News, Reviews & Interviews



Interview with Director Eric Zimmerman

Posted January 21, 2018 by Ron in Interviews

Not often does a movie come out that not only shocks you but also makes you think and wonder about the possibilities of reality. Eric Zimmerman’s Caller ID: Entity does just that. A movie about mind control and those who suffer from it. The movie had a David Lynch type feel to it, but you can tell that it’s not trying to be like them, it’s on it own. I got the privilege to get an advance screener of the film and even though it was crazy as sometimes it was also very beautiful and a well put together film. In the days of blockbuster movies it’s always nice to see the underground still thrive and succeed in the realm of film.

Empire Extreme got to talk one on one with the director of the film, Eric Zimmerman and discuss the process of the movie and also talk about what a crazy and entertaining life he has had throughout his career.

Empire: So how did you come up with the idea for Caller ID: Entity?

Eric: It was based off of when I was living in Chicago there was these strange voice messages from this crazy woman and they were disturbing and came everyday. It became an obsession to wait and hear from her and try to figure out the story behind it. I got the backstory of a woman being abused m, psychologically abused like a guinea pig for a teacher. I found other stories though my research that have been through the same thing with academic or government testing. I found these people and quoted their stories.

Empire: I watched the screener last night

Eric: What was your take on it? (Laughs)

Empire: I liked it. I thought it was interesting and I love stuff that like that.

Eric: Yeah structure wise it’s a lot different way of telling a story. Kind of like a David Lynch story but different. And how you have to piece together the film kind of like how I had to with the story. I like the grungy dark side of film making.

Empire: How was it like working with James Duval?

Eric: I think it was a good role for him, I’ve met him a few times and he embraced it.

Empire: Seeing Peter Greene was amazing too, how was that?

Eric: He always fascinated me as an actor, he has an amazing presence. We only got to work with him for a few days. He’s got those eyes that look right through you.

Empire: Looking through the catalog of music videos you have done in your career. How was the Nine Inch Nails video for Down in It and the controversy that came around it?

Eric: That was when I was just starting out my career and it’s a funny way to start it. I had this idea to tie cameras on balloons and float above Trent Reznors body, this was before drones. We had these cameras attached to weather balloons and fishing line and the line broke. I jumped in the car with Trent and he was covered in corn starch and driving around asking people f they seen a red balloon  float by with a camera attached to it. We got a lot of funny looks. So we went back and got stronger fishing line and 8 months later I got a knock on the door by the FBI turns out one of the cameras that got away landed in a farmers field and they turned it into the FBI they thought it was a skin head cult murder. I told them it was a music video. I eventually called up Rolling Stones and told them this band Nine Inch Nails and the FBI and they whole story and they were like we don’t know who that is and we’re not running the story. It was fun working with Trent when he was just coming up.

Empire: How did you end up hooking up with Trent?

Eric: Trent was a huge fan of Ministry. He said that Twitch was his favorite album. I have been working with Ministry on some videos and that’s how he came into my world.

Empire: How was it like touring with Black Label Society?

Eric: Zach Wylde is Extremely talented, and fun and crazy In a good way. I had a blast working on those videos it was a great period of time. We went to Europe, we did a lot of good work together.

Empire: What you working on now?

Eric: I’m working on a documentary film called The Benders Circuit Which is about the electronic audio/visual performance scene in LA.

Empire: With Chris Cornell recently passing how was it like working with him?

Eric: Chris Cornell was an amazing person, vet down to earth and very spiritual a deep person. He was different from a lot of rock stars. I loved working with him and the whole SoundGarden band. They didn’t have any rockstar attitude. When we was doing Jesus Christ Pose, they were a little apprehensive after this coming up record if they would still be around. If this video doesn’t hit I don’t know what’s going to happen. It worked out for them though.

Empire: Anybody you wouldn’t work for again or was just a pain to?

Eric: Gene Simmons seen this project that I was working with a few people with and he wanted me to come and edit the live concert videos when Kiss took off the makeup. So I get on the phone with Gene who I watched as a little kid and I’m talking to him. We’re talking about doing the videos for them you have to do dvd extra features , animation all the stuff on the package. So I told him I would come up with a budget, so then he gets kind of arrogant with me and said “ When I go out and shop for shoes I don’t ask for a budget, I just say how much is the pair of shoes” I thought about it for a second and said “Gene I’m not a pair of shoes” and that was that. I decided it was easier not to deal with them. It’s kind of funny when I was growing up in NY I use to walk by this boot shop that made the boots for Kiss and my last interaction with him was about shoes.

Empire: Other than the documentary, do you have any other projects you’re going to be working on?

Eric: Yes I do, I bought the rights to a science fiction book Dhalgren by Samuel R Delany and I’m working on making that into a movie. I’m also working on a project about an explorer anthropologist who lived with the head hunters of Borneo named Douchan Gersi he used to have a tv show called “Explorer” the project I think will be fascinated by the generation of kids who wear nose rings and ear gauges.

Empire: Anything else you want to talk about before we wrap up?
I kind of have a spicy story that kind of goes with who I wouldn’t work with again hat deals with Caller ID. During the making of Caller ID I had a situation where some people were trying cast Tom Sizemore in the film, we actually paid Sizemore’s manager to secure him. When Tom split with his manager he claimed that his signature was a forgery and his manager had taken the money. Meanwhile Bill Hudson who’s Kate Hudson’s father had become involved with the project and ended up stealing money from the production, so I ended up suing Tom Sizemore’s manager Ryan R Johnson and suing Bill Hudson and I won both cases and still trying to collect against both of them. If anyone know where’s Bill Hudson is we are looking for him (Laughs).When I was suing Ryan I had my life threatened and had to go into hiding for a week. That’s my crazy life.




About the Author


Ron has keen eye for talent and a love for the underground and has a tremendous love for music of any genera. You'll probably bump into him at a horror convention or some seedy club checking out the next new band.


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