Tag Archives: sasquatch

Getting Rich – Part 1: Listen to Rodriguez, damn it

There is a common maxim in the world of low-budget, independent film that says to write for locations that you have. In fact, Robert Rodriguez, one our idols and role models in the making of this movie, and wearer of superior head gear, perfected this method, which Stu Maschwitz called “The Rodriguez List.” You make a list of all the stuff you have at your disposal, and then you write your script around those items and locations.

Robert Rodriguez

Robert Rodriguez, whose hats are cooler than my entire wardrobe.

This makes sense on a number of levels. First of all, the financial benefit of this approach is obvious. Things that you have equal things that you don’t have to acquire or make yourself. In Grassman, all of our characters arrive at the forest in vehicles that the actors actually drove to set. No rentals, or special needs; just some consideration for who will be on set with what vehicles for an scenes shot around that location.

Second, it is a great way to figure out early on what you have that will make your film uniquely yours. Taking stock of your inventory of stuff and locals lends itself to a level of personalizing of your script in a way to can add to its authenticity. Writing a scene that takes place in a science lab that you don’t have access to, versus a gravel pit that you do because of your connected uncle “knows a guy” may not have the same feel or tone, but if you make it work, it will have production value like a mofo.

Cover of "Rebel without a Crew: How a 23 ...

Cover via Amazon

Of course, despite our following the Gospel of Rodriguez (Rebel Without a Crew), this was not something I did when writing the script for Grassman. Like the inexperienced, delusional dork that I am, I wrote a film that takes place 90% of the time in the woods. Woods are easy to find, I thought. Hell, if we have to we’ll just do this guerrilla-style, sneaking into local parks and making a Bigfoot movie when no one is looking. Yeah, I know. I was an idiot.

But, that’s what I did. And when I was finished, I had a forest, but also needed a gas station, a cave, a shed, a cliff and a gorge, a large creek. Somehow, this thing seemed a bit bigger than showing up at one of Hamilton County’s fine parks and hoping we weren’t going to get caught. It was a huge feature film, which a lot of action, blood, screaming, fighting, falling, and fire. These thing do not lend themselves to a stealthy guerrilla production.

Robert Rodriguez, Jaime King, & Nick Stahl at ...

Rodriguez with people who actually listen to him.

It became abundantly clear that 1) I had not followed Rodriguez’s sage advice, 2) we needed to run this gig like professionals, not idiots running through public parks until we were banned for life, and 3) we needed an alternative to that. Somewhere where we could be both professionals and idiots, which would lend itself to the film seamlessly and not cost us a thing.  Essentially, we were screwed.

Until, in one magical moment at my real job, when I had a thought that would change everything. A beautiful, serendipitous, life just falling into place moment that made the movie possible. I had my Rodriguez List after I wrote the script in the form of a gentleman that I had known for 5 years. All I had to do was ask and pray that he said yes.

Next week, I will conclude the tale of Rich, the man behind the non-acting character of The Legend of Grassman: the best location a growing filmmaker could hope for.

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Bigfoot is the New Zombie

I went to this 20 year high school reunion this past summer or fall or something. I’d never been to one of these things before cause it’s a commonly held belief that they suck.  Suck?  It was pretty much like hanging out in a bar where everyone’s really happy to see you.   How does this suck?  For once, you get to be Norm from Cheers, only without the ridiculous bar tab.  And I should point out that high school was not a period where I experienced a great level of social success.  To put things in perspective, my closest friends during that time were the crew of  the Starship Enterprise NCC1701-D.  Though, I must confess, I didn’t exactly gel with Dr. Kate Pulaski.

Even in this photo of the bridge officers and the teenage boy they like to hang out with, her arrogance overpowers the scene.  So glad she wasn't at the reunion.

Even in this photo of the bridge officers and the teenage boy they like to hang out with, her arrogance and lack of team spirit are defiantly on display like the feathers of some kind of shitheaded peacock. So glad she wasn’t at the reunion.

