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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

AUGUST 6th, 1998

Dave Gil sets up the shot with Cathy Granville.

I was sweating bad. That's what I remember about this day, and you can see it on the Making Of on the HH dvd.

NOTHING was going right. I didn't know near enough about sound and I was in charge of it all. I was on the DAT machine trying to get the best sound but I wasn't even sure what levels I was supposed to be recording at.

Sure, I had spent a year on the newsgroups talking to sound guys but you get differing opinions. In the end it worked out pretty well.

But don't get me started on everything else that day. I've spent a lot of time trying to forget it.


On paper, I had us starting to set up about 4 p.m., as the shot takes place sometime toward the evening. We were scheduled to be in Rick Ganz's parents' house. He told them to take off and he'd pay for a hotel room for them.

I was running late, due to trying to call everyone, ensure we had food and drinks on set, pick up the special effects knife and more that popped up by the moment.

I got Gil(the D.P.) and Mun(the A.C.), and we bolted over to the house. Rick and Cathy--the girl who was to get naked for the shower attack--were waiting.

We began setting up. It took a while. There was a ton of equipment, and we were working with the bare minimum as it was. No wonder studio shoots have crews of a thousand.

We set up and get some of the shots inside. They were going well and the dog we had was actually doing what it was supposed to! We couldn't believe it.

Luck changed just like that.

We went outside to try to shoot some exteriors. The mosquitoes attacked immediately, biting the hell out of Mun and Gil's arms and legs. I've never seen anyone swell up from mosquito bites like they did.

I was trying to record sound when suddenly a fire truck pulled up across the street, and of course they didn't turn off the truck. They just sat there and made loud noises. So we were going to take it all back inside when I heard someone shouting to me.

The fire truck was there because there were live wires exposed. Those wires had now blown a transformer in the neighborhood, so no one had any power. Cameras and DAT machines and mixers run on power. I figured we'd wait an hour and see if they had it back on.

I figured wrong.

Rick came in and told me his parents were outside. His father had a stroke earlier in the day and they were back from the hospital. They didn't want to go to a hotel.

We beat a hasty retreat. The plan was then to go to the apartment Rick was moving out of, and try to shoot the rest of the scene and match the shots. I realized immediately that the carpets were not going to be the same color, but lots of people have more than one color of carpet in their house. I hoped it would match somehow, or I'd be rewriting out the beginning of the scene.

We got to the apartment and set up. The place was messy from the get-go, since Rick was on his way out, but now the living room was cluttered with equipment. As we were getting ready to shoot the scene where the girl strips to her underwear, Rick's soon-to-be ex-wife shows up.

What are we doing there, she wanted to know. There was an argument. Rick's soon-to-be ex-wife left in a huff. Good riddance, I say.

So we shot the scene where Cathy strips to her underwear and enters the bathroom. It went pretty well. We started the shot where she takes off her bra and panties and starts to get in the shower when she's attacked. When Rick pulled the curtain back and grabbed her, you could hear his hand hitting her throat. He JERKED her to the side and made motions like he was stabbing her.

When I yelled "Cut", I was terrified that Cathy was hurt. If you'd seen my face during the take, you would have laughed. I think my jaw hit the ground at the ferocity of Rick's attack. If it looks half as good on film, people will think Rick really hurt her.

Well, he did, sort of.

He had a real knife for that shot, and he brought it in and turned it so the handle would be the only thing touching Cathy. Unfortunately, he nicked her with the knife a couple of times. She was a real sport though. She didn't even complain when the prop knife with a retractable blade--the one that was hand-made by my brother--broke skin on her chest.

We ended about midnight and we had missed a scene. Not too bad, considering we'd had to move on the fly.

The only bad part: By the time all was said and done(we had packed up, I'd taken the crew home, I'd gone to get the wheelchair that was near our original shoot that evening, and then I'd gone to Metro to get some last-minute food and supplies) it was 4:30 am. I went to bed immediately and got up at 8:30 am.

Very tired, very sick to my stomach. I knew it was going to be a rough day.

Rick Ganz is creepy in the shower. Trust me.

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