Film scored by Petri entering worldwide release

Roger Coda
Armand Petri

Armand Petri

“Widow’s Point,” a supernatural thriller whose score was co-written by Armand Petri, coordinator of Fredonia’s Music Industry program, will soon be in worldwide distribution through Amazon, Wal-Mart and DeepDiscount.com.

Even before its official Sept. 1 release date, the film has attained lofty sales numbers, thanks largely to pre-orders placed with the three online retailers. On Amazon, “Widow’s Point” was perched at No. 1 Hot New Horror, No. 1 Best Selling Horror DVD, which also includes older titles, and No. 18 on all DVDs.

“It was fairly remarkable for this to happen, especially for a pre-order, and we held the position for three or four days,” said “Widow’s Point” director Gregory Lamberson, who also handled promotional duties during the last year. The DVD version will be stocked on Wal-Mart shelves and a video-on-demand format will also become available. Most low-budget films are only released on video-on-demand, Mr. Lamberson noted.

Mr. Petri shared composing duties with Joe Rozler, a Buffalo studio musician and producer who earned a Mus.B. in Music Education from Fredonia. Another well-known Fredonia alum, Mary Ramsey, who has a Mus.B. in Music Performance, provided vocals.

“ʽWidow’s Point” has a fairly elaborate score for a low-budget film,” Lamberson said. “The typical way to do one is on a synthesizer – fast and cheap. But Armand is an expert on Italian horror scores, and wanted to do full orchestration. I had the chance to watch him and Joe in the studio, and they brought in musicians for various instruments I’ve never heard of, and then Mary tried all sorts of different approaches with the vocals. The result is rich.”

In the meantime, “Widow’s Point” continues to be screened at film festivals, including the Gen Con Film Festival, where it won “Best Feature” honors. Its premiere was at Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival, which Lamberson runs, and was also shown at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House Performing Arts Center. The Canadian premiere will be held in mid-August at Shock Stock, a horror and subcultural event, in Ontario.

Devilworks, a boutique world film sales agent and distributor, was engaged by Lamberson to license “Widow’s Point” in foreign countries. It was subsequently presented to European Film Market in Germany, which licensed the film to a United Kingdom-based distributor, 101 Films, so it can be screened in the UK, Ireland, the United States and Canada. Devilworks has also licensed the film to South Korea, the Netherlands, the Benelux countries of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, and Poland.

In the month leading up to the official release, public relations firm October Coast was engaged to “get the word out,” Lamberson noted. Arrangements were made to have Deadline Hollywood announce the film’s release as soon as pre-orders were announced by online retailers, which Lamberson said no doubt helped spur sales.

The publicity blitz also includes having a clip of the film posted on the website for Rue Morgue, a top horror magazine, and an interview conducted by actor Craig Sheffer, who starred in “Widow’s Point,” for the horror podcast Dread Media. Other interviews and podcasts were also planned.

“Widow’s Point” tells the story of a down-on-his-luck author who spends a weekend locked in a haunted lighthouse as a publicity stunt to promote a book he’s writing about the murders, suicides and disappearances that have occurred at the mysterious location. The suspense builds as sinister forces drive him to the brink of madness as he uncovers the lighthouse’s terrifying secrets.

The film, partially filmed at the Dunkirk lighthouse, won best score honors at the Shawna Shea Memorial Film Festival. The trailer can be viewed online.

 

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