You have recently released a film titled Damien Shadows PI. Tell
people about the plot? (It's an indie sitcom pilot)
It's about a guy called Damien Shadows. By day, he works in an
arcade. By night, he hosts a ghosthunting show that he makes with his
friend Adam Lansbury. Now, Damien is really into the occult, and
actually believes himself to be a vampire because he "attained the
magical right of Vampirism from Witchschool.com."
In this pilot, we see that his friend and co-host Adam is out for
medical reasons. So Adam's twin brother Sean takes over.
What brought about the idea of a mockumentary of the ghost hunting
I've been watching ghosthunting shows for a while. When Ghost
Hunters first came out I was fasinated with it. This is a show where
grown men walk around a house, listening to snippets of audio, capturing
blurry images, and concluding that different places were haunted. Haunted
in a sort-of impossible-to-measure way. You'd watch them connect dots
between completely unconnected impossible-to-measure
"experiences" and whip themselves into a psycologial state of
self-delusion. This is what I think is interesting, and that's what I wanted to
Lately, I'm personally much more agnostic about religion. I don't
know. Is there a God? I don't know. But I think asking really spacific
questions about evidence vs faith and belief vs delusion is where you
can really get people thinking. I'm not really into bashing Christians.
Or bashing Buddhists. But I am all about bashing ghosts.
Do you just not like these television shows or do you figure it was
an idea that had come due?
I love Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventurers. It's fun if you look
at it as a social experiment. I love to watch those shows and really
think about the psychology of the people on the show. They get a little
fame. There is a camera in their face. They have to make a fun TV show.
Therefore, "Did I just hear something?" morphs quickly into,
"I just had an encounter with a ghost."
What has reaction been to this so far?
The reaction has been really good. I was really careful not to
make a direct parody of these paranormal investigation shows. I wanted
it to be its own thing. So, people have been really responding favorably
because the characters are relateable.
Your film will be seen at the big Shriekfest festival upcoming.
What do you think the reaction will be?
I'm really honored that we got into Shriekfest. It's a great
oppertunity for people to see it. Hopefully the audience is in a good
mood, and they like it.
Are you afraid at all of negative reaction, since traditionally Shriekfest tends to lean to
more graphic or outright horror?
Not at all. I mean, you can only really watch so many eye-gougings
and disembowelments in one day. Hopefully Damien Shadows PI offers some
light-hearted comedy to the lineup.
There are probably a load of others though who have been waiting
for ghost hunter shows to be spoofed?
I'm sure. It's not really a concept you can copyright. In fact
South Park has already made fun of Ghost Hunters in a really hilarious
way. That's why I wanted to make it about paranormal investigaters, but
not a parody of any one show. Because there are a ton of fun specifics
that make Damien Shadows PI different.
Do you plan on presenting this at other festivals also?
Yeah. I'm still waiting to hear back from about 10 more festivals.
Including Sundance. But, we'll see where we get in.
Where might people order the DVD?
Damien Shadows PI is an independent sitcom pilot. It's only 16
minutes long. So it's not really a DVD type of thing. But to keep posted
on what's happening with this project, and other projects I'm working
on, go to www.erichollerbach.com.
If the reaction is big, do you see a Part 2 in the works?
Actually we're currently in production on a Damien Shaodws
webseries. This will be on YouTube, Vimeo, and a number of other
platforms. That'll definitely be online by December 2012.
You act and write both. Do you have a liking for one over the
I came up at UCB NYC. So I have an improv comedy background.
Improv really is both writing and acting. So ... when I'm acting in
things I've written, I prefer acting. But if I'm acting someone else's
script, I prefer writing. But I enjoy both very much.
Did you study filmmaking or acting in a school or pick it up on your own?
I majored in Writing and minored in Theater at Eugene Lang
College in NYC. But I've been making short films since the 7th grade.
Actually in the 7th grade my friend and I would make one comedy
short-film per week, and show it to the class. We called it The
Eric & Jeff Show. So, way before I did stand-up or improv I
learned how to be funny on film first. (When I say "film" I
mean an old VHS recorder that my parents bought me.)
Any future projects in the works?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
I'm currently working on Damien Shadows PI the webseries. After
that, my editor and I are going to make a documentary about dating. But
my big personal project for 2013 is going to be stand-up comedy.
Any interesting behind the scenes stories related to Damien
Damien Shadows works in an arcade, so one day we had to shoot in
an arcade. So we shot some things at Nickle Nickle in Whittier. It was
really fun walking around the arcade as actual patrons started walking
in, when I was dressed in full goth clothing.
Anything in general you would like to touch on that we may have
I've financed this project myself, working my day job to pay the
production costs. I really have this dream to sell Damien Shadows PI
make it happen on television. I really do live for my art. My art just
happens to involve filming myself in goth makeup, pleasuring a ghost. To
all those dreamers out there, no matter how stupid it will make you
look, go for that crazy dream.
I want to thank Denise Gossett for letting my little project
into Shriekfest. Also, if you like alternative comedy mock-u-mentaries I
think you'll like Damien Shadows PI.
Thanks for the interview!