Today we’d like to introduce you to Sean Decker.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Sean. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
In 1979, at the tender age of nine, my grandfather accidentally took me to see John Carpenter’s classic film Halloween in a San Francisco movie theater (an essay I penned on this hugely influential moment exists in the book “My Favorite Horror Film”), and from that moment on (with an assist by a steady diet of Saturday afternoon Hammer films courtesy of broadcast television, as well as Universal classics and 50’s sci-fi courtesy of my father), my professional and creative die was cast (meaning, “Go monsters!”).
As an adult, and as an entertainment journalist with a focus on the horror genre, I started in 1997 as a news editor and contributing writer at Universal Studios’ HorrorOnline.com, arguably the progenitor of all digital mastheads covering the horror space. Under the tutelage of editor-in-chief Joe Sena, I cut my teeth there via set visits, press junkets and investigative journalism until 2002, when I made the leap to New York-based Fangoria magazine, the industry’s premiere publication (which has been covering horror since 1979). Working in the same regards for both their print and digital entities, I covered both studio and independent films for the masthead until 2009 (from the Feast films to the SAW series and most everything in between), when I made the move to DreadCentral.com, to which I still contribute to this day. Currently, I additionally serve in the genre news and editorial space as the editor-in-chief of Trancas International Films’ HalloweenMovies.com, a site dedicated to covering the Halloween film franchise.
Branching out from that, as a screenwriter and producer, I’ve worked in the horror space on such films as 2015’s “Yummy Meat: A Halloween Carol” (an award-winning short film directed by “Supernatural” series’ contributing director John Fitzpatrick) and as a producer on the feature films L.A. Slasher (2015) and The Basement (2018), both starring Mischa Barton. As a director, my series credits include the YouTube reality series “Collection Complete,” which ran from 2018-2019. As a screenwriter, I continue to work in the spec and write-for-hire space with longtime collaborator Jack Ulrich.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road’s never been smooth, although I’ve been blessed to work with some amazingly creative people along the way, and even a few with scruples. Film unto itself is an amazingly challenging industry and medium, with an ever-changing and fluctuating landscape. You’ve heard it before, but working in Hollywood can indeed be akin to swimming with sharks. I’ve had intellectual properties stolen and turned into features, and have in the realm of journalism (as most journalists will attest) witnessed not only the near collapse of print journalism but also the burgeoning business model of many mastheads wanting to pay their writers simply with a by-line. It’s certainly always been a challenging space, though at the end of the day, I feel that most of us working within the space do it out of a love for story, and for the genre itself.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
That’s hard to put a finger on, as there are so many. Looking back, I traveled extensively with my parents: back-country camping with them as a boy, and exploring the western states extensively. There’s a magic to that wilderness and the open road, and within the stories which occupy them. That, and my mom used to custom create my Halloween costumes as a kid. That holiday was always a big deal, filled with 60’s and 70’s Beistle decor, candy apples, Bob Wilkin’s Creature Feature flicks and trick or treating. See? More movie monster stuff.
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- Other: Halloween Movies www.halloweenmovies.com