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MovieScore Media: The Creep Behind the Camera - John Schuermann

MovieScore Media continues its exploration of fascinating documentaries with the docudrama The Creep Behind the Camera, a shocking exposé written and directed by Pete Schuermann about notorious cult filmmaker Art J. Nelson. Nelson wrote, produced, edited and starred in The Creeping Terror, a low-budget 1964 horror about a monster consuming teenagers. The worst horror of all times was plagued by dozens of production problems, most notoriously Art’s dishonest methods of obtaining financing that lead to the director’s disappearance from filmmaking. Schuermann’s film not only unearths what happened to the gonzo filmmaker, but presents his psychological issues that earned him the nickname "Creep."

Pete and John Schuermann have been active in the Colorado filmmaking community for over 30 years. Originally from Long Island, NY, when the Schuermann family moved to Colorado in 1977 the experience had a profound effect on the budding filmmakers. Their first film Hick Trek was a project for a group of Star Trek fans whom the brothers had met in Colorado Springs. Since then, Pete had directed / co-directed several films (Alice in Wasteland, the documentary Disneyland: Secrets, Stories, & Magic) while John also composed the music and created sound design for over half a dozen feature films and shorts. His most recent work is the underwater thriller Halcyon. John is also a writer and director himself, hard at work on his own film The Gospel According to Stephenson, currently in pre-production.

"My main goal in writing the music was to establish the era in which the events took place -  the late ‘50s through the mid ‘60s - and to musically represent Art J. Nelson, the titular Creep" explains John about the music. "As he was a psychopath who conned his way into making The Creeping Terror, I tried to convey the idea that the real monster was “behind" the camera using two primary musical concepts. The first was to employ familiar "monster movie" tropes whenever the Art would commit particularly monstrous acts in the film, and then juxtapose this with music I refer to as "sleaze jazz" to represent the "con man" element of his character. I thought this approach would fit the darkly comic nature of the film as a whole and painted a portrait of a character who was a creep in every sense of the word.”

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