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Eduardo Sanchez’s Childhood Bigfoot Comes to Life

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on June 27th, 2014

exists

‘Blair Witch’ director’s childhood Bigfoot comes to life on the big screen

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After a lifetime of fascination with Bigfoot, director Eduardo Sanchez recently brought the creature to life in his latest film, “Exists,” but he prefers to keep Bigfoot encounters within his imagination. A meeting with Bigfoot would send the acclaimed horror director, well, running.

“I would just be running, getting the hell out of there as quickly as possible,” Sanchez said.

As for the monster, “they’d probably think that I was a Bigfoot, that I was related to them,” he said laughing, all 6 feet and 7 inches of him.

“Exists” premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, in March, where it won an audience award, and Lionsgate Entertainment bought the film, Sanchez said. Frederick will get the next look on Saturday during the Frederick Film Festival.

Sanchez always looks to bring his projects to this area because it’s close to his Urbana home, his family and friends, but also the people he continues to work with. Frederick’s vibe has, so far, kept him here.

The News-Post caught up with Sanchez to find out more, 15 years after his initial recognition with the release of the “The Blair Witch Project.”

So why a Bigfoot movie?

Bigfoot scared the crap out of me when I was a kid. I was always kind of looking for a good, scary Bigfoot movie that delivers, but I was disappointed. There are some good Bigfoot movies out there, but nothing that I thought brought the creature to life the way I saw it in my head. I wrote this $80 million Bigfoot movie, and no one was going finance that. Then I wrote a lower budget one. Then I wrote a really cheap Bigfoot movie, and that’s what “Exists” is. It’s cheap in the standards of most Hollywood movies, but it’s not a cheap film. The thing that I’m excited about for “Exists” is the creature looks really good; it’s kind of the main mission I had when I was making the movie.

“Blair Witch” was also a low-budget film. Do enjoy doing these lower budgeted movies?

Yeah, I do. Not that I don’t want to do bigger budget movies, but I think that there’s a certain freedom (with low-budget films). There’s a little less pressure and it’s more challenging; you have to be more inventive. The problem with lower budgets is you can’t pay yourself very much, you can’t pay the people that are helping you what they’re worth, so you have to work everything for when the movie comes out and hope it makes profits. That’s the only disadvantage, but it’s definitely more of a family feeling.

So what do you believe when it comes to Bigfoot? It seems like a part of you is definitely suspicious.

As a kid, I really did believe in it, but it gets to the point, you’re like ‘Well, if it was out there, they would have found bones or some sort of proof,’ especially in the United States. But there are still some really isolated places in the world, so I’m still hoping that there’s something. But the thing I love about it is even though you sit there and you’re like, ‘Where the hell’s it going to live, how the hell’s nobody been able to capture one, all the footage is blurry and far away and out of focus,’ but then you have all these really credible eye-witnesses from people that I know. The guy that was doing the stunt coordination for “Exists” pulled me aside and said he saw Bigfoot with his wife years ago in Minnesota. So there’s things like that — and I run into that all the time.

I’ve heard you aren’t the biggest horror fan, and yet here comes another horror film. Do you enjoy this genre? What else would you like to do?

‘Blair Witch’ director’s childhood Bigfoot comes to life on the big screen

By Grace Toohey News-Post Staff | Posted 12 hours ago

After a lifetime of fascination with Bigfoot, director Eduardo Sanchez recently brought the creature to life in his latest film, “Exists,” but he prefers to keep Bigfoot encounters within his imagination. A meeting with Bigfoot would send the acclaimed horror director, well, running.

“I would just be running, getting the hell out of there as quickly as possible,” Sanchez said.

As for the monster, “they’d probably think that I was a Bigfoot, that I was related to them,” he said laughing, all 6 feet and 7 inches of him.

“Exists” premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, in March, where it won an audience award, and Lionsgate Entertainment bought the film, Sanchez said. Frederick will get the next look on Saturday during the Frederick Film Festival.

Sanchez always looks to bring his projects to this area because it’s close to his Urbana home, his family and friends, but also the people he continues to work with. Frederick’s vibe has, so far, kept him here.

The News-Post caught up with Sanchez to find out more, 15 years after his initial recognition with the release of the “The Blair Witch Project.”

So why a Bigfoot movie?

