The Music of Erich Zann

Cambridge, Massachusetts | Film Short

Fantasy, Horror

Reuben Baron

1 Campaigns | Massachusetts, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $4,000 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

32 supporters | followers

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We're taking on one of the most celebrated stories of H.P. Lovecraft from a modern-day Jewish perspective. Lovecraft, old bigot that he was, is probably rolling in his grave! But his themes of existential cosmic horror still resonate, so we pay tribute to his work while subverting it.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

The Story



Charlie has earned himself a scholarship to study the history of the paranormal at the prestigious Miskatonic University. Before semester begins, however, he needs to find a place to live for the summer, away from his unsafe family situation. Finding a cheap apartment on the mysterious Rue D'Auseil, he becomes fascinated with his neighbor Erich Zann, a mute musical savant who's escaped from both the Holocaust and, if rumors are to be believed, from the infamous Arkham Sanitarium. Captivated by his music, Charlie tries to learn what he can about Erich's history. What he uncovers will forever warp his understanding of the universe.




The horror in the works of H.P. Lovecraft generally rests on two different premises. One is the existential horror of living in a bizarre and uncaring universe, a theme which continues to resonate. The other premise is that people who aren't Anglo-Saxon are scary. So how do a couple of Jewish filmmakers adapt the work of a writer who was considered abhorrently racist and anti-Semitic even by the standards of the 1920s? His short story "The Music of Erich Zann" provides an exciting opportunity for a modernized adaptation. The story's ambiguity, which is one of its strengths as a piece of fantastic horror, provides ample opportunities for exploration both as a low-budget filmmaker and as a writer looking to develop character in ways that both enhance Lovecraft's timeless themes and subvert his troubling ones. Old Howard Philips might be rolling in his grave over all this, but what horror fan doesn't love scary moving corpses?




To pay talented actors and pull off the mix of digital and practical effects we need for our 8-10 minute film, we're looking to raise at least $5,000. This will get us through production and take us into post-production. Those who contribute will be treated to an advanced look at the film. For higher donation levels, we're offering all sorts of treats: walk-on parts, the opportunity to design a monster for the climax, even a snake puppet used by Neil Gaiman in the director's previous short film, "The Making of a Superhero Musical." Those who are unable to donate have the opportunity to follow the project for behind-the-scenes updates and release information.



Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Lighting Kit

Costs $40

One weekend rental

FX Makeup

Costs $315

FX makeup by Scott C. Miller

Location Rental

Costs $500

Shooting at Boston University


Costs $800

Paying our cast


Costs $600

Paying our crew

Special Effects, Props/Costume/Set Dressing, and Backer Rewards

Costs $2,745

In negotiations to figure out total cost of the film's effects (its biggest expense). Any savings will go towards backer rewards.

About This Team

Reuben Baron - Director/Writer

Reuben Baron was a quarterfinalist in the WeScreenplay International Screenwriting Competition for his feature screenplay "GameBros". While at Bard College, he wrote and directed the short film "The Making of a Superhero Musical" and somehow got Neil Gaiman to agree to act in it. He does freelance writing for under the username HoyvinGlavin64.


Miriam Olken - Producer

A serious movie nerd, Miriam has worked at various companies in Boston as an office contractor for years and volunteers at film festivals when she can. She is also producing the short film "Protocol" and recently started writing movie reviews for BRIO Studio and Shaded Areas.


Kevin Lynch - Composer

 Kevin plays guitar for the DOOOOM rock group Vos. He's acted in and composed for Reuben's previous short films.


Joe Lemieux - Special Effects

Among other indie projects, Joe has done effects work and prop design for the splatter comedy Veil of Blood, designs for the cartoon Infinite Santa 8000, and the screenplay for the upcoming romcom The Stoop. He's at work on an original Lovecraft-inspired zombie film called Creeping Paralysis.


Isaac Zerkle - Actor (Charlie)
Isaac Zerkle is a junior at Wellesley College majoring in Theater and Women's & Gender Studies. His most recent acting roles include Malvolio (Twelfth Night) and Richard (Lion in Winter). In his spare time he enjoys rock climbing, taking care of his plants, and imagining the destruction of the gender binary. 
Mick Cusimano - Actor (Erich Zann)

Mick Cusimano is an actor, filmmaker, cartoonist, poet, manager of the Harvard Art Museums, and "Professor of Surrealism." His work has played at festivals from Spike and Mike's to Cannes. He's excited to take the role of Erich Zann in our film.

Current Team