The Orange County Screenwriters Association
    Be Inspired, Do Good Work

    The Gallows Event on June 02

    The Gallows 2015 Horror Movie Poster HD Wallpaper copy

    It was a bit of a nervous moment when filmmakers Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing arrived from Fresno and the banquet room was still only half-filled.  However, faith in the OC film community was restored when the tables filled with enthusiastic attendees hungry to hear the remarkable story of how the horror film, The Gallows, got made, distributed and then rocketed Chris and Travis to genre film fame.

    Short version: 

    • Unemployed Travis meets film student Chris after Travis had won the TV show "Wipeout." 
    • They come up with a plan to make a low budget, found-footage film like "Paranormal Activity" with neither having much actual film experience.
    • They raise enough money, shoot the film, and it gets picked up a management company that then gets Warner Brothers and New Line Cinema involved.
    • Reshoots ("sweetening") happen with Kathy Lee Gifford's daughter Cassidy Gifford because the original actress was unavailable.
    • Movie released.
    • On a budget of approx. 100k + 200k sweetening, the film earns 43 million dollars worldwide.
    • Blumhouse pictures, the number one horror production company, makes Tremendum Pictures (Travis and Chris's prodco) a part of their production house.
    • Chris and Travis field offers from everyone on the planet.

    It's a Hollywood dream come true.

    the gallows travis cluff chris lofing interview No one at the event on Saturday at the Claim Jumper in Fountain Valley was unaffected by this story.  Chris is from Nebraska and Travis is from Fresno by way of Newport Beach, CA.

    Both were so out of the consensus mainstream of Hollywood that is a minor miracle that they were able to interest anyone, let alone a major studio like WB, in their work.  This kind of stuff doesn't happen and to their credit, both men understood this and are years later still massively appreciative of what they've were able to accomplish.

    Everyone who attended got all that but also understood that both Travis and Chris were being humble.  The road to this success wasn't a straight line.  It was filled with enough curves and switchbacks to make a mountain road envious.

    The entire experience they had made for an amazing afternoon of enthralling stories about the yellow brick road to success.  Chris and Travis held the room in rapt attention as they happily, funnily, and on several occasions emotionally, told their story.  Travis especially choked up when thanking his family and friends, the people who helped and believed in him when things seemed most dark.

    The room was packed with VIPs like Robert Kline of 20th Century Fox, Frank Haffar who built most of the theaters in Orange County and some in L.A., and actress/stunt woman Kumu Michelle Manu (

    The venue, the Claim Jumper, and especially our server, Jennifer, deserve a shoutout.  We had double the attendance we reserved.  They never blinked but just set the room with new tables and filled those tables with lunch.

    This afternoon was amazing.  It is such great fun to see the love that people here in the O.C. have for film and the ways of it.

    Be inspired, do good work never seemed so appropriate.


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