IOWA CITY — Two local moviemakers are using a piece of Iowa City history to create a spook-u-mentary.
The Black Angel statue at Oakland Cemetery — Feldwert Monument is its formal name, and oxidation has turned it black — is the inspiration behind Travis Drahozal and Jordan Kessler’s first full-length independent movie.
The movie centers on behind-the-scenes footage from a group of moviemakers creating a documentary on the nine-and-a-half-foot-tall, early-20th-century statue. The goal, Drahozal said, was to mix real facts and history about the statue with a scary fictional narrative.
“Even if people know the facts, they’re going to believe what they want to believe,” Drahozal said.
Both moviemakers agree, the iconic piece of Iowa City history is already in the minds of their audience. They believe this image, and the legends attached to it — including tales of miscarriages and sudden illnesses and even deaths — add another frightening element to the flick.
“I think image plays a big part into people’s imaginations than even necessarily telling them about it,” Kessler said. “They can create it themselves, and that’s what’s always scared me — my own imagination running wild.”
The movie will feature five main actors all originally from Iowa. It’s low-budget documentary-style shooting puts it along side horror films such as “Paranormal Activity” and “The Blair Witch Project.”
Drahozal said he wants their picture to bring a fresh and unfamiliar scare to jaded horror film viewers.
“People like me are the real people I want to get, because it’s like a drug. I’ve been scared as a kid, but now I yearn for that scary movie that really scares me
“It’s so tough to find it,” Drahozal said.
The duo are seeking financial sponsors and expect their movie to be completed by the end of this month. Potential sponsors can go to www.blackangelmovie.com.