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An Interview with Seth Breedlove, Director of On the Trail of Bigfoot

by Mike Haberfelner

May 2019

Films directed by Seth Breedlove on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new series On the Trail of Bigfoot - in a few words, what is it about?

 

On the Trail of Bigfoot is a concise look at the entire history of the Bigfoot subject as well as an in-depth investigation into the phenomenon.

 

On the Trail of Bigfoot incidently isn't the first documentary of yours that tackles Bigfoot - so what makes you return to the topic time and again, and what's your distinct spin on the topic this time around?

 

I think what sets it apart is the fact that all Small Town Monsters films are centered around one small town or geographical region and we cover that area's monster case without really delving too deep into the phenomenon that case is a part of. For instance, Boggy Creek Monster is a documentary about the monster itself, the sightings of the creature and how they’ve affected the town of Fouke, Arkansas, but it doesn’t go into where that case is placed within the larger scope of the Bigfoot subject.On the Trail of Bigfoot not only takes a look at some of these cases but places them within that wider framework of the history of “Squatchdom”. 

 

It’s also the first of our projects that I’ve appeared in. Also, part of what sets the On the Trail of… series apart from our films is the fact that we actually go out into the forests (or Lake Champlain in the case of the first On the Trail ... of miniseries) and take part in, and document ongoing searches.

 

What can you tell us about your research for On the Trail of Bigfoot prior to filming?

 

Honestly, most of the research was just knowledge of the subject that I’d acquired in the… 12ish years that I’ve been into this. I got into all of this through historical newspaper accounts of large apes and much of that work is on display in the first episode.

 

Do talk about the interviewees in your series for a bit, and how did you find them even?

 

Well, I knew going into this project that a lot of the people I was going to interview weren’t television personalities or celebrities. I just wanted to have people on camera who are genuine in their fascination with the subject and who know what they’re talking about while also being a good representative for all the various types of researchers and investigators out there. Obviously, most people who are into Bigfoot know Loren Coleman, but some folks like Marc Myrsell not so much. Marc is actually a great example of someone who’s really knowledgable about his one specific area of research who doesn’t get a lot of screen-time in mainstream shows or films about the subject.

 

With some of your interviewees, you've also been on (in lack of a better term) Bigfoot-hunts - so could you at all describe those experiences?

 

Yeah, I was a part of 3 different “expeditions” during the filming of the series; one in southern Ohio, another in Western Pennsylvania and probably the most intensive was in Southeastern Oklahoma. They were all dramatically different from each other but each one helped illustrate a specific approach to the actual search for Bigfoot. In the case of the Ohio investigation, the guys that took us out in the woods are really just looking for some sort of interaction with what they perceive as Bigfoot while the Oklahoma group is actively in one area of the Ouachita Mountains for months on end and they’re in there to prove scientifically that the creature exists.

 

Given that in On the Trail of Bigfoot, you didn't find any evidence for (or against) the existence of Bigfoot, do you believe in the existence of the creature at all, and how has making your series changed your perception on the whole subject?

 

I’d argue that there was evidence in favor of the creature’s existence all around us. People are finding footprints in the forests made by something large that can walk upright that occasionally defies the “hoax” explanation. People are recounting seeing things that shouldn’t exist behind their own homes as well as the more densely forested area of the US. Obviously, eyewitness accounts always have to be taken with a grain of salt but there are thousands of those reports, and if we write off 99 percent as hoax or misidentification you’re still left with hundreds that seem to point toward the existence of such a creature.

 

At the same time, why don’t we have a body? Why don’t we have a clear modern-day photo? I have all the same skeptical questions as anyone else who applies some critical thinking to this subject. 

 

My perception of the subject definitely has shifted. I’m much more open to the possibility that these things exist than I was coming into this project. I also have a greater love for the outdoors and the wild lands of North America which is probably the biggest takeaway from the entire endeavor for me. A bigger appreciation for what we do know exists than for what we’re still trying find.

 

Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of On the Trail of Bigfoot, and did the series make any waves in the "Bigfoot-community"?

