My name is Courtlan Gordon and I am the director of the viral hit “Silent Hills PT in real life.”
Before I jump into my films and what inspired me to write and direct such works, let’s start from the very beginning. Growing up in a small town where much doesn’t happen can really help boost your imagination. I was always running around the back yard and in the woods with fake weapons pretending to fight off evil spirits and kill zombies. Sounds pretty violent for a little kid to think such things, right? Well I had parents who really helped shape me into the person I am now.
My family celebrated Halloween like most families celebrate Christmas. My mom would always allow us to watch scary films such as “Jaws”, “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “The Evil Dead”. That’s when my aunt and mom handed me a camera to film the family events and holidays. It took off from there. My cousins and I started shooting our own short horror films. I mean these films were as cheesy as you could imagine, especially the scenes where we used ketchup for blood.
As the years went by, I made a solid group of friends. For being a group of middle-schoolers, we made some decent films. On the weekends, the guys would all come over and we would spend countless hours running around the backyard filming. That continued until we were seniors. When graduation came along, I had to make the decision of going to play college football or continue my dreams at a film school. With money being a huge factor, I left my hometown to play football at Olivet. That’s when I made the biggest mistake of my life. Being a pre-med student studying dentistry is not where I pictured myself to be. Quickly realizing that I wasn’t happy with the choice I made, I ended up moving back home. Meeting up with my best friends again, we all had some serious discussions. We needed to get away from our hometown and hit this film dream as hard as we could.
Moving to Kalamazoo Michigan where I still reside, we starting knocking out films left and right. Working shitty part time jobs just so we could afford to buy new equipment, we realized that we are doing what makes us happy and we are doing it well. That is when we started a small Youtube channel called “Oddest of the Odd”.
Starting a Youtube channel can be a difficult process. We were uploading horror and comedy videos but they weren’t getting many views. At first we didn’t understand why because everyone who watched them loved everything about it. One night I was sitting there trying to figure out the problem. Then I realized that we were making original content. The internet is a fascinating tool because no matter the subject, if something is trending like an idea or a person, you will see it. So I thought to myself that maybe the reason we aren’t getting views is because we’re making content that is irrelevant to what is trending at the moment. Being a horror fanatic, I know every bit of news that comes out of the horror genre. The one thing that kept popping up in newsfeeds and articles was the cancellation of the video game “Silent Hills”. Which I already was a fan of.
The entire horror community was upset that the video game was canceled mainly because of who was attached to the project. Guillermo del Toro, Norman Reedus and Hideo Kojima are all huge names in the video game and film industry. With the horror community upset and outraged, the light bulb clicked on in my head. Silent Hills is trending and we have this huge opportunity to give the people what they want. So I started studying clips of the video game to make sure it was possible to turn it into a film. Once I realized it was possible. I pitched it to my team. Creating the first Silent Hills video was the best thing I could have done to help get my name out there. Frame by frame, my film matches up exactly to what the video game demo offered. With a couple of movie magic tricks, I was able to pull off one of the best “games to film” adaptations that ever was, according to Blumhouse Productions.
After uploading the film to our Youtube channel, it instantly went viral. With gathering over 2 million views on Facebook and Youtube together.
Youtube contacted us and offered Oddest of the Odd a partnership. We took it. From the biggest Youtubers reacting to our film, to trending number one on Facebook for an entire day, we didn’t know how to react at first. Articles were being written about us left and right and we had interviews every other day for an entire month. Some of the biggest names in video games and films talked about us and our movie. It was amazing. Years of hard work was finally paying off. When the hype died out, we had a huge following and thousands of new fans. Upon request after request, people were wanting a part 2.
At first we weren’t sure how to approach making a part 2 mainly because there was no more story for us to go off. Everything that Silent Hills had to offer, we used in the first film. The only option we had was to write our own story. We did. With a bigger budget and more support, The Oddest of the Odd filmed Silent Hills in real life part 2. It again was a huge success!
Working with Youtube has been an amazing opportunity so far and if I had any advice for someone who wants to pursue a dream like I am, it’s to not listen to the naysayers. Work like hell. Trust yourself and break some rules and don’t be afraid to fail.
Director, Courtlan Gordon
Oddest of the Odd
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