Sunday, May 31, 2009

It's a wrap!

On Sunday 31st at 3:40 pm we got the last shot after 52 takes. You can see from the photo that our hand model, Michelle Clarke, literally sweat blood due to the stress involved from working under such a perfectionist director. Keiran had to interveen as it was obvious I couldn't bring myself to stop. He gently placed his hand on my shoulder and whispered in Latin "is "Consummatum est" in English "it is finished". I began to weep uncontrollably and cry out "Never, Never!" until he spoke the words in Klingon "Dor-sho-gha! Aaron forshak!" or in English "Let's drink Aarons wine".

The wrap party invovled myself and Keiran Mangan dressing up as characters from 2001 a Space Odessy and drinking sherry. It lasted for 8 seconds and the stripper never showed, tho she may have as I don't remember much from those 8 seconds.

The edit is also pretty close to done, just audio tracks, some post FX and a colour grade and it's in the bag!

I'll still review the last 3 weeks of shooting and pop up the single wrap party photo on this blog soon.

I'll have a cast and crew screening in Collingwood and Belgrave when it happens.

So the shoot has taken 4 months. It really should have taken 4 days.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cast - The Screws - Michelle and Amy

When I told Michelle about the film she asked me if she could be in it. It suddenly struck me that I role I intended to play myself (in drag) would be perfect for a primary school teacher. Although Michelle doesn't have an offical acting career I am fully aware of the teachers need to put on an act in front of a room full of sceptic's who really want you to crack up and walk off crying.
Michelle plays Appleyard who is the headmistress in the "original" film.

Amy plays a gaurd called Porter, which is a dummed down version of the french teachers name, Mlle. de Poitiers, which I can't pronounce properly anyway. And I'm meant to be French.
There's also an Irma, Sara and Marion, who I have changed to Irma, Sarah and Maria. How clever is that?

Amy has been a first AD on a few projects but has given it up to pursue a lucrative career in acting. By some bizarre accident she stumbled onto this film and became sidetracked. Her life is now in ruins and you can often find her sitting outside Young and Jacksons on Flinders street with a bottle of cheap cooking sherry and wreaking of vomit.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Worst Director Ever

This cartoon, by Tilman, warrants some explanation. This might take a while. It's referring to my last student shoot which went quite badly. On our return to school I had discovered that word had already got around that I was wreaking of alcohol, stoned, and that I'd nearly killed my dog.

THE DOG - The shoot was on location in Castlemaine, which seemed like a nice place. I'd booked cast and crew into a hotel and a caravan park. I brought my dog with me as I figured he could sleep in my van at night and hang around with us in the day.
When we got to the GREAT NORTHERN Hotel in Castlemaine it was discovered that out room didn't have a key. "It's OK, we just leave everything open." Of course no one wanted to stay there so I decided to stay in the Northern myself as I'd already paid for it (more of that later) as the caravan park would not take the van in with my dog in it, so I left it outside with him tied to it. One day, I was meant to drop in for a quick meeting and left the dog in the car, WITH THE WINDOW OPEN and a BUCKET OF WATER! After a HALF HOUR! someone noticed so I went and got him out. It WASN'T REALLY THAT HOT COS I HAD THE WINDOW OPEN!

STONED - Apparently the volunteer caterers supplied some "special" muffins to cast and crew on the night of the shoot. I wasn't aware of this until much later but while it was used against me at school some of the crew said "I wouldn't have got through that night if it wasn't for those muffins."

DRUNK - Towards the end of the shoot one of the actors gave me a shot of whisky from his hip flask. OK, I shouldn't have and he shouldn't have been drinking but it was late, cold, we were nearly finished and it was ONE SHOT for fuks sake. It may have been that or it may have been that I'd been up all night in my clothes as the arseholes at the Great Northern would stay up and party all night then their ugly teenage kids would get up in the morning and shout obscene things to each other outside my door.

IN CONCLUSION - What did I learn from this experience? I'm not really sure but I did learn that some people really are arseholes and when you're falling they'd rather kick the shit out of you than help you up. DON'T HAVE THESE SORT OF PEOPLE ON SET!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Crew - Kieran Mangan

Ever heard of "suffering for your art"? Well bollocks to that! Do what I do and get someone else to suffer for you. Kieran has helped me on a number of projects including walking the streets of Brunswick in a blood covered suit, holding up things, carrying things, being attacked by sandflys on a hot beach, holding up things, scriptwriting, taking over direction when I'm too stressed to think, carrying things etc
On this shoot he is doing a lot of D.O.P. work but is quite happy to hand me the camera and carry heavy objects when I don't feel like it.

Kieran Mangan, everyone should have one!

Cast - Prisoners. Laura, Tahnee and Priscila.

Here we see Laura and Karl with Karl's common expression "stay away from my ex" he often directs towards me. Laura wanted to be a Zombie but I made her be a prisoner. She would of made a fine Zombie but I think she has a bit of a bad girl look going on already so I stuck her in the chain gang.

