On the run from a blood thirsty killer, a young woman desperately turns to an online tutorial video to learn “how to load a revolver.”

In today’s world everyone wants to be an influencer, and some people may go to extreme lengths to get you to subscribe. Benji Allred and Merik Richardson wanted to show just how far they will go in their satirical short film ‘Subscribe’. Just in time for horror season, we asked a few questions to the directors who told us a little more about the idea and concept.

Can you tell us what inspired you to bring this story to life?

I think we’ve all noticed the surge of fame seeking on social media. Everyone wants to be famous and it becomes a game of what can I do that will stand out? What can I do to keep creating content, because what I posted yesterday is already stale. That can become all consuming and drive a person insane and start crossing lines. We saw it happen with Logan Paul in the Suicide Forrest. On the flip side as a consumer we’re just eating it all up. We’ve become reliant on the internet and social media to know how to do anything. We loved the idea of exploring both sides with satire and setting it your classic 70s/80s slasher horror genre. We love looking at what our society is up to and poking fun at the absurdities of it. SO when Dan and Stew approached us with their script, we knew this was right up our alley.

As a writer/director are you open to changes or suggestions when you start shooting or do you like to stick to what has been written?

Definitely. That’s all filmmaking is in a lot of ways. Planning, planning and planning….and then a lot of those plans go out the window because it starts raining, and your generator floods, and a light gets dropped and you’re way behind schedule. Things go wrong and that’s where you leave yourself open to the creativity on set and learn to pivot. The beginning of this film used to be very very different.

How many how-to videos did you watch for reference?

Dozens. And that spurred a lot of ideas. You realize how annoying they are trying to promote sponsors or other videos they’ve made, making what should be a 2min video into a 7 min video. We’ve all experienced that frustration of “Just tell me what I need to know!”

What has this film taught you about filmmaking?

Casting is incredibly key. Monica gave it her all. This shoot was physically demanding and emotionally draining, but she was always 100%. I would have quit pretty fast, but she never half-assed anything. Billy was perfect as well, he having his own social media fame understood the world completely. Walking the incredible line of “performance” Billy, and psychotic “behind the scenes” Billy.

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

Push through the pain. Things are going to go wrong. Nothing is going to be perfect, but continuously pushing for something to be the best that it possibly can be, leaves you feeling satisfied and proud of what you’ve accomplished. Keep pushing!

What do you hope people will take away from ‘Subscribe’?

We hope people have a good time. We hope people laugh and feel a little scared. And maybe just maybe, we hope you keep thinking about it after it’s ended.

What are your favorite films?

Ooof. Too hard of a question. All sorts. Our favorite film of 2022 – Everything Everywhere All At Once.

What are your favorite short films?

Black Swell (Watch on FS)
Reasonable Request (Watch on FS)