He would later appear as a co-icon with other returning characters The Caretaker, Jack the Clown and The Storyteller for Halloween Horror Nights: Sweet 16. Paulo has also appeared at Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood for Halloween Horror Nights 2006. The Director has been revealed to be the first icon for Halloween Horror Nights in Universal Studios Singapore when it started in October 2011.
The Director also has 3 other names: Paolo Ravinski (his original name for 2003, before 2006 changed it to Paulo), Pavel Pranevsky (for Hollywood's revival event), and Billy Skorrski (for Singapore's first event)
Paulo/ Pavel/ Billy Ravinski was born in Eastern Europe. Aspiring to be a filmmaker, he initially started out as a snuff film director, capturing actual human suffering, torture and death on his movie camera. His first project was a controversial feature known as The Widow's Eye. The film shocked so many of his country population that Ravinski was forced out, which is when he came to America. Law enforcement agencies and film critics call his work snuff cinema. The Director prefers his work to be referred to as "art". Some people found tamer examples of his work, such as The Blood Letting and Death Procession.
Halloween Horror Nights Orlando StorylineEdit
Paolo was hired by Universal Orlando to film his newest Horror film at their Islands of Adventure park. Here, he turned each area of the park into a living horror movie as part of his dream project. The Director himself would appear in All Nite Die-In at the event. He also hosted his own torture show, where he would subject victims from the audience to horrors on stage, and film their reactions.
The Director would return years later(renamed to Paulo instead of Paolo), with the other icons, for Halloween Horror Nights: Sweet 16 with his own house All Nite Die-In: Take 2. And took part in the ensemble show featuring each of the four icons performing a kill in their signature styles.
For a time in 2010, The Director was bound by magic to the Sumerian Demon known as "Fear", and dubbed the representation of "Sacrifice" due to his willingness to sacrifice anything and everything in the name of film.
In 2012, The Director was revealed to be a member of the Legions of Horror; a Strengoit along with Lady Luck.
Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood StorylineEdit
Paulo was hired by Universal Studios Hollywood to create the ultimate horror movie of all time. Before they allowed production to begin, Universal requested that Paulo submit a short film detailing his project to preview it for executives. However, when Universal viewed the graphic short film which contained real torture and death, they claimed Paulo's sick vision was too graphic for movie audiences. They then had the project cancelled for good, and banned Paulo from ever stepping foot into Universal Studios again. But Paulo did in fact, take up residence in an abandoned backlot set at the park, vowing to get revenge on Universal. Aware that Paulo was hiding on the backlot, Universal still allowed their annual Halloween event to run in 2006, but warned visitors that Paulo was incredibly dangerous.
The Director appeared at the event in Terror Tram: The Director's Cut, where he would take over the backlot tram tour, and subject the riders to horrifying, deadly situations within the various movie sets they toured.
The Director Web Series Edit
In 2004, a series of fan-produced short films began appearing on youtube featuring The Director character. The videos portrayed him as a combination of the Halloween Horror Nights Orlando and Hollywood versions.
The Director's videos had him hiding out on the backlot of Universal Studios, having been hired by Producer Bob Ferguson to make horror films for Universal Studios, but then subsequently fired by his would-be-mentor amidst rumors of snuff film activities. Paulo was barred from the studio, and his persona was stolen for use in their Halloween Horror Nights event, and The Director sought revenge by killing actors, security personnel, and eventually Bob Ferguson himself on the backlot, filming all the killings. He escaped capture and vanished soon after killing Ferguson.
Paulo would return several years later, making new videos, ranting about the sub-par state of Hollywood, and the horror genre, especially his disdain for remakes of classic horror films, even re-cutting a few of his old kills together as a protest to the remake trend. His final two videos featured Paulo hunting down a blogger who wrote about her suicidal tendencies, and after knocking her unconscious and tying her up, convinced her to allow him to take her life on camera.
Since then, rumors of this version of Paulo showing up at Universal's Halloween Horror Nights events have circulated, along with rumors of vanishing park guests during the event. Images of him attending the event and filming the horror have been found online, but no new videos have surfaced... Yet.
The series found a small cult following among the die-hard fans of Halloween Horror Nights Orlando, among the numbers of the HHNVault and Horror Nights Nightmares fan boards.
He wears a suit similar to that of The Caretaker, but without the top hat. His eyes look very creepy.
Appearances at Halloween Horror NightsEdit
During Halloween Horror Nights 13, The Director appeared in the show Infestation, where he tortured a park guest by having a poisonous insect or arachnid placed on their head. He also appeared in his own haunted house, All Nite Die-In, where he could be seen in the first scene of the maze standing beside a drive-in screen. The other sections of the house were based on his "cut" of four Horror films: Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
For Halloween Horror Nights: Sweet 16, the Director returned as one of the event icons. He was featured at the show The Arrival with fellow Horror icons Caretaker, Jack and Storyteller . He also appeared in the sequel to his 2003 house, All Nite Die-In: Take 2, where he presented a new "cut" of four more Horror features: The Ring, Hellraiser, Scream and The Silence of the Lambs.
