I decided to spend a few months in Sumner, Illinois one afternoon, with plans to kill more than time. Knowing that I’d need a proper property to hide my improprieties, I contacted actor, writer, director, producer, location scout, sound guy and stuntman Jed Brian. Jed was my local specialist of old haunts as his nonprofit horror film Unlisted Owner explores one, and he was gracious enough to show me the gateway.
Saint Pauly: Thanks so much for meeting me here. I know how busy you must be making indie films and…well, I imagine there are other things.
Jed Brian: I’m a volunteer firefighter, on the city council for the city of Sumner, I’m a husband, father and artificial lifts system specialist in the oilfield.
Saint Pauly: My word, and I can only seem to find enough time to see films and indulge my fiction. That and rent creepy houses to exercise my demons. An attic is extremely important in a torture house. Must have place for the ghosts to inhabit. Wait, didn’t your Unlisted Owner come from the attic?
Jed: I knew I wanted to make a horror film but knew I was on a budget. So while brainstorming I came up with this scene in my head of a guy getting pulled up in a attic space of a house shot in found footage style. From there I knew I could write a backstory around that one scene.
Saint Pauly: And what a story it was! [We left the upstairs and he walked me back to the ground floor.] So this must be the ‘living’ room, though I can’t imagine I’ll be calling it that for very long. Which reminds me, as I’m going to be an Unlisted Owner, I was wondering how you came up with the title to your film.
Jed: It’s really hard to find an original name these days, so when I knew we were going to make the film and had the script done we needed a title. Myself and my assistant director Brent [Perrott] just bounced ideas back and forth off of each other one night and, out of the blue, I said Unlisted Owner. We googled it and saw it wasn’t taken so we took it.
Saint Pauly: Here’s the wreck room… Do you have one?
Jed: I’m a huge video game fan! I actually have a game room in my house with Mario and Donkey Kong stickers on the wall and a Donkey Kong arcade machine. Plus all the old school consoles, of course.
Saint Pauly: And is this room soundproof…for my ‘guests’? [Jed feigns ignorance as to my implication.] Fine, moving on then, how would you describe your movie to strangers?
Jed: Unlisted Owner is a feature length found footage horror film that follows a group of friends who, after hearing of a horrific murder, decide to break in and investigate themselves with hand held cameras.
Saint Pauly: Is it based on a true story? Like of something my mates and I did while drinking?
Jed: I feel that people who watch this movie get drawn into the realism of the film and are intrigued by the overall story. People get scared as they think this could happen to them and what would they do if their friends got them into this situation.
Saint Pauly: I’m scared of most of the things my friends get me into, and not by half. But what about the cast of Unlisted Owner?
Jed: I mostly used friends all the actors in the movie are local or have some local tie to the area. So it worked out perfectly.
Saint Pauly: And the extras? Because you had some professional looking extras.
Jed: Most people get surprised by this but, since I’m a volunteer firefighter, it was easy for me to have access to the emergency personnel.
Saint Pauly: And they’re handy at parties. [Jed glances at me askance, like the doctors in the asylum.] Speaking of weird, did nothing WTF happen during filming?
Jed: I would say just shooting in that house was very creepy. I remember one night, I had just locked up and was getting ready to leave. I was the only one there and looked up and saw the top story light was on. I don’t remember going up there…
Saint Pauly: Ooh, eerie! But let’s peruse the basement, shall we? I need to ensure it’s secure for my private parties–and easy to clean up afterwards.You know, a dedicated space. Which reminds me, who is Unlisted Owner dedicated to?
Jed: Jaunetta Dunahee is my grandmother who was a very artistic person and inspired me when I was young. She passed away in 2006 so she never was able to see what I was able to accomplish. I know she would be very proud.
Saint Pauly: As am I! [Jed wears the look of someone who doesn’t know what he’s bitten into.] Here, take a seat and tell me what you’d like to share with your millions of fans.
Jed: I want to thank everyone for their support of Unlisted Owner and my dreams of being a filmmaker. All the fans have helped the movie make it on the top 10 of Amazon’s top 100 hot new horror release list and I am forever grateful for that. I want to add don’t give up on your dreams and go for the gold! If anyone out there is wanting to make a movie go for it! Time goes by fast so don’t get caught up in the blur.
Saint Pauly: [While he’s distracted speaking to me, I quickly tie him to the chair. He tries to struggle but in vain, and I break out my breaking in tools.] Any famous last words?
Jed: If you haven’t seen Unlisted Owner it is Available on DVD at
Barnes & Noble: https://m.barnesandnoble.com/w/dvd-unlisted-owner…/27001193…
If you would like to stream the film you can at:
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/movies/details?id=F1-rkGwlGzo
Microsoft Store (so you can get it on your Xbox) https://www.microsoft.com/…/unlisted-owner/8d6kgwxl3cvz/0001
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Just a reminder that Jed Brian and I never met face to face. I’ve never had the pleasure of visiting Sumner, IL, nor visiting its haunted houses. Instead, the entire interview was conducted by email, where I changed my bits to make up the story but left Jed’s answers untouched. If you enjoyed the interview (and even if you didn’t) please consider checking out his film and supporting independent film making!