Monday, April 30, 2018

2018 Update: Still Monstrous

Hello there! It has been an awfully long time. That's on me. So I thought I'd give you a little update, since our online presence basically evaporated as of late last year. What happened?

Basically this: We made the decision to send Andy to a brick-and-mortar school, after half-a-decade plus of homeschooling. That affected many things--nothing more profoundly than our weekly schedule. To be completely candid, we are four months in, and no one is used to it, but there's just twenty class days to go before summer vacation kicks in, and as you can see, we're counting each one.

As a result, podcasting and blogging have gotten squeezed out. We announced the end of our run with SasWhat on our Facebook page in early January, and we simply haven't recorded any new Monsterland Ohio Radio episodes since July of 2017. Why? I'm not entirely sure, except to say, "Life happens fast." And; recording, producing, and posting a podcast is work, no matter how much fun you're having. Another factor: our involvement in Small Town Monsters has continued to grow.

On that front, we've continued to contribute to Seth Breedlove's documentaries in a variety of ways. In December of 2017, Sue and I made our on-screen debut in "Flatwoods Monster: A Legacy of Fear," for which Sue also recorded voiceover dialogue. Acting against a green screen was this film nerd's dream come true, and to see the finished product, where Sue and I (as George and Edith Snitowski) were menaced by a robotic-looking alien monster, is still a surreal sight to behold. 

Also in late December, Andy and I were invited to write for Stephen Bissette's next book, "Cryptid Cinema: Volume Two," about our experiences during the filming of "Boggy Creek Monster" in Fouke, Arkansas. We became acquainted with Stephen at the International Cryptozoology Conference in Portland, Maine, in September 2017. Needless to say, it was an extreme thrill to contribute to the Swamp Thing artist's latest work, and we will keep you updated as to its release date. 

Earlier this month, we were part of the Small Town Monsters crew that descended upon Elkhorn, Wisconsin, for the filming of "The Bray Road Beast," a documentary based on the work of Linda Godfrey. In fact, Linda was one of the people we interviewed for the movie. We drove up and down Bray Road, talked to eyewitnesses, and ate at a lot of great local establishments (cheese curds, anyone?). It was a memorable way to celebrate Andy's fifteenth birthday! I am also co-writing "The Bray Road Beast" with Seth and transcribing interviews.

Upon our return, I recorded the narration for "On the Trail of...Champ," Small Town Monsters' first mini-series, a collaboration with Aleksandar Petakov, a Boston-based filmmaker. It details the history of--and ongoing search for--a Loch Ness-type creature that has been observed in the waters of Lake Champlain. "Champ" comes out on VidiSpace and DVD in June of 2018, and other platforms in July. 

This past Saturday, we joined Seth at the Kent (Ohio) Paranormal Weekend for a screening of "Flatwoods Monster" at the Kent Stage, and took in a number of presentations, including "The Strange and Spooky World of James A. Willis." James lives in Columbus and is the co-author of "Weird Ohio," as well as a host of other excellent books that you should read.

Where do we go from here? It's off to Monster Bash in June (at which there will be a Small Town Monsters presence for the first time); G-FEST in July (at which Sue will once again run a craft corner for young kaiju fans); the good folks at Monster Bash will be hosting some Godzilla movies at the Canton Palace Theater in August; and after that, who knows? I imagine there will be some events in connection with the release of "The Bray Road Beast" in October, and rumor has it that I will be involved with the next STM series, "On the Trail of...Bigfoot." 

So that's where things stand for now. If you've managed to read this far, thank you for all your support, especially of Small Town Monsters, and for the kind things that have been said about the podcasts. We have made a lot of good, lasting friends around this toybox, and we're very grateful.

Mark and Andy