Behind the Scenes of the Sleepaway Camp DVD

Sue, Matt, & Joe put on their spooky T-Shirts in preparation for going to meet FELISSA

There is nothing more exciting to a big movie buff than to see a bunch of EXTRAS on the DVD of their favorite movies! And it can be a real let-down when one of your favorite movies comes out on DVD and there are NO bonus features on it!! Well this could have happened to the SLEEPAWAY CAMP DVD...but not with webmasters JEFF and JOHN on the case! It all started when ANCHOR BAY announced that they were going to put out our favorite slasher flick on DVD! It was a dream come true to know that all us SLEEPAWAY buffs would be able to have our very own beautiful crystal-clear digital copies! No more worrying about lines in the picture or a VCR eating our sacred copies...our favorite flick was coming in digital glory!

In October 1999, co-webmaster Jeff wrote Anchor Bay Entertainment in Michigan to suggest that they have Jonathan Tiersten and Felissa Rose do an interview or commentary for the DVD. At this point, Jeff had already met Jonathan and had spoken with Felissa. He had told them both about the upcoming DVD and asked them if they would like to get on it if offered. They both thought it would be great! Jeff heard back from Anchor Bay shortly after they received his e-mail. He was told that ANCHOR BAY was going to be starting preliminary production on SLEEPAWAY soon and they would contact him about the interviews once it was time.

It wasn't long before January 2000 came about! The new millennium was here! And now SLEEPAWAY CAMP was listed as a JULY 2000 Release on Anchor Bay's website!! Jeff began to worry...only another 7 months until the SLEEPAWAY DVD was supposed to be in stores! Hoping that they hadn't forgot, Jeff wrote Anchor Bay again! Once again, Anchor Bay got back to him a few days later. They told him that the VP of acquisitions had his information and that he would definitely contact him when the time came.

Once again, time passed without any word from Anchor Bay on the DVD. It was now March and something else exciting was about to happen! Jeff had made plans with Felissa to spend the last weekend of the month with her to hang-out, chat Sleepaway, go see one of her off-Broadway shows, and do the exclusive FELISSA ROSE INTERVIEW for the website!! The last weekend of March came and Jeff headed out to NY with some of his fellow SLEEPAWAY buffs!!

The weekend turned out to be a fantastic time for everybody as Jeff and crew spent 3 days with ANGELA herself! It was a dream come true re-living the film with Felissa! On Friday evening, Jeff and crew got the opportunity to see much exciting exclusive memorabilia such as:

  • Felissa's Mom's Exclusive on-set photo albums which Jeff scanned for the site.
  • Felissa's personal autograph journal (where most of the film's cast wrote some stuff for Felissa and signed their names).
  • The original Robert Hiltzik Script!!

All of this, of course, deepened the mystery as to WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO DIRECTOR ROBERT HILTZIK?? Felissa hadn't seen him since SLEEPAWAY CAMP was premiered...and wondered herself what ever became of the "Really Smart" man who created the Masterpiece! A big Surprise was about to come!! Felissa remembered a small piece of information that might serve as a good starting point in trying to find him! This lead to a possible contact number. Friday night, Felissa handed the number to Jeff and said, "You found Jonathan and Me, so if anyone is gonna do this, it's you!" And guess what?? Jeff made the call and the number lead to them finding the man himself!! The next day, Jeff and Felissa both talked to Robert on the phone! This was only the beginning of something greater to come!

After returning from the fabulous trip on Sunday afternoon (and now only a few days away from April), Jeff knew it was time to get in touch with Anchor Bay! The DVD's release date was JULY, which was only 4 months away!! So he wrote them another letter, this time explaining that he had been in contact with Robert Hiltzik as well! A surprise came the next day when Jeff and John got an e-mail from RJ Gallentine at Anchor Bay who had been searching for SLEEPAWAY CAMP stuff on the internet to use on the DVD!

Jonathan Tiersten has some fun re-living Sleepaway with Jeff Hayes and Jeff's sister Susan last May.

