With a unique power to Lucid Dream, a widower must find his dead wife before she is consumed by a nightmarish entity

Cameron Gallagher’s ‘Lucid’ brings in a dimensional depth that is often dismissed in smaller, more budgeted shorts. But even with all the constraints, the team created a tense narrative that constructs through the depths of character emotions. The story generously exceeds at striking the pillars we expect from a of short format horror film. We caught up Cameron who told us a little more on ‘Lucid’:

Can you tell me a little bit about Lucid, how did this film come about?

We had just finished the festival circuit with our Kickstarter funded short film “The Rickety Man” and really wanted to make something lower budget but terrifying. Jeremiah had mentioned having this really awesome idea about LUCID dreaming & this incredible story about a father and a son and their troubled relationship, and that idea alone really sparked the whole concept, and over a few weeks Jeremiah came up with the script, and we had a scare scene in mind and he fit it in so beautifully, and it just flourished from there.

Between writer and director, were you open to changes or suggestions when you started shooting or did you stick to what has been written?

Between myself (director) Jeremiah (writer) & Zack (producer) we are all so collaborative and none of us have an ego, so it’s so easy to just say “hey what if we try this” or really just go with what feels right, and it’s really about trusting each other.

What was the most challenging scene for you to film?

There was a lot of really precise camera work I had in mind for some shots and anytime you introduce Makeup FX (which were incredibly done by Breeanna Nichols) it opens up possibilities for things to go wrong, so trying to make the creature FX work quickly, without making Lily Roberts who was our actress uncomfortable was a tough one for sure, but in the end was so much fun.

Tell us more about the creature designs.

The creature designs were really all from Jeremiah’s mind. Zack & I had some ideas and input along the way to execute, especially the Burnt Creature, but also woking with someone as amazing as Breeanna Nichols who was our makeup artist, makes it so much easier. She really sat down with us and said what’s possible, and made sure we were confident in getting what we needed, but also being efficient with time & budget.

Do you have any tips or advice to offer fellow filmmakers making horror shorts?

Of course it’s all about story, so that always comes first, but I really think “time under tension” is huge. Let moments hang a little longer to make people feel uncomfortable. Also, it’s all in the small details. Haze, FX Contacts, Lighting Effects…all of those go SO FAR when it comes to selling horror.

What are your favorite horror short films?

I have so many but anything by Julian Terry, Ryan Godoy, Danny Donahue, Dylan Clark, and Joey Greene are about as good as they get. Those filmmakers are all so incredible and have done amazing work in the horror genre. If people haven’t seen their work, they should be!

Which films you can say most inspired this film?

Insidious really has been the “unholy bible” of horror filmmaking for me. James wan used every technique to create something so fresh & new, and it really felt dangerous, which I think is what makes a horror film work. I of course love films like It Follows & The Conjuring, but recently enjoyed a few newer ones like Candyman (2022), Malignant, Hellbender, Offseason, The Lodge, Relic, Saint Maud…just to name some!