John Shiban – Raw Feed
Director/producer JOHN SHIBAN explores the cliched genres of horror and thriller in fresh ways with his RAW FEED label. BY FILMINK'S MATT BARTLETT
“People don't really care anymore where they get their movie-going experience – they just want it to be good,” says John Shiban – former executive producer of TV's The X-Files and current producer of the hit series Supernatural – about his newly established Raw Feed label.
Raw Feed was developed by Shiban with director Daniel Myrick (The Blair Witch Project) and producer Tony Krantz (Mulholland Dr., 24) in an attempt to integrate their three specialties: horror (Myrick), thriller (Krantz) and the paranormal/sci-fi (Shiban). Rest Stop – Shiban's entry in the Raw Feed series – takes its cues from classics such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (which Shiban acknowledges as one of his favourites), with its female victim stranded and stalked in the American heartland by a crazed killer. Rest Stop, however, manages to stave off redundancy by adding in elements from the other genres. “It's not a hardcore horror/slasher film,” Shiban maintains. “But it has slasher elements; it's not just a serial-killer thriller, but it certainly has those elements, and then there's a little bit of the paranormal as well.”
The trio have developed and produced a trilogy of Raw Feed titles, with each taking a turn in the director's chair. Sublime, helmed by Tony Krantz and starring Thomas Cavanagh (Ed), is set in a terrifying hospital; and Believers – a psychological thriller from Myrick.
With ventures into this genre, Shiban says that he needs to “catch himself” sometimes, so as to avoid any crossover of stories with his three different projects. Shiban, however, manages to distinguish each of the works through a kind of mental shorthand, describing the popcorn entertainment and mythic atmosphere of Supernatural, the paranoid-thriller qualities of The X-Files, and the “realistic” and “gritty” approach to the different genres depicted in the Raw Feed series.