By now, you've most likely heard the ever-escalating hum from buzz surrounding "Beasts of the Southern Wild." Directed and co-written by Benh Zeitlin, "Beasts" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and -- after winning the Grand Jury Prize there -- has never looked back. Now, finally, "Beasts of the Southern Wild" has opened in select theaters.

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" is a hard movie to describe. It follows a father and daughter (played by Dwight Henry --who we spoke to in an interview published earlier this week -- and Quvenzhané Wallis) who live in flooded Louisiana community called "The Bathtub." Here, Zeitlin discusses the excitement around "Beasts," the worthless classes he took on "how to pitch a movie," and why he also has a hard time describing what "Beasts" is about.

I'll admit, I had some problems coming up with questions about this movie. All I want to say is, "Just see it."
Yeah, I experienced that. The early stages of a project are all trying to pitch it before it exists -- and it was totally impossible. We went to some sort of pitch junket, you know, where you practice pitching your movie.

What do they teach you?
Nothing! I mean, you just try to get people interested. And, eventually, we just quit and started pitching "A League of Their Own" instead. It's like, that makes people happier.

You actually told people that this movie would be about women playing baseball during World War II?
We were just like, "OK, 1942, all the men are away at war. Who's going to play the baseball?" Because, you know, you can pitch that movie. There are some movies that are pitchable and this one is impossible to do.

Did they teach you to combine films? Like, "It's 'Die Hard' on a bus"?
I mean, no one could literally understand it well enough to even give us advice, early on. Until Sundance, where they helped us be able to tell the story, but we were never able to pitch it.

I'm assuming that Sundance wanted the movie right away after seeing it?
Well, we showed them a rough cut. We finished the film, actually, two days before the actual screening. And it was still in progress, in some ways.

Were you aware of the building buzz as Sundance went along?
That does get to you -- you hear that. But I had just never been through anything like that before. That first screening at the Eccles, we got a huge standing ovation. But I didn't know that was special. I just thought that maybe every premiere gets that. But it started to dawn on me with some of the early writing that came out -- it was so in sync with the way we talk about the film. I mean, we screened the film many times as a rough cut and it never fully spoke -- people never reacted to it in the way that I wanted them to. And the first press from Suncance started to fully understand the film.

So you didn't even realize that you had something until that happened?
No. I was way too inside of it to be thinking that way. I was just trying to get it to where I didn't feel like I wanted to kill myself when I watched it. So, that was the motivation.

The stars of the film had never acted before. Why did you go that route?
I mean, they were the best people we saw. For her part, we didn't have any thought of trying to cast an actor. We wanted a six-year-old. If you've acted, you've been in like a TV commercial. I mean, who has their kid acting before she is six years old? That just wasn't the girl that we're looking for. For her, we looked at 4,000 kids trying to find that part. And she just kind of emerged. So, for both her and Dwight, they were just meant to play these roles and no one else could have done it. For him, he was working in the bakery across the street from our casting office. So, it happens in all kinds of ways, but it was never a principle that we wanted to work with non-actors and that will be our schtick.

Do you worry about the hype? That people are now seeing this movie with very high expectations?
No, I'm very confident in the movie.

So that's changed since Sundance?
Yeah. Well, I was just still making the film at Sundance. But like we were talking about pitching, as much as you try to explain it, there's no way to explain it. So, people are going to go in and be surprised by what it is, no matter what. I don't watch trailers, I like to go into every movie fresh. So, it does kill me when we have to put a scene on the internet -- because I want that scene to come in fresh. I think I worry more that things will be given away more than I do that I'll respond to some sort of critique of it.

What's next for you? Or is it too early to talk about that?
I always have a backlog of like seven movies that I want to make. And I know which one that I want to do next, but I have to keep it a secret right now.

Will it be a stark contrast from this film?
No. We don't think of this as a culmination of a style, or something. It's really just this is sort of how Court 13 makes movies. And, so, it's the first one. And we'll tell totally different stories -- it's not like it's all going to be like "Beasts 2" coming out. It's going to be totally different. But, it's an approach to filmmaking -- and we're going to keep that.

So there are no superhero movies coming up.
Or, if we did, it would still feel like this.

Mike Ryan is senior entertainment writer for The Huffington Post. You can contact him directly on Twitter.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - New Orleans Premiere

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 25: (L-R) Fox Searchlight Pictures Co-Presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula with actor Dwight Henry, actress Quvenzhane Wallis, Director Benh Zeitlin and Co-writer Lucy Alibar attend Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' on June 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Fox Searchlight Pictures)

  • Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - New Orleans Premiere After Party

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 25: (L-R) Actress Quvenzhane Wallis and actor Dwight Henry attend Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' After Party on June 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Fox Searchlight Pictures)

  • Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - New Orleans Premiere After Party

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 25: (L-R) Actress Quvenzhane Wallis and actor Dwight Henry attend Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' After Party on June 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Fox Searchlight Pictures)

  • Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - New Orleans Premiere

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 25: (L-R) Producer Dan Janvey, actor Dwight Henry, Producers Michael Gottwald and Josh Penn attends Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' on June 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Fox Searchlight Pictures)

  • Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - New Orleans Premiere

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 25: (L-R) Actress Quvenzhane Wallis and actor Dwight Henry attends Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' on June 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Fox Searchlight Pictures)

  • Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - New Orleans Premiere

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 25: (L) Young actress Quvenzhane Wallis and actor Dwight Henry pose on the red carpet for the press at Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' on June 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Fox Searchlight Pictures)

  • Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - New Orleans Premiere

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 25: (L-R) Actress Quvenzhane Wallis, actor Dwight Henry and Director Benh Zeitlin speak to the audience moments before the premiere of Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' on June 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Fox Searchlight Pictures)

  • Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - New Orleans Premiere

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 25: (L-R) Actress Quvenzhane Wallis and actor Dwight Henry attends Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' on June 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Fox Searchlight Pictures)

  • Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - New Orleans Premiere

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 25: Actor Dwight Henry Fox attends Searchlight Pictures Presents 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' on June 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Fox Searchlight Pictures)

  • Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - New Orleans Premiere

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 25: (L-R) Producer Dan Janvey, actor Dwight Henry, Producers Michael Gottwald and Josh Penn attends Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' on June 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Fox Searchlight Pictures)

  • Film Independent's 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival Premiere Of "Beast Of Southern Wild" - Arrivals

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 15: Actor Dwight Henry attends the Film Independent's 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival Premiere Of 'Beast of the Southern Wild' at Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14 on June 15, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

  • US actor Dwight Henry poses during the p

    US actor Dwight Henry poses during the photocall of 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' presented in the Un Certain Regard selection at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 19, 2012 in Cannes. AFP PHOTO / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT (Photo credit should read ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/GettyImages)

Also on HuffPost: