When A&E came to us to help them promote the upcoming third season of Paranormal State we knew we had an interesting challenge on our hands. The trick about Paranormal State is that there is no trick; the show is not about creating the paranormal, but trying to capture it in some way. So we didn’t want our promo to feel fake or use effects to achieve some kind of ghostly/horror vibe.
Instead, we went back to the ways in which people got scared before CG: storytelling. We found a section in the classic poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, that we felt embodied the feeling of the show and what the host Ryan was after.
We shot Ryan walking through spooky woods, composed an original score that was sombre but chilling, and cast a performer to read our Coleridge selection. Putting it all together made for a decidedly unsettling campaign that got people too scared NOT to tune in.