Home Also Trending Max Booth: Local author’s chilling tale gets big-screen treatment

Max Booth: Local author’s chilling tale gets big-screen treatment


CIBOLO — A novella by local horror author and publisher Max Booth III about a family pushed to its limits during a disaster while something lurks outside could be coming to a screen near you very soon.

Originally written as a screenplay, Booth, 28, turned “We Need To Do Something” — his story of a family seeking shelter in a bathroom during a tornado — into a short novel. Then, coming full circle, the story became the basis for a film.

The movie premiered June 15 at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival, based in New York City.

The chiller will be theatrically released by IFC Films Sept. 3, 2021.

Booth’s novella began by invoking a “what if” question about his family.

“What would happen if we got stuck in this bathroom and no one came to get us?” he said.

Relatives responded with “annoyance” and “fright,” indicating to Booth he was on the right track.

That led Booth to consider ratcheting up the tension in the story.

“What if most of the family had secrets, and what if those secrets came out?” he said. “What if something else was outside the bathroom besides a tornado?”

“We Need To Do Something” was published in May 2020. Two months later, Michigan-based director Sean O’ Grady contacted Booth over Zoom to begin discussions about making a movie.

By the end of September 2020, filming began.

Since Booth wrote “We Need To Do Something” with a movie in mind, the narrative translated easily to the screen.

“Movies and books are different mediums, and you have to adapt to it,” he said. “You have to make whatever is more interesting as a visual component.”

The Lake Station, Indiana, native started writing at age 7 to cope with his dog’s death, according to a bio. He moved to Cibolo when he was 18.

The bio also notes Booth’s nonfiction works have appeared in LitReactor, CrimeReads, the San Antonio Current, Fangoria and Film-14.

Booth’s passion for horror and crime fiction led him to make connections with authors in the same genres including in the San Antonio area.

He also is one part of the powerhouse behind Dark Moon Digest, a quarterly horror magazine.

In August 2012, Booth and his wife, Lori Michelle, launched Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing.

Three years later, PMMP bought Dark Moon Digest to publish fiction and nonfiction from authors worldwide.

Michelle serves as editor in chief for the digest, while Booth is managing editor.

Publishing came with early challenges such as mailing, shipping, attending conventions and relying on Amazon to broadly represent their digital-marketplace presence.

Booth believes the strategy using Amazon as an intermediary was a “mistake.”

“If you’re going to be doing something like this, you should invest in building a shop on a website and direct all traffic that way,” Booth said. “There is always a bigger profit if someone is buying directly from you.”

Booth said his decision when to publish authors is based on taste and merit, rather than social influence and popularity like some multinational publishing companies.

“My personal taste is pretty much what we publish,” Booth said. “That tends to go to spooky things, odd things and experimental narratives.”

PMMP’s latest offering will be a crime-fiction anthology, “The Mercy Seat: Stories From Death Row,” which is still seeking narratives in August.

Booth is looking for “empathetic short stories” within the crime-fiction genre, told from a first-person point of view of death row inmates and how they landed there.

Deadline for submissions is Sept 1. For guidelines and more, visit perpetualpublishing.com or call 210-570-7224.

Also, horror, science fiction and crime novels can be purchased through the site.

Booth has also hosted a podcast, “Ghoulish.”


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