I was excited to come across an old friend, Bill Danner, because he was one of the three people I thought might remember me.  At this point, I hadn’t yet realized that I (and everyone else there) was Norm from Cheers and I thought maybe I could fool the rest of Roger Bacon’s Class of 1992 into thinking that I was interesting and had friends.  He told me he was a writer now and that he specialized in monster stories.  Hey, dude, that awesome.  Cause I’m working on a monster movie!  What kind of monsters you write about?

Me and Bill.  Sort of.  Me and Bill's hands.  Talking about werewolves.

Me and Bill. Sort of. Me and Bill’s hands. Talking about werewolves.  On my name tag is a picture of what I looked like 20 yrs ago.  I looked like a guy in a suit.  (Photo credit: Teresa Dinwiddie-Herrmann)

“Werewolves,” Bill answered, clearly stunned that I would ask such a silly question because werewolves are obviously the only monster that are worth the trouble.  “And what’s your movie about?” he asked politely, knowing the answer was werewolves.

“Bigfoot,” I said enthusiastically, with the same blissful obliviousness I display when I tell a music snob that my favorite band is KISS.

“Bigfoot?” Bill asked in disbelief.  “Bigfoot?”

“Yeah…  Bigfoot…” I continued.  “The gentle giant of the forest…  The wild man of the mountain…  Don’t you like Bigfoot?”

He refused to dignify that question with an answer, but the disgusted look on his face said it all.  He then proceeded to tell me why werewolves are the best monster for any and all artistic endeavors.  I won’t get into that now because I was fairly drunk from my one beer at that point and didn’t retain any of it.  Something about fangs or man’s duality…  I don’t know…  He probably explains it on his blog, Howl to Find Meaning, where he has some short stories you can check out, as well as his work-in-progress novel.

Go ahead.  Check it out.  I’ll wait.

How is this scary?  I just don't get it.  (Photo credit: Stolen from Bill's Blog)
How is this scary? I just don’t get it. (Photo credit: Stolen from Bill’s blog)

I’ve spent the last few years focused on Bigfoot & Bigfoot movies and interacting with other people who love Bigfoot as much as I do (and some a bit more).  This exchange made me realize that I had become so immersed in my film and in the Bigfoot subculture, I momentarily forgot that the vast majority of Bigfoot movies pretty much suck.

In the 1970’s Bigfoot had exploded into popular culture.  The famous Patterson/Gimlin film had come out just a few years earlier, igniting the public’s interest in the big guy and once the extremely low budget docudrama (like a mockumentary but faker) The Legend of Boggy Creek hit drive-in screens, it was over.  Bigfoot was everywhere.

Me and Bob Gimlin, the "Gimlin" in Patterson-Gimlin.  Not pertinent or anything.  Just name dropping.

Me and Bob Gimlin, the “Gimlin” in Patterson-Gimlin. Not pertinent or anything. Just name dropping.  (Photo credit: Nice lady who made delicious Bigfoot-shaped cookies)

By the time I had been born and started to reach consciousness the tv was filled  with aweseome 70’s Bigfoot stuff like In Search Of… and The Six Million Dollar Man.  I probably even caught an episode or two of Bigfoot and Wildboy.  Bigfoot was so popular at the time, I had a recurring nightmare in those days that Bigfoot and I were being chased by pirates.  I also had a somewhat less relevant dream that the Bionic Man and the Peanuts gang went to the Cincinnati Zoo to beat up alligators.

Welcome to my nightmare.  Children under 3 get in free.

Welcome to my nightmare. Children 2 and under get in free.

When I was older, I started reading books about Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, and all sorts of other allegedly real-life monsters (including werewolves.  If you hit a werewolf on the nose with your housekey, he’ll leave you alone.  Laaame.  I wonder if Bill knows that).  As a kid who hated reading, this was one of the few subjects that would inspire me to pick up a book.  And also Dr. Who.  (Until I finally was allowed to stay up late enough to see the show.  It was the worst.)

