While playing Animal Crossing, a young woman meets a video game character who wants to be let out… Don’t Peek

This is what Halloween Week is all about. Julian Terry brings out the terrors and jeepers in ‘Don’t Peek’, and certainly will have you close your video games at night. The premise is simple and holds the classic short film horror elements, with a unique Animal Crossing twist. Shot in quarantine with no budget and just the people that were in the apartment.

It was made in the middle of quarantine. My roommate, my girlfriend and I were losing our minds together. I was playing Animal Crossing late one night and happened to freak myself out by a shape at the foot of my bed. I wanted to capture that feeling. The odd character in the video game was inspired by the original Pokemon Red game! There used to be this glitchy Pokemon named MissingNo. that used to creep me out.

I remember being asked why I would want to make a horror short in a time like this. Right now everyone has all this energy built up. A good scare can really let that out!

Julian and his team used whatever they had available in the apartment for equipment. Setting themselves a goal to create a lockdown short, with only the items around and no rentals. Simple guidelines that certainly fit in perfectly with our Quarantine Creatives. See more of the Behind The Scenes on Julian’s Instagram.

My roommate, Alexander Anderson, had a BlackMagic Pocket 4k with a zoom lens. He had two simple LEDs as well as an old $100 iKan slider. Alex and I both worked on over 200 BuzzFeed shorts combined so we knew how to make a short out of nothing. My background as DP helped when it came to working with the 2 lights we had. We used the Nintendo Switch as a natural key light for Katie. This meant she had to not only act but maneuver the light to always cover her face. For more light, Alex converted my desk lamp into a moonlight source.

Everyone should be making fun shorts like this

The practical effects were very simple. For the bed compression shot, we just used a book and a few pillows. Since all we had was an old mask, I thought it would be fun to cover the monster with a blanket or keep him out of focus. There are a few times he hides in the darkness of the doorway. Something that pays off with multiple viewings. Some shots were beyond tricky. For one shot, I was dollying the camera and Alex had to close the drawer with his foot and flick the lights off. I’m really happy with the way it turned out with just the people and gear we had in the apartment! A few producers have already reached out to option the short! It’s wild. Making these shorts is how I got repped by GoodFear Management and CAA. Everyone should be making fun shorts like this!