Private Project

The Catalyst

A young family becomes deathly afraid to do anything in their own home when simple household accidents begin to trigger increasingly violent paranormal events.

“Accidents WILL happen…”

  • Alan Fine
  • Alan Fine
  • Richard D'Angelo, Donna McKenna, Alan Fine
  • Sarah Wilson, Kristoffer Cusick
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    September 4, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Red Dragon in 6K
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Zed Fest Film Festival
    North Hollywood, CA
    United States
    November 5, 2016
    Outstanding Actor, Actress, and Special Effects
  • New York International Film Festival - Fright Fest
    Manhattan, NY
    United States
    October 31, 2016
    Best Short Screenplay
  • Haunted Oaks Film Festival
    United States
    October 1, 2016
    Best Picture, Best Special Effects, Most Spine-Tingling Scare
  • Northeast Film Festival Horror Fest
    Teaneck, NJ
    United States
    December 7, 2016
    Nomination for Best Actor
  • New York Short Film Festival
    United States
    November 6, 2016
  • Darkness Reigns Horror Film Festival
    New Orleans
    United States
    January 21, 2017
  • 42nd Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival
    Boston, MA
    United States
    February 10, 2017
  • Grindhouse Night at Cafe Z
    Union, NJ
    United States
    February 25, 2017
Director Biography - Alan Fine

Alan Fine is a writer/director, producer, composer and editor, known for “Freeze, Freeze, Fry: Climate Past, Present and Future” and “UnEarthing Life: A Deep History of a Living Planet.”

From 2005-2012, Fine was a producer, director, and editor at Classroom Encounters, creating teacher-friendly world-class science media which sold to high schools, colleges and libraries internationally. At Classroom Encounters, Fine steered six full length 90 minute productions through all stages, from pre-production through DVD / BluRay duplication, including directing, authoring, cover art and website design.

Fine learned film and television production, filmmaking, and directing while assisting executive producers and directors at Universal and Walt Disney Studios in Los Angeles. He became a Development Executive for Mercedes Entertainment and Carmen Culver Films and sold screenplays and teleplays to TriStar Pictures, Universal, USA Networks and Pachyderm Entertainment.

As a freelance director, producer and editor, Alan was a member of several Los Angeles-based ad agencies including C.H. Winsor & Associates and The Ed Roth Show. Working with a wide range of budgets, he created memorable on-air and video presentations for telecommunications, medical and entertainment clients.

Fine went on to write and direct the world’s first interactive situation comedy, “Real Time” for Syzol New Media and the pilot for the game show “Lie Detector” for Visionati.

Fine directed numerous staged readings of his play “Fountain of Youth” at the Neighborhood Playhouse and the Actors Theatre Workshop in Manhattan, and is turning the work into a screenplay and a musical.

Fine served as technical consultant for, Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard’s Internet company in Los Angeles.

Fine has appeared as an actor on “Cheers” and other shows, and has been a stand-up comedian who was a winning contestant on “The Dating Game.” His short film, “Virus Hits Paramount Pictures in NY – Tech Support Overwhelmed” had East and West Coast Premieres at both of the Paramount Pictures Studio Theaters.

Fine is a member of the Writers Guild of America, Dramatists Guild, and Screen Actors Guild.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

My reason for writing and directing “The Catalyst” was to breathe new life into the classic ghost story. The “look” and “feel” will flow from the realistic dramas of Sidney Lumet, to the grounded thrillers by Roman Polanski (“Rosemary’s Baby”) and William Friedkin (“The Exorcist”).


A good thriller needs to create “transference.” Does an audience take the film home? Transference is what happened to us when we saw “Psycho” and then took a shower.

“To err is human.” Okay, but what if normal accidents (dropping things, bumping into each other) trigger increasingly horrifying hauntings in common everyday places? The idea proposes that every place is haunted, and we are just waiting to find out what accident will unleash the terror. Hopefully that idea will release a Zeitgeist of fear and cause a lot of people to look over their shoulders anywhere and anyplace.

In the first installment, a family unknowingly sets off a catalyst in their house that awakens an evil presence. As the entity gains power and learns to be a poltergeist, the family becomes increasingly afraid to do anything in their own home.


“Heart” has been sorely missing in horror films (unless it has been ripped out, beating and bloody). I believe for a thriller to work, we have to care about the characters; their realistic and affecting stories should just happen to be interrupted by the paranormal. (In the feature film script of “The Catalyst,” a couple who lost a child when she was five are now overprotective as their second daughter has reached that age.)

Through the use of camera, we will visually juxtapose the human drama of these stories with that of evil spirits as they awake, learn, and finally understand how to wreak havoc. To do this, our camera people will be cast no differently than actors, because our camera will need to express — without words and through carefully choreographed movement — the growth and development of unseen entities.

To put it another way, here’s the crass elevator pitch:
Think “Poltergeist” meets “Paranormal Activity” or “Jaws” in a haunted house.

Again, thank you for considering "The Catalyst."