This article was originally published on the Bainbridge Island Review on Tuesday, August 10, 2021.
When filmmaker Taylor Guterson initially contemplated his fourth feature film he knew two things: “I wanted to film predominantly outdoors in the Northwest, and John Green was going to star in it.”
A Northwest native who grew up on Bainbridge Island, Guterson loves the outdoors and realized “the natural beauty of this region would give a movie a visual appeal and production value well beyond anything money could buy.” Guterson had worked with Green – a current BI resident – before, having cast him in a small role in a previous film.
“After the first take of the first scene John was in, I knew this was someone I could build a feature film around,” Guterson recalled.
The film that ultimately emerged, Hunting Bigfoot, is a drama, mixed with humor, about a man obsessed with verifying the existence of a Sasquatch he claims to have seen. The film introduces the audience to the Bigfoot subculture, featuring interviews with people recounting their encounters and appearances by recognized Bigfoot authorities.
But, as Green observes, “the film is about a lot more than Bigfoot. It’s about a human being searching for meaning in his life. That’s what gives it a universal appeal.”
Hunting Bigfoot is being released by Xenon Pictures. Leigh Savidge, Xenon CEO and an Academy Award nominee for his screenwriting on Straight Outta’ Compton, is one of the film’s executive producers, as is Tom Gorai, whose producing credits include Outsourced, Nostalgia and Arlington Road.
The film’s distribution strategy initially focuses on a regional national rollout, partnering primarily with owner-operated independent theaters. The strategy also includes working with local chambers of commerce to encourage local business communities to engage in network marketing and related activities in support of the film.
In addition to providing independent theaters a film that is not simultaneously available for streaming at home, a rarity in the current entertainment environment, Hunting Bigfoot offers better financial terms than independent theaters typically receive.
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