BLOOD BANK: Christopher Garetano’s “Bigfoot”

Some legends pre-date history itself. One such legends is the one of the “wild men”, better known as Yeti or Sasquatch or more commonly known here in the United States, Bigfoot. Described as being six to eight feet tall with a large forehead and pronounced brow, sporting cave man like feature, almost like a gorilla. Usually known to be covered in hair, the creature is most recognizable by it’s enormous feet and blurry photographs.

Stories about these creatures have been in the Northwest Hemisphere since Native Americans embraced the Pacific Northwest long before white colonists took over. Stories range from harmless giants who stole fish to cannibalistic monsters living on mountain peaks. It is a true wonder in our genre as to why these creatures have not been visited more often. Well Christopher Garetano is braving such a storm and taking on the legend of the Yeti in the wooded area of Michigan with his film BigfootBigfoot will be Christopher‘s second go at making a movies. His first was an alien conspiracy docudrama titled Montauk Chronicles which you can read the review right HERE. Since he was a child, he has been obsessed with stories of Bigfoot. Production began on his version of Bigfoot back in October of 2015.

His story will chronicle the history of the legend, starting from the beginning. Currently Bigfoot is raising funds to complete the project by way of Indiegogo. Since he is an independent filmmaker he is looking to have your help in creating his dream picture. Christopher does not want private investors with hundred of thousands of dollars. He wants to make this film right and that is completely out of the studio system. He states that he generally works alone as a personal preference.

Bigfoot will focus in part on how humans have become disconnected with wilderness. Using old fashioned story telling, he will bring to light mysteries of our world. Since Garetano is a fan himself he has done an incredible amount of research on Sasquatch and the film will feature all the up to date research on the subject.

We’re taking you back to the beginning, to the creation of the earth, the birth of cellular life, and then to suggest that something, unknown to us, that survived the ice ages. There will be as many moments of mystery and suspense as there will be careful contemplation. We will take you back to the legends of the Native Americans and then to the frontiers of an early America.

We Are Indie Horror was able to chat with Christopher Garetano. We asked him about his upcoming film, his plans, and his experiences with the mythical beast.

WAIH: What about the mystery of Bigfoot has you so obsessed?

CG: It sincerely started when I was a kid – being exposed to the seminal “paranormal” show In Search Of with Leonard Nimoy and Drive-in type horror movies like Creature From Black Lake and The Legend Of Boggy Creek. I also spent a significant amount of time at book-fairs and the local library. I really devoured anything I could get my hands on regarding the topic. It was a dynamic spark for my imagination because I would investigate the local forest when I was a child and convince myself that BIGFOOT was in there. So now a days it has evolved into my own serious research on the subject and realizing that there are some very credible sources of information. Specifically, there are respected members of the anthropology field (Dr. Jeff Meldrum) who seriously consider the (BIGFOOT) species as more than a possibility. At the core of it all I’m still attracted to the mystery and the elusive nature of the entire species. I think many of us are so detached from the reality of the forest. The modern techno-funk has really aided in that and I’m hoping to bring that reality back to the audience. There’s still a vast and dark mystery in the wilderness and when shooting in there people tend to ignore the layers of texture that can be built for the audience.

WAIH: How much of Bigfoot do you have finished and where specifically are these funds looking to go?

CG: I began shooting Bigfoot in October of 2015 and so far I completed about a quarter of the movie. I did everything myself including producing, cinematography, direction, concept-artwork and this additional funding is required for us to movie properly into the next major stage.  Bigfoot is 80% cinema and only about 20% unique documentary. I need a proper cast and crew, additional equipment, make-up effects/artists, props, wardrobe, just to name a few things. Tate Steinsiek from Face-Off will be handling the make-up effects. Edwin Neal and Jim Van Bebber are coming aboard as cast members and we’re assembling a fantastic crew to help things along. I learned a great deal while making Montauk Chroniclesand I’m so inspired to conjure up BIGFOOT.

