Ben and Oliver Samuels are producing brothers shooting in their native Bucks County. Ben attended Tufts University and made a microbudget horror film, entitled Watch Me, immediately after graduation. The film starred then unknown actor Nick Jandl, who is now breaking hearts as Dr. Caleb Ryan on Nashville.
Shot in Buckingham and Central PA, DreadCentral just reviewed Watch Me, noting its “…interesting twists and turns towards the movie’s conclusion…” that made it a “…certified indie hair-raiser.”
After Watch Me, Ben booked a gig directing the Gothic thriller Kantemir, starring horror icon Robert Englund, known for his role as Freddy Krueger in The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The film is being released domestically in Summer 2015. At Ben’s suggestion, the LA producers moved the filming location from Massachusetts to Pittsburgh, taking advantage of the phenomenal crew and infrastructure that Pennsylvania has to offer.
Oliver attended the University of Vermont and defined himself on the rugby pitch. A proud Doylestown Dragon and natural leader, he joined UVM’s Varsity Team as a freshman and coached the b-side as a junior and senior. After Kantemir, the Samuels brothers decided to blaze their own trail as filmmakers.
In March 2015, Ben and Oliver completed the innovative survival thriller 6:15 in Bucks County. With a state tax credit, the production employed nearly 40 local cast and crewmembers, bringing a burst of business to the area’s restaurants, shops, and, yes, even golf courses.
Since picking up their first VHS camera to make birthday movies in elementary school, the Samuels Brothers have been filmmakers. All the wildly embarrassing childhood films were shot in neighbors’ backyards and running through town in ridiculous costumes. The area’s support (and patience) fostered the boys’ imagination, empowering them to follow their dream in a difficult industry.
Bringing 6:15 home to Bucks County was one of the most important parts of the project. Pennsylvania has given so much to Ben and Oliver; making films here is one way they’re giving back. More than that, however, it’s an incredible place to be from and an incredible place to shoot. Pennsylvania’s star is rising, with more and more superb cast and crew calling the Keystone State home, waiting for local projects to rally behind. The tireless work by groups like PAFiA, especially in Harrisburg, ensures that filmmakers from Pennsylvania who are committed to growing the state’s industry have a bright future ahead.
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Pennsylvania Film Industry Association (PAFIA)461 Cochran Road, Box 246Pittsburgh, PA 15228(717) 833-4561 firstname.lastname@example.org
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