Synopsis: A campfire song awakens an evil monster, and now it’s up to nerdy Danny Zigwitz to save his fellow campers from a bloody massacre. Heads will rock’n'roll!
Is 'The Legend of Beaver Dam' based on a true story or is it an urban myth?
Jerome: We thought that when we would do a film, it would have to absolutely be a true story and in our research we wanted to get every detail correct, including the treble clef, the bass clef and all of the four parts of the harmony. So, it is a hundred percent note perfect.
Eli: The actual story also took place within about 12 minutes. And we tried to stay true to the running time of the story.
Jerome: A 12-minute massacre.
What inspired you to make it into a short film?
Jerome: Well, we feel that the attention span of the modern audience has been greatly reduced over time...and we better adapt. This is actually what we consider a feature film.
Eli: Yep. We just had to think six times quicker than the audience. This is actually a 72 - minute film.
The young cast is wonderful. They connect to the text when singing with such conviction. How did you cast the film?
Jerome: As far as their conviction is concerned, what you don't see is the first A.D., who by the way was Stumpy Sam - we had to save money - wielding a knife just inches from the children’s throats. That explains the conviction.
Eli: They were acting and singing for their lives basically. A performance of a lifetime.
Jerome: As far as the sound of their voices, yes, they were trained. They are musical theatre prodigies actually.
Eli: We did actually work with an excellent casting director, Laura Adler, who's worked on some shows in LA and she was able to find us some highly qualified mini-adults who were able to sing for us:
Is it really the Mini-Adults singing the songs?
Eli: Yes. They are all in their mid-thirties.
This film was in Sundance and Berlin. Two Festivals that audiences recognize around the world for feature films. What's it like to have a short at these Festivals? And can you compare the two?
Jerome: We had different experiences at both. At Sundance, we were playing before a feature film. We were playing in the Park City Midnight screening, which allowed us to present our short to a 'Feature Audience" so to speak. So we were reaching a new audience that hadn't heard of us.
In Berlin we were in a shorts program, so people came to specifically see short films and that was good too. In Berlin most of the audience were German - they don't do subtitles many people speak English anyhow - but still they miss some of the subtle jokes or subtle references in dialogue.
What advice do you have for someone who is about to make there first short film?
Jerome: This only applies to a narrative short film, but story is the most important in my opinion. When you are getting ready to make a short film and you want to determine whether your story is interesting, try it out by pitching it to your friends. And if you stop right before the climax and you wait for a reaction and then your friends say 'and then what happened?" you may have something interesting. But if they say nothing, you may have a problem. An uninteresting story. The first thing to look at is the script.
Eli: I totally agree with Jerome. I would add that in the production of the film it is very important to surround yourself with the right creative team, designers who understand your vision and go beyond it by providing their own input and expertise on how to achieve it in ways you couldn’t have possibly imagined on your own. We owe a great deal of Beaver Dam’s success to date to the creativity of our creative team.
What is next for you both?
Jerome: We’re working on a feature film which is also a musical. It’s called Stage Fright. We've been working on this a while and we are excited by it. It’s inspired by Beaver Dam but has different characters and a different story altogether. What happens when a musical theatre camp full of people who love musical theatre have to deal with a serial killer who hates musical theatre one summer?
That's very good...It should be about 12 minutes long right?