A once-successful writer who has just gone through a messy divorce is given the opportunity to spend some time writing his next book in the wilds of the Carpathian Mountains of Eastern Europe. Unfortunately, the ancient spirit of the forest, the Leshy, takes an instant dislike to him as it sees him personally responsible for deforestation – which is ironic as the writer suffers from xylophobia, a fear of wooded places.
Please note – this is the second version of the film. It has been reduced in time (from 90 to 60 minutes), had more audio added, and has been tweaked and edited. The original film had an insanely short self-imposed deadline and therefore had many faults. Although somewhat shorter, this Version 2 is more what I wished to portray in the first. Even if you’ve already seen the first, please watch this new version and give it a chance. It should be a lot scarier and, hopefully, more professionally presented.
The Leshy movie, based on the ancient Slovak and Slavic legendary forest creature – part man, part deer – was filmed during Slovak national lockdown due to the current pandemic, and is hopefully motivation for others to experiment and get positive and creative instead of looking at the negatives in these difficult times.
For those who love a good psychological horror or paranormal horror film, along with those who are into their cryptozoology and ancient legends (think sasquatch, wendigo, bigfoot, yeti or Herne the Hunter), and who also like a bit of tongue in cheek fun, then Leshy is definitely for you. Especially for fans of Tom Riley’s Bad Ben series – hugely motivating for those who want to start off in film making.
The Leshy found footage forest horror film is also an excellent example of what anyone can do when they put their mind to it – with no budget, some basic equipment and opensource software (kdenlive, audacity, linux mint). Anyone can make a low budget or no budget horror movie, and Leshy should give you some tips and tricks (most likely on what not not to do…).
The entire film was originally made in one week (the week leading up to Halloween) – it was written, filmed, all audio created, and edited in seven days. By one person – Edward O’Toole. The sound bytes and original audio were mixed using Audacity and are from original clips of the various animals and other sound sources (circular saws, wind chimes, etc.) from around the village, all originally recorded by Edward. The wolf sound is actually from a recording of Edward’s sister-in-law’s Czechoslovak Wolfdog when it was put back in its cage during a birthday party – it spent the whole time howling to be let out as it wanted to socialize. Wolfdogs are virtually identical to Carpathian wolves (as they are a mix of them and German shepherd). Other sounds came from wild boar or the red deer stag rut, for example (videos of which can be found on https://www.youtube.com/c/carpathianadventure).
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