 

The series is the most successful launch we’ve had since our film The Mothman of Point Pleasant. It was in the top 20 best-selling new releases on Amazon for 4 weeks straight (climbing as high as number 11 at one point) and it was the best selling new release title in the Horror and Documentary genres on Amazon multiple times during the last five weeks. The Bigfoot community seems to be enjoying it, with a lot of discussion being raised by episode 5 between the “no-kill” and “pro-kill” Bigfooters. I honestly just hope that people watch this series and have a new perspective on the subject. If that’s the case then the entire thing is a win to me.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

We actually just wrapped post production on our eighth feature, Terror in the Skies, and we start shooting our ninth this Friday titled Momo: The Missouri Monster. Terror in the Skies is a look at the winged monster sightings around the state of Illinois starting with Thunderbirds and ending with the Chicago Mothman. Momo is a loving tribute to 70s drive-in Sasquatch horror movies like Creature from Black Lake and Legend of Boggy Creek. Past that, we start shooting The Mothman Legacy later this year followed by The Mark of the Bell Witch.

 

What got you into filmmaking, and into documentary filmmaking at that, in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?

 

I guess my mom must be to blame for my love of film. She got me hooked on Hammer Horror and Ray Harryhausen movies at a young age and that love of something like Harryhausen, especially, was what opened my eyes to filmmaking as a craft. I wanted to make movies as a kid but it took years to get to the point where I actually did it and now that I’m doing it I probably draw, subconsciously, on a lot of the things I learned from reading books about making movies growing up. I never received any formal training, outside of watching a lot of Film Riot and Indie Mogul on YouTube and taking some online classes in stuff like lighting and audio.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to On the Trail of Bigfoot?

 

We started making movies in 2014 with Minerva Monster, which was a local Bigfoot case here in Ohio. I think our total budget was maybe around $500? Something like that. Anyway, that movie took off and ended up making some money so we took that money and put it into making another movie called Beast of Whitehall that has gone on to become one of our best-received docs. We did Boggy Creek Monster in 2016 followed by The Mothman of Point Pleasant and Invasion on Chestnut Ridge in 2017, followed by The Flatwoods Monster, On the Trail of Champ and The Bray Road Beast last year. We crowdfund everything at the start of the year and that’s actually been really fun to watch grow over our five campaigns. The first campaign raised around 6000 and our most recent closed at just over 56k.

 

Our biggest objective continues to be growing the quality of what we’re putting out so that when it’s all done you can look back and just see the through-line of our growth as filmmakers. I think that will be pretty evident watching something like Minerva Monster and then watching Terror in the Skies. It’s night and day.

 

Even besides your Bigfoot-documentaries, you quite often tackle cryptozoological topics in your movies - so why is that, and what do you find fascinating about the whole subject to begin with?

 

Yeah, well, I got into the paranormal and cryptozoology with no intention of making movies about it. I just thought the subjects were fascinating and fun; even if I didn’t believe in the factual reality of a lot of the phenomena I was reading or learning about I found the stories so fascinating. Which I think just boils down to a love of the unknown in all its facets and forms.

 

Filmmakers who inspire you?

 

Love this question. I mentioned Harryhausen and he was definitely the first but I love the work of David Lean and Alfred Hitchcock. I’m a huge fan of Cameron Crowe and Spielberg. Billy Wilder is a favorite. Richard Linklater, Kevin Smith, and Soderbergh were all guys who taught me a lot about filmmaking through behind the scenes extras on DVDs. Stupid as that may sound. I love Ridley Scott. I could go on. I probably shouldn’t.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

Casablanca is my favorite film, period. But I love Psycho and Vertigo, Lawrence of Arabia, Rushmore, Dazed & Confused, Touch of Evil, Double Indemnity… there’s a lot. Within the genre I make my living now, I’m a big fan of Charles Pierce who directed The Legend of Boggy Creek and The Town that Dreaded Sundown, and I watch a lot of old 70s Bigfoot horror movies; I adore Creature from Black Lake.

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

I’m over the Marvel movies. Probably over most gore-porn horror too. This is a total cop-out but as a filmmaker, I find it hard to really hate anyone else’s work. Getting a movie finished is, in itself, a minor miracle so even if I don’t care for something I understand a lot of time and effort and even love went into the worst stuff imaginable.

 

Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

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Smalltownmonsters.com and Onthetrailof.tv are the best places to find us. We’re on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and I co-host a Small Town Monsters podcast called Monsteropolis that delves into a lot of weird subjects.

 

Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

Not really. Next year is the five year anniversary of Small Town Monsters so we have a ton of cool stuff planned for next year’s Kickstarter. Stay tuned for that.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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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