endeavor.

“We’re still working on figuring out exactly what that project is going to be,” Starks said. “There’s a script that I wrote in 2010 that Eric really likes. There’s actually a couple of scripts that I’ve written that Eric really likes and one of them is a slasher film and (other) is more of a survivor horror that has a bunch of different types of elements and has this dynamic … narrative that, in some ways, is like an anthology, but it’s not because it’s not different characters that don’t ever meet up — it’s got a lot going on to it.”

Tickets for both The ScareFest and OMG!con are available now at thescarefest.com and owenborotickets.com respectively.

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