The project will chart the story of a fictional mid-2000s U.S. paranormal investigative team called The Paranormal Paranoids. Multiple found footage videos have surfaced online in recent months that prompted horror and ARG (Alternate Reality Game) fans to speculate about the veracity of the case and the whereabouts of the investigators. One video uploaded last week appeared to show the abduction of one of the group, known as Riley.
Genre outfit Paper Street have leapt on the fan following for the online fiction and set Stuckmann — who has close to 2 million YouTube subscribers — to steer the project creatively in his feature debut. The shorts filmmaker and critic recently signed with Gotham Group and has multiple horror scripts in the works.
AMP International will handle world sales and is launching the film to buyers this month. Production is slated to begin in late 2021 in Ohio.
The film will be produced by Aaron B Koontz, Cameron Burns and Ashleigh Snead for Paper Street, which released The Pale Door and Scare Package last year and are in post on multiple genre features including the Alicia Silverstone thriller The Requin and Lucky McKee’s Old Man with Stephen Lang. Stuckmann will also produce. Sean E. DeMott and Paul Holbrook will serve as executive producers.
“I had been looking for the right project to partner with Chris on for a while,” explained Paper Street CEO Koontz, “and when I fell down the rabbit hole of this scary little story, quickly emerging right in Chris’ backyard of Ohio, with an intriguing and quickly growing YouTube element baked in, I knew we had to act fast on the perfect vehicle to launch Chris as a feature filmmaker. The videos and mystery are scary enough, but the ideas we have for where this can go are truly frightening.”
Stuckmann added: “It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to finally get a film off the ground and when Aaron and I began discussing the potential of this story we immediately jumped at it. There is a reason so many of my fellow YouTubers are talking about this. Shelby Oaks is going to be something fresh yet deeply unnerving.”