For the online game of Horror Unearthed during Halloween Horror Nights 22, the Director is revealed to be a member of the Legions of Horror.
The Director was eventually revealed to be the first icon for Halloween Horror Nights Singapore. The look of the Director is a scar across his left eye, and they have called him Billy Skorrski, indicating that the Director from Singapore is likely a different character.
In 2015 in Orlando, the Director appeared along with his fellow icons at the Icons: HHN scarezone.
Interview with the Director Edit
By STEVE PERSALL, St. Petersburg Times Staff Writer
Published October 9, 2003
Paolo Ravinski is either a madman or a very good actor milking a juicy role for everything it's worth.
You don't know the name, but TV ads for Halloween Horror Nights 13 burn two things in your memory: a scratchy phonograph playing You Ought to Be in Pictures and Ravinski's gaze, with yellowed eyes peering through a camera lens as his victims - excuse me, actors - perform against their will.
Critics and law enforcement agencies call it snuff cinema. Ravinski prefers "art." He's allegedly an underground favorite in European circles darker than the ones under his eyes. The story goes that someone found his work - films with titles such as The Blood Letting and Death Procession - on the Internet and brought them to Universal Studios Orlando's attention.
Now Ravinski is the poster boy for Universal's annual monthlong Halloween bash. His specialty is Infestations, where volunteers surrender to Ravinski's art, at least as far as park regulations allow. Being subjected to snakes, rats and bugs is child's play compared to what Ravinski would like to do to tourists.
I met Ravinski in a screening room on Universal's back lot. He's a small man, tense and jittery, clutching his jacket, constantly squirming and stammering as disturbing thoughts are shaped into words. And that's after he says the screening room makes him feel comfortable.
"Normally I would be watching something, but they won't let me bring my films on property because of legal things," he says.
For 25 minutes we chatted about Ravinski's art, why he'll never go Hollywood, and celebrities he would love to cast in a film. Lunatic or thespian? Decide for yourself.
How did you begin making films?
"I picked up my father's camera when I was 8 years old. But I got in trouble because I was wasting film. I would shoot birds with a BB gun and when I'd see them fall out of the trees I would film them flittering and stuff. I'm self-taught in terms of knowing what I like. Then I went to Europe and found people who are into what I'm doing."
Any creative influences you can pinpoint?
"I like Civil War photographs. Those are just amazing, so long ago and they have pictures of the bodies. I like the old black and white Universal films. And I like the '70s films because they were very grainy and that made it seem real. I think some of that is coming back."
Like The Blair Witch Project?
"Blair Witch was supernatural. I'm not big into supernatural films. If you're not afraid of ghosts or witchcraft, then automatically the viewer is lost.
"But you're afraid when you're trapped, when there's power over you and you want to get away. That's real fear. I like the way they used the video camera in Blair Witch. It had that chaotic madness to it. But I don't like video either. That just looks like mom and pop shot it."
What is your style of handling actors?
"I just tell them what I want. I'm mostly about the visuals as long as they give me what I want. I just turn on the camera. I want to make sure the fear is real and precise. I've got to know what they're afraid of. A lot of people don't know what they're getting into sometimes. I've got to make sure they know this isn't a game."
Where do you draw the line?
"I don't draw a line but I have to watch what I say. If some situations like this put a line there, I can't cross it. I hope whenever it's my time I would be willing to turn that camera on myself. If it's boring, I would do to myself what I've done to my own actors to make sure it's good stuff. I wouldn't draw a line even if it pertained to me."
Describe a few of your films.
"They show clips in the commercial. I did Clowns Are Always Laughing on the Outside and Crying on the Inside, So Let's See. I wanted to make that clown cry and laugh at the same time and really get inside him. But I was only able to show a select part of that movie.
"I did the Rubber Ducky one where a guy is in a bathtub, trapped and you know something's going to happen. I'm not going to let you go. I've got something planned. It's not going to be like a joke like Candid Camera or something.
"I did one that I felt was about life and death. It was a man in his last days, a lonely guy. I know he didn't have any family. I was able to invite him to my apartment to spend his last days there.
"It was real. It was gritty. It was dirty. It wasn't like a Hollywood movie where they utter a final word or a last breath and their eyes close. In every movie they do that, and it's so untrue. I've seen it and that's not what it is."
You're looking agitated right now.
"I'm just getting ideas in my head. You're so close that I get frustrated."
Ever get a chance to meet your fans?
"I do have fans, but when I actually meet them, you may not hear from them again. It's like my secret club. Whenever somebody starts getting too close to me, I kind of put a stop to that. It's almost like I'm giving somebody a chance to be my new star. It's like life and death and rebirth and death."