By now it was the 80’s  and there weren’t really any Bigfoot movies being made.  Harry and the Hendersons came out.  It kinda sucked, but it was Bigfoot, so I went with it.  The same year, Unsolved Mysteries hit the airwaves, occasionally offering a more serious take on the cryptid.  It all made me long for all the cool stuff I had seen in the seventies.

Back in the 70’s, when Leonard Nimoy would tell me things about Bigfoot and ghosts and aliens, it felt very real and there was something very scary about it, but also very compelling.  At the same time, I was realizing that Mr. Spock was just a character and Leonard Nimoy the actor who played him.  Putting 2 & 2 together with my undeveloped kid brain, I realized he was no Vulcan and that his pointed ears must be the result of a deformity – a deformity exploited by the producers of Star Trek.

Sounds like something Pulaski's would do.

A total Pulaski move.

“Does he know his ears are pointed?” I asked my mom.

She ignored the question because pretending it didn’t happen was preferable to believing her son was some kind of idiot.  Mr. Nimoy, after all, didn’t have pointed ears on In Search Of.  But watching a crappy SD picture over RF on a 19 inch set, I couldn’t really tell.  Also, I was some kind of idiot.

There was something extra scary and extra real about Bigfoot, whereas vampires and werewolves were pretty cool (except for the key business) but no one believed in them anymore.  It made a huge impression on me, and as I got older, any time I’d be out in a field or the woods in autumn at sunset, I’d think “It would be cool to make a Bigfoot movie.  Like from the seventies.  Grainy film.  Bigfoot.  Cool.” (Autumn sunsets remind me of grainy seventies Bigfoot movies.)  That always stayed with me over the years. Though, in retrospect, In Search Of… would have lost all credibility if I had seen this at the time.

When we started The Legend of Grassman (and once I dropped my ridiculous John Cassavetes Bigfoot Movie idea that Dennis and I couldn’t see eye to eye on) I was hoping to evoke that same feel.  Recent Bigfoot movies pretty much sucked and they seemed like a dying trend.  As we continued working on the film, though, we kept hearing about other Bigfoot movies being made.  Eventually it there were so many, it became slightly ridiculous.  

I thought what separated our film from all the others was that it was an homage to the films of the 1970’s like Boggy Creek.  Then I found out about The Wild Man of the Navidad, and Eduardo Sanchez’s Exists.  Our film was suddenly not as unique as we had thought it was, except I bet Exists doesn’t have a guy getting hit in the nuts with a hedge apple.  Much to my dismay, I found that Navidad certainly did not. And then, last year, David Coleman released his giant reference book, The Bigfoot Filmography, where he boldly declared the Bigfoot movie as it’s own genre.  You know, like zombies.

The Bigfoot Filmography by Dave Coleman

The Bigfoot Filmography by David Coleman

If zombies can have their own genre, why not Bigfoot?  Well…  I guess cause Bigfoot movies kind of suck… But wait!  Coleman begins his book by saying “Bigfoot movies kind of suck.”  I’m paraphrasing.  Without attributing any inflated sense of importance to these films, and while acknowledging that quality is often lacking, Coleman very carefully and thoroughly traces the history of the genre from a silent short by Méliès (the guy from Hugo), through the 70’s heyday, and right up to the Sasquatch Renaissance we’re experiencing today.

This is something I actually attempted to do myself when we decided to make our film.   I wanted to make a quintessential Bigfoot film, and I wanted to understand where these films came from.  The earliest film I could find was also the most epic and awesome – King Kong.  (The Fouke Monster never ripped a T-Rex’s face open.  Sissy.)  The book talks about King Kong as a Bigfoot film, and also as “Killer Gorilla” movie and goes on to explain the difference between the two genres.

The Fouke Monster also never swiped airplanes out the air like it was nothing. So badass.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While prepping for my film, I never bothered to watch any Killer Gorilla movies because I somehow thought they all revolved around an aging Bela Lugosi being bested by a bunch of smart-mouthed 30 year old teenagers with Brooklyn accents from a screenplay by Ed Wood.  (Turns out, I had just confused several different movies as one, but I’m still reasonably sure that’s an accurate description of the genre.)

