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Production Notes for Babysitter Wanted

The idea for “Babysitter Wanted” spawned from an evening news report about a family who had been murdered on a small farm in middle America. There were no suspects, no witnesses, nor any other evidence of who might have committed the crime. The framework for a great horror film was there.

However, the idea of making a film about people being terrorized on a small farm was nothing new. Using the framework of a conventional horror film, the idea was spun in an entirely different direction and the concept for “Babysitter Wanted” was born.

Making the Movie

Director/Producer Michael Manasseri was pitched the concept for “Babysitter Wanted” by writer Jonas Barnes at a friend’s screening. Manasseri immediately took it to Big Screen CEO/Producer Kimberley Kates.

Kates and Manasseri helped Barnes develop the script with the idea of making a modern movie that was a throwback to the thrillers of the 1970’s. They worked on creating a film where the suspense built slowly, but steadily, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats, until the moment of shock and release.

A few months later the script was complete. Kates secured financing for the film to be shot in 35mm and pre-production was underway. Manasseri and Barnes set off to direct the film.

A fantastic cast, led by Sarah Thompson, Bill Moseley, and Bruce Thomas, signed on to make the film. They were joined by a world class Director of Photography, Alex Vendler. The entire project headed north to the rural area of Yreka, California to begin shooting.

“We watched a lot of classic Alfred Hitchcock prior to shooting the film and we also became somewhat obsessed with Rosemary’s Baby. But our directing style was very much dictated by our locations. We had this terrific, isolated ranch in the middle of nowhere with a hundred year old barn and a farm house from the 1880’s. We toyed with the idea of shooting everything on a sound stage in Hollywood but our head producer Kimberley Kates demanded that we make the film as authentic as possible and I am forever grateful for that.” – Manasseri

“We worked hard to make a horror film that had a sense of reality and at the same time would be fun for a broader audience”. - Barnes

The rustic setting of the northern California landscape was perfect for the film, however the cold weather, rain, and wind did create a few problems during shooting.

Producer Kimberley Kates worked hard to keep the cast and crew comfortable in the rough conditions. Babysitter Wanted wrapped in early November just as the harsh weather really began to take its toll.

 

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