Tonight, Erik Kristopher Myers (ekm) is talking about the roots of the found footage subgenre, its evolution, its contribution to the cinema, and its effects on society. Myers is a writer and filmmaker. His film Roulette (2013) won numerous festival trophies and his latest feature Butterfly Kisses (2018) shot to the top of the Amazon charts for New Release Fantasy, scoring rave reviews. Myers has also won numerous awards for screenwriting and editing, and among others, he has been a producer for XM Satellite Radio, a reporter for WTOP News, and film critic for The Dagger and Ain’t it Cool News.
A filmmaker puts together a bunch of old tapes he found in a basement that belonged to two students and does a documentary on them and their research on an urban legend called Peeping Tom.
Erik Kristopher Myers writes, directs, and takes to the next level a “found footage” horror on a story that we have watched before but he is doing it his way. As the late Wes Craven did in 1996 with “Scream”, Myers puts under the microscope and questions the cinematic taboos that regulate the subgenre:
- Using handheld shots, he avoids and criticises the nauseous shaky camera.
- He shows an understanding and endorses the public’s reaction towards something they don’t understand doing what Doubting Thomas did in the Bible.
- He, somehow, manages to market his film on IMDb as documentary/horror with certain characters portraying allegedly themselves.
- He adds extra layers and depth by jumping onboard himself making a film on a documentary that researches a documentary on a student project (very “Inception”).
- Last but not least, among others, he interviews Matt Lake and Eduardo Sanchez; author of Weird Maryland and writer/director of Blair Witch Project respectively, deconstructing the “found footage” and urban legends.
Don’t try straight away to focus on or attack its originality. Romantic comedies (which I find appalling) are all more or less the same but people watch them. “Slasher” horrors have been out there for a lot more decades than the “found footage” ones yet people still watch them. And still “alien” films dominate the sci-fi genre. Anyway, you get the gist.
Is “Butterfly Kisses” flawless? Definitely not. Has Myers utilised his nano-budget the best possible way? Definitely yes. Also, “Blink Man” doesn’t make it to the level of other urban legends such as “Candyman”, “Boogeyman” or “Babadook” for example. All three of them got a decent budget and distribution and we can only hope that Myers started something that will get noticed by the right people who will hire him to scare the s%!% out of us in the future.
Orson Wells (on the radio), Dean Alioto, Eduardo Sanchez, Oren Peli… all of them have offered and contributed to the “found footage” horror their way. Erik Kristopher Myers takes the torch now and, I for one, look forward to watching his next film.
P.S. Panasonic DVX 100 was also the camera I was using in 2005 as a cameraman.
You can find it here: https://amzn.to/2QpJcTt