Home #Hwoodtimes New Horror Thriller Sleep Study appears in multiple film festivals throughout the...

New Horror Thriller Sleep Study appears in multiple film festivals throughout the US

Producer Natalie Metzger on set

By: Victoria Stevens

New York, NY (The Hollywood Times) 09/16/2023- As the SAG/AFTRA strike lingers on, with many productions being shut down or placed on hold, there is an air of uncertainty as to the outcome to this long drown out battle. Many studios are putting their shows on repeat until they can come to an agreement with the writers and the actors. Both sides wanting to be heard, but unsure how to come to a compromise. SAG/AFTRA have started to give a few productions the green light to start shooting again but there are certain requirements in place. Most of the projects being green lite are independent films and television shows that are not affiliated with the major studios. Award-Winning Producer/Director Natalie Metzger has been working on getting these grants and creating shorts and features of her own.

“The company I’m with, Vanishing Angle, has got a couple of projects coming up that we are going to submit for the interim agreement so hopefully there shouldn’t be any issues. We do have a couple studio projects that are obviously on pause until the strike gets resolved, but we are continuing to make projects. We are in post-production on a couple of things, and we have a couple of films doing the festival circuit right now, like Sleep Study, so we are definitely staying busy,” explained Metzger.

Metzger’s most recent short film, Sleep Study, is one of the select films in Hell’s Half Mile Music & Film Festival which starts September 21st and runs to September 24th. Then it heads to Charlotte Film Festival the following week from September 27th to October 1st. Sleep Study is a narrative thriller about a restless new mother who confronts a dangerous terror whenever she falls asleep.

“I got this mandate to write a horror short, and when I wanted to approach this film, I really wanted something that would get the audience really on edge. I don’t particularly find supernatural things to be really scary to me. I find the brain and how it functions or disfunctions is so much scarier. I was reading a lot of books about the neuroscience of sleep and a part of that all these sleep disorders. Almost across the board, they always say that these symptoms can be worsened under sleep deprivation. I kept thinking that these sleep disorders that are kind of mild can get much more severe under these extreme circumstances of sleep deprivation. My husband and I were talking about maybe possibly starting a family, and so I was thinking of babies and what that would involve with sleep deprivation, and I ran with that idea of what would happen if these two things met,” said Metzger.

Creating this type of horror film can be very challenging, because it takes a lot of skill behind the camera to get the right angles to set the mood. Cinematographer Nick Matthews takes the audience on this journey where you start to feel the uncertainty of the situation about what is real and what is not.

“Nick is amazing. I have known him for many years. We actually met because he saw one of my dance films online, and he really like it. We met for coffee and really hit it off. As projects came up, I would reach out to Nick and see if he was interested in being a part of them. When Sleep Study came up, I immediately thought of Nick and asked him if he wanted to make a crazy short film with me. Of course, he jumped on board, and I was so excited because the cinematography was very complicated because of the long takes. We had to figure out how we were going to pull this off, because we were shooting one long take with a bed in the middle which became challenging because of the space in the room. Therefore, a lot of the scenes were shot on a gimbal because of the space in the hallways,” explained Metzger.

Director Natalie Metzger

The role of a producer can be very stressful but overall, very rewarding. Being able to help other directors fund their projects and get them off the ground is what Natalie enjoys most.

“I love producing. I definitely have that kind of OCD brain for spreadsheets and budgets,” expressed Metzger. “I also love supporting new filmmakers and helping them get their films made. Making films is such a hard process and I feel like when I am a producer, I am the midwife that helps birth the baby. As a producer, I can do back-to-back projects and help as many directors as I can.”

Being a creator, Natalie always has a couple of projects lined up to shoot. She doesn’t see much down time in her future.

“There is a feature version of Sleep Study that has been bouncing around in my head, and so I eventually want to do that. However, my main focus right now is there is a feature version of a short film I made a few years ago called Immortal which is a Syfy film which I really want to make. It explores life extension and the ideas of legacy. I am also making a documentary on the side about life extension because I am able to meet all these scientists while I am researching about this topic and I am interviewing them as well,” said Metzger.

For future updates follow Natalie Metzger on Instagram @Nataliemetzger, on Twitter @metzart, and on her website NatalieMets.com.

Photo Credit: Natalie Metzger