Almost the entire movie, 95%, was shot near Larimore, said Sholes, who wrote, directed and produced the 78-minute film. He plays a leading role in the film, which also stars nine other actors from that region, some of whom will be recognizable to local theatergoers, he said.
Low-budget thriller “Mental Whiplash” tells the story of a man who goes camping after working nights, although his wife warns him that he needs to get more sleep or that he will start to see. things that don’t exist.
When the man goes for a hike to the campsite, he begins to feel horrible things and unwanted guests, Sholes said.
“As the movie unfolds, we find out that he should have taken his wife’s advice,” he said.
“We shot everything outside – on a freeway and a gravel road and leading to a campsite,” he said.
“We wanted to make it a bit darker,” so filming only in black and white gives audiences “more of a horror experience – more“ surreal, ”I guess, is the word,” he said. .
The final scene, filmed in the old Deaconess Hospital building in downtown Grand Forks, shows the man being pushed down a hallway on a stretcher, beaten and injured, and surrounded by medics.
The end of the movie “is kind of a surprise,” Sholes said.
Films to his credit
The filmmaker, who resides in Golden Lake, west of Hatton, North Dakota, owns Fat Cat Productions, which produces films and PSAs.
“Mental Whiplash,” his fourth feature, took two weeks to shoot and an additional 12 months of “intense and creative editing,” he said.
Sholes hired Joshua Rosebrough, a sound specialist who received a film production degree from Huntington University (Ind.), To help him direct the film.
Rosebrough, of Grand Forks, had the creative freedom to edit the film and “produce the weird sound effects throughout the film,” Sholes said.
Rosebrough and her father, Chris Rosebrough, recently won two awards, including the Audience Award, at the Dakota Film Dash Festival for their comedy short, “Weekend at Murphy’s”. Their achievement was featured in the April 10 edition of the Herald.
Sholes has also been recognized for his work.
His film, “Excind,” which was shot on an old farmhouse near McVille, North Dakota, won the award for best horror film at the New York International Film Festival a few years ago. Due to this award, it was screened at the Marche du Film, Cannes Film Festival in Paris in 2016.
Since its release, “Excind” has been rented and viewed in the US, UK and China more than 68,000 times on various video-on-demand platforms, Sholes said.
Letter Box, a movie review site, said that ‘Excind’ is one of the best horror films of the past decade, ‘he said.
For his next project, Sholes explored a new style of directing in “The Novel Movie”, a feature film he describes as a mystery-suspended art film told through photos and illustrations.
The film ran for 13 years, he said.
With the new concept, he experimented with Photoshop, where the photo becomes a sketch and “it gets darker and darker,” he said.
Employing a six-member cast, plus a few extras, “The Novel Movie” was filmed in several locations, including an old farm near Ada, Minnesota, Miller’s Grocery in Hatton, on a rural road, and a house in Grand Forks.
Sholes is planning a premiere for “The Novel Movie” in September at the Empire Arts Center.
In deciding how to release “Mental Whiplash,” Sholes considered another video-on-demand platform, but went with Amazon Prime.
“When you go to Prime, you get on a carousel; people can search for “horror movies”. You can watch it for free, ”he said. “You don’t make that much money, but more people are seeing it.”
To view “Mental Whiplash” go to www.fatcatproductions.co buy or rent the movie. Those with an Amazon Prime subscription can view it at no cost.