I also had decided that the Sasquatch films  from the 1970’s were somehow linked to jungle adventures like Tarzan.  Both involved explorers intruding into mysterious, uncharted wildernesses and getting their asses kicked by crazy nature shit.  Both made generous use of obvious nature stock footage shots.   The book goes even further and makes an unexpected connection between the King of the Jungle and Bigfoot himself.  (SPOILER:  Former lovers!  OMG!!!)

I was pleased to find that I came up with some of the same conclusions on my own that a guy with bookwriting smarts did, as I frequently don’t come up with smart things to say good.   But, in his book, Coleman goes deeper than my tiny brain will allow and touches on every Bigfoot film and tv show/beef jerky commercial ever made – plenty of which I hadn’t seen or heard of.  He talks about each decade of Bigfoot movies, their influences, how the genre evolved, and it’s thematic elements.  (Up until the point that I read this book, I thought a common theme of the genre is that there’s usually a guy who wears a cowboy hat.)  .

This still from Sasquatch, The Legend of Bigfoot proves that my analysis is correct.

This still from Sasquatch, The Legend of Bigfoot proves that my analysis is correct.

I wish that there had been a text like this available when we started our film in 2008.  I wouldn’t have read it, as I never read due to the fact that find books too cumbersome with the weight and all the page turning involved and because there’s a good chance the book in your hand has been to the toilet with some guy who likes to read while he poops. (I own the paperback version of this book, but was only able to read it on the Nook.  Also, I find the Nook’s screen brighter and more pleasing to the eye than a book.  And you can’t get Fruit Ninja on a book.)

The Bigfoot Filmography should be required reading for any filmmakers looking to do their own Sasquatch movie and is a great read for Bigfoot fans and film buffs alike.  It takes a serious look at a genre which is never taken seriously just because the films kinda suck.  But my love of Ciné du Sasquatch (it’s French talk) has more to do with potential than quality.  

I once stopped over my dad’s house and noticed he owned a copy of Sasquatch Hunters, which I love because I find it laughably bad. (I’m so sorry if you made this film.  Please focus on the “love” portion of that sentence.)  I started to talk to him about how “bad” it was, cause here’s a guy that didn’t even like Tales of the Gold Monkey, which is obviously the best thing ever to be shown on tv.  He’s gotta think it sucks.  He gave me a puzzled look and then told me he thought it was good.

“I like Bigfoot movies,” he shrugged.

My Dad.  This is the only picture I had of him...  I...  hmm....

My Dad. This is the only picture I had of him… I… yeah…

I like Bigfoot movies.  It’s that potential for something great and that desire to see that real Bigfoot we grew up with that draws us in.  And also, probably, that he hasn’t had his eyes checked since Nixon was in office.

It’s a bit like back when Daredevil came out and we were all like “That wasn’t terrible.  I guess it was good or something.”  Just because there was no Iron Man, Dark Knight, or The Avengers at the time.  Now you look at it, and it’s obvious that it totally sucks.  There was a great potential for superhero movies NOT directed by Joel Schumacher, we all saw it, and we were willing to cling to anything that represented that dream.

It’s also a little like when Dr. Kate Pulaski joined the Enterprise 1701-D and you totally hated her, but then you realized you were stuck with her so by the end of season 2, you started thinking maybe she wasn’t so bad and then you heard Dr. Crusher was returning so you were like, “Don’t let the turbolift hit you in the ass on the way out, Dr. Jerkface!” Am I right? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The best hope for genre right now is Exists, directed by Eduardo Sanchez, who totally nailed the Legend of Boggy Creek creepy atmosphere thing with The Blair Witch Project – A movie I think doesn’t get enough respect because lots of people got pissed that they had been tricked into thinking there was a real Blair Witch and other, snootier folks, were pissed that the filmmakers didn’t use a tripod.  I didn’t know when I saw that Blair Witch that it was actually inspired by Boggy Creek, but it put off that vibe with the grainy B&W 16mm footage, documentary feel, creepy mythology, locations, and oddball side characters.  And that’s what I loved most about the film.  Also, best snot scene since Patrick Swayze in North and South.

