Kevin Smith Begins Production of 'Killroy Was Here' with Ringling College

Sarasota, FL, June 15, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ringling College of Art and Design today announced that Kevin Smith -- iconic filmmaker, author, actor and director of Clerks, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and recent horror films Red State and Tusk; has returned to Sarasota to shoot the first installment of his latest horror anthology film Killroy Was Here.  This project is being done in partnership with Ringling College of Art and Design and Semkhor Productions, the executive producer.


Like many recent Kevin Smith projects, Killroy stems from a conversation taken from one of his popular weekly podcasts.

“This is a monster movie in the sense of a classic morality tale,” says Smith.  “No one wants to see you spill the blood of innocents, but when someone crosses the line and goes bad, you get to make them pay in horrible ways, and the audience cheers.” Like The Twilight Zone, Killroy is full of ironic twists and grisly moments.  Smith added, “We wanted to make an anthology film in the vein of Creepshow. Killroy is like the Golem, the Boogeyman and the Grim Reaper combined.”


Killroy Was Here is an exciting project as part of our ongoing effort to provide hands-on, active production crew experience and screen credits for Ringling College students and graduates while also bringing world-renowned producers, directors and Hollywood-level entertainment productions to Sarasota to use the College’s film facilities,” said Dr. Larry R. Thompson, President of Ringling College. “Working alongside entertainment professionals, the students participate in an immersive creative and production program that takes them from script to final delivery. They also are able to connect with these high-level industry professionals.”


Killroy is our most extensive production to date, and it is extraordinarily challenging because it integrates both practical and digital effects and had to be done in a very short time on a very tight budget,” David Shapiro, Semkhor Productions founder and Killroy executive producer, stated. “Our goal is to help Ringling students and local residents gain the right kind of experience to become a top tier entertainment workforce with which to attract bigger and more complex productions to Sarasota. We’re very fortunate to have this level of talent here sharing the breadth and depth of their experience so graciously.”


Viewers will cheer not only for Smith’s stories, but for the top-level effects makeup provided by legendary horror master Robert Kurtzman and Creature Corps. “I’m a rubber guy,” says Smith, who has partnered with Kurtzman on several other films. “With computer graphics taking over the movies, we wanted the Ringling College kids to get a taste of supernatural storytelling that comes from silicone-and-rubber, real-life practical effects.  There’s a real difference seeing how you can terrify audiences with an artist’s airbrush.”


Even though they may be working with rubber, that doesn’t stop Smith’s team from working with Ringling College’s Motion Design department for supplemental visual effects. Killroy co-writer and producer Andy McElfresh, commented that, “With computer graphics as a ready resource, we shave off days and dollars from production, and are able to deliver a beautifully crafted end-product on an extremely low budget.”  Rather than apply for out-of-state rebates, the team is able to spend less money utilizing Ringling’s resources – and provide an unbelievable educational experience for the College’s budding filmmakers. The attraction of this unique program that the Ringling College film program has is that it grooms young moviemakers and allows seasoned professionals to fulfill their artistic vision.


The producers on Killroy are Andrew McElfresh, who also co-wrote the film; Tony Stopperan of Ringling College of Art and Design; Joe Restaino, seasoned film executive and owner of Character Brigade; Ringling graduate and accomplished director/cinematographer Nick Morgulis; and Smith's producer on Tusk and other films, Jordan Monsanto. The leads in the film are top-tier talent Azita Ghanizada of Alphas and The Complete Unknown and Ryan O’Nan of Fargo and Queen of the South.


Kevin Smith recalls his own college experience: “I tried going to film school but quit to go make a movie. If I'd had the chance to work with a real director, I probably would've graduated. Although I don’t consider myself a real director, but I do play one on TV and  am portraying one again as we shoot Killroy in Sarasota!”  Ringling students will graduate with both a professional-level experience and an IMDb credit.


26 Ringling College students and graduates are working with area production professionals, including Digital Caviar and other local businesses to shoot Killroy on locations throughout Sarasota and Pinellas Counties, and at the college’s new Ringling Studios soundstage and post production facility.



Director: Kevin Smith
Writers: Kevin Smith and Andy McElfresh

Executive Producer: David Shapiro of Semkhor Productions
Producers: Andy McElfresh, Tony Stopperan, Jordan Monsanto, Nick Morgulis, Joseph Restaino


About Ringling College of Art and Design
For 85 years, Ringling College of Art and Design has cultivated the creative spirit in students from around the globe. The private, not-for-profit fully accredited college offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ten disciplines and the Bachelor of Arts in two. The College's rigorous curriculum employs the studio model of teaching and immediately engages students through a comprehensive, first-year program that is both specific to the major of study and focused on the liberal arts. The Ringling College teaching model ultimately shapes students into highly employable and globally aware artists and designers.


About Semkhor Productions

Semkhor Productions is a media and technology company focused on digital content production and distribution. It provides consulting services centered on integrating the entertainment industry into a wide range of projects. Semkhor built and invested with Ringling College in building a new 40,000 square foot Ringling Studios commercial and academic sound stage and post production facility, as well as executive producing a slate of original, celebrity based web series.



A photo accompanying this announcement is available at



A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Kevin Smith and Andy McElfresh beginning overnight shoot for 'Killroy Was Here' with Ringling College students and graduates onsite at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota Florida July 14, 2017 Photo by Rich Schineller/Ringling College of Art and Design



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