By Jordan Gerdes
Today we have Rock Capuano, of Manor Entertainment, giving us a look behind the curtain at a production company that specializes in the horror genre!
FoF: First and foremost, tell us about yourself.
RC: My name is Rock Capuano, and I’m owner of Manor Entertainment LLC, otherwise known simply as Manor. Manor is an integrated media & entertainment production company specializing in the horror genre. We are the home of Cinematic Audio. We relaunched in January 2019 and, at the time of this interview, we currently work with publishing and audio formats in digital mediums such as websites, podcasts, and streaming video. Personally, I’m an advertising copywriter and freelance writer by trade but would much rather focus solely on Manor in the near future.
FoF: What do you do? And why do you like it?
RC: I wear many hats. In addition to owning Manor and running day-to-day business operations, I write scripts, edit copy, and edit audio. I produce Cinematic Audio features, audio documentaries, audiobooks, and content videos. I direct a crew of voice actors, sound designers, writers, musicians, and artists. I also edit articles and essays for our website. I like it because it’s the closest thing to creating art like a filmmaker. I love it because it gives people the entertainment they desire and the escapism they need.
FoF: Explain a little bit of your process? Where do you find your inspiration?
RC: I had this question asked of me before and I think I may have answered with such a long response, it required its own index section. I’ll keep it short as possible. The process usually involves a combination of the following: writing or adapting original scripts into an audio presentation, casting roles, assigning crew members, editing audio, sound design, original music, postproduction, artwork, marketing promotions, and business operation. We have a wonderful group of people in our crew. They are multi-talented in different ways, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with them all.
I find inspiration everywhere in the arts but for writing, I find the most inspiration from the instruction itself: Stephen King’s On Writing. His short story collection Night Shift is one to dog-ear as well. But I find the strongest connection with films and filmmakers. I’ve always been fascinated and inspired by the works of Stanley Kubrick (The Killing, The Shining, 2001: A Space Odyssey). There’s a long list to include with Kubrick but it too might require an index section of its own.
FoF: What drew you to horror in the first place?
RC: It was always the risk. It was the danger. It was the thrill of the theme park ride as it slowly creeps up that first huge hill and knowing the rush of adrenaline I would get as I made my way to the other side. When I saw the sticker on the VHS cover for Lucio Fulci’s The Gates of Hell (aka City of the Living Dead), it read “This film contains scenes which may be considered shocking. No one under 17 should be present.” Well, my 12-year old self just HAD to see it then. It was a challenge. It was dangerous. Sure I couldn’t sleep for a night or two after watching the film and the scene where Daniela Doria throws up her entire guts while her eyes bleed, but I made it out alive and lived to see another horror film. It made me face fears rather than run from them. It also gave me that adrenaline fix like heroin to a junkie.
This is the major reason why I created The Horror Complex, an audio series where horror fans and/or creators tell true stories about how the horror genre impacted their lives. I love hearing and sharing these stories within the horror community.
FoF: What is your favorite horror work? (Movie, Show, Art, Book, whatever you want)
RC: Speaking of Fulci, I’m a big fan of Italian horror cinema, including giallo from the likes of Mario Bava and Dario Argento. Fulci’s nightmare aura is present in most of his films. It’s a cinematic version of Poe’s dream within a dream where it leaves you wondering if it all really was just a dream, or, in Fulci’s case, a nightmare.
I’m one of those Halloween III: Season of the Witch cult members. It fascinates me more than anything. Very strange and near Twilight Zone levels, except gorier. It’s so damn evil that when you really examine it, turns out it’s more evil and horrifying than anything Michael Myers does in the other Halloween films.
Slow burns are my jam too. See A24 horror for some prime examples. Kubrick’s The Shining could have totally been an A24 horror film. It’s an art exhibit in film form.
FoF: What has been your favorite thing you have gotten to work on doing this?
RC: The Cinematic Audio productions because they really are the closest thing to working on short films with the audio format. They’re movies for the ears. However, I’ve really enjoyed The Horror Complex for the reasons I previously mentioned.
FoF: What role do you think your specific style of art plays in the community overall?
RC: We also convert most of our publishing into audio so most everything we produce is available in the audio format. In its present form, Manor is for the horror fans who find themselves waiting in the lobby for an appointment, washing the dishes, driving long commutes, performing house chores, working out in the gym, or doing yard work. Manor helps make the time fly during those mundane and laborious moments in life.
FoF: Anything you are working on that you want to highlight? (Commissions, flash sales, new project?)
RC: Our Cinematic Audio productions include Manor House and Volumes of Fear. Manor House is a limited horror anthology series currently available on Manor’s official YouTube channel and podcast platforms. Volumes of Fear will replace Manor House as Manor’s flagship program in January 2020.
FoF: If you could do anything with any horror franchise, what would it be?
RC: Back to Halloween III, I would love to continue the idea John Carpenter had of turning Halloween into an anthology series with each film containing its own story taking place on or around the Halloween holiday. It would be similar in form with American Horror Story’s seasons where each season is something new with new characters and new settings. I think it would work. I actually have something planned ahead, so stay tuned!
FoF: Anything else you’d like to say?
RC: Other Manor productions include The Horror Complex, NightCap (an audiobook series of stories), Graphic Chamber (a mix of horror music and art), Horror Hell with Michael Crosby (an analysis of the horror genre from writer Michael Crosby), and The Crimson Suite (special features from Manor).
We’re currently developing an audio documentary series focused on the history of the horror anthology film plus a few holiday themed series in the works.
Thank you for including Manor with the 31 Nights of Fright interview series!
Manor Entertainment’s Press Release:
Manor Entertainment dba MANOR is an entertainment production company specializing in the horror genre. At this early stage, MANOR, the home of Cinematic Audio, primarily features content in the audio format with three separate podcasts: Manor House, The Horror Complex, and NightCap (all debuting in October 2019). A fourth will debut in January 2020. MANOR currently presents all features on its official YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/c/ManorEntertainment. MANOR plans on expanding beyond the audio format with articles and essays from contributing writers in the genre, books, live events, short films, and much more in the long term future.