How to Haunt: A Beginner’s Guide

How to Haunt: A Beginner’s Guide

October 2014

How to Haunt: A Beginner’s Guide is a spooky, comedic short that is part stop-motion and part live-action. The film follows a young ghost named Bo as he sets out to perform his first Haunting. Despite following each step outlined in the book How to Haunt: A Beginner’s Guide, Bo struggles to muster up a scare – probably because he’s been trying to scare the houseplants.

How to Haunt: A Beginner’s Guide screened at the 2015 National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) in Seattle, Washington. NFFTY is the world’s largest film festival for emerging directors and a number of its alumni have gone on to screen their works at prestigious festivals such as Sundance. How to Haunt also screened at Perth, Australia’s state-of-the-art outdoor theatre at Northbridge Piazza for the 2015 Carnival Macabre.

Behind the scenes of How to Haunt: A Beginner’s Guide

Filming set-up for Bo in How to Haunt: A Beginner's Guide
I wanted Bo to have a ghostly, transparent appearance in the film. So, to achieve this look, I animated Bo against a green poster board and composited the footage in post-production.
Making Bo's eyes
I made several pairs of interchangeable eyes for Bo.

Read the pages from How to Haunt: A Beginner’s Guide

How to Haunt: A Beginner’s Guide is an original text that I wrote and illustrated for the film. Each page was aged by hand using a coffee bath. To complete the prop, the pages were nestled into the binding of a small antique book.