Director Michael Chaves’ short horror film, The Maiden, premieres today on popular genre site The eight-minute film – which will be live on on April 19 – follows a real estate agent who will stop at nothing to close the sale on a demonic mansion.

Chaves – a commercial director at One at Optimus, the production arm of the post house Optimus – has worked with clients such as Sony, AT&T, Ford, Vodafone, Miller Light, and Disney. He came up with the idea several years ago after the real estate bust. “I was fascinated by the crash and how corrupt it was,” he said. “I’ve always loved haunted house stories, but I wanted some kind of a twist. I started wondering ‘what happens before the young family moves in? As a real estate agent, how could you sell something like that?’”

The film was shot on location in Los Angeles at the famous Beckett Mansion. Chaves added, “The great thing about horror is it’s entirely different from the majority of advertising. It’s a chance to flex all these different creative muscles. Also real muscles, because we had a very small crew.”

Director of Photography Tristan Nyby comments, “We wanted to anchor it in reality, so we shot primarily with natural light. Especially for a thriller/horror, the power is in believing this is real. The house had such an amazing structure that it shaped the light really beautifully.”

Chaves has been developing a feature treatment of The Maiden. “I love the idea of this house as a character; its relationship, and then the eventual supernatural showdown with a real estate agent. It’s like a supernatural Jaws.”

View the film at On April 19, it also will be live at

Partial credits follow:

Writer and Director: Michael Chaves
Director of Photography: Tristan Nyby
Line Producer: Lynda Pribyl
Art Director: Kyle Kinsella
Editor: Julie Kravitz Gannon

Full credits, including cast, are available at

About Optimus
Optimus is a leading production and post-production house with offices in Chicago, Santa Monica and New York.  A true one-stop shop, Optimus and its production arm One at Optimus offer a full suite of creative services, including production, editing, color correction, visual effects and design, audio mixing and finishing. For more information, please visit and Connect with us on Facebook at and