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An Interview with Pete and Paul Guzzo, Creators of Who Is Delsin

by Mike Haberfelner

August 2013

Paul Guzzo on (re)Search my Trash

Pete Guzzo on (re)Search my Trash


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Your movie Who is Delsin? - in a few words, what is it about?


Who is Delsin? is about a war reporter who was captured by insurgents during the first Gulf War and swears he was rescued by a real life super hero, a man who could deflect bullets. The US government claims he is crazy, that the military saved him. So the reporter goes on a crusade to prove he is not crazy, that a mythological being does exist.

However, that is the plot. The underlying theme of the film is to explore the possibility that things exist that we cannot explain AND to explore whether or not eternal life would be a gift or a curse.


The film's whole superhero background - is the comicbook world at all something you can personally relate to? Likewise, where did the whole pseudomythological and conspiracy theory influences stem from?


We originally wrote a real action science fiction film about a man known as Delsin who can live forever; exploring what a man would be capable of with such a power. But there was no chance it was ever going to be made. No way we could have raised that type of money. It was a Lord of the Rings-type movie.

So a few months after we wrote it and laughed at ourselves for spending time on a project that would never be made, we joined a team in the 48 Hour Film Fest. We drew mockumentary as our genre and we decided to craft a film around a reporter interviewing a man who could live forever and the curse he thought it was. You can watch it here:

The film turned out great, especially for a 48 Hour project, and inspired us to turn it into a feature, using some of the story Delsin character from my previous script.


(Other) sources of inspirations when writing Who is Delsin?


The original Matrix. The plot for the original billion dollar movie was inspired by The Matrix – how that film challenged us to take a look at what we think is real. We wanted to write a film that rewrote the story of creation, which is what a part of Who is Delsin? does. We are sure some people will be pissed at that, but whatever … not our concern.


What made you pick the documentary approach for your movie - and your thoughts about the "mockumentary" and found footage subgenre as such?


Well, we explained the “mockumentary” reason earlier – inspired by a chance genre pull in the 48 Hour Film Fest. We then decided on our particular format of mixing found footage and standard documentary because we are big fans of shows like Ancient Aliens. We wanted to create our own Ancient Aliens. We wanted to create our own Bigfoot. But we also love found footage films, so we combined the two.

We think what sets our film apart is that it is obvious the film is not real, yet we try to blur the lines between reality and fantasy anyway. We want you to believe that perhaps this could happen. To do so, we don’t make up history, but simply tweak it. From the cave drawings that are found to the Egyptian myths to the Biblical stories, these are all real events or tales that we took and then tweaked every so slightly so that we could fit our character, Mon Protecteur/Delsin, into them.


Do talk about your interviewees for a bit, and how easy/hard was it to line them up - and to what extent were their lines scripted/ad-libbed?


We learned one lesson – a good script and simply asking the celebrities to do the film can work out.

As for the lines, we simply sent them a one-page summary of their story and bolded key facts they had to hit and had them make it their own.


What can you tell us about your key cast, and why exactly these people?


Gregg Hale: Just in case people tried to say we “ripped” The Blair Witch Project, we figured getting the producer of that film in our film was a nod of approval. We don’t think we are similar to The Blair Witch Project outside of genre, but wanted to make sure we covered our asses just in case.

Lloyd Kaufman: He created the Toxic Avenger! It was just a case of us being big fans and wanting him in it.

Steven Bauer: We wanted a Latin actor to pretend that in real life he was offered the role of Mon Protecteur to add validity to the reality of the film.

Joe Gannascoli: Joe is highly underrated when it comes to his importance in pop culture history. His Sopranos-character set the wheels in motion for the end of that series – the family war. So if you are trying to create a new pop culture icon, it seemed fitting to include a pop culture icon.


Do talk about your actual shoot and the on-set atmorphere for a bit?


The actual production was nothing like any other film we have produced. We wanted an authentic documentary feel, so we shot it just as if we were shooting a doc. All of our interviews were shot on separate days on separate sets and even in numerous states to ensure the film never had a staged feeling. We shot around 20 interviews within a year time period.


All of the found footage scenes were shot using Go Pros or the 5D with a wide angle lens keeping the image sharp as if they were consumer brand cameras; which they are.


We allowed Ricky and Emilio to improv most of their scenes utilizing their characters and the history of the character Delsin as their guides. A different approach that worked out in our favor. No conversations were completely scripted allowing the actors to have genuine reactions to each other.


What can you tell us about critical and audience reception of your movie so far?


We get a kick out of when people think it is real, especially people in Tampa, since we claim the massing murder took place in Tampa! At one viewing we even had a longtime reporter ask us how he missed that story considering he covers the news.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


Feeling lucky ?
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We are working on some new documentaries that we plan on shooting by the end of the year.


What got you into filmmaking to begin with, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?


We actually started out at public access shooting short skits and a live television show. That was 14 years ago and we have never stopped since. We wouldn't know what do with ourselves if we were not constantly creating.


I've read somewhere that one of you is a licensed blimp pilot, the other a bocce ball champion. You of course have to talk about those talents of yours for a bit!


Ha! You've been on our IMDb-pages … we used to like to produce comedies when we were younger, so had a little fun with out IMDb-pages back then! Pete has won local tournaments, but that is it. And no, no blimp pilot in the family! 


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
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Thanks for watching !!!



On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


Bauliche Angelegenheiten
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Michael Haberfelner


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