Since 2008, more than 635 high schools, colleges and other organizations have purchased the film to incorporate into their educational efforts. HAZE is a powerful educational tool that can spark in-depth conversations about the role of alcohol and “traditions” to initiate members, as well as motivate audience members to intervene in a hazing situation or alcohol emergency. We consistently receive feedback that the film and discussion after a screening positively impact students, parents, and campus culture, allowing conversations about what it means to be a valued member of a group, the barriers that prevent intervention on a campus, and how to be an active bystander.
The film uniquely weaves together a collection of interviews, many by national experts on the subjects of hazing and alcohol, with Gordie's story. While the film does contain graphic photographs from the crime scene after Gordie's death, it is appropriate for all high school and college audiences.
Presented on film are a number of experts in the field, including Walter Kimbrough, President of Dillard University and the leading expert witness on hazing cases in the United States. Dr. Aaron White, a biological psychologist (neuroscientist) with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, is also featured, along with hazing expert and Dean of Students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Travis Apgar.
Others featured are Barrett Seaman, former TIME Magazine reporter and author of the book Binge, Excess in the Age of Disconnection; Dr. Susan Lipkins, hazing expert and author of Preventing Hazing: How Parents, Teachers and Coaches Can Stop the Violence, Harassment, and Humiliation; and Dr. Richard Schwartzstein, Director of The Academy at Harvard Medical School.
“The intent is to use real life footage to showcase the problems, and then present experts, on film, who can give an objective perspective on the severity of alcohol abuse and hazing in university settings.” said Michael Lanahan, Gordie's step-father and HAZE Executive Producer.
Produced by the Colorado Springs, CO film company, Watt Imagination!, the movie is directed by Pete Schuermann, who includes among his credits film projects for The Walt Disney Company, MGM Lions Gate, Raytheon, and Yamaha.
“We want to use the film to prevent other tragic deaths like what happened to Gordie.” according to Michael Lanahan. “We hope that this documentary will encourage our society to make the necessary changes for a safer environment on college campuses.”