What's black and white and red all over?
The Capital's old building filled with vampires.
The newspaper's former headquarters off outer West Street in Annapolis are being leased by a local company making an independent horror-comedy film, "The Night Watchmen."
The plot revolves around three hapless security guards who are forced into fighting vampires after-hours at a weekly tabloid newspaper. Think "Shaun of the Dead," but no zombies.
One of the film's tag lines is: "Some men are born heroes, it wasn't these guys."
The events aren't based on anything that actually happened at The Capital. Really.
The production company, which has the same name as the movie, will shoot the film over six weeks this winter. The building has been vacant since September.
"It's been fun," said Ken Arnold, who is one of the actors and a producer. "It's like a dream project for us."
But really, isn't it all about the killing?
"For the most part — and making people laugh," Arnold said.
Another tag line is: "Let's go kill some dead things."
Arnold and the other watchmen — Dan DeLuca and Kevin Jiggetts — are all movie veterans and friends.
The cast and crew have worked on television shows and films such as "The Wire," "Veep," "Face/Off," "The Blair Witch Project," "House of Cards" and "Better Living Through Chemistry."
Arnold, who lives in Annapolis, was involved with the previous incarnation of the Annapolis Film Festival. DeLuca and Jiggetts live in Virginia.
The idea for the film came about four years ago after a phone call between Arnold and DeLuca. DeLuca wrote the initial script, and honed it with a co-writer.
In the interim, the actors worked on other projects, and those involved with "Watchmen" started gathering funds. They had a Kickstarter campaign to make a trailer, which was shot in November 2013.
The producers — Arnold, DeLuca and Arnold's sister-in-law Demetrea Triantafillides — are hoping for a limited theater run for the film when it's finished this fall, and maybe the chance to hit some festivals, too.
The budget for the flick is somewhere over $100,000 and less than a million, they say. "Most of our budget is going into blood," DeLuca said. "There's a lot of carnage."
The producers aren't saying how much they're paying to lease the old newspaper building, which still has all the desks and the printing press.
They plan on using the newsroom area for production offices and shooting footage mainly in the basement.
The female lead still hasn't been cast, and the script may get a tweak or two, so other areas of the building could come into play, too.
The producers pitched using the newspaper building almost as soon as they found out it was available. The movie was originally set in generic warehouse.
The film's trailer, which appears to be set in the basement of the paper, was made at Fort Ritchie, near the Pennsylvania line.
That was too far to go for the entire movie shoot, and a Baltimore broom factory Arnold had in mind was renovated and occupied.
The Capital turned out to be a capital idea.
"Everything's in it," Triantafillides said. "To build a set like this would cost a fortune."
Media blogger Jim Romenesko said in an email that he didn't know of any other former newspaper buildings being used for a horror film. Some have been torn down, others repurposed, he and others said. The Boston Herald's former headquarters became a Whole Foods Market, Romenesko said.
The ultimate fate of the old Capital building isn't clear. The newspaper staff moved out of the building after the paper was purchased by the Baltimore Sun Media Group from Landmark Media Enterprises. The building was not included in the sale. There's been talk of the city of Annapolis buying it for offices.
But there is a precedent for monsters at the paper. No wisecracks, please.
Another horror movie, "Maxim Xul," was filmed at that location. Released in 1991, it stars Adam West and is about a demon on the loose.
What is it about that building?
The Capital's new offices on Bestgate Road are smaller but more modern.
And there's one other perk: no vampires or demons of any kind — so far.
If you're dying to become an extra
Check the movie's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/TNWMovie for announcements and how to contact the production company.
To watch a trailer for the film