RJ had found the website and wanted to know if Anchor Bay could use pictures from our Sleepaway photo gallery to put on the DVD's possible Still Gallery!! Jeff immediately called RJ bearing some exciting news! Jeff explained that he had been in contact with Felissa, Jonathan, and Robert Hiltzik...and that he could almost guarantee that he could get them to do interviews or a commentary for the DVD!! Overwhelmed by the news, RJ immediately spoke with his boss, Bill Lustig about it. Bill is the man responsible for a lot of the work done on ANCHOR BAY's incredible Halloween: Restored Limited Edition DVD that came out in late '99, Not to mention that he is also the director of such genre films as the MANIAC COP movies and UNCLE SAM. The next day, Jeff got a call from Bill himself inquiring about the news Jeff had given RJ. Jeff explained that he had contact with the 3 SLEEPAWAY alumni and that he would love to get them on the DVD! Bill was quite interested BUT there was a small problem... The DVD was so far into production that if they were going to get anything else on it, It had to be done within 1 week!!! Now would be a good time to mention that Jeff had asked why Anchor Bay hadn't gotten in touch with him sooner!!

Here is a look at the time-coded video of SLEEPAWAY CAMP that Anchor Bay sent to use when recording the commentary!

He had written them way back in October regarding this and other times as well! Bill explained that unfortunately there must have been some sort of lack of communication between Anchor Bay in Michigan (where Jeff had been writing to) and the corporate offices in California! So thank god for RJ writing to us when he did!! On a sad note, Bill said that since they only had 1 week, it would be impossible to make the flight and hotel arrangements with Jonathan (who was on the west coast) since this would be recorded in NY. So Bill asked Jeff if he could make this happen within 1 week. There was no way Jeff was gonna let down the fans! Jeff immediately called Felissa and Robert and arranged for the commentary to be recorded on Monday, April 3rd, 2000!

So Jeff trekked back to NY On Sunday, April 2nd. He had made arrangements to meet up with Anchor Bay's sound recordist, Armand Petri, in the lobby of the hotel late Monday morning. Armand is the man who recorded the audio commentary with director SAM RAIMI and producer ROBERT TAPERT on the Elite Special Edition of the horror classic: EVIL DEAD. After meeting with Armand, Jeff took him over to Felissa's where the commentary was about to be recorded!!

While Armand went to work setting up all the equipment, Jeff and Felissa anxiously awaited the arrival of the man who created the masterpiece himself, Robert Hiltzik. Felissa hadn't seen him since SLEEPAWAY CAMP came out and Jeff had not yet met him in person! The Doorbell rang. The director of SLEEPAWAY CAMP had arrived!!! Jeff grabbed his video camera to record this legendary moment in History: The reunion of Felissa Rose & Robert Hiltzik!!!!!!!!! Below are the exclusive reunion photos straight from Jeff's video camera!

Exclusive reunion photos

Sound recordist Armand Petri
Sets up to record the SLEEPAWAY CAMP DVD Commentary
Robert Arrives!! Well hello there Angela!
Angela embraces her creator!
Robert presents his "Angel" some beautiful flowers!
We're Back!!
Felissa lovin' it!
Robert says hello to all his wonderful Fans!

Commentary Video Recording

Now it was time to make SLEEPAWAY history once again! Robert, Felissa, and Jeff were supplied with pin-on microphones. Armand started the video...and the SLEEPAWAY CAMP commentary was recorded! Below are some exclusive photos taken during the recording:

The mystery man comments on his masterpiece!
"ANGELA" talks about her homicidal tendencies!
Jeff gives a shot out to the site and has some fun!
The Magic behind the DVD commentary!

So there you have it! The miraculous story on how the SLEEPAWAY CAMP DVD came about! If you really care about something...with some devotion, determination, hard work, and persistence you can make magic happen! And magic certainly did happen on Monday, April 3, 2000!

"This is for all the wonderful fans of SLEEPAWAY CAMP who were always intrigued by the film's mysterious power and were just DYING to know more! We tried to unlock some of the magical mystery...and present new mystery as well (laughs)! SLEEPAWAY CAMP Forever Baby!"

DVD Commentary Clips

Robert's inspiration for Sleepaway Camp

Artie's real sexual motivations

Make-Up vs. The Real Thing

Robert Hiltzik's filming philosophy

The MPAA hand down their ruling

What was ANGELA thinking??

The amazing Groucho Stache

A death secret of Return to Sleepaway Camp