Tuesday, June 23, 2015

An Interview with the Courier Post concerning THE SEARCH FOR THE JERSEY DEVIL

An Interview with the Courier Post concerning THE SEARCH FOR THE JERSEY DEVIL



Here is the transcript version of the interview conducted by Steve Wood of the Courier Post Newspaper and Chris Chaos of Axis Video/Pine Barren Films:

Steve Wood of The Courier Post:
Why document the Jersey Devil?

Chris Chaos:
Out of all the cryptids he seems to be one of the least documented ones. Everybody knows who/what Bigfoot and the Loc Ness Monster is, but to people outside of New Jersey they usually do not know what he is. Since I live in NJ and have been following the legend for quite some time it only seems appropriate for me to make a film about the Jersey Devil.

Steve Wood of The Courier Post:
What do you hope to accomplish with this documentary?

Chris Chaos:
I hope to make it informatively entertaining; I wish to avoid the boring dry “throwing facts at you” kind of documentaries that are out there right now. Quite a few of the videos concerning the Jersey Devil seem to be a bit off base since they are produced by people not native to NJ and use a cookie cut formula when making their pieces on the various legends. Hopefully this will fuel his legend and bring the Jersey Devil lore to people that might not have heard of him. There are several versions of the origins of the Jersey Devil legends and we hope that we can bring to light and make them a little clearer. With a mixture of preserving legend, history and lore...with skepticism and science we hope to educate from several fronts.

Steve Wood of The Courier Post:
What’s the name of the documentary? When will it be ready? Where can people watch it?

Chris Chaos:
The documentary is called The Search for the Jersey Devil, I am hoping it will be ready for the public in either late 2015 or early 2016. We will be pushing it thru the various film festivals so hopefully one of them will pick it up and bring it nation or even worldwide, the film will also be available thru Amazon.com but at the very least people would be able to order it thru us at Axis Video. Teasers will be released throughout the editing process to Facebook, YouTube and various websites that cater to Cryptozoology.

Steve Wood of The Courier Post:
What has surprised you most during the making of this documentary?

Chris Chaos:
What surprised me the most was how many people that live (or have lived) in NJ actually believe in the Jersey Devil. Currently on camera we have interviewed about 20 people and spoke to dozens more and an overwhelming amount of people do think and believe that he exists. It is amazing how old the legend is, it has been around since the 1700’s and even has roots with the Lenape Tribe. It is interesting to try to figure out how the legend has evolved through the years and how many different versions there are attempting to explain the origins of the Jersey Devil.

Steve Wood of The Courier Post:
What’s the weirdest anecdote you’ve heard about the Jersey Devil?

Chris Chaos:
I would have to say the gentleman that we interviewed that owns a vegetable stand that claimed to have the bones of the Jersey Devil, and charges $1 to see them. We were driving around the back roads of the Pine Barrens getting B-roll for the film and we passed a stand that had a sign up that read “See the Jersey Devil Schull. $1” Yes, the spelling mistake was left intact. So we stopped and no one was there, we knocked on the door and a lady said to come back in about an hour when her husband returned. So we left and went to a local bar to wait. When we returned, sure enough the guy was there and was happy to show us these bones. He said many years ago his kids were in the Pine Barrens and came across the pile of bones and they brought them back to him. You will have to view our film to see them for yourself. Also he didn’t charge us the $1 to see the skull. What a deal!

Steve Wood of The Courier Post:
Some Philadelphians hate that tourists associate their city with Rocky Balboa, a fictional character. Some might say Pineland residents might feel the same way about the Jersey Devil. Thoughts on this?

Chris Chaos:
Some Pineland residents do feel that way, especially the residents of Leed’s Point NJ.
In part to Weird NJ and with the rise in popularity of paranormal shows the Jersey Devil has also appeared a little more in other mainstream television programming which has brought attention to this area which is supposed to be the town in which the Jersey Devil was born. So some of the rude tourists come to town and trespass on other peoples properties looking for the Jersey Devil. Also in some of the tv shows the residents of the Pine Barrens are portrayed as backwards hill billies. So from that you can see how they might be hostile to tourists. But then on the other hand some people are happy to talk about the Jersey Devil and keep his legend alive, he is a great conversational topic.

Steve Wood of The Courier Post:
Do you believe in the Jersey Devil?

Chris Chaos:
I do feel the legend was based on some sort of historical occurrence. I do not feel that a beast described as the Jersey Devil is flying around the state. New Jersey is the most densely packed state and I feel that there would be more video or photographic evidence. I think the legend is a combo of maybe a baby being born with a deformity or birth defect and possibly sightings of a Hammerhead Bat, whose face does eerily resemble popular pictures of the Jersey Devil. Although the bat is native to Africa and not NJ, it is possible that someone had this bat as an exotic pet and it got out. Other natural wildlife that might have been confused for the Jersey Devil is the Sandhill Crane or the Great Horned Owl. It is just hard to believe that one single creature has been hiding in NJ since the 1700’s or that a species has eluded detection for this long.

Steve Wood of The Courier Post:
Whether the Jersey Devil exists or not, what does the urban legend mean to the Pinelands and to the state?

Chris Chaos:
The Jersey Devil is our official state demon, he is used in our Professional Hockey teams logo and imagery, he is deeply associated with the state of NJ. There are a few of us still out there keeping his legend and lore alive.

Additional info:

Official Facebook page for the film:
https://www.facebook.com/TheSearchForTheJerseyDevil

(Chris Chaos is a long time resident of South Jersey who once again resides in and writes from Gloucester City, New Jersey. He is a filmmaker, a business owner, writer, urban explorer and investigator of the odd and weird, a proud parent, happily taken and a connoisseur of hot wings. Chris can be reached at AxisVideo@aol.com) 

Chris Chaos

Axis Video/Pine Barren Films
PO BOX 551
Gloucester, NJ 08030

AxisVideo@aol.com