We caught up with Zak Bagans today to talk a little bit about his upcoming projects, including “Ghost Adventures” Season 11, premiering this weekend; his film The Demon House; and his newly announced Sympathy, Said the Shark, which was accepted into the 2015 Portland Film Festival, running September 1st to the 7th.
Read on for all the details you need.
“I love the whole process of production,” says Bagans of his newest project, Sympathy, Said the Shark, on which he serves as executive producer. “My main thing has always been doing things documentary style. That’s what ‘Ghost Adventures’ is, that’s what The Demon House is… but production is production. It’s awesome when you can bring people’s brains together to work creatively to make something that is incredible. It doesn’t matter what genre it is. My director on this film, Devin Lawrence, has been working with me on ‘Ghost Adventures’ for over five years now, and we’ve been editing together for that long as well. It took me a while to find out that he also writes screenplays, and he’s really good at it. For the longest time he’s been showing me lots of different scripts. When I got the script for Sympathy, Said the Shark, I fell in love with it. I was immediately like, ‘What do you need to make this happen?’ I jumped on board and… man, you know it’s just such a cool thing. You know, I’m a paranormal guy; it’s who I am and what I do as a documentary filmmaker and host. My anatomy is designed to do what I do in the paranormal. I am a sensitive and an empath, and that’s something which nobody could ever take away. I love what I do, man, but I always love to explore other creative venues, especially and ONLY if I can do so with people whom I truly care about as friends.”
Bagans continues, “I came aboard because Devin is a truly talented and gifted person. We’re a lot alike in that we’ve both worked together so very long and we’re both very creative guys who love production. He likes to do more traditional narrative stuff and I’m the documentary guy, but once I came aboard… wow, it was just such a fun experience. We started casting and holding auditions out in Los Angeles and brought in all these different actors. I have to admit I was a little nervous at times because we were bringing in people who I’ve seen on things like ‘Dexter,’ but then things started getting really serious. This was as real as it was fun.”
“Devin and our producer, Matt Mourgides, it was like we were judges on ‘American Idol’ or something,” Bagans said with a smile and laugh. “We would start arguing over who we liked, and it took a little while to finally narrow down the final cast. We chose each role for specific purposes (i.e., how the actors would emote given certain sets of circumstances, etc.) It was just great, man. Such an experience and moreover something I hadn’t really had the opportunity to do before. As soon as I got involved in it, I was hooked! I was there for a good chunk of the production, and I can tell you these guys killed themselves for this film! They were working 14-hour days and Devin was able to handle the pressure like a champ, a true professional. That’s why I think he’s great… he has the same ability to handle things on the set of a film as I do when we’re filming ‘Ghost Adventures’ and things are going crazy and there’s a ton of shit to have to keep track of. I see a lot of myself in him and vice versa. He did an amazing job directing this film… he just killed it!”
“We had a lot of innovative ideas on this project,” said Bagans of the film’s production. “I give the actors all the credit in the world. They literally were filming super long scenes themselves while staying in character and wearing this special camera rig which was designed by Devin and the director of photography, Mark LaFleur. Everything, including the entire set, was lit with practical lighting, but it looks so cinematic. The movie literally looks like a multi-million-dollar film. This was a joint effort by everyone involved… every single person was dedicated and soldiered through a very intensive and laborious production, and I’m just blown away by the end result. I hope you guys will be too!”
Fans of Bagans’ album Necrofusion (review) will be happy to hear that some of the music from that ended up in the film as well. “Yes, some tracks from Necrofusion will be included in the film, and that’s very cool,” said Zak. “It really complemented some of the tracks composed by Carson Aune, who scored the film. I really couldn’t be more excited about this. This is just the beginning of a partnership between Devin and I making films together. In fact we’re already working on the next project, which is going to be bigger! The bottom line here is that if you can find people who are great, loyal, and creative, you can work together on projects that turn out great… projects that will hopefully have a great impact on the audience. If you can do that, put those pieces together, that means that you’re living life the right way. This was a huge effort that Devin lead valiantly. It just turned out great.”
For more information follow Sympathy, Said the Shark on Twitter @SSTSmovie.
Zak Talks The Demon House on the Next Page!