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Welcome to the Haunted Garage version of Ted Talks. Every year our festival is graced with experts in the horror space. From PhD's on morbid curiosity, to legendary horror filmmakers, we love to bring in wildly wicked talent to chat with us about their horror experience. We hope to inspire and enrich the minds of horror filmmakers and writers across the hemisphere. 


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Lillian Schenck

Master of Scaremonies 

Lillian is Shift Films very own think tank and in-house daredevil. When she's not throwing out new ideas, she's throwing herself out of airplanes, knives, riding brooms and scoring quaffle goals, or learning about post-mortem trauma reconstruction. She has a penchant for the macabre, cross country motorcycle trips, and true-crime. Lillian has worked as an editor for a number of in-house short films, including the upcoming feature film documentaries on the suicide of Elsa Lemp (2023) and The Lost Boys of Hannibal (2024) and will be the host of an upcoming paranormal show that will premier on a tv network. She is certified in knife combat for the stage, a classically trained stage actor, and the voice of many corporate training videos across the country. Lillian is an amateur Quadball player and films and photographs various events across the greater Chicago area. 

Brian Hillard

Saturday October 8th, 2022 - 7:15PM - 9:30pm

Brian is known for creating Practical Effects for a vast number of both film and television productions.  Films such as Django Unchained, PREDATORS, Lone Survivor, Academy Award Best Picture Winners, The Departed and No Country for Old Men.  He also designed and created all the Practical Effects on his two films, The SPORE and 3 DEMONS. Brian is also a two-time Emmy Award Winner for his work on both The Walking DEAD and Star Trek Discovery.

Learn more about Brian

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Dr. Coltan Scrivner

Saturday October 8th, 2022 - 7:30PM - 8:30PM

Dr. Coltan Scrivner is the world's leading expert on the science of horror and Morbid Curiosity. Coltan is a Research Scientist at the Recreational Fear Lab at Aarhus University in Denmark and a UX Researcher at Meta in Menlo Park, California. Over the past several years, he has conducted pioneering research on the psychology of morbid curiosity and horror fans.



Horror is a somewhat controversial genre, and horror fans are a commonly misunderstood group of people. Three common misconceptions that people have about horror fans are that they are 1) all thrill-seekers, 2) unaffected by anxiety, and 3) lacking in empathy. In this talk, I'll be breaking down these three misconceptions to show where they came from and why they are wrong. 

Learn more about Coltan

Jeff Bassetti

Sunday October 9th, 2022 - 12:30PM - 2:30PM

Join us for Jeff's presentation on


Winner of countless awards from Houston World Fest to Austin's Revolution, Jeff has seen it all on the west coast, starting his career at Industrial Lights & Magic. Bassetti is a horror writer, director, and producer. Bassetti's wild thriller, the film that took him 20 years to complete, will be screened on Sunday.

Learn more about Jeff

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