Disclaimer - none of this is true. Karl and I often swap X and current girlfriends at our cocaine fueled orgy's.

This is Tahnee waving goodbye as she is escorted off the set for her outlandish and crude sense of humour. Her vulgar antics are not tolerated on a film of this calibre and so she's being sent back to the more appropriate Channel 31 where she is a host of a children's television show. Apparently kids like this sort of thing.
Tahnee wanted to be Porter but her police record barred her from carrying a gun of any sort.

Disclaimer - of course none of this is true. Just look at her, as if.

It wasn't until Priscila was telling me about life in Rio De Janeiro by swearing at me in Portuguese and holding a knife to my throat that I decided she should be in this film. I also like to hang out with her and see my ex's faces drop when they meet her. I was considering wooing her with my charming ways until I realized she'd rather stay with her wife-beating, crack-head, boyfriend than go out with an internationly award winning film maker.

Disclaimer - Priscila's Boyfriend works full time helping homeless children in impoverished third world countries. He is a close friend of Bishop Desmund Tutu and an award winning chef and state champion steer wrestler.

Crew - Karl VonBamburga (or something)

Karl was in charge of our high budget special effects. In this photo you can see that he's about to dig a tunnel when it was noticed on arrival, on the first day of shooting, that the entire film was meant to be located in a vast underground network of criss-crossing caves and not a sunny forest setting at all.
His job also included throwing goo onto girls dresses which, luckily, he has a fondness for but seemed to often miss and get their faces instead.
Unfortunately Karl had to leave the production, half way through, when he was attacked and eaten by a Gorilla from another shoot.

Props - Vomit Girl

The popular "vomit-girl" magazine was created by Aaron Odonnel and was inspired by a party invite I have somewhere of a cute girl vomiting in the gutter.
In fact it's proving to be so popular that another issue may show up in another film. Watch out for it, it's great!

In the photo above Zak proudly shows off a picture of his mum whilst Tahnee trys to find contact information to sign up as a vomit magazine model. Michelle looks on with approval as she remembers her time as a vomit girl magazine pin up very fondly.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Coincidence or Syncronicity

Is it just me or does Aaron look a bit like Dur Golem in that last pic?


We are using a lot of fake blood on this shoot (as Penelope discovered). I found a few useful recipes off this site;

This is the one we've used the most (or something like it)

"Homemade Fake Blood

1 c. Karo Syrup
1 Tbsp Water
2 Tbsp Red Food Coloring
1 tsp Yellow Food Coloring

Mix together in a mixing bowl and you're done. Try adding blue or yellow for a different shade."

I've also used the chocolate one, and the gravy one looks easy and cheap. The Karo ones good but a little hard to find bulk Karo Syrup. It also washes out of peoples clothes very easily if you soak them in Napi-san.

We mix three different colours, red for humans and black and yellow for zombies as I didn't want to use green. We're in the bush, there's green everywhere, how much green do you want?

Funny enough, black and yellow, together make green.

I have also found that you need to store the stuff in the fridge or it grows mould after a week or so.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cast - Samantha Hill

Samantha plays Edith who I describe as someone who really shouldn't be in prison. In fact all I had to say to Sam was "you shouldn't be here" and she got it. I gave her the biggest pair of overalls so she'd look as awkward as possible, which she'd use by pulling her large sleeves over her hands when she was threatened.
A very talented actor, I've never seen someone so "in the moment" and so able to switch it on and off at anytime.
Sam is also the only person I cast who auditioned on tape. I was thinking of putting the audition tapes on the DVD but Sam's was so moving and personnel that I've since decided against it.

Early on, when the prisoners first got together, they decided to work out their own personnel histories. Apparently Edith is a kleptomaniac, not sure what the others are but I'd like to find out.

She also had to scream a lot and get goo chucked on her.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pick Ups 1 - Stuntman Aaron

OK. So it's a good looking bike but it runs like shit. A few shoots back we took the bike along and tried to get some shots of Penelope and Samantha riding it. It has a few problems and has to be roll started. The plan was to get it going and then get Pen and Sam to hop on. However we couldn't get it to keep running and so tried to roll the bike in with them on it. Hopefully building up enough speed for them to balance. As the bike is really not made for a passenger this proved to be way too difficult to balance, especially for someone who has only just started to learn how to ride a motorcycle.
I decided to have another go, this time with Aaron (an experienced rider and owner of the vehicle in question) and his better half, Michelle.
This was another frustrating day as the old engine just seemed to get worse each time we started it. For some reason the clutch is not holding properly which means that the bike wants to pull away when its stopped and then conks out, which is why we tried to roll it on the previous shoot.
I went back to Wrights Forest as its more hilly and we ran it sometimes and rolled it other times. It was still very difficult to balance a passenger on the back and so I tried out a few different angles.
We didn't get much done and gave up when the light went but when I looked at the footage later, it actually doesn't look too bad.