Experiencing Interruptions?

From The Flesh

An ambitious teenage singer responds to a seemingly innocuous flier advertising open auditions for a traveling youth choir and discovers that the group is evangelical. At first undeterred by their religious devotion, she realizes her mistake as they slowly reveal their sinister intentions for her voice, far beyond singing.

  • Hunter Livingston
    Director
    Heatwave, Short
  • Hunter Livingston
    Writer
    Heatwave, Short
  • Audrey Leach
    Producer
    Full Out: Inside Ohio Show Choir
  • Hunter Livingston
    Producer
    Heatwave, Short
  • Eli Samek
    Producer
    When I'm Ready, A Creature Was Stirring
  • Kennedy Walsh
    Key Cast
    "Noa Rhodes"
    Intern-In-Chief
  • Michele Renee Bright
    Key Cast
    "Dawn"
    Uncanny X-Men, Swamp Murders, Snapped, Vengenace: Killer Families
  • Tova Hopemark
    Key Cast
    "Kirstie"
    Rat Alley
  • Gabriella Kessler
    Key Cast
    "Madeline"
    Stall
  • Charles Hull
    Key Cast
    "Levi"
  • Daniel Cho
    Director of Photography
    Two Story House, Candyland
  • Project Type:
    Short
  • Genres:
    Horror, Drama, Music
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 13 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 21, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Arri
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - Hunter Livingston

Hunter Livingston (Tisch ‘19) is a NY-based film director and writer with a keen interest in the fusion of horror and coming-of-age narratives. At the age of 12, his interest in filmmaking began after an illicit viewing of the gratuitously vicious, smash-hit film Final Destination (2000). He began a YouTube channel titled Get A Life Productions where he produced short-form horror stories to imitate the films he loved and one day wanted to create. The channel is still, embarrassingly, public.

His 2021 thesis Heatwave won the Audience Award for Student Short in his hometown of Charlotte at the CLT Film Festival and Best Short at the New Faces, New Voices Festival. Most recently, his film From the Flesh starring Kennedy Walsh shot this past autumn and is currently being submitted to festivals for a 2023 premiere. A feature film adaptation is in development.

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Director Statement

FROM THE FLESH is a proof-of-concept that explores the way an ambitious teenager falls prey to a youth choir that has more sinister motivations than just evangelism. I’ve always been drawn to stories of the innocent being preyed upon. It’s terrifying to feel vulnerable and even scarier to lose your agency and control. Films such as ROSEMARY’S BABY, SUSPIRIA, and, more recently, MIDSOMMAR, all explore how their protagonists become manipulated by or indoctrinated into a cult, this, typically, being intrinsically linked to parallel how religion influences and disrupts. And if we look at something like THE WICKER MAN, a film in which an evangelical Christian man is barbarically sacrificed in Paganistic ritual, we can see how quickly religion warps into horror.

FROM THE FLESH draws from my own experiences in a youth choir during early high school. Many of us joined solely because it was an opportunity to perform. My high school in particular had very limited performing arts extracurriculars — the theater department hardly existed, and nobody wanted to use an auditorium that hadn’t been renovated since the 70s. I had mostly isolated myself in my YouTube-horror ventures (being the auteur that I was) and the youth choir was another outlet for my creative urge to perform, but with friends. Families in my small North Carolina town rejoiced at the idea of young teenagers having a place for God, a place where we could learn how to be a servant of the Lord to spread His word through song, but really I think most of us were just happy to do something with friends over the weekend. As our rehearsals over the semester bled into summer when we’d travel from church to church, it was impossible not to buy into the messaging because the performance was inextricably linked to it. Retrospectively, I can see other ways in which this group made an effort to further alienate — issue was taken with what we wore, what we were listening to on the radio, who we were hanging with outside of the choir…I’m not sure we understood what we were being taught to believe, seeing as the youth choir was non-denominational and unaffiliated with a church, but when you’re thirteen and part of a group that has a common purpose and goal, eventually, you will learn to want the same thing.