Bigfoot scared the crap out of me when I was a kid. I was always kind of looking for a good, scary Bigfoot movie that delivers, but I was disappointed. There are some good Bigfoot movies out there, but nothing that I thought brought the creature to life the way I saw it in my head. I wrote this $80 million Bigfoot movie, and no one was going finance that. Then I wrote a lower budget one. Then I wrote a really cheap Bigfoot movie, and that’s what “Exists” is. It’s cheap in the standards of most Hollywood movies, but it’s not a cheap film. The thing that I’m excited about for “Exists” is the creature looks really good; it’s kind of the main mission I had when I was making the movie.

“Blair Witch” was also a low-budget film. Do enjoy doing these lower budgeted movies?

Yeah, I do. Not that I don’t want to do bigger budget movies, but I think that there’s a certain freedom (with low-budget films). There’s a little less pressure and it’s more challenging; you have to be more inventive. The problem with lower budgets is you can’t pay yourself very much, you can’t pay the people that are helping you what they’re worth, so you have to work everything for when the movie comes out and hope it makes profits. That’s the only disadvantage, but it’s definitely more of a family feeling.

So what do you believe when it comes to Bigfoot? It seems like a part of you is definitely suspicious.

As a kid, I really did believe in it, but it gets to the point, you’re like ‘Well, if it was out there, they would have found bones or some sort of proof,’ especially in the United States. But there are still some really isolated places in the world, so I’m still hoping that there’s something. But the thing I love about it is even though you sit there and you’re like, ‘Where the hell’s it going to live, how the hell’s nobody been able to capture one, all the footage is blurry and far away and out of focus,’ but then you have all these really credible eye-witnesses from people that I know. The guy that was doing the stunt coordination for “Exists” pulled me aside and said he saw Bigfoot with his wife years ago in Minnesota. So there’s things like that — and I run into that all the time.

I’ve heard you aren’t the biggest horror fan, and yet here comes another horror film. Do you enjoy this genre? What else would you like to do?

When I was growing up, I never thought I’d be doing horror movies. I love Bigfoot, and I love aliens and I love Loch Ness Monster — I love all the mysterious stuff — and I love horror as far as movies are concerned. I just love movies. I love every genre. Once “Blair Witch” blew up and became our calling card, it’s very hard to get out of that. But it’s a good place to be stuck, because you can do a lot in horror; there are all kinds of sub-genres. You can do monsters, you can do aliens, comedies, action, straight drama. Eventually I’d like to do a straight action movie, maybe a comedy, but I’m pretty happy where I am.”

What keeps you interested in this industry?

“I like it because it’s always changing, you’re always working on something new, you don’t know where you’re going to shoot it, what actors you’re going to work with. It’s hard work, but it’s very creatively rewarding. It’s just fun. The idea off being a 45-year-old guy trying to figure out how to blow a head up, or how does blood come out of someone’s neck … every once in a while my partner (Gregg Hale) and I are like ‘We’re getting paid to do this?’ We’re very lucky.

You mentioned that your friends and family are all local, but what else has kept you in Frederick?

I’ve never been a city guy, but I don’t really think of myself as living in the country. This is a really good mix. I go out driving a lot at night if I’m stuck trying to write something or I just need some scary ideas. I have this mix on my iPod called ‘scary’ and I just drive out into the farmland, and pretty much get lost. And then when I’m done, I hit ‘home’ on the GPS and it takes me home.

There’s also a lot of hungry, really good, inspiring people that have somehow come into my life and I’m very fortunate to be here. I’m the “Blair Witch” guy, so there’s a certain kind of notoriety. People hear “Blair Witch” and they will go out and try to meet me. I’ve met these two students from FCC who are TV majors, young guys. They remind me so much of me when I was that age — they just want to learn and be filmmakers. It’s inspiring to have that energy around you, and there’s a difference between that and L.A. The industry there, no one is impressed by anything. Here, it’s a different vibe. I love being here.

You have three kids. Have they seen your movies? Are they allowed to?

The 4-year-old hasn’t for sure, but my daughter who’s 13, she loves horror movies, like more than I do. She loves to be scared — I don’t like to be scared. (She and her 10-year-old brother) have seen “Blair Witch.” They weren’t too impressed with it. They’ve seen “Exists” and they love it. They think it’s a lot of fun. It’s fun watching them watch it … it’s a crowd pleaser.

“Exists” will be screened at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, June 28, at the Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick St., Frederick, with director Eduardo Sanchez in attendance. The Frederick Film Office will host a VIP reception before the film at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre, a ticketed event separate from the film, fest; see info at www.MDTix.com.

existsvip

What’s after “Exists” for Sanchez? Check out ABC’s new show “The Quest,” premiering 8 p.m. July 31, co-written by Sanchez. He also directed the first four episodes of BBC America’s new show “Intruders,” coming out in August.

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.




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