SEARCHING FOR HAIZMANN is about a group of young people shooting a documentary about HAIZMANN, an artist who supposedly sold his soul to the devil in 1600's. They interview experts, including a monk and a psychiatrist and come across some strange goings on, like a party of devil worshippers. As they delve deeper into the truth about the artist, the more they endanger their own lives…and souls.
I had a chance to talk to co-director Ron Meyer and ask him a few questions about the faux documentary.
Q: Tell buried.com a bit about yourself, your background and why you made a horror movie.
RON: I come out of public TV and then distribution. This is my third feature. Scott's background is in acting out of New York.
Q: HAIZMANN is about the making of a fake documentary on the search for Haizmann. How much was the script influenced by today's reality shows and, of course, BLAIR WITCH.
RON: When I was producing in the public TV system in the 80s the verite style of documentary became popular. Find a real life situation, set a goal for the participants and then follow them to see if they reach it. It was reality TV before reality TV. Haizmann is patterned after that style of documentary. Blair Witch was a fake home move.
Q: What got you interested in the story of Haizmann to begin with?
RON: The Haizmann story was told to me 20 years ago by a real priest- He said it would make a good movie and people should know about him. I was surprised to learn that Haizmann was a real historical figure that made a pack with the devil to be his son on earth-the anti Christ.
Q: How did you and Scott deal with co-directing?
RON: We worked out what we were going to do in pre-production. During the shoot Scott directed the actors and I did the rest, except in the scenes he was acting in.
Q: The movie looks like it was shot on a mixture of film and also video. What formats was the movie shot on?
RON: 16mm and Mini-dv
Q: Talk about your 3 lead actors.
RON: Luke is from Boulder and we had worked with him on a book to film adaptation: "The DOG ATE MY HOME WORK" He had a major role in the PLANT OF THE APES remake after that. Colomobe was child star: MIGHTY DUCKS goalie. WE found her and Jennie at our audition in L.A. They were all fun to work with. We rehearsed the hell out of everything, since we needed to fly once shooting begin
Q: What impressed me is that there are some name actors in the movie. How did you go about getting Tippi Hedren, Clint Howard, Stephen Furst, Erick Avari.
RON: They and their agents like the script and they could tell we knew what we were doing. Plus, the roles allowed them to grow as actors
Q: Did anything strange happen during the shoot?
RON: Oddly, no. Things just fell into place as if the movie was supposed to happen. Not the usual experience.
Q: What has the response been so far to Haizmann?
RON: It did very well at the Calgary horror film festival. The distributors that have seen it, the lower end ones, recognize that it is not the usual horror film. They want a lot of dead people and a monster. So we are hoping one of the big boys will see the potential.
Q: What are your future projects?
RON: We're working on a new script based on some of the more bizarre happenings at the quantum level.