As an independent producer, I am always looking for new content to work on, preferably commercially viable and sound projects that will align me with interesting people. Obviously this is what everyone desires, so I find myself lucky enough to have a great network of friends and colleagues in the entertainment industry who look out for me in this regard. When an old college buddy informed me that his roommate was looking for someone to come on-board his documentary, a true story involving the Amityville Horror, I was intrigued right off the bat.
I sat down to meet with Eric Walter on a Saturday afternoon. I introduced myself and explained my background a little more. Professionally, I’ve worked all over the industry, from talent management to a major agency and in development for both television and film, as well as continuing to independently produce content from commercials, music videos and film work of varying lengths. In turn, Eric talked about his background and what he envisions for the My Amityville Horror project. I was immediately struck by his knowledge of the Amityville subject as a whole and his palpable excitement for what he is doing and his hopes for what the film will accomplish. He’s clearly an expert and it shows.
After talking for quite some time, Eric sat me down to watch a six minute sizzle reel that he had put together from footage he had previously shot of Danny Lutz. Danny is the eldest son of Kathy and George Lutz (who adopted Danny and his siblings after his marriage to Kathy). It is George and Kathy’s testimony that all of the previous Amityville books and films are based on. I was stunned by how much of an arresting character Danny presents on screen. Honestly, I hadn’t even realized that the six minutes were up – all I could think is that I want to know more about this dude from Long Island who suffered at the hands of a world famous haunting and just now is willing to talk about it. Having only seen the films, I had no idea that the whole issue of the Amityville haunting is as controversial to those it happened to as it is – I really hadn’t thought about how a haunting, that goes on to be famous, and brings those affected by it some iota of fame, would affect anyone, much less the children involved. So many questions came rushing into my head, questions that only Danny will be able to answer. How does he feel about his parents dragging him into this? What actually happened in Amityville? What does he think of the films? Do people know him as “the Amityville kid” and if so, does he like that or abhor being associated with it? All of these questions would only be answered by signing up to help produce the documentary, so after another meeting with Eric and My Amityville Horror‘s third producer, John Blythe, I did just that.