HAZE (2008)

A definitive look at alcohol abuse and hazing on college campuses across the US. The tragic story of CU Boulder freshman Gordie Bailey serves as the center point of this Award-winning documentary.

On the afternoon of September 16, 2004, a joyous 18-year-old, Lynn Gordon Bailey Jr., pledged Chi Psi Fraternity at the University of Colorado. The next morning he was found dead, a victim of an irresponsible hazing ritual involving alcohol. A sad situation, but made even worse because it was so preventable.
Every year, a staggering 1,700 college students face the same fate. Another 100,000 are victims of sexual assault as a result of heavy drinking.
HAZE was created with the intent of placing a focus on the issues of binge drinking, alcohol-laden hazing rituals, and rapid-fire drinking games. Simply stated, the film’s goal is to save lives and prevent harm.
Pete Schuermann’s first documentary feature film, produced by then partner Rob Watt, HAZE was originally to be a straightforward educational program for schools, covering the hazards of alcohol abuse and hazing. Pete suggested to the producers (Michael and Leslie Lanahan, parents to Gordie Bailey and originators of The Gordie Foundation) that an actual documentary would serve the same purpose but reach a larger audience.
The film was a smash success, being accepted in nine of the country’s best film festivals like AFI Dallas, Hampton’s and Newport Beach. To date, it’s been reported that HAZE has net the foundation for which it has created almost one million dollars in returns. Robin Wright-Penn introduces the film.
HAZE was produced by Rob Watt of Watt Imagination! Productions; Pete Schuermann served as writer, editor (with Dave Wruck) and director.

The critics weigh in...

John Horn
John Horn
LA Times
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“…a terrifying ‘scared straight’ tale aimed at parents, educators, legislators, and young adults who underestimate the dangers of youthful alcohol abuse and binge drinking”.
Steven Rosen
Steven RosenDenver Post
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Although HAZE has been available for viewing through HULU for years, through their website The Gordie Foundation continues to sell HAZE directly to schools and colleges across the country. The film comes with a facilitator guide and is intended to be used for interactive programs: a screening followed by a facilitated discussion.


Distribution for HAZE started with an acquisition by SnagFilms when it became their inaugural feature film in 2008. It can still be viewed there.

One of the biggest events of Pete Schuermann’s career was the showing of HAZE at the AFI Dallas Film Festival. Robin Wright-Penn was in attendance along with the Lanahan family.


It was emotionally charged on many levels, given the sobering purpose of the film. Although the glamorous, proverbial Red Carpet Walk was incredible, calling the showing a celebration was certainly not apt. Thoughts were always centered on this brave family and their efforts.


Of course, it was quite an honor to have the film become part of the American Film Institute legacy.