Exists is the biggest, most mainstream scary Bigfoot movie to come around since ever in the history of always and it has the potential to make the current Bigfoot craze even bigger.  Thus, my assertion that Bigfoot is the new zombie.  There’s a revolution underway, and all we need is one big movie that doesn’t totally suck to open the floodgates.  And doesn’t have Danny Bonaduce and Greg Brady in it.  Cause that was so terrible I couldn’t finish it.

I wrote this blog post for Bill Danner, because I didn’t have the facilities to say it to him when I was drunk on my one beer at Roger Bacon Class of ’92 2oth Reunion, and at some point when I wasn’t paying attention, the conversation somehow switched to someone’s teenage son masturbating too much.  I hope this article maybe clears up my love for this genre and its often unrealized potential.  

And yes, Bill, werewolves are very cool (except for the key thing) and should be represented more in fiction.   But there may come a time when you turn on your tv and instead of seeing goofy ass beef jerky commercials, you get your shit totally scared off by the AMC original series The Walking Sasquatch.  I want you to be prepared for this.  Also, I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but it’s probably best that you don’t get too attached to any characters who happened to be named “T Dog.”

-Tyler

Howl to Find Meaning
The Bigfoot Filmography Official Blog
Me and Bill Danner talking about good times and werewolves.  Well, this isn't actually him.  This is his friend Phil Rolfert.  But I think if Bill and I had taken a picture together, we might have done it this way.  Phil, by the way, is NOT a werewolf snob.

Me and Bill Danner talking about good times and werewolves. Well, this isn’t actually him. This is his friend Phil Rolfert. But I think if Bill and I had taken a picture together, we might have done it this way. Phil, by the way, is NOT a werewolf snob.  (Photo credit: Anne Rolfert)

The Things We Have to Do Around Here to Finish a Scene – Part III – Conclusion Part 1

There we were a couple weekends ago in January, finishing up a scene we had started shooting a year and a half earlier with the very awesome Jessica Cameron.  Due to some weather weirdness, the temperature had warmed up to the 60’s, though the overcast nasty winter deadness was still a stark contrast to the vibrantly sunny and oppressively hot July day we had shot Jessica’s scenes on.

January 12, 2013:  Tyler begs for his life as Stephan considers the ramifications of returning to the compund having not met his quota.

January 12, 2013: Tyler begs for his life as Stephan considers the ramifications of returning to the compound having not met his quota.

The shots we were doing this day were of a character named Tom and his half of a conversation with Jessica’s character.  Tom had been written as a good-natured perverted hunter and gradually, by the time of this shoot, developed into a vile despicable meth addicted perverted gun-bastard, in part, because the professionally trained actor we cast in the role reminded me of Jack Elam, and the more awful Jack Elam gets, the more fun he is.  

But there was no one on set who looked like Jack Elam on that that abnormally warm day in early 2013.  Instead, the character was being performed by Steve Grothaus, our lighting director, (whose previous on-camera work included a bad experience on a film he refers to only as “that accursed thing.”)   Steve didn’t look anything like Jack Elam.  William Fichtner, perhaps. (Whom many of you, no doubt, recognize as “that one guy” from that thing.)  I’ll even accept Steve Carell.  But not Jack Elam.

The 3 Faces of Tom the Meth Addicted Perverted Gun-toting Bastard.  From left to right, William Fichtner, Steve Grothaus,  and Jack Elam.

The 3 Faces of Tom the Meth Addicted Perverted Gun-Bastard. From left to right, William Fichtner, Steve Grothaus, and Jack Elam.  The condom hat on Steve Grothaus has been digitally added for effect.  Wait…  that can’t be right…

To understand the how Steve found himself in this predicament, we need to go back to November 2011 as we were planning to finish the opening teaser scene we had begun shooting with only half the actors in 2009.  Jack Elam Guy had now joined the cast as Tom, and my cousin, Adam Stigler, took the other male role, a character who had been quite ingeniously been given the name “Adam.”

