Throughout this production, director Tyler Meyer is keeping a personal log of his experiences. His hope is that it will serve as a warning to others.
April 19, 2009
Started the morning by doing a location scout with Dennis and Max. Dennis works with a guy who owns 50 acres not too far from where we live. Started the trip with breakfast sandwiches and diet coke. I love breakfast sandwiches and diet coke.
The land was awesome. It has everything we need for most of the shoot. I can visualize us making the movie now. It’s all coming into focus. After 2 and a half hours of walking the property, I was exhausted. I can’t imagine doing this all day, every day for a 9 day shoot.
The guy from Craig’s List responded. Says the shed is ours for our asking price.
Later that night, we did the facecasting for Jory, the actor who will be playing Bigfoot. I was 45 minutes late because I couldn’t find the spirit gum I bought for the bald cap, and had neglected to get any burlap to reinforce the cast… and I wasn’t even sure I why needed it. I had thought I was prepared. It occurred to me during the drive that I’ll need to be a lot more organized if I am gonna get through this shoot.
While I got everything ready, Rachel, our bigfoot costume designer, took Jory’s measurements. I showed her some fur swatches I had received from http://www.fauxthrow.com and we agreed on a fur. Then, I asked her if she was on track for us to finish the suit (minus the fur) for the deadline in one week. She laughed at me.
We started with teeth casts so that we can make some custom Bigfoot teeth for Jory. Dental alginate smells like toothpaste. I think it was probably delicious.
We started the lifecast and it and all at once I felt like I knew exactly what I was doing and that I was completely out of my element. I had been worried about Jory not taking well to the process, which involved having his entire head covered in rubbery goop, except for two nose holes. He handled it well, but became very sleepy afterward.
Behind the scenes footage was being recorded the whole time. I became acutely aware of my actions. My first thought, after the 151st “That’s what she said” joke, was that we really are jackasses making a movie. Later I thought about who the hell was going to go through 2 hours of footage to find the good shots. And still later, as Stephan gave me a dirty look for being short with him, I thought about how I always look like a dick in behind the scenes footage. I like to think it’s because, in these situations, I have a laser-like focus on the task at hand, and a refusal to give anything less than my absolute best, but it might be because I am a dick.
When it was all finished, the teeth seem to have come out ok. The lower teeth cracked in half but we superglued them back together. The face mold, on the other hand, got a little smashed. It is incredible how much it looks like Jory… but a mutant Jory. Parts of his face are flat, he nose is pushed to one side. It looks like if Jory played Chunk from The Goonies.
We almost recast his face right then and there, despite the fact that he was very sleepy. He had fallen asleep in a chair, with his head tilted back and we thought we could creep up on him and cast his nose and eye area without him realizing it. We were gathering our supplies to do just that when we realized we had used all the plaster bandages. We cleaned up the huge mess we had made in my sister’s kitchen and headed home in defeat.
As I loaded up my car, I could only think how I need to step my game up if I’m gonna help pull this thing off. I had made too many mistakes that day, and had cost us money and time by not getting the casting right the first time. Still, it occurred to me that what might be best in this situation is some unrealistic optimism. That maybe what is best for me and the rest of the crew is that I should base my outlook on Ronald Regan in a 1950’s comedy. We’ll make that movie. And it’ll be swell.