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Friday, November 13, 2009

August 17th

Jeff Volpe dies great(and is happy about it).

This is a case where I REMEMBER how bad the shooting day was, but in retrospect it seems like we had a lot of fun. Very strange trick of memory.

August 17th

No shooting at all in the day. Scheduled setup was at 12:30am at the movie theater where a buddy of mine works. That was when the last movie lets out, so we would setup in the theater and hopefully get all the shots done.

Setup took longer than I'd planned, once again. Mental note: Need a bigger crew.

The scene is where Aric goes to a movie theater in the middle of the day and finds a showing that's not very full. He proceeds to kill three of the four people in the theater, and is about to kill the lone girl when her boyfriend walks in. Aric then kills both of them.

The girl ended up a no-show, so I did some fast re-writing in my head. We didn't have much time either, so I moved the body count down to four instead of five.

The new way I planned it was for Aric to kill the three people who are in the theater, and then while he's about to leave, he hears the door open. He sits down quickly as another movie-goer enters. With three lone guys watching the movie, the theater appears to be a porn establishment. I may add a V.O. later, so the audience will identify better.

We shot a wide master of Aric walking in, looking around, then moving behind the first victim, played by Jeff, the guy who runs my store on Sunday. We cut, got Jeff out of the scene and continued the master as Aric gets up and sits behind victim number two, Brad, another employee of mine.

We moved Brad out of the scene and had Aric get up and come across near camera where he sits behind his third victim, played by Assistant Cameraman David Mun. We cut and moved Mun out and then finished the master as the last movie-goer enters, played by Brian Wade, a customer of mine.

We had a slight delay as we blew a fuse and tried to locate which fusebox was the correct one(there's about 6 fuseboxes scattered through-out the theater, running from the projection room to behind the concession stand).

We moved in for a close-up on Jeff, the first victim. This was going to be the only one I used any kind of special effects on, figuring that once the audience sees it the first time, they'll draw their own conclusions. We shoot a medium as Rick lunges forward and runs the knife across Jeff's throat. Then we moved in for a close-up where I'd already drawn a bloody wound on Jeff and taped a tube to the side of his neck.

The plan was for Rick to start with his arm in front of the room and cut in from the medium to the close-up, and as his arm leaves frame, you'll see the wound, and I'll spray blood rhythmically from the tube, so it will spout out.

We rolled camera, and no blood spurted at all. Rick's arm had been blocking it, so it just leaked down Jeff's shirt. We couldn't very well try it again, as Jeff's shirt was soaked red now. The blood on the auditorium floor looked cool leaking down the incline, so Gil suggested we get a shot of that from a low angle, and rig the tube again so blood pumped down toward the camera from Jeff's neck as he lay on the ground.

Credit to Jeff for laying down on that nasty floor, because it wasn't clean. He was having a good time and that makes all the difference when you're working on a low-budget movie. The difference between the miserable night before in the woods and the night at the movies was the control of the location. Things went wrong in both locations, but at the movies everyone was having fun and it was easy to come up with other solutions.

We finished with Jeff and moved on to Brad. Brad's not a professional actor, so I had some reservations about how realistic he'd look when Rick grabbed him from behind. I told him the shot we were going to do and said that we'd stop rolling when Rick lunges forward. "Is he going to grab me this time?" Brad asked. "No," I replied, "we'll stop right before that."

While Gil and Mun were taking some last minute readings, I told Rick to go ahead and grab Brad. The surprise would be real. It worked too.

We cut from that to a shot as Brad's arms drop into the aisle(Aric is pushing each person he kills onto the floor so they can't be seen). Brad flops partyway into the aisle and all you see are his arms being pulled into the row.

We got done that shot fast and moved to the Mun shot, which went off without a hitch. We play with the idea of Mun’s character trying to stop the knife and getting his finger cut off(since Mun is missing a finger already), but decide that it’s too much trouble to mess with.

The original plan was for Brian, the last victim, to come in and sit a couple rows behind Rick. Then, Rick would get up and sit behind him. Being a large theater and the only two people in it, this would perturb Brian's character, so he would turn to look at Aric. Aric tries to act like he's watching the screen, but when that doesn't work, he attacks. I wanted Rick to stab Brian in the chest, but we didn't have any special effects worked out for it at all.

I changed the choreography so Rick stabs with his big knife, but Brian catches his wrist. Then Rick reaches behind him and pulls out a small knife(a special effects knife with a retractable blade). Rick jabs it into his chest a couple of times. The first two practices didn't work, as the small knife kept falling out as Rick stood up. The first real time, after the stab, the blade came entirely out of the handle of the fake knife.

I managed to fix that, but on the second take, Rick snapped the blade in two. Hopefully we got what we needed. Mental Note: Bill Rick for the fake knife, that careless bastard. That thing cost me $3.99

We finished up that scene at about 6:00am, and didn't finish any of the other theater scenes. I'm going to have to do some shuffling to fit those in tomorrow night.

I dropped the guys off and had to go straight to pick up comics and sort them at my store. Only problem was that the van I was using was overheating. I dropped by an automotive place and had them take a look. The van needed a new radiator.

By the time I got that replaced and sorted the comics, it was almost noon. I had about four hours to sleep before we were shooting again. Ain't this the life?
From left to right: Dave Gil, Dave Mun, Jeff Volpe, Rick Ganz, and Brian Wade

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