After investigating inside a neighbors attic, two high school friends, known for making prank videos, are increasingly plagued by a series of disturbing, supernatural events involving a creepy, vintage doll named Heidi - but no one will take their claims seriously, until it is too late.
The film is presented as being realistic “found footage” of a summer documentary style, along the same lines as The Blair Witch Project, Chronicle, and Paranormal Activity. Everything is seen from the viewpoint of the character’s individual video cameras.
This particular narrative will lure the viewer to a level of emotional involvement that isn’t possible in the traditional format, and the realism will keep them grounded. The importance of integrating common video technology with everyday cameras, such as the iPhones, GoPros, webcam chats, and nanny cams, is critical to creating a truly disturbing and believable horror film, and also in making it relevant to today’s media-savvy audience.
We live in a hyper-connected society where YouTubers, Facebookers, Instagramers, and Snapchatters can all easily document their own lives, and the main characters represent that very society.
In 2014, during the middle of October, an early rough cut to Heidi was selected and premiered at the annual Underground PollyGrind Film Festival in Las Vegas, NV. It screened at the majestic Galaxy Green Valley Theatre to a packed house of 176 seats. Out of all the movies to screen at the festival, Heidi was the only one that sold out.
In fact, there were so many people inside the theater that some of them literally had to sit on the aisle just to watch the screening. Even the director himself couldn’t find a seat so he just waited outside while the rest watch the world premiere.
In the end, Heidi won several awards at the Pollygrind Film Festival, including Best Nevada Film, an Audience Choice Award, Best Actress on a Rise, Best Editing, and it eventually went on to have a second premiere at the South Texas Underground Film Festival in Corpus Christi. And it was just a rough-cut
Dozens of actors were auditioned for the lead role as Ryan Davis. But when it was all said and done, the director decided to audition his own nephew, Samuel Brian, who was 16 years old at the time and fit the teenage role perfectly. Who was better to play a teenager than an actual teenager? Samuel’s natural ability to improvise as well as handle a professional camera immediately landed him the role. Once the lead was cast, the director was able to build a solid supporting cast with newcomers like Joey Bell, Joei Fulco, and Eva Falana among others.
After the world premiere was over, Heidi went back into post-production for most of 2015. By the end of the year, final cut was complete and Wild Eye Releasing acquired distribution rights for Heidi in 2016, which eventually had a nationwide release on DVD and VOD in April 11, 2017.