Independent Film Production
August 12, 2000 - Shootin' at the nightclub

Indie film actorThe back story to this location is that it has changed hands over the years, and even though it is one of the trendier spots in Boston, originally it was known as a gay bar...with the downstairs was used for fetish activities. The fake dungeon stone walls were still up when we shot there. (As can be seen in the photos.) I thought it added a nice, ironic touch to our indie film.

I was shooting in the lap of luxury, I had an ACTUAL LIGHTING GUY to do the ENTIRE LIGHTS. [gasp] I've known Paul Norton since our Norwood cable TV days. (He got a job there before I did..and we were in the same local access introductory class..the bastard.) :-) I managed to pursued him to help by selling the concept of ALL COLORED LIGHTS on a set, and nothing would look like the typical corporate rubber-stamp lighting setup. (Which we all do during the week to pay the bills.) He recently bought some new lighting gear, so was able to take them all out "for a spin". I can only hope I didn't offer to give him a blow job in my enthusiastic sales pitch to get him to show up...I now owe the guy. :-P

I was hoping to get about 12-15 extras to fill our club. I think we got a total of 7. (That included Cara O'Shea in a bright pink wig.) I sorta tried to fill it at the last minute, but I had to use what I had. A bunch of people bagged out on us. I also tried to recruit through my old e-mail list for people who wanted auditions.

I sorta had a brainstorm earlier in the week. Why not put Sparky in the club sequence. After we had shot Sparky trying to make small talk with Juliet (Amanda), we all wished that we could've worked more of him in this indie film. Well, he's in the beginning of the movie and the end, why not put him in the middle? I kinda like the fact that we have a parallel story happening along with Johns plight...Mr. Disgusting (Sparky) is looking for love along side our hero. (Even though we don't actually follow what's happening with Mr. Disgusting, but we get a chance to see that he's done alright for himself at the end.)

We focused on getting all of Darbys' sequences shot since we'll be losing him at the end of September. His important scene at the club was where he places his hand right on a woman's face after having it suggested to him by Todd (John Horrigan). A woman by the name of Terry Fuentes had come down through a contact from Geoff. We basically grabbed her out of our (small) crowd and threw the lines to her. I was in such a rush, I never auditioned anyone for this small speaking role. I had to explain that Darby needed to place his hand directly on her face, and she needed to react to such a stupid maneuver. I then started apologizing to her for putting her in such a demeaning position, but her reply was "I'm half Mexican and half Sicilian, so I deal with this sort of thing all the time!" Anyhoo...Terry reacted perfectly and was cool about this whole stupid thing.

This whole face business was based on an incident one of my friends did to a real woman back in my club hopping days, including the line "I was measuring your face to see if we were compatible." God, no wonder me and my friends never got laid back then.

We didn't get all of the shots we needed. We need to get more shots of the guys interacting with a larger crowd. I also need to shoot an exterior hallway with Johnny sitting by himself as the first woman wearing fishnets approaches. I was also surprised at who well everyone got along. The few extras we got seemed to be having as much fun as the regular gang. I'm still amazed I didn't have to touch a light. Thanks Paul!

Closed set! :-P

Dancing Darby

Dancing Sparky

Dan w slate

Darby smile

Entire crew

Outside w Geoff

Horrigan at bar

Phil onset

Sleeping Cara

Phil & Terry


August 13, 2000 - Woodrow T. Justice

Today was "get everything friggin' shot that we need at Wonderbar." I basically had three scenes with all the guys huddled around the table. If I had tried to shoot everything in order, where we finished the first scene, then moved onto the next, I think I would've had 13 lighting set-ups to do in something like 4 hours. (Ain't gonna happen.) Tried another approach; light for one angle, and have everyone change their clothes to match whatever scene they were doing. This way I only had to light four times, but got three scenes done. (Cookie-cutter approach.) I know I said earlier in this journal that having actors change costume takes just as long as re-lighting a set-up. I was wrong. If you motivate your actors, (by telling them that they'll have to be there longer) they'll listen. :-) Actually, everyone just needed to switch their shirt tops. Easy enough. The other reason why I only did close-ups, was the fact that we had no one there as extras on the set!

We did come up with one thing sort've on the set a few days earlier. We shot the scene where Johnny is reading his personals ad to everyone around the table. ("Seeking anyone from a Lesbain biker chick to a transvestite nympho.") The original ending to this scene was everyone shaking their heads and saying something like "well, if this doesn't work John, you can always turn gay." We noticed at rehearsal earlier in the week that it just sort've sat there. (i.e wasn't funny) The line was similar to something that Todd/Horrigan's character said in an earlier scene. ("You can always punch the munchkin!")

As mentioned earlier, Phil had previously weilded a "rubber ass" around the set for a few days, just to get a reaction out of us. Just for shits 'n giggles I said, "Wouldn't it be very silly if you THREW the rubber ass on the table..BANG!..and ended the scene there." (If you haven't figured out what a "rubber ass" is, it's basically a rubber vagina.) Well, we did it. I believe the two reasonable-headed persons on the set objected to such an object making an appearance in this movie. Fuck it, it's much more of an interesting ending than just, "well...you always can turn GAY." :-P

I have to admit, my fortitude wavered a bit. We shot the "rubber ass" with and without panties. (It wouldn't make much sense if Phils character throws a clothed sexual device on the table and announces that he's solved Johns problem.) I guess we'll hafta see what's "right." Hey, if the Farrely brothers can have a big fleshy dildo waved around in a few scenes in "Me, Myself and Irene" and get an R rating...I can certainly flash a rubber labia for 10 frames in this movie.

My buddy Eric Scott Bloom came back from Arizona for a few weeks, so we slammed out some shots of him playing guitar in a little carpeted area near the piano. He sang, "Wake Up Everybody I'm In Love!" (played for the first time outside of my house at 3 am.) and "Ty Cobbs Filthy Athletic Supporter" (only five bucks to see it) on camera. Johnny and I have known Eric Scott Bloom (a.k.a Woodrow T. Justice) for a very long time now. (Back when we didn't have children, girlfriends or pot bellies.) I did a live cable TV show in Dedham, Massachusetts called "The Woodrow T. Justice" show. We basically pushed him into a dark TV studio, popped a couple of lights on him, then sent him out live to the town. He solicited phone calls from residents, did highly charged political banter and took requests. (All of which he had no clue on how to play, but that didn't stop him.) Eric's been making his living from his artwork, which you can see here at his website.


Bloom window

Bloom w camera

Woody CU

Men in shorts


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