Asylum time

And, after all that, we finally made it to our disused mental hospital location today. The location has cost me an arm and a leg, (half the budget of the movie for THREE DAYS filming), and the paperwork elements have been extremely frustrating at times. But, this morning at 6.30, our happy band rolled up to our fog-shrouded location and shot an absurd perecntage of a movie in just one day.

See, I’m getting that feeling that things are going too well again. I really don’t want to get another avalanche of bad luck like that miserable Thursday on Hellbride, but dammit if today wasn’t one of the very best days’ shooting I’ve ever had. We got a huge amount done and it looked great.

I’d best get some sleep, though…

Sen-fucking-sational

Here’s the God’s honest truth. For all the occasional spills and heartaches, for all the broken mains connections and irritating location paperwork, this is proving to be an absolutely amazing summer. The KK footage that we’ve got in the can thus far feels alarmingly like it’s come straight from my brain and onto the screen, thanks to the tireless work of the folks on the project. I have such hopes for KillerKiller and Hellbride; I want them to kick the hinges off the doors that TrashHouse edged open. If folks don’t like them, then I think it’s fair to say that they’ll probably never dig my movies.

We’re off to the asylum location tomorrow. It’s finally time for the bit of the shoot that everyone has been looking forward to. The bit that’s going to set the mood for the whole movie. The bit that’s costing half the bloody budget.

The picture at the top of this entry is the first image from KK to be made available. It’s of Danielle Laws, who is proving to be absolutely fantastic in this flick; alternately sexy as hell and utterly terrifying.

KillerKiller is go…

Although our weird, weekend-heavy schedule meant that today consisted largely of the cast working together on tightening up various scenes, followed by a tiny bit of actual filming at the end of the day.

Tomorrow is straight into two major kill sequences, though… Not sure whether we’ll be posting photos from either of those just yet. We shall see.

KillerKiller on the horizon…

OK, so KK finally hits the lens on Monday. The biggest deal of the shoot, however, is the days that we’re spending at our mental hospital location next weekend. They’re going to be looooong days, and we need to get so much footage in the can. Going to be somewhat terrifying.

Having finally digitised all of the Hellbride footage, I threw together a crash edit of the first twenty five minutes yesterday. Damn, the film moves fast. TrashHouse takes over half an hour to hit high gear. Hellbride takes, like, 7 minutes. Might try to ease off the throttle just a tad when I come to edit properly, otherwise it’s likely to leave folks with sore heads. Still loving the footage.

Hellbride footage and KillerKiller prep

I’ve been digitising the Hellbride footage on and off, in between sorting out final arrangements for KillerKiller. Still chuffed to bits with how HB has turned out, and looking forward to chopping together a first assembly and seeing how long it’s coming in at roughly. It’ll end up at 82 minutes, of course. I believe that every horror comedy ever made should run for 82 minutes. Any less and people feel shortchanged, any more and they start to fidget.

As a rough indicator of my mood; on Monday I bought two new albums. I bough the Thom Yorke solo album, and the debut from The Pipettes ( http://www.myspace.com/thepipettes ). I never make it much past the halfway mark of the Thom Yorke one, because I keep wanting to put The Pipettes on instead. I suspect this means that I’m pretty happy in general.

Nobody has dismantled the wedding set yet. It’s rather gross, and absolutely saturated in fake blood and bits of body parts. The unit needs to be transformed into a hospital set by a week next Wednesday, but that seems very far away indeed.

Still picking up the odd costume for KK. Got our main characters’ boiler suits yesterday. I love using boiler suits as costumes. They’re SO easy…

And that’s a wrap.

Hard to believe, but HB just wrapped principal photography. We cracked open the bubbly, and my beloved cast and crew showered me in fake blood, bless ’em.

Other than yesterday, that was a fantastic shoot. Fun, upbeat, fast and with a positive vibe. I reckon the film is going to be pretty fucking spot-on for anyone who enjoyed TrashHouse at all. And possibly even for a few folks who didn’t.

One week until KillerKiller. No rest for the bloody wicked.

Luck, and the end of it

I don’t know if I believe in luck, fate, karma or anything like that. But prior to 5pm yesterday Hellbride had an utterly charmed shoot, and after 5pm yesterday every single bit of bad luck that could possibly drop on our heads did, to such a degree that if it had happened in a TV show you’d have complained at how unrealistic it was.

Short version, (although the long version and extended disco remix will play in my nightmares until my dying day), runs like this; with all cast in full, blood-drenched wedding clothing, we still had an awful lot of the wedding to shoot and limited time. Because my cast and crew are, as I believe I might have previously mentioned, wonderful, they agree to stay for as long as it takes to get the sequence finished. We hunker down for a long evening, but know that we’re getting great stuff in the can.

Suddenly, a mains lead gets pulled taut and snaps out of the back of the HD camera. We don’t realise for several minutes that it has actually broken the connector in the back of the camera, meaning that the camera cannot take power. The battery only has five minutes life left, and cannot be recharged because it charges via the camera, which, in case you missed it, cannot take power. Various options are discussed. Phone calls are made, but we’re into the evening and EVERYWHERE is closed. The nearest stockist of external chargers for our battery type turns out to be several hours away. And here’s the kicker; cast availability after tonight is a huge problem, meaning that we can’t even scrap the shoot and pick up again, because one of our main characters is seriously unavailable from this point on, and tonight was due to be his last one on set.

We have five minutes battery charge left to play with. I can’t even see what our DP Al is framing, because to power the extra screen would use power we can’t afford to lose. And we have to shoot a main character’s final scene as a one-take wonder.

I haven’t even been able to watch the footage back. The camera lies inert, waiting for a charged battery. Our Line Producer Nick is at this very moment making the drive to pick up the external charger, and we’ve delayed the start of this morning’s shooting by three hours.

There was a load more crap besides, but you can wait for the sobbing director’s commentary. And that’s why too much good luck makes me nervous.

Shooting a Wedding Massacre

Involving ghost, guns, mobsters, slime and blood isn’t quite as easy as you’d initially suspect. We’ve been working flat out for the last three days on the climactic sequence, (the longest I’ve ever spent on a single scene), and our shots-per-day rate is tiny. It all looks fantastic, though, thanks to my ever tireless cast and crew and our frankly rather wonderful make-up and hair artist Beverley Chorlton.
In an ideal world we’d finish the sequence today. I’m going to give it my very very best shot, but I wouldn’t put any money on it…
Wish me luck.