Barry Levinson on THE BAY: Cinefantastique’s New York Comic Con 2012

Terror gets real in Barry Levinson's THE BAY.

Terror gets real in Barry Levinson's THE BAY.

Found footage horror is usually the domain of entry-level directors and cheapjack producers who have no problem using smeary images and awkward ellipses to cover for incompetent filmmaking. So what was Barry Levinson — he of DINER and GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM — doing slapping consumer equipment into his cast’s hands and sending them out to shoot their own footage?  It turns out that Levinson — no stranger to breaking the rules of standard film production (after all, his political satire, WAG THE DOG, was shot on the quick-n-dirty during an involuntary hiatus from the filming of SPHERE) — was whipping up THE BAY, an effectively disturbing eco-terror tale in which a Maryland fishing town is decimated by a quite vicious parasite born from the rampant pollution of Chesapeake Bay. In the process, he also managed to teach everyone how effective the found-footage technique can be when it’s used as a tool and not a crutch. Somebody had to.

Our coverage of New York Comic Con 2012 concludes, belatedly, with the roundtable interview Levinson gave during the con in support of the film.


About the Author

Dan Persons

DAN PERSONS is a New York-based writer who first got bit by the Cinefantastique bug when he encountered the 1979 double issue devoted to the sci-fi classic FORBIDDEN PLANET. He contributed for many years to the magazine, first as a correspondent, then as an editor.

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