The Frameloop, a blog that seeks to answer the question “What’s the story behind that particular piece of music you like?” is back for another year of consistently providing a fresh and unique perspective on this question. This year, the Frameloop will explore how the mind of one writer grappled with the challenge of writing a book that would live on beyond him.
The year is 1927. Alhough he’s a young man, Edward Gorey, a wealthy businessman returns to his childhood home on the shores of Lake Michigan. In a hotel room overlooking the lake, he cuts out a photograph from an old Algonquin Round Table, on which the young Edward is seated alongside a number of literary luminaries. His gaze moves from the boyish face, with its button nose and large eyes, to the old man who holds the young Edward’s hand, and who is staring intently at the photographer.
In 1987, a young author named Stephen King published his first novel, Carrie. A very popular book, it was made into a movie in 1976, but the latest version of the story has generated a lot of buzz because of the new director, Brian De Palma.
When it comes to horror films, the name of the late Wes Craven, along with George Romero and John Carpenter, is undoubtedly one of the first that comes to mind. Wes Craven was a horror genius who understood how to give the audience exactly what they wanted, as Alfred Hitchcock once remarked when asked why he produced horror films.
Although A Nightmare on Elm Street is his most well-known work, Wes Craven and the horror genre in general had a banner year in 1996. Scream was released in cinemas all around the globe on December 20, 1996, two days after its debut in Los Angeles. This film not only signaled the end of Wes Craven’s career, but it also established a new style of horror films that would become very popular in the 1990s and 2000s.
The concept of a gang of kids being pursued by a masked serial murderer (the notorious Ghostface) became a popular one. Although Wes Craven and John Carpenter’s blockbuster films A Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween, respectively, both centered on young people, the emphasis of both pictures was the serial murderer, a supernatural or superhuman creature that terrified the towns. Scream was the first of many films to focus solely on the victims, establishing the teen horror subgenre, which dominated the horror scene for nearly two decades before being pushed aside by the resurgence of semi-realistic supernatural horror, which had been foreshadowed by The Blair Witch Project, which also influenced indie horrors of the time. But, to return to the subject at hand, no one truly enjoys history.
As we’ve seen, Scream has become a very significant horror series. So far, four sequel films have been released, as well as a three-season television series that ran from 2015 to 2019. Scream is one of the most profitable horror series ever, with total revenue of $608,558,434 (for four films; the fifth will be released next year).
Despite the fact that Scream is the subject of today’s post, the primary character of our story is a fan of the series named Padraic Maroney. This teenage writer has given an uncensored look into the production of the first Scream film, which will be released on August 24, 2021. Maroney has been greatly inspired by the Scream series and has chosen to turn his enthusiasm into an in-depth look into the creative process that resulted in the first film’s release.
We at Fiction Horizon had the pleasure of speaking with Padraic Maroney about his book and career, as well as the inspirations and reasons that drove him to write this incredible novel. Here’s what we discussed:
1. Could you tell me about It All Began With a Scream and what inspired you to create it?
The Scream series is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and I’ve been a fan of the films since they first came out. Scream was one of the reasons I became a writer because I watched it in cinemas on opening night. Along with the anniversary, a fifth picture is set to be released in January, so it seemed like the ideal moment to commemorate the flicks.
I view the book as a celebration of the franchise and films. I spoke with 30 members of the cast and directors in order to provide viewers a behind-the-scenes look at what went into creating these films. It’s unusual for a picture to stay current in mainstream culture for a quarter-century, but Scream is one of the few that has remained popular and has such a devoted fan following throughout the years.
2. Where did you get your inspiration?
After watching the first film, I was dead set on becoming a writer. I started writing for the local newspaper at the suggestion of my 9th grade English teacher. Scream and those connected seems to come up again and again in my work. Wes Craven’s Music of the Heart was the first film I reviewed. I spoke with over a dozen performers about projects they worked on with Kevin Williamson (the writer of Scream). As a result, it’s always been something personal to me.
3. How important is the Scream franchise to you?
I’ve always been a horror lover, but there weren’t many excellent ones in the mid-90s. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, which was also a meta-horror film, was the first one I watched in cinemas. Scream, on the other hand, was such a breath of fresh air for the genre, with its blend of horror and humor. It resurrected horror as a hip genre, and it seemed to be the catalyst for the late-nineties adolescent phenomenon. It was kismet, as producer Marianne Maddalena explains in the book. With the proper actors, screenplay, and behind-the-scenes crew, the film arrived at the perfect moment.
4. Can you tell me about the process of interviewing people from the Scream franchise?
First and foremost, I want to thank everyone who took the time to speak with me and share their experiences, pictures, and artifacts so that they may be included in the book. Speaking with them, it was clear that Scream was more than just another job on their CV for them. They all looked genuinely pleased with their position in Scream’s history. Many of them are still in touch with one another after all these years, and they were more than happy to put me in touch with others.
Because we were in the midst of a pandemic when I began the process last summer, I began contacting individuals and conducted all of the interviews through Zoom. Because this is my first book, I wasn’t sure what to anticipate or whether people would be interested in speaking with me. However, after the first few, the ball began to roll, and individuals began to trust me based on others who had previously talked with me.
I must admit that I, too, was taken aback by the reaction. My original aim while drafting the book proposal was to attempt to get 20 individuals to talk with me. I created a spreadsheet with almost a hundred individuals connected with the films, and the fact that I was able to exceed that first target is incredible, and it just goes to show how much Scream means to those involved with it. (Some of the individuals I wasn’t able to interview were unable to do so due to scheduling conflicts; they were preoccupied with projects and didn’t have time to be interviewed.)
5. What do you hope readers will take away from It All Began With a Scream?
They should be able to discern that this is coming from a place of admiration for the movies and a desire to commemorate them. But there are also a lot of interesting tales from the filmmakers about what it took to create these films that I don’t believe have been shared before. I believe that, as much as we love them, we as fans do not often understand the amount of effort that goes into making a film. The greatest praise is if readers walk away from reading the book with a greater appreciation for the movies and want to go back and watch them.
I also believe that talking to everyone revealed how much Wes Craven meant to everyone connected with the films and how much they adored him. Everyone gushed over him and told tales about how he would dog sit for Rose McGowan while shooting, or how considerate he was, or the parties he’d host.
6. Which Scream film is your favorite?
You have to go with the first movie. It’s the one that began it all, and that Drew Barrymore moment is instantly recognizable. You had to sit up and pay attention because it was so different from the other horror movies that had come out around the same time. It was a breath of fresh air for the genre and its devotees.
Padraic Maroney is a marketing expert, writer, and currently novelist based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He earned his bachelor’s degree in communications and media studies from West Chester University. Maroney felt it was time to pursue his ambitions of becoming a novelist after having significant expertise in communications.
With his debut novel, It All Began with a Scream, Maroney pays homage to the series that inspired him to become a writer.
*The sound of a woman screaming in a nightmare* *Deep breath* *Screams stop* *Slow, calm breathing* *Fade out* *Two weeks later* *The same scene, but this time the camera is following the woman around a house* *Slow, calm breathing*. Read more about westworld film certificate and let us know what you think.
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