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Small Town Monsters uncovering a lot in 2023


Small Town Monsters uncovering a lot in 2023

An interview with Seth Breedlove about the current Kickstarter!

Never a company to rest on their laurels, Small Town Monsters is going to be busier than usual in 2023. This year marks their ninth straight Kickstarter, and the campaign page lists their cryptid-seeking goals for the next 12 months. From their usual investigative output to releases on the publishing side, Small Town Monsters has a lot to offer audiences. We spoke with STM founder Seth Breedlove about the future and the past.

AIPT: This is gearing up to be the biggest year yet for Small Town Monsters. What are your plans for 2023? 

Seth Breedlove: For 2023, we are really prioritizing the film side of things again. Last year the big focus shifted to growing our YouTube channel and creating an outlet there for other creators like Aleksandar Petakov and Eli Watson. Now that the YT stuff has settled into its own, I’ve really tried to shift back into film mode and focus on the present and future of what we’re doing with our feature-length docs. 

This year’s slate is comprised of two On the Trail of Bigfoot titles, Land of the Missing and The Origin. Then we have two werewolf/dogman-centric titles in American Werewolves 2 and The Dogman Triangle. The Dogman Triangle is really an interesting project to me because, we’re also publishing a book that ties heavily into the film.  

Finally, I’m co-directing a film with Eli Watson all about the Chupacabra that is only available, initially, to our Kickstarter backers.  

We’ve still got Beyond the Trail coming out monthly on YouTube, along with Mysteries and Monsters and a new season of Sasquatch Unearthed. Plus lining up future titles for the book publishing line.  

Small Town Monsters Bigfoot Land of the Missing

AIPT: You have investigated cryptids as varied as regional fare like the Jersey Devil to more well-known ones like Bigfoot. How do you decide what you are going to cover? 

SB: I really don’t pick the topics we cover based on the titular monster. I tend to try to find the human connection in these stories, and then that’s what will pull me to a project. If there’s a really cool cryptid that has no interesting human story at its heart for me to latch onto, then I usually put it on the back burner until we can turn one up. Occasionally, I’ll just be drawn to a story due to the location where it’s set, as well. That’s how we ended up with two On the Trail of Bigfoot films set in Alaska.  

AIPT: When I was younger, it seemed like people were more open to stories about urban legends or UFOs. Then, there was a long period where it seemed like everyone was trying to debunk everything. It seems things have come full circle and audiences are more willing to listen again. Have you noticed the same thing? If so, why do you think that is? 

SB: I think UFOs are a completely separate topic at this point from stuff like Bigfoot or Dogman, because we basically have proof UFOs actually exist. They’re there, we just don’t know what or who they are. Most cryptids are wildly different because we have no proof they exist. We have evidence for some of them in the form of foot casts or blurry photos or eyewitness stories, but it’s still just down to whether you put any stock in that stuff.  

The cottage industry of cryptozoology will continue to remain popular because it’s almost to prove or fully disprove any of it. I definitely have noticed a more open-minded approach to these topics in the mainstream, but for the most part, subjects like Bigfoot or lake monsters are still ridiculed. Which is understandable. After all, we don’t have that proof.  

However, I think to mock or ridicule these topics (or even just trying to debunk every one that comes along) sort of misses the point of why we’re so fascinated by them to begin with. It’s the storytelling aspect of them, or the human heart, that brings us back to this stuff. 

AIPT: You have mentioned you thought The Mark of the Bell With was your best movie from a storytelling standpoint. Will you be doing more movies in this style? 

SB: Probably. I do know we are shelving the blending of genres that we’ve attempted with titles like MOMO and last year’s Jersey Devil. But Mark of the Bell Witch was, at its core, just a documentary that had a massive amount of narrative moments. I still believe that is our best film, by the way. 

AIPT: Last summer, Small Town Monsters starting publishing books. This year also marks the first time the publishing arm will be a part of your Kickstarter. What does the future hold for the publishing portion of STM? 

SB: I want to take our time and very carefully curate what we’re publishing. Our ultimate goal is to help create an audience for incredible authors who might become overlooked otherwise. After all, the cryptid sub-genre is overflowing these days. We plan to publish one or two books per year, and just see where the wind blows as far as the publishing arm is concerned. We are extremely excited about Aaron Deeses’ upcoming Texas Dogman Triangle book, and how we were able to tie one of our films to that project. That approach could help with creating a blueprint for future book publishing efforts. 

AIPT: Small Town Monsters is expanding its scope every year. Do you eventually want to cover cryptids from other countries? 

Breedlove: Well, this year we’re making Cryptid: The Chupacabra which will certainly delve into the Puerto Rican origins of that creature. On the Trail of Bigfoot: The Origin will explore the Sasquatch legends of British Columbia. I know Aleksandar Petakov has an interesting cryptid from South Africa that he’s also looking to document at some point. So yes … we are definitely going international here fairly soon. 

Small Town Monsters Chupacabra

AIPT: What is the one subject you would like to cover but have not had a chance to get around to yet? 

SB: I’d love to delve into the Loch Ness/lake monster lore more. I have yet to actually find a project that I could cover on this topic yet, although we did produce Aleksandar’s Lake Champlain film. Lake monsters would be something I would greatly enjoy getting into at some point. 

Until March 4, you can contribute to the 2023 Small Town Monsters Kickstarter, with additional rewards for early releases, posters, your name in the credits, and more!

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