"House of Wax" writers visit UNCW to give advice
Carey and Chad Hayes speak with students about the in's and out's of filmmaking
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 12:10
Carey and Chad Hayes, filmmakers and screenwriters of Hollywood blockbusters “House of Wax,” “The Reaping” and “Whiteout,” took time to speak with UNCW students in one-on-one advising sessions last week.
Their visit consisted of three events spread over two days. On Thursday, students gathered with the Hayes brothers to discuss religious and supernatural themes in film. Friday morning, students were encouraged to speak to the brothers one-on-one in the Azalea Room. Friday night, the Hayes brothers held a screening of their 2007 film, “The Reaping,” starring Hilary Swank.
Travis Currin, a UNCW film studies alumnus, took advantage of the opportunity to get some advice from the Hayes brothers. Currin graduated in 2007 and currently works at the TV station WECT, doing everything from camera work to graphics to editing. He wrote a script that he adapted for television, a feature film and a short story.
“I came to talk to Carey and Chad to find out what I need to do next,” said Currin. “Around here, you sometimes just have to sit and wait for a job to come to you. I don’t want to have to do that.”
Currin presented his pitch—a supernatural-western which he described as “'Lost' meets 'Hell on Wheels'”— to the Hayes brothers with excitement and confidence. Currin said he was at the end of the writing process and didn’t know how to end his story. The Hayes brothers listened to Currin’s pitch and had several suggestions for him.
“Watch as many movies in that genre as you can," said Chad Hayes. "Just watch tons of movies. That’s what we do.”
Currin said that his meeting with the Hayes brothers restored the hope he had in his project.
Chris Matthews, a freshman at UNCW from Wake Forest, NC, also came to seek help from the Hayes brothers.
Matthews is not currently in the film studies department, but hopes to be by next semester. He has made several short films and brought with him a demo reel. Matthews put clips from his different projects on the reel and gave it to the Hayes brothers.
“My true passion is directing, but I’m willing to do anything,” said Matthews.
The Hayes brothers told Matthews that he needed to focus all his energy on the thing he wants to do, directing, and find a story his wants to tell.
“You need to collaborate," said Chad Hayes. "Find a great writer and work with them. Find a story and move me. Make me laugh. Make me cry. Make me feel.”
The Hayes brothers seemed particularly impressed with Matthews. Along with his demo reel, the student also brought business cards.
“You remind me of us,” said Chad Hayes. “Film companies love young directors. They eat guys like you up.”
Friday evening, before the screening of their film “The Reaping,” the Hayes brothers addressed the audience one last time, trying again to instill inspiration.
“You guys are going to make mistakes,” said Carey Hayes. “You’re young enough to make the mistakes and keep on going.”
The Hayes brother’s visit to Wilmington gave "Hollywood East" film students a chance to personally interact with industry writers, producers and directors.