Filmed on the infamous ocean-liner in California, which is considered a hub of paranormal sightings, Haunting of the Queen Mary is a horror story that takes place aboard the ship in present day.
As one family boards the boat in modern day, their destiny soon becomes interwoven with that of another family that boarded the ship on Halloween in 1938.
What unravels as a result is a violent series of events that neither of them ever foresaw. See Haunting of the Queen Mary on August 18, 2023.
Releasing in select theaters and On Demand the same day.
What lead you to want to create a story on and around the legends of the Queen Mary?
Personally, I was fascinated with the fact that the Queen Mary, sister ship to the Titanic, was actually “the unsinkable ship”. During its tenure, it avoided sinking with the Curaçao, capsizing with a 70ft foot rogue wave, and confrontation w/ Hitler’s military during countless ocean crossings earning her the nickname, The Grey Ghost. For me, this felt like a supernatural force was protecting her throughout it years in service. If you think about it, even to this day, as the vessel has escaped being turned into scrape metal and even numerous bankruptcies.
Was the movie based on a real legend aboard the ship?
We attempted to incorporate all the timeless legends of the Queen Mary - The Pool area as a portal to the other side, Jackie, The Lady in White, and the murder in B424 (which Disney renamed B340), etc.
How much filming was done on the ship and were you able to take advantage of the work being done during the closure to film?
We filmed weeks on the ship itself and for the involved action scenes we scanned the ship and filmed in 360 virtual production stage with video walls.
What other paranormal encounters have you had prior to making the movie?
The one experience I had was witnessing wet footprints all over the pool area and other restricted areas…..areas I know my staff and crew had not been due to geography and access. Not until no video surveillance was provided to me of staff wandering off course did I realize the ship lacked an explanation as well.
I see the film is set on Halloween night, as a Halloween fanatic myself, I love that. Was the timing intentional as well? Yes, everyone loves a solid Halloween ghost story. In this case, it was an opportunity to raise a vengeful soul whose sacrifice made the ship, unsinkable.
Real Ghost Stories While Filming
“We were aboard the Queen Mary for some pickup shots, and my dressing room was the Churchill Suite. On the first day of shooting, I was reviewing choreography in the mirror, trying to decide between two different dance poses coming out of a turn sequence. At one point I said “I think this looks more like Fred”. Right then, as if in response, the light above the vanity across the room flickered. April and I laughed and didn’t think much about it at the time, but what happened the next day was truly unbelievable.”
Fred Astaire & Choreographer
“On the second day of shooting, when we walked back into Wesley’s dressing room I immediately felt that we weren’t alone. Later on, when some members of the orchestra and I were discussing the fact that we were in Winston Churchill’s suite, the light above the vanity started flashing again, lighting up from the center of the bar. The weird thing was that there wasn’t a switch easily accessible, and at that time, a lot of the power was off on the ship. That afternoon when I was by myself, I suddenly felt uneasy, like I was being watched, so I started to hum Moonlight Serenade. That same light started to flash again, so I took out my phone to record it and started asking questions. As I did this, the light seemed to respond. This went on for several minutes. I checked the surrounding areas and in the hallway to see if someone was playing a joke on me, but nobody was there. I like to think that since I was humming an old tune, I made someone feel comfortable enough to want to communicate with me. It was definitely a unique experience!”