Flavorwire Premiere: Watch the Acid Western Book Trailer for Colin Winnette’s ‘Haints Stay’


Now that its arrival is only a matter of days away (June 2nd), it’s safe to say that Colin Winnette’s Haints Stay a deconstructed Western praised by Sam Lipsyte, Saeed Jones, and Lindsay Hunter, among many others, and published by the unimpeachable Two Dollar Radio — is the most anticipated independent novel of the summer. And, frankly, it may be the most anticipated American independent novel since Sarah Gerard’s Binary Star (which we told you about several times and praised on its way to widespread acclaim). Certainly we’ve been thinking about Winnette’s book since January, when I called it “a work by an assured writer who is on the verge of something important” — Haints Stay proves he’s no longer on the verge.

Today we’re previewing the tantalizing book trailer for Haints Stay, directed by David Formentin. You may remember Formentin as the director of the excellent trailer for Gerard’s Binary Star — which we also debuted in January. At the time, Formentin’s most recent project was the short film Tzniut, which world-premiered at SXSW, won Best Narrative Short at the Hamptons International Film Festival, and played globally in London, Zagreb, New Orleans, San Francisco, and San Diego. When we last spoke to him, too, Formentin was hard at work on his first feature film. After watching the trailer, read on for a short interview with its director.

Flavorwire: How did the concept for the trailer come about? And what about Haints Stay inspired your work here?

David Formentin: I saw Colin read at the Mission Creek Festival during Sarah’s book tour, and his performance left me with a very specific impression about this book without having read most of it. So it was really Colin’s enthusiasm that informed the look of the trailer, just the feeling of that quick first impression.

Who is doing that amazing — and kind of insane — voiceover?

I did the voiceover, and I manipulated it to make it not sound like me. Technology is amazing (sometimes). I also recorded that thumpy, mournful music when I couldn’t find anything else that fit the mood. There’s a lot of me in this piece, and it was super fun to make.

Where was it shot?

I shot it on the last leg of Sarah’s tour, passing through Arizona and New Mexico. Sarah googled a few ghost towns off of I-10 and we visited two of them, and they were just as amazing as I hoped they would be. The shots of the bison were from when we were in South Dakota. I don’t want to reveal too much about how the sausage was made, but at least one of those desert shots was made through a rest stop fence. The desert out there is so complete that even a freeway can’t disturb its magic.

How is your feature film coming along?

I’m still developing the feature, which is actually on a good timeline/trajectory. With some luck, we could be shooting early next year. I’m very deep into the script, and I think the deadline to have a final draft is around September, so that’s my summer plan at the very least.