Samantha is a strong willed young woman in her 20s, who ignores her landlord’s strict No Pets policy and takes in a stray cat from the alleyway behind her newly settled apartment. She grows attached to the kitten she dubs Meow, but amidst a series of shockingly bloody occurrences begins to think the sweet kitten may be capable of murder. Meow gleefully employs familiar elements of horror, comedy, and film noir that all unite in a genre defying twist that challenges viewers’ typical expectations
Cat's have a fascinating mythological history. From being worshipped in ancient Egypt to being killed en masse during witch hunts in the middle ages, It's no wonder Demon Cat films used to be a fairly common theme on the silver screen. Over time though, the furry little serial killers gave way to more conventional bipedal killers, with hatchets and machetes, and have since wound up as memes on the internet. The digital age cashed in on the existential humor of these creatures, affectionately mocking their fierce independence, smug expressions and questionable aloofness, with a resurgence of kitty-love. Now, with cats serving as internet royalty, I wanted to hearken back to their colorful history and tell a story rich in unsettling paranoia, modern humor and loving cinematic nostalgia.
As a filmmaker and cat owner with a passion for atmospheric horror I set out to use genre to effectively evoke the feeling everyone has experienced when a cat gazes into their eyes with that cold vacant stare. My story of Samantha, housing a stray cat during her bout of post-college angst, will be told through the stylized lens of an 80s fright fest, injecting the film with moody atmosphere and goofy humor akin to the film's far-fetched situations. In order to bring feline horror back with a vengeance, I gathered a group of trusted collaborators and leaned on my advertising experience to bring the world “MEOW”, the first fan-sourced demonic cat film.
During my 20's, midnight movies, violent schlockfests and campy horror films were a welcomed escape from the existential identity crisis dominating my post-college life. After turning 30, the paranoia and confusion I felt during that time seemed like fertile ground for a comedic horror story and a chance for me to exercise my filmmaking muscles in a cathartic way. The film uses these learned genre tropes to subvert the struggles of recent college-grad Samantha and communicate them in a funny and often twisted way. Horror is an incredibly versatile language in cinema, capable of projecting our fears onto the most unlikely of circumstances through the creative use of lighting, shot composition, performance and music. Even at the film's most dramatically heightened moments, I think people can relate to our main character Samantha; uncertainty looming over her like an ominous shadow, causing her to desperately grasp for the companionship of a stray albeit blood-thirsty cat in an alleyway. What has resulted in my experiment is a stylized genre-mash that employs familiar elements of horror, coming of age comedy, and film noir, that all unite in a genre defying twist that challenges viewers’ typical expectations.
Chris Jopp St. Paul, August 26, 2016
Chris Jopp is a filmmaker based out of Minneapolis. By day he works as a commercial Director and Editor and by night he is an independent filmmaker, capturing stories with a taste for the dark and whimsical. After receiving a BFA in Filmmaking from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, he was recruited by acclaimed ad agency, Fallon Worldwide, where he has shot and cut ads for national brands like Arby’s and H&R Block. He has created numerous award winning ads and music videos and his short films have graced television as well as film festivals from Minneapolis to New York City. He currently resides in St. Paul with his wife and an elite team of like-minded individuals that know how to help execute his visions. After a hard days shoot, you can find him roaming the streets of St. Paul covered in a healthy layer of sweat and cat hair.
Henry Schneider is Executive Producer of the YouTube series How To Make Everything and owner of Open Window Productions. Henry’s expertise is bringing together all of the pieces necessary to elevate the production quality of every project he is involved with. After graduating from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2011 with a BFA in Filmmaking, he spent four years producing local news promotions before making the switch to commercial production where he made dozens of commercials for local businesses. His work earned him a regional Emmy Award in 2013 and 2014.
Kevin Horn is a Cinematographer from Saint Paul, MN. With a vast background in skateboard filmmaking, and a major appreciation for composition and lighting, Kevin Horn approaches creative projects with a unique vision and is relentless about squeezing the full potential from any scene. He has shot dozens of Ads and Music Videos and is also the biggest Seinfeld fanatic you’ll ever meet; with a cat named Cosmo to prove it. When Kevin’s not shooting movies, skateboarding, or searching the streets for reflected light, he’s printing in his home darkroom.
Originally from Atlanta, Eleonore unexpectedly found a home in the thriving indie film and theater scene of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Besides MEOW, her most recent film short credits include Cured (Zenoscope Productions), Bobby's Run Off (CutJaw Film Co), and The Curse of the Invisible Werewolf (In Post, CutJaw Film Co). She has appeared in productions at the Guthrie Theater (A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Heidi Chronicles, A Christmas Carol, South Street, Crimes of the Heart), as well as the Illusion Theater (I'll Be Trying to Be There), Open Eye Figure Theatre (This Side of the Blue, Hairy Duck), Gremlin Theatre, and more.
Charles employs high energy, humor, and talent and has gone on to have marvelous adventures while working with movie projects. He has ridden horses and swung swords, traveled to London and Bucharest to play an infamous Nazi, and snooped mysteries around cities in Italy. Working with action projects lead him to study kickboxing and fitness to do fight choreography and stunts. Charles makes his current home in Minneapolis and Los Angeles with his wife Megan and their son Henry.