WAIH: What unique styles will you be taking for this film?

CG: It’s going to be a very textured and painterly movie with strong atmospheric layers of sound and vision. I’m going to create something that you’ll be tempted to revisit again. It opens with a young angry planet earth – magma flowing, exploding and ocean waves crashing on to a jagged shore. I’m seriously talking with Tony Todd to be the narrator. So a strong voice will lead you through this powerful history.
I’m suggesting that Bigfoot, as a species, survived the dawn of man and lived through the ice ages. It’s going to be epic and it’s not necessarily a large amount of money that creates that. A major part of Bigfoot will bring us back to the campfire storytelling setting. It’s important to know that for many years that’s how people heard of these tales. It will continue with historical accounts including Iroquois legends of a vicious SASQUATCH-like creature called the Genoskwa, The Theodore Roosevelt “Bauman” story of a Genoskwa stalking two trappers for three nights, and the Ape Canyon tale of Mt. St. Helens where miners provoked a fourteen hour siege on their cabin by a family of large Sasquatch. These are all extremely spooky stories that inspired me to make this movie.

I’m not interested in shaky-cam teens finding nothing in the woods. I’m making a solid motion picture and I seriously aim to make the best ever on the subject. For that you need to cover this rich history that’s basically untouched in cinema. The science and modern perspective will be established as well.
Believe it or not It’s only been covered this way in books so far. TV shows have barely scratched the surface of possibilities. I’m shooting it in unique ways as well. I’m experimenting with microscopic-cinematography. I’m really trying to find a look and texture that will express the heightened-senses of something that only knows the forest from the time of its birth.

WAIH: Do you have any personal experience with Bigfoot or similar creatures?

CG: My only experience so far was when we were shooting in Foley Swamp, Michigan in October. It was the night after Halloween and nobody was around for miles. I was with Joe Stewart (Hunter/Tracker) who has been trying to locate the Sasquatch after first encountering one in 1968.  We heard something approach us from the distance and then one singular owl call came from the forest but low to the ground. The strange thing was that it didn’t sound like an owl but something imitating one. Keep in mind we were in the middle of nowhere and we were the only ones out there. I can’t say exactly what it was but it certainly was a weird moment.

WAIH: What would you do if you came face to face with the beast himself?

CG: It’s really hard to say. I would have to wait until that happens but I hope it doesn’t happen when I’m alone. Hopefully it won’t be the Genoskwa. They’re traditionally known to remove the heads of their victims.

WAIH: Creating these films completely independently over the past few years, what advice would you have for upcoming independent horror creators?

CG: My advice is to honor your heroes by striving to be as good as they were. Don’t be boring and don’t second guess your own original ideas. Don’t wait around – just get started on something. Don’t waste your time by copying other movies. Whatever it is that gets you crazy you should put that on the screen. Make the movie that you would want to see. Try to blow the audience away and don’t hold back.
Practice often and learn your craft well. Learn ALL aspects of movie making because they go hand in hand and you can’t just focus on one aspect.

The final words of Christopher should resonate with you as an artist or even as a fan. The true greats make movies they want to see and gain all the knowledge they can on their craft.

Bigfoot is currently raising funds on Indiegogo and needs our help! To ensure that Christopher can make the film right he has proposed a $20,000 budget which includes all the elements listed above. For donating he is offering production artwork from the film, a digital download, and even set visits. One of the nicest perks is a free trip to the movies to see Bigfoot, they will even get the popcorn.

Bigfoot is a legend not shown often in cinema for one reason or another. But with stories such as creatures ripping heads off their victims, the mystery is why has it not been a horror movie yet? Well Christopher Garetano is going to change all of that. Help him out by supporting via the links below. Remember if you cannot donate monitarily the best thing you can do is share the project by way of social media. This has been another edition of We Are Indie Horror’s Blood Bank Where Every Drop Counts.