Prospect screenwriter to put ‘Selene Hollow’ on the map

Prospect resident Brian Trent, right, looks at the shot director of photography Bill Hamell is getting during Selene Hollow’s first day of shooting April 6 in Northfield.

PROSPECT — Brian Trent wants you to visit Selene Hollow, Connecticut’s newest town.

A new horror web series called “Selene Hollow,” written by Trent of Prospect and Damian Dydyn of Newington, has begun filming.

“The series follows Byron, a journalist who has just retired from a fast-paced career to the mysterious town of Selene Hollow. There, he hopes to write his first novel in peace and seclusion. However, Selene Hollow is not what it seems. In addition to being conspicuously absent from all maps, the town has a strange connection to Ancient Rome, the Old West, and the far future,” Trent said in an e-mail.

Trent has been a fan of films for as long as he can remember.

“I have been a lifelong film enthusiast, having grown up on everything from German expressionism to film noir to 80s action flicks,” Trent said.

However, filmmaking was not Trent’s first venture into the creative world.          He is also the author of the historical novel, “Lady Philosopher: The Story of Hypatia” and the sci-fi short “The Theseus Woman.”

Trent explained that writing a screenplay was not the same as writing a novel. He felt that, in some ways, it was easier.

“As a novelist you’re in charge of the entire art of world-building; a screenplay is composed with the understanding that it will be subject to the input and interpretation of the director, art department, and actors, for example. It’s collaborative art. If you have the right people, that can be a dazzling process,” Trent said.

Selene Hollow is the second film project that Trent will be undertaking with Dydyn. The two of them turned Trent’s The Theseus Woman into a short film last year.

The story followed a man who lost his wife to suicide and tries to build her personality into a computer.

“The story is an ironic twist on the tale of Pygmalion,” Trent said. “It was a whirlwind shooting schedule, but it was a unique thrill to watch the script come alive through the actors.”

For The Theseus Woman and Selene Hollow, Trent has used local Connecticut talent both behind and in front of the screen.

“Connecticut is teeming with talent,” Trent said. “In the last year alone we’ve met some incredible people.”

While most of the talent comes from local actors, the series has drawn more well known names.

Ashley C. Williams has agreed to play Zombie Victoria. Williams is best known for her role in “The Human Centipede,” a cult classic horror film from 2009.

Selene Hollow will be filmed exclusively in Connecticut. Trent plans on using Waterbury, Naugatuck, and Prospect for the setting of the series. The pilot was shot in Northfield.

Shooting Selene Hollow as a web series was a new undertaking for Trent.

“Damian and I have written feature films, TV pilots, and shorts. Earlier this year he suggested we try something else, and it was his idea to do a web series,” Trent said. “I was immediately taken with the idea, because it has an old-time serialized quality to the structure. You’ve got five minutes per episode to build and move the story forward.”

Trent knew that some people might look at the short episode length as a challenge, but he saw it as an opportunity.

“There’s no padding, no waste. You write lean and sharp. You drive it with dialogue, and you keep it flexible, organic. We go from the strange town of Selene Hollow to ancient Rome to the far future. Each episode is fresh and goes unexpected places,” Trent said.

The series is set to premier sometime in the fall.

Find more information on Selene Hollow here.