Features

Small Town Monsters: Seth Breedlove’s films explore the unknown

BY LIZ GROMOFSKY

Bigfoot. Monsters. UFO’s. Mutilated Cattle. Aliens. Demons. All things Seth Breedlove, owner of Small Town Monsters, takes pride in.

“We are going to Colorado for eight days in the San Luis Valley to hunt for UFO’s and cattle that have been mutilated,” said Breedlove.

Breedlove is an independent filmmaker who is known for producing, directing, and editing paranormal content such as film documentaries.

Breedlove is a self taught filmmaker.

“Beast of Whitehall” was Breedlove’s second film. He currently has 12 films out and more in production. Photo Courtesy of Small Town Monster.

“Everything I know I had to kind of teach myself,” said Breedlove. “Our second movie was the first thing I ever edited, and it was also the first thing I ever shot.”

Since creating his company, Breedlove and his team have put out 18 films. By December, Breedlove and his team will have put out five new titles this year, but have technically released six in the time span of 12 months.

“We have one coming up that I am finishing right now that is called ‘On the Trail of Bigfoot Discovery,’ which is the one we filmed on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington,” said Breedlove. “That one is pretty crazy; we had to bushwack down into these valleys with this crew to get footage and it was really amazing.”

Because independent film was not popular or looked upon as being successful in the 90’s, Breedlove says he kind of gave up on his dream of becoming a filmmaker.

“I worked a lot of odd jobs and eventually did freelance investigative reporting for a few Ohio newspapers,” said Breedlove. “While I was doing that I became very strangely interested in the topic of bigfoot and I decided to make a documentary about it.”

This movie about bigfoot did not turn out how Breedlove thought it would, however.

“I made this documentary more as an investigative journalism thing than a film,” said Breedlove. “I never really thought of the first movie we made as a film until we did the screening for it. We screened it in Minerva and like 1200 people came.”

This was the first step in the making of his company.

“Independent film the way it is today is such that anyone can make something and you can find an audience for it, even if you can’t make a living out of it, you can find an audience for it,” said Breedlove.

This small film that Breedlove first created was the beginning of his film career. Small Town Monsters first became a company in 2014.

Breedlove films an episode of “On the Trail of Hauntings” outside the Canton Palace Thatrez. Also pictured is Zac Palmisano (director of photography). Photo Courtesy of Seth Breedlove.

“‘Minerva Monster’ was our first movie as a company,” said Breedlove. “We have made 18 movies and we produce YouTube content as well.”

Although Breedlove has interest in other genres of movies, monsters and paranormal are his biggest focus.
“What happened is that we made our first movie, ‘Minerva Monster’, and it captured an audience,” said Breedlove. “Our second movie did really well and we started finding that there was an audience for this stuff and a way to tell the stories that wasn’t being done outside of us.”
When Breedlove and his company started, he said that paranormal content was only viewable on major networks such as History Channel and Travel Channel.

“All of those shows are very canned and forced and they all kind of have the same approach and we had another idea on how to do it,” said Breedlove.

Breedlove has not always known that he wanted to be a film director. Growing up, he was homeschooled.

“My parents owned a bookstore and we did book shows on the weekend,” said Breedlove. “We were always traveling so we weren’t stable enough to go to a public school.”
Since he was young, Breedlove has had an idea of what he wanted to do.

“When I was a kid, myself and my friends wanted to be filmmakers but I’m an old man so this was like the late 90’s,” said Breedlove. “Back then it was unrealistic to be an independent filmmaker, that wasn’t really a thing.”

When Breedlove was 14 years old, his mom showed him a movie by Ray Harryhausen, a stop motion effects professional.

“It was called ‘Jason and the Argonauts’,” said Breedlove. “It was the first time I was aware that there were people that made movies. I think before that I thought movies appeared magically out of thin air.”

“Jason and the Argonauts” was the movie that made Breedlove want to make movies.
“I think Wes Anderson who wrote ‘Rushmore’ which I saw in 1999 about a dozen times in the theater was the movie that cemented that I wanted to be a filmmaker and also cemented that I was a weirdo,” said Breedlove.

Because Breedlove shoots mostly documentaries, he does not normally have to worry about finding actors or paying a cast. However, Breedlove and his team are having to cast for an upcoming film. When it comes to casting, Breedlove and his team usually cast people that they know.

Breedlove and his team work on shooting “On the Trail of UFOs: Dark Sky” on top of the Seneca Rocks in West Virginia. Also pictured are Shannon Legro and Aaron Gascon. Photo Courtesy of Seth Breedlove.

“We casted for the first two movies that were narrative based just people that we knew who had some ability to act,” said Breedlove. “At the end of the day, we are working on an independent film budget, but we are working on a project that will be out next year that we have to actually cast actors and stuff so things will change a little bit.”

Breedlove and his team are currently working on a few new productions, one of which that does not have anything to do with the paranormal.

Breedlove has filmed in many different areas and places across the country.
“‘Area 51 in Nevada’ was probably my favorite just because it is so crazy to be in Area 51,” said Breedlove. “Los Angeles was pretty cool, we filmed around Malibu just because it’s scenic, and the Olympic Peninsula in Washington were probably three of the coolest places to film.”
Films that Breedlove and his team produce and direct usually take two to three months to make.
Breedlove has had many memorable moments in his career. However, a few stand out to him more than others.

“I built this thing out of nothing,” said Breedlove. “I couldn’t have done it alone, but I guess I’m most proud of what we do. We built this out of nothing and now I get to be working alongside my closest friends and even my four year old son gets to come on shoots with me.”
Before starting this company, Breedlove was directionless.
“I went to college for one day and then realized I wasn’t going to learn anything,” said Breedlove. “I bounced around from job to job and I kind of had no purpose until I started this company.”

Breedlove talks about how this film career is the only thing he believes he is good at.
“I know there are other things that I might be able to be passable with, but the only thing I am good at and love doing is this job,” said Breedlove. “This job I created on my own and it kind of placed all the things I love to do into one.”

Breedlove and his team films interviews for “On the Trail of UFO’s: Dark Sky”. This was filmed in Sutton, West Virginia. Photo Courtesy of Seth Breedlove.

Traveling is another thing Breedlove enjoys doing which makes the job of being a filmmaker so much better.

“I love to travel, because I grew up traveling, and I have gotten to go all over the country and places like Israel,” said Breedlove. “I get to do things that I never would have been doing if I was just working the mundane job that I had prior to this.”

Breedlove encourages students to never give up on their dreams, even if they seem impossible.
“Do what makes you happy,” said Breedlove. “I know when I was in high school, I had no clue what I wanted to do, and all anyone asked me was what I was going to do.”

It took Breedlove 34 years to execute his plan of being a film creator.

Films by Breedlove and Small Town Monsters can be viewed on Amazon Prime Video, Vimeo, Google Play, iTunes, ABOX, and YouTube.

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