News Column

'Ghost Hunter' director brings film to ABQ

July 20, 2013

YellowBrix

July 20--Chad Calek will visit 25 cities this summer.

With each stop -- all of which are sold out -- the filmmaker will present his latest film project, "A Blood Red Sky."

"It's crazy to see that the response has been overwhelming," he says during a recent interview. "We've even had to switch venues at some locations because of demand."

Calek will host a Q&A session as well as a meet and greet at the Guild Cinema on 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 23.

"The Guild is a perfect location for us to screen," he says. "It's a cinema that isn't that big and adds to the vibe of what we are doing."

Though not released yet, buzz on "A Blood Red Sky" is rapidly building.

The film has quickly become one of the most talked about documentaries in the country, with the red band trailer alone garnering more than 180,000 views, while internet wide, the trailer has logged more 300,000 views.

The film's Facebook page also has more than 26,000 likes.

During the film, Calek and his team of investigators traveled to Northumberland, England's Chillingham Castle, a location believed by many to be the most haunted structure on Earth. They conducted a dangerous and illegal experiment that would determine whether or not psychokinetic ability (mind over matter) is real. To ensure legitimacy, Calek wanted an independent witness to the events. He invited Ciaran O'Keeffe, a world renowned parapsychologist, author and forensic science authority, to be that witness.

Despite an admitted degree of initial skepticism among all involved, the results of the experiment defied all known logic and scientific explanation, carrying with it the potential to alter reality as we know it today.

"It's something that I always wanted to explore," he says. "It's been awhile since there's been a voice in film and documentary that is not afraid of pushing the boundaries to accomplish something meaningful. This is a film that is controversial, but also has a point."

There has been lots of controversy since the trailers were released online. Although Calek remains tight-lipped about the details surrounding the experiment, both the film's "extended" and "red band" trailers have caused much controversy, as both trailers hint that one of the test subjects undergoes "chemical alteration" as a part of the experiment.

Crews began filming in January 2012 and wrapped up in July of the same year.

Calek says production took place in England, as well as Chicago, Venice and Dublin.

"We had a great time getting out there and finding the stories," he says. "When it came to editing the film, we had so much more than we could work with. Getting it to a manageable point was a serious process and we succeeded."

This isn't the first time Calek has been in the spotlight.

Calek burst onto the national scene in 2008, oddly enough, in front of the camera as a popular cast member of A&E's hit reality series "Paranormal State."

The very often "bleeped" investigator was known for going to the most haunted locations completely alone.

Calek's fanbase exploded over the course of his 28 appearances, while A&E also relied on Calek's directing skills to deliver the chills.

He directed 18 episodes of "Paranormal State" during seasons 4 and 5.

In 2010, Calek left "Paranormal State" to make "American Ghost Hunter," an autobiographical documentary about his childhood encounters with the paranormal. The film unexpectedly turned into a modern-day attempt to bring peace to his family, when Calek discovered his mother was still heavily affected by paranormal events.

The online buzz around "American Ghost Hunter" exploded, creating strong interest from distributors interested in releasing the film. Distrusting of the current Hollywood distribution system, Calek chose to bet on his fanbase and their willingness to test the waters of a new distribution model. In 2011, Calek took "American Ghost Hunter" on the road for eight months, screening the film in 77 cities across the U.S. and Canada on "AGH: THE TOUR". The film garnered rave reviews from fans, countless media outlets such as FOX News and even the likes of "300" creator Frank Miller.

"What I'm trying to do is make a difference and expand people's minds," he says. "It's important that filmmakers and people in general continue to push the envelope."

Calek says he will also return to the Duke City for another screening.

"We're just scratching at the surface of this," he says. "I think this film will have some longevity."

If you go

WHAT: "A Blood Red Sky"WHEN: 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 23WHERE: Guild Cinema, 3405 E. CentralHOW MUCH: Sold out

-- Email the reporter at agomez@abqjournal.com. Call the reporter at 505-823-3921

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(c)2013 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.)

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