Wednesday, May 31, 2006

We are slowly creeping up on the first day of on-set special FX for Closet Space. This Friday we dive headlong into the practical FX abyss by tackling one of the two or three most disturbing setpieces of the movie. The more time I spend with our nutty FX crew, the more I realize that the movie is going to kick major f*&king ass. These three guys are coming up with really gruesome, sick, wet, and inventive ways to make our deviant little dreams a reality. I've been sitting at their apartment/fx shop (thanks Matt) watching a little of the process and it's pretty freaking cool. There's a bust of Evan (Laurie) on the table, tentacles hanging from the ceiling, fake teeth on the counter, and a broken bone gag sitting on the couch...and this is just stuff they made in the last 24 hours. Tomorrow they are casting Tim (Professor Polanco) for the big final sequence, so that should be interesting.

We've also had to tackle a few last minute obstacles in addition to the FX stuff. First, one of our locations was iffy for a while, but we got that nailed down today, and it looks like we'll get more use out of the place than we initially thought. Secondly, we had a cast member back out at the last minute (this seems to be becoming typical for my productions), and I initially planned on excising the role completely, but our lighting director Stacy came through in the clinch. He made a casting suggestion, and we met up with the actress this evening and sealed the deal. They say everything happens for a reason, and our newly-minted Monica is the perfect fit for the role, and the cast as a whole. Plus, she's a bad-ass theatre actress, so she'll fit right in with the shooting and blocking vibe for the movie. I only wish that I had found her sooner, but there's always the sequel. Danielle, meet Closet Space. Closet Space, Danielle. You two should get along famously.

On the "everything happens for a reason" tip again...our recasting the Monica role has now reduced the on-screen Witchcraft carryover quotient to one and a half. (I only count Peyton as a half because he himself was a last-minute replacement, and he dies pretty early on in Witchcraft.) That makes me feel a little bit better about the project. Honestly...I compromised the f*%k out of Witchcraft 13 both cast and crew-wise, mainly because of the nature of the project and the timeframe that we were dealing with. As such, there's kind of a black cloud around the whole thing for me at this point. It's like the albatross around my neck. It's nice to be able to not have to "settle" for Closet Space, even if sometimes those choices are forced. I guess that will teach me not to be lazy with casting next time. Note to fellow filmmakers: there are good actresses out there that are okay with nudity and disturbing just have to know where to look.

And the bad person/curmudgeon/reprobate/shit-talker culling continues....actually, now that I think about it, there's almost no one left from the flotsam and jetsam that I managed to pick up on my journey from being a UT film-school transfer to "dark, Lovecraftian monster movie" director. I'm guessing that somwhere along the way I'll encounter more jackassery, but as of yet, no one's really shown their ass on Closet Space. Good God...have I actually made a professional step up?

Friday night is our big death/rape/assault setpiece, and then Saturday is our long night shoot at Texas Rock Gym. Some of the actors and crew headed out to TRG on Memorial Day to get their rock legs, and that went extremely well. Here's a picture of Melanie scaling the wall like a woman posessed:

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