“American Horror Story” fans have been desperate for any piece of news on Season 4 of the hit FX mini-series -- so it was no surprise that a trailer for “Freak Show” went viral when it hit the Web last week. The only catch? It wasn’t an official promo video for the upcoming season.
International Business Times spoke with Kellen Moore, the director of the fan-made teaser video, who opened up about the project going viral, his connection to “Bates Motel” and the hoax rumors.
The fan-made teaser in question, “Fallen Angel,” depicted a woman with wings performing in front of an audience. However, viewers could see behind-the-scenes that the woman was no angel. Instead, her wings were being moved by a terrifying masked man.
The high-quality and freaky nature sent fans of “American Horror Story” into a craze about the upcoming season, and was reported as the first official video for “Freak Show.” Yet shortly after the promo began to spread, FX confirmed that the video had not been released by the network and was actually the work of a fan.
“There was always hopes that people would see the work,” Moore explained of seeing the teaser for “AHS: Freak Show” go viral. “My team and I put a tremendous amount of donated time and love into the promo, so we had hopes. But going viral isn’t a guaranteed recipe so our expectations were realistic going to. All we wanted was to do good work and hope people would enjoy it.”
This isn’t the first time that one of Kellen Moore’s directed fan-teasers went viral. In 2013 Moore and his team created an unofficial teaser for “Bates Motel” Season 2. The video seemed to depict Norman Bates working on his taxidermy, but to an extreme. With Billie Holiday’s “Guilty” playing in the background, fans watched as the troubled teen created the house that he lives in with his mother, Norma, out of skin and bones.
The video was passed around by fans as a first look at Season 2 of the “Psycho” prequel. But what many never figured out is that it was not created by A&E.
“The spot went viral and got a substantial amount of media press reporting it was official,” Moore said of his “jab” at doing promos. “Two days after the spot was released I was contacted by A&E’s Vice President of Marketing and was offered an opportunity to create a spot for the network. We worked closely for several months and I had the chance to create and direct [the Romero Character Spot] for Season 2.”
Kellen Moore’s success with "Bates Motel" led him to direct the “Fallen Angel” video, a project he described as a “life goal.” With the aid of producer Andrew Ducote, who came up with the concept of the “Fallen Angel,” Moore’s team worked to bring the “grotesque beauty” to life.
“I grew up watching ‘Nip/ Tuck’ and admiring [co-creator] Ryan Murphy’s promo work from his earliest shows up to American Horror Story,” the Chapman University graduate said of his inspiration and desire to make the teaser.
“The reception was incredible and I never expected the fans or the press to be receptive. I just wanted to have a shot at achieving a personal goal, and it was a fantastic ride,” he continued.
While there is no denying that “American Horror Story” audiences immediately fell in love with the “Fallen Angel” promo, many rumors and theories popped up after it was revealed to be a fake. Because of the high quality, fans speculated that the video had been created by the “American Horror Story” team but had accidentally been leaked -- leading the network to deny the video. However, Kellen Moore stands by the teaser that his team created.
“We are young filmmakers who wanted to put our talent out there,” he said in response to the “leaked” speculation. “While we might not have the credibility of professionals, I would like to think we are more than capable of doing professional work. The dream would be to have an official opportunity to collaborate with FX and I would like to think of this as a glorified job audition. Our intention wasn’t entirely to fool the internet, but as filmmakers, show the world what we would like to see from an ‘AHS’ promo. We put a lot of love and respect into the spot and are thrilled with the reception.”
Kellen Moore and his crew’s video for “Freak Show” might not be real, but an official trailer from the mini-series may be on the way. The first video for Season 3, “Coven,” was released at the beginning of August. Returning cast member Kathy Bates previously revealed that filming for Season 4 of “American Horror Story” would start in mid-July.