Bruce Harrison Smith, producer and screenwriter of The Fields, wrote and asked for my help in getting thousands of “we want to see this!” petition signatures that might persuade a distributor to cut a theatrical deal. An M. Night Shyamalan-type suspenser, The Fields is based on Smith’s real-life experience as a kid back in ’73.

Pic costars Cloris Leachman and Tara Reid. Smith wants to see play the midnight section at Sundance 2011. The trailer is obviously M. Night-ish. It tells you that the directors, Tom Mattera and David Mazzoni, are (a) into old-fashioned tracking shots and (b) are willing to let the camera just absorb the anticipation and the stillness.

The Fields “was shot last year from 9.15 to 10.27,” Smith informs. “It completed post two months ago. It’s not specifically a horror film as much as a suspense thriller based on what happened to me as a boy on my grandparent’s farm in the fall of 1973.” The press notes describe it as being about “a young boy and his family terrorized by an unseen presence emanating from the miles of corn fields surrounding their small farm.”

Smith said he’s looking for a million signatures, and I said “why so many? I would think 100,000 would suffice.” He replied that “in speaking with Ryan Buell of Paranormal State on his visit to the set, he felt 1 million was a target number as he had some involvement with Paranormal Activity‘s promotion.

“At the present time we have been courted by Indican distribution and have a number of sales agents including Shoreline, Showcase and Spotlight. We were accepted to the Hollywood Film Festival but feel we have a strong shot at Sundance.”

The slightly Elmer Fuddish-looking guy with the big gray beard in the second video is Smith’s uncle, Harrison “JR” Kline, Jr., who’s the actual son of the real Gladys whom Leachman portrays. “I am another Harrison also named after my grandfather,” Smith explains. “I am the screenwriter and not featured in any of the videos.”