former local working on Dahmer documentary
Andrew Swant delivered pizzas for Rocky Rococo’s all through his academic career as an art major at UW-Eau Claire. After graduating in 2000, he went on first to substitute teach, then to walk dogs, and once found himself watching Monday Night Football at William Shatner’s house. Most recently, however, Swant has co-written and acted in a documentary about Jeffery Dahmer. Well, not so much about Jeffrey Dahmer, but, rather, about the people who were around Dahmer during the summer of his arrest in 1991.
Jeff, described as an “experimental documentary film,” combines fictionalized scenarios, archival footage, and interviews with a few people who had contact with Dahmer around that time. Swant, who plays Dahmer in the fictionalized scenarios, describes the process he took to get into character: “I watched all the videos I could find about Dahmer and read all the books I could find.”
“The two things that kept coming up were that he was a nice, charismatic guy and that he was a total alcoholic. He would drink before, during, and after work, to the point of being kind of zombie-like, so that’s how I played him – kind of zombified, but polite and mild-mannered.” Jeff was received well at its premiere at South by Southwest.
Other projects Swant has worked on include William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet (co-director), What What In The Butt (co-creator), and Modus Operandi (producer).
Swant ends our interview by saying, “I had so much fun in Eau Claire, it’s impossible to sum it up and do it any justice. I left 12 years ago, but I’m still trying to process it. So many great people, so much creative energy.”