Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Crazy Fortune Teller (The Shoot)

I was so nervous before shooting Crazy Fortune Teller that I broke out my SCTV DVDs. Lola Heatherton and Johnny LaRue helped me chill. Why was I so freaked? I figured that nobody would show up or worse, nobody would have a good time. I told the gang to show up around 7:00pm. Hillary (who plays Lonely Zombie) showed up first in this great early 80s Debbie Harry getup (she ended up being the best dressed person in the film) and also brought a bottle of wine.

Next Margeaux (Madame Tatyana) and Ryan (Dr. Ignatius Shoehammer) arrived. Margeaux accessorized herself almost to the breaking point with her outfit. I put Ryan in a lab coat and one of my hats. Then Nafa who played the role of master cinematographer showed up along with Matt (Lottery Zombie) and his wife Rubis. The only missing person was Roy (The Priest) who was working 'til midnight and would show up for his big scene which was added to the screenplay at the last minute. I kept thinking, "no way we're gonna go that late!"

So we got started. Filming with my old Sony Hi8 camcorder, the shoot was great. There was lots of laughing and multiple takes galore. However, we didn't really run into any stumbling blocks until we got to my scenes. When I wrote The Devil's dialogue, I went way overboard and gave myself too much fucking nonsense to spout off. So everyone had to wait while my wife LeEtta coached me through each freakin' sentence. Short term memory, what happened to you? Things went well after that with the zombie attack. It was hot as blazes in the apartment with the lights and all of the extra human beings around.

Suddenly, it was midnight. We had worked for hours on this thing and we were very close to being done. I put on "Pump Up The Jam" (I didn't have "The Power" by Snap) for the dance party in hell sequence. I'm sure my neighbors were less than pleased by this but things got even more insane when Roy showed up. We put him in Nafa's priest costume and had him rush in to almost save the day. From the hallway leading to my front door, Roy burst in yelling his line at the top of his lungs. First shocked silence and then laughter as we quickly did a couple more takes and ushered him back into the apartment before somebody called the cops.

And that is pretty much it. I've been told that everyone had a good time and I am crazy grateful to all my friends for agreeing to waste precious hours of their lives with me. Things turned out great with one small exception: I accidentally pressed the date stamp button right before the dance party and Roy's big scene. So "Aug 30 2009" is burned into that footage and will take some monumental digital effects to hide/remove. Oh well, at least the bulk of the movie was spared from that embarrassing indignity.

Dr. Shoehammer meets Madame Tatyana.

Shoehammer in peril.

Uh oh, uh oh, here comes the hammer.

The devil shows up and talks endlessly.

"You dang jerk!"

"Robots will kill you!"

So right now, the film is not edited or complete in any way shape or form. I still need to put together all the music and sound effects as well. This may take a while but bear with me, it will happen. I did do a rough cut to see what I had but the whole project still needs a lot of work.


  1. The rough cut looks like you had a lot of fun and is surprsingly watchable. Some great musical choices too - I got a nice "80s Italian horror" vibe.

  2. Thank you kindly. I still don't find it "watchable". I really, really wanted to do more with the dialogue between The Devil and Madame Tatiana. That shit goes on FOREVER! That whole scene will be totally different when I can get back it. I did the stingers and my friend Nafa did the music. I told him Duran Duran circa. 1983 but with minor chords and he did the rest.