Initiation: written for The Gallows

I’ve been so insanely busy since moving to LA that I didn’t have time to post anything to my blog about Initiation Night, the short story I wrote in support of The Gallows over the summer!

It was a total thrill to be involved in the film’s marketing campaign because The Gallows is exactly the kind of horror movie I love: gritty, realistic, and almost impossible to watch because you know scary sh*t’s going to happen every other second.

When asked if I’d be interested in writing a scary story in support of the movie, I immediately knew I wanted to borrow a few details from the film. A small town, a local legend, and kids creeping around a building at night: check, check, check. I combined those elements from a custom in my own hometown of high school seniors initiating freshmen at a seedy carnival on Labor Day Weekend, and worked with a very cool filmmaker in my own hometown, Lloyd Emmons, to shoot some trailers to accompany the story.

Since my professional background is in digital marketing, I think Wattpad’s approach to allowing brands to engage with readers is brilliant. First, it allows authors to introduce their readers to brands’ content within a context of a more welcomed, social “share” than a forced advertisement. Authors can then build their readers’ appetites for the branded experience (whether it’s a movie or TV show, etc.) in such a way that makes their readers genuinely curious about the product being advertised. Quite a few kids posted comments on Initiation Night asking if my story was the same as The Gallows and were intrigued that the stories were related – enough to express interest in seeing the movie on opening weekend.

Wattpad has put together a case study on the campaign here:

Published by zoe aarsen

i am an illustrator, a cat herder and an all-around troublemaker residing in los angeles. i write and read stories about scary things.

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