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The Story Behind Case of Evil!

Two years ago, I gave local director Neal Hallford some gentle ribbing about not submitting anything to Horrible Imaginings. When I announced this year that submissions were open, Neal promised that he’d have something. 

Fast forward a bunch of months to mid-August, just a couple of weeks before the submission deadline, and Neal sent out a cast and crew call for a script he had just written called CASE OF EVIL. Yes, that was just a few weeks before this writing! Lo and behold, Neal and Jana Hallford teamed up successfully to write, produce, edit, and complete their short film in time to be included in Horrible Imaginings Film Festival. They did this JUST. FOR. our festival! And guess what?

The film is fun! If you know me, you know my love of classic Universal Pictures-style horror, and this nails that style. I can’t wait to bring it to you, San Diego!

Miguel Rodriguez, Director

Horrible Imaginings Film Festival


Merrick McCartha

Rebecca Sausedo 

case of eveil

neal and jana

CO-DIRECTORS NEAL AND JANA HALLFORD: Through their jointly-owned production company Swords & Circuitry Studios, Neal Hallford and Jana Hallford have been writing, producing, and directing documentaries and promotional videos since 2006. While they have had other narrative projects in development for a while, “The Case of Evil” is their first released dramatic short. They also produced and directed the comedic short “April’s Big Day” which was featured as part of local comedienne April Ventura’s one-woman stage show during 2014 San Diego International Fringe Festival.

Neal Hallford began his filmmaking exploits as a crazed teenager with a Super8 camera, fueled by the legendary amateur filmmaking magazine, Cinemagic. At 17, just days after graduating from high school, Neal began his professional production career with the creation of a Twilight Zone-like weird tales radio drama series called “Uncharted Regions” which aired sporadically on a small country and western station outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma between 1984-1989. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in radio, television, and film production, Neal entered the computer gaming industry as a writer and a game designer, and was responsible for a number of best-selling and award winning computer games like “Betrayal at Krondor,” “Planet’s Edge,” “Dungeon Siege,” and several others. In 2001, he and his wife Jana collaborated on a book called “Swords & Circuitry: A Designer’s Guide To Computer Role-Playing Games”. This collaboration would later lead to their founding of Swords & Circuitry Studios as a multimedia content provider, and the filming of their first project together, “Beauty and the Beast: Twenty Years of Remembering” which was a web-based documentary about the stars and fans of the classic CBS television series starring Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman.

Jana earned her entertainment credentials early, covering rockstars of the art world like Andy Warhol, Christo, and Robert Rauschenberg for her college newspaper and the La Jolla Light. She also wrote features about the still-developing San Diego ComicCon before it became the cultural phenomena that it is today. Parlaying her art writing into public relations work, she went on to do direct marketing and trade show exhibits for a book publisher. This later lead to her becoming one of the most highly certified members of the trade show industry — a diamond level CTSM — a qualification held by fewer than eight people in the world. This qualification has in turn proved to be a boon to Swords & Circuitry Studios as she brings her expertise in logistics and the management of complex projects to bear on Swords & Circuitry’s multiple film ventures. In addition to her producer’s responsibilities for Swords & Circuitry, she is an award-winning artist and photographer, and has had her work shown in national and international juried shows.

You can find out more about their production company at http://swordsandcircuitry.com


Comments: 2

  • Neal Hallford 2014/09/106:29 PM

    Jana, and I, and the rest of the awesome team at Swords & Circuitry Studios are positively thrilled to be able to share “The Case of Evil” with Horrible Imaginings this year. Looking forward to seeing all the other awesome terror-fests that are on offer!

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