LM Native's Movie Thriller Conjures Up a 9-11 Conspiracy By Richard Ilgenfritz Main Line Times, Bryn Mawr, PA

(Note: Sander Hicks, author of "The Big Wedding: 9/11, the Whistle Blowers, and the Cover-up" will be speaking after the 9:11pm Able Danger showing in Wayne on Thursday, December 18th upstairs at the Freehouse Restaurant & Pub, around the corner from the movie theater.)

Posted on Wed, Dec 3, 2008

LM native's movie thriller conjures up a 9-11 conspiracy
By Richard Ilgenfritz

BRYN MAWR – Growing up in Merion, Dave Herman says he sometimes thought about making films.Now, the 1986 Lower Merion High School grad is about to bring his first feature film back to the hometown crowd as his Able Danger debuts in Bryn Mawr and Wayne over the next couple of weeks.

"I'm looking forward to it," Herman says of returning to the Main Line for his film's release.

The movie's title comes from a real government data-mining program called Able Danger that began in the late 1990s. The program reportedly was designed to track the finances of the al-Qaeda terrorist organization. However, a large amount of the data was destroyed in the months leading up to the 9-11 attacks.

Able Danger is a noir-style thriller set in modern day about Thomas Flynn, a Brooklyn book-store/cafe owner and conspiracy theorist who believes factions inside the U.S. government were responsible for the 9-11 attacks.

"The movie takes a fictional look at what if a femme fatale from a 1940s noir movie walked into this café, where this conspiracy theorist operates a radical cafe and publishes 9-11 conspiracy books. What if she walks in with the last Able Danger hard drive that everyone thought was destroyed with irrefutable proof of an American cover-up?" Herman says.

He says he isn't quite sure how Main Liners will react to his film.

"I don't know what to expect of the hometown crowd and how they are going to relate to the 9-11 theme," Herman said. "It's not a documentary. It's not Loose Change [a documentary about alleged U.S. involvement in the 9-11 attacks], but it definitely has a perspective and lives within the world of a conspiracy theorist."

At www.abledangerthemovie.com, his film's Web site, a movie poster lists the director as Paul Krik. The pseudonym was used, says Herman, partly because he wasn't sure that he wanted to use his real identity because of the film's controversial subject matter and how the public might react toward his family.

"I've come a long way since I was at Lower Merion High School," Herman said. "My tastes and my aesthetics and my world view have grown a lot. It's funny to come back and play a movie like this in the childhood stomping grounds because it's kind of an adult movie. So, imagining seeing childhood friends [view it] - I really don't know what to expect."

Another reason for creating the Krik name, Herman says, was that whenever an e-mail or phone call comes for Krik, he knows it's about the film.

For the last decade, Herman has been editing commercials in New York and Los Angeles. He's lived in a number of places, including L.A. and Germany, and now he lives in Brooklyn.

Herman says he began thinking seriously about making films after his disappointment regarding the results of the 2004 presidential election. He began writing the script for Able Danger about two years ago and then spent the last year filming and editing it for release.

But getting a film made on a shoestring budget isn't easy.

"Not having any films to my name before this one, it was not easy getting name actors," Herman says. "I didn't have an agent or a rep going into it, so I had zero level of access to get bigger actors to even begin looking at a script."

Still, in some ways, Herman says, it's a little easier shooting some scenes when you're not with a big studio.

"This was a self-financed movie; it's a relatively small movie," Herman said. "In a way, that's an advantage. When a big movie comes in, they shut down the streets. Then they have to recreate the foot traffic so the city has its life. But when you're a low-budget, the city has its life and you are there filming it."

Herman says he got most of the permits he needed to shoot the film in New York, but he admits that he was fined a couple of times for illegally filming in the subways.

Able Danger has already played in limited release in New York and Los Angeles over the past couple of months and has played in a number of film festivals.

Although the film is being shown in the United States, Herman says, there is still work that needs to be done to get it distributed overseas.

"It's interesting - it's like it's never really done," Herman says. Just this week, he was working on music and effects tracks for an eventual worldwide distribution. "I am looking forward to being totally done."

Herman has had his sights set on filmmaking ever since he was a student at Merion Elementary and Bala Cynwyd Middle School. "It was always in the back of my head," Herman says. "It's the kind of thing you don't always admit to yourself [that] it's what you want to do."

Herman, who was in town visiting family last week for the Thanksgiving holiday, grew up on North Latches Lane across the street from the Barnes Foundation.

Herman's first film won't be his last, he says. "I have other story ideas, but I haven't had time to develop scripts yet," Herman says. "Working on a feature while having a full-time job is like having two full-time jobs."

Able Danger premieres at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m. and at the Anthony Wayne Theater Dec. 18 at 5, 7 and 9:11 p.m.

I am

interested to see this film it seems like a good plot. Something along the lines of what should happen in real life! I find it odd though that he says he released the film under a psuedonymn to protect his family and then this article names him, his hometown, and even what side of town he's from.

Contact your represenatives! http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/