Posh education, classy background. So what are three Georgetown Day School alums doing with a low-budget horror movie?
Andrew Weiner, Caleb Kramer and Eric Zuckerman have teamed up for “The Frankenstein Theory,” a Blair Witch-meets-Bigfoot thriller opening in limited release March 1. Weiner directed the film, Kramer produced it and Zuckerman appeared as one of the major characters.
“Working with them was really very exciting,” said Weiner, who recruited his pals for the two-year project. And besides, what are best friends for?
The filmmaker has been surrounded by movies his entire life: His parents are D.C. documentary filmmakers Hal and Marilyn Weiner. As a kid, their son obsessively watched all the great movie classics and decided to follow in his parents’s footsteps — sort of.
“A documentary is not Hollywood,” Weiner told us. “It has almost no bearing on the film business.” Instead, he went into the B-side of the industry, working as a studio exec and at the schlocky Troma, purveyor of trashy (but successful) independent films. After producing a number of small films, Weiner co-wrote and took his first stab at directing with “The Frankenstein Theory.”
The inspiration? Mary Shelley’s original 1818 novel, which opens with Victor Frankenstein in the North Pole chasing the monster he created. Weiner’s movie is set in the present, where a disgraced university professor takes a documentary crew to the Arctic Circle in an attempt to find the Frankenstein monster, who he believes is still alive and roaming the ice cap.
Weiner cast Zuckerman, his best friend since age 5 and an actor in L.A., in a starring role; Kramer pulled together funding for the less-than-$500,000 film. Cast and crew went to Alaska in November 2010 and shot the bulk of the film in less than a month. BET founder Bob Johnson’s Image Entertainment is releasing the film in only 15 cities (their local friends will have to slog out to Potomac Mills to see it), on pay-per-view and then DVD.
Will it make money? “I don’t know,” admitted Weiner, but early reviews have been encouraging — and pay-per-view has changed the money game for tiny, barely-reviewed films.
Okay, so not Oscar material. But a big D.C. celebration/reunion for the opening? Nope, not even close.
Weiner said he’ll stay in New York on Friday: “I really love making horror films, but I don’t always like watching them.”
Read Michael O’Sullivan’s review of “The Frankenstein Theory”
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