But we still needed a young attractive female who could scream her head off.  Dennis insisted on this because all the other horror movies have young attractive females screaming their heads off and he didn’t want our film to get picked on by the other films.  This was quite a difficult challenge for us, because despite a few exceptions, no girls would hang out with us.

The screaming was critical, because the scene needed to be intense, and as I had learned during the making of my emotionally sterile short film, The Projection Booth, it’s not the ghosts and monsters that makes horror movies scary as much as the reactions of the actors.  William Hurt dressed as a Skeksis isn’t scary.  But M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village creeped me out because Bryce Dallas Howard’s emotion-tricks fooled me into thinking that something scary was happening.

Yeah something scary was happening!  That a major studio would greenlight this turd!  Shut up.  I liked it.

Yeah something scary was happening! A major studio actually greenlit this turd!  Shut up, assface.  I liked it.

In the footage of our opening scene we already had shot, Erin Myers (who plays the other female character in the scene) and I initially went for intense but settled on a much more subdued performance because we felt that this particular character would react to this situation with more of an almost stoic shock and also that it was really the only way to get her to make scared faces where she wouldn’t immediately start laughing uncontrollably.

The lack of emotional displays in this film wasn’t a problem unique to Erin.  Our cast and crew is mostly family and friends.   Everyone I’m related to has the same inability to express any sort of normal-people feelings and, naturally, anyone we choose to hang out with isn’t gonna be one of those sensitive people with emotions.  Ew.  They cry all the time, and I never know whether I’m supposed to hug them or pat them on the head or something.

For instance, on the day we were shooting his death scene (oh yeah, spoiler or something) actor/scientist Matt Funke came to me to express his concern over the scene, saying “I don’t really emote.”

“No shit,” is what I thought in my head, but I think it came out something like, “I know.”

Matt Funke in a moment of intense James Dean brooding on set while gleeful family members Stephan and Max frolic nearby.  I suspect behind that tough, roguish exterior, is the heart and soul of a poet and a deep desire to be  the one with the cuddle buddy.  I.  SUSPECT. WRONG.  (Note the empty space in the upper left corner symbolizing the empty void of his heart.

Matt Funke in a moment of intense on-set James Dean brooding as gleeful family members Stephan and Max frolic nearby. I suspect behind that tough exterior is a deep desire to be the one with the cuddle buddy.  I. SUSPECT. WRONG.

In the scene, the Grassman has our heroes cornered and is slowly closing in on them.  Matt suggested we shoot the scene this way:

Matt:  Don’t worry, guys.  I got this.

Matt walks off screen.   A second later, his companions are splashed from head to toe with his blood.

I hesitate to admit this, but I actually ran it by Dennis, who obviously shot it down.  Not that I thought we should do it, but I didn’t have the strength to resist such Solid Gold Jokes and I preferred that he do it for me.  I do love The Jokes.  Oh, how well I love The Jokes. So, for this emotionally charged opening scene, I needed to find someone who not only didn’t have Meyer blood, but never hangs out with me.

Years ago,there was this thing I guess was somewhat like of like our modern Facebook.  Naturally, we didn’t have the technology back then that we do now, so it was primitive by today’s standards, though it served it’s purpose.  It was called “MeTime” or “MyTime” or “MySpace” or something.  No one really remembers what it was called, but what’s important is that this is were I first became aware of Rachel Scott.  There was this video floating around “MyWorld” or whatever it was that was produced by M.A.R.S. Productions, a company consisting of Rachel and her mother and sister.  It was a parody of The Shining starring Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson from the reality tv series Ghost Hunters.