Ingmar Bergman had the same idea. Why don't you try to work with the Hollywood system, try changing it from the inside?
"It's all about money in Hollywood. I can't do the stuff they want. I don't think the actors' union would appreciate some of the things I ask my actors to do.
"I would rather just go out into some poor undeveloped country or region where there's no questions asked, nobody behind my back. I can't do the Hollywood thing. I'm having a hard time doing this, sitting on my hands at Universal."
It could be worse. You could be working for Disney.
"I've never even seen a Disney movie. I've been told I should see Bambi. They told me the mom thing. But that's not real. The only thing I've seen on television is Fear Factor, but it was a lie."
Are there any Hollywood actors you would consider casting in your films?
"I would like to scare Ben Affleck and J-Lo. They're annoying. I would like to make them split for real. That's just Hollywood right there. I'd really like to get my hands on somebody who's Hollywood so I could put them in a position their agents and publicists would never want them in. I would love to put J-Lo in that clown thing. Oh, yeah, that would be good."
- Pain is temporary, but film is forever.
- They say that film is art. FILM IS NOT JUST ART! Film is power. Film is magic. But most of all, film is a weapon. - In the queue video for All Nite Die-In: Take 2.
- You'll never sleep again. - Taunting a park guest during Infestation.
- Welcome to Halloween Horror Nights...THIRTEEN! - During the opening night "scaremony" of Halloween Horror Nights 13.
- Nothing compares to real blood on film. It's the only way to really capture the emotion and fear of reality, in what the victim is feeling. It tells the story truthfully. This motivation is the key. My actors only get one take. It's a short take. - On an interview-like commercial for Halloween Horror Nights 13.
- I don't need any money. All I need is you. You and your cooperation.
- You oughtta be in pictures... Hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm.
- Well you might say that FEAR has given me budget for my latest film, aptly entitled "FEAR", and we are beginning a casting call beginning tonight throughout the month of October. Why don't you come on down? It's the ultimate dare to face YOUR fear!
- Who came up with reality TV? There's nothing real about it. It's all staged. It's all fake. Designed to appeal to a person's darker side. People say they want to watch real horror, real suffering, and they want to be terrified. But when you give it to them, they don't have the stomach for it. While I'll show them my reality. This October, Universal Studios Hollywood will get a taste of reality they won't soon forget. -During a Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood advertisement.
|Halloween Horror Nights 13|
|Characters: The Director (Event Icon)|
|Haunted Houses: All Nite Die-In • Funhouse of Fear • Jungle of Doom • Psycho Scareapy • Screamhouse: Revisited • Ship of Screams|
|Scarezones: Boo-Ville • Hide & Shrieeek! • Immortal Island • Night Prey • Port of Evil • Toxic City|
|Shows: Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure • Infestation|
|Halloween Horror Nights XIV|
|Characters: The Asylum Patient (Event Icon) • Eddie Schmidt • Jack the Clown • The Caretaker • The Director|
|Haunted Houses: Castle Vampyr • Deadtropolis • Disorientorium • Ghost Town • Horror Nights Nightmares • Hellgate Prison • Horror in Wax|
|Scarezones: Field of Screams • Fright Yard • Midway of the Bizarre • Point of Evil|
|Shows: Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure • The Festival of the Dead Parade|
|Halloween Horror Nights: Twenty Years of Fear|
|Characters: Fear (Event Icon) • Jack the Clown • The Caretaker • The Director • The Storyteller • The Usher • Cindy Caine • Eddie Schmidt • Chance|
|Haunted Houses: Legendary Truth: The Wyandot Estate • PsychoScareapy: Echoes of Shadybrook • Hades: The Gates of Ruin • ZombieGeddon • The Orfanage: Ashes to Ashes • Havoc: Dogs of War • Catacombs: Black Death Rising • Horror Nights: The Hallow'd Past|
|Scarezones: Esqueleto Muerte • The Coven • Saws N' Steam • Zombie Gras • Fear Revealed • HHN: 20 Years of Fear|
|Shows: Brian Brushwood: Menace and Malice • Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure|
|Halloween Horror Nights 2006|
|Characters: The Director (Event Icon)|
|Haunted Mazes: The Asylum • Universal's House of Horrors|
|Terror Tram: Terror Tram: The Director’s Cut|
|Scarezones: The Black Death • Dawn of the Dead • Deadwood • Old London • Studio Center|
|Shows: Carnival of Carnage • Chucky's Insult Emporium • Fear Factor Live: Dead Celebrity Edition • The Mutaytor • SlaughterWorld|
|Halloween Horror Nights I|
|Character: The Director (Event Icon)|
|Haunted Houses: Vengeance of the Matriarch • Pestilence|
|Scarezones: Carn-EVIL • Post-Apocalyptic Rage • The Void • The Edge of Darkness|
|Show: 44 Sins|