WARSAW — Tyler King has always loved horror films. Ever since he was young, King acted out film scenes, drew movie posters and wrote short stories.
Now at the age of 28, King is continuing to pursue his passion for filmmaking and his appreciation for horror movies through “Virtual Nightmare,” a film he created about a young man putting on a virtual reality headset and seeing a demon.
“I actually came up with the idea for it pretty quick,” said King. “I was looking around my living room for ideas and noticed my VR headset on the end table right next to me, and I immediately started thinking of ideas that I could incorporate using that.”
The film was recently selected for the “60 Second Horror Challenge” contest in Charleston, S.C., that allows filmmakers from around the world to compete. King’s project was one out of 60 selected for the film festival, which will be held on June 22. Films will be evaluated by celebrity judges, including Edwin Neal from the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” Bill Oberst Jr. from “Scream Queens” and E.G. Daily from “The Devil’s Rejects.”
“My inspiration for ‘Virtual Nightmare’ and essentially filmmaking, in general, would most definitely have to be my mom and dad,” said King. “They’ve always known how passionate I’ve been about horror movies and what goes on behind the scenes and have always supported me.”
King’s mother passed away in 2011. His father died shortly after in 2013.
“My two older brothers and I try to keep our strong bond going and always have each other’s back,” said King. “Every idea I come up with, every script I write and every movie I film, I not only do it for myself and my passion for filmmaking, but I do it for my parents because I know how proud they would be of me. They’re always in my heart and I always think of them, and it honestly gives me more fuel, energy and motivation to keep after my dreams.”
To date, King has approximately 10 short films on his YouTube channel. He’s also completed a feature-length film that was filmed in Chicago, Ill.
“I ended up putting the feature film onto DVD by myself, with the goal of creating a profit to be able to purchase better filmmaking equipment for future projects.”
When it comes to his film projects, King writes, films and edits his work solo.
“The easiest and most fun part of the filmmaking process for me is editing during post-production,” said King. “But the most difficult part is coming up with a story idea to begin with. Without a story, you can’t have a script, which means you can’t have a movie.”
Corey Bailey serves as the actor for all of King’s films.
“He even helps out with story ideas and other little things here and there,” said King. “I really don’t know what I’d do without him.”
As far as future films go, King is already working on his next script.
“I don’t want to give too much away about it, but it’s more of a thriller than my usual horror films,” said King. “I hope to film it either late this summer or fall.”
For those interested in pursuing filmmaking, King recommends networking with other aspiring filmmakers.
“The local filmmaking network groups I’m a part of have given me more confidence in myself,” said King. “And never, ever give up. If you’re passionate about filmmaking, or anything for that matter, then go for it. Anything is possible as long as you put your dedication and hard work in.”