 

I LOVED them Ghost Hunters!  The first two seasons of that show are a television classic.  I Love Lucy is awesome, but it ain’t got NOTHIN on them Ghost Hunters – Roto Rooter plumbers by day that suit up at night and take to the shadows as paranormal investigators.  In that regard, it’s a lot like Batman, but Batman never had a dude named Brian that he would constantly yell at.  Or a dude named Andy that you suspected the others secretly hated.  Or twin brother demonologists!  WHAT?!!!  Oh, yes.  You heard right.

Me and Grant Wilson & Jason Hawes - Ghost Hunters.  If you look closely, you can see me kind of at an angle, I guess, sort of in the opposite direction that the camera is pointed in.

Me and Grant Wilson & Jason Hawes – Ghost Hunters. If you look closely, you can see me kind of at an angle, I guess, sort of in the opposite direction that the camera is pointed in.

So, here were these teenage girls who did a short with my favorite tv characters (who just happened, in this case, to be real guys).  I checked out the other videos on their “MayYou” page and I remember seeing that they had done a number of ambitious shorts, one of which had gotten into DragonCon in Atlanta around the same time as our film The Projection Booth was rejected by it.   If I remember correctly, they had also done some interviews with some of the scifi/fantasy celebrities.  I found it all very impressive.  Remember, when I was their age, my films looked like this:

Joe Maurits in The Space Invader, circa 1991.  Boy did this one suck.

Joe Maurits in The Space Traveler (1990). This is when the magical sword Excalibur flies into his hand, just before he beheads an extraterrestrial visitor.  Every time I see this, it feels as though it is my heart who is beheaded.

And even after many many years of experience, at the time I came across their “ManFace” page,  we had only recently upgraded to this:

The heart wipe was meant to be ironic.

The heart wipe was meant to be ironic.

So, 4 years later, when I was looking for an actress, I thought back to the girl in the Shining parody, and I remembered her screaming.  A lot.  That was Rachel Scott.  If you didn’t watch the clip, go ahead and check it out.  I’ll wait.  Make sure you skip ahead to the screaming part.  I don’t want to wait too long.  I have six other blogs to write after this.

I got in touch with her online and asked if she was interested and offered to pay her for her time…  which was going to be awkward, cause we weren’t paying the other guy, the professionally trained Jack Elam look-a-like.  In fact, we never paid anyone except our “guest stars” who had recognizable names.  In this case, though, we were running out of time and desperately needed someone.  And she was perfect.

This act directly and brazenly violates Robert Rodriguez‘s no-budget filmmaking advice to never spend  any money ever.  He clearly knows what he’s talking about.  But I took into consideration the advice of another filmmaker, me, when he said, “Spend a bunch of damn money and you’ll be less stressed out.”  Sometimes, I do that instead.

This is the single most important text for low budget filmmakers I've ever read.  Also the only one.  But hopefully that gives you an idea how important it is.

The single most important text for low budget filmmakers I’ve ever read. Also the only one. But hopefully that gives you an idea how important it is.

Plus, there’s this new phenomenon I really had just discovered for the first time that year, in 2011, where when you don’t get the actor you wanted for a role it sucks.  And, conversely, it’s really awesome when you do get them.   I never experienced this prior to then because I always just got my brothers or nephews to do it.  Except for maybe the one time when we were kids and my sister Justine decided she didn’t want to do the movie I wrote and had been planning to shoot forever because she instead decided she had to watch a Frank Sinatra  special because NKOTB’s “Joey Joe” said Frank Sinatra was “totally old school dope.”

So I knew Rachel Scott was the right person for the job and I wanted make sure I got her.  But would she do it?  And what would Jack Elam Guy say when he found out she was paid and he wasn’t?  What would the rest of the cast say if some idiot ever wrote a blog about this and they found out about it?  And why is it we never talk about Steve Grothaus in this series about Steve Grothaus?

Part 2 of the thrilling conclusion to part 1 of the the thrilling conclusion to the three part saga is coming next week!  Stay tuned!

-Tyler

I still hate these movie-ruining sons of bitches.

I still hate these movie-ruining sons of bitches.