Lake Michigan Monster is one of the most surreal movies AIPT has covered this year. Absurd and downright silly, the movie is a fun watch from beginning to end. It seems destined to find a cult audience. It only makes sense that an interview with someone from the movie would be unlike any other one. Below is the unedited interview.
AIPT: How would you describe Lake Michigan Monster?
A spooky, micro-budget creature feature comedy whose very existence has left scientists baffled.
AIPT: What was the inspiration behind or what drew you to the movie?
I was sitting on Wine Rock along the shores of Lake Michigan listening to pirate metal with Erick West (Sean Shaughnessy). It was raining and we were smoking Djarum Black Clove Cigarettes and drinking $3 sweet red wine. I turned to my companion and said, “What if a mermaid washed up on shore and we were the only ones around to see it?”
AIPT: There is a sense of fun throughout the entire movie? Which part did you enjoy doing the most?
Shooting on the beach with my crew mates. We were all on crazy Captain Ryland’s movie voyage together, hellbent on slaying our own Moby Dick: the feature film.
AIPT: Lake Michigan Monster seems perfect for the episodic format. What made you decide to make it a feature?
Men are remembered by the features they make.
AIPT: The story has a silly goofy vibe to it. Were you ever worried about losing the audience?
No, because script-wise we end every scene with a question mark. Dear God! What’s going to happen next!? Editing-wise, Magic Mike Cheslik kept us at a brisk pace, never wanting a lull in the action.
AIPT: What do you want audiences to take out of the movie?
I want them to take in a six pack and take out their empties.
AIPT: The visual style works perfectly for Lake Michigan Monster? Why did you choose to go this route?
Necessity. All we had was an old barnacle-ridden camera and our wits. And then of course once Magic Mike got involved, we really wanted to make this thing look like it was dug up out of the Earth. The reason was simply to stand out from the other 6 billion movies made every year.
AIPT: There are a lot of jokes that seem spur of the moment. How scripted was Lake Michigan Monster? (This is not an insult. I found the dialogue to be very natural.)
Nothing was scripted. This is a documentary about a real life sea monster in Lake Michigan.
AIPT: What projects are you currently working on?
The new picture is a supernatural, no dialogue, physical comedy set during the height of America’s fur trade. The name of the movie is Hundreds of Beavers.