Sunday, April 17, 2011



JOE: My grandmother had a creepy old basement that was perfect to shoot a horror movie in. We chose this location as the house that Byron and Unicorn Boy break into when they hide out from Patch.
The scene goes something like this: Byron and Unicorn Boy break into the basement of an occupied house. They settle in and decide it's time they got to know one another. Basically, they form a bond because they are both deformed and mistreated. It is at this point that we had the most difficulty. We could never quite get the dialogue to sound right. It sounds goofy and corny and in some ways pretentious. Oh well, we tried to make the most of it.

JEREMY: We were still pups learning our chops, so don't feel too bad there, Joe. The core of what we shot for the movie took place in this stiflingly diminutive basement cluttered with every knickknack, tool, and doodad imaginable. I believe we all seriously screwed up our lungs from the amount of dirt and dust we inhaled and the stuffiness combined with the heat issued by the lamps made it damn near intolerable on some days. In between takes those who weren't needed to set up the next shot scrambled upstairs to ring the sweat from their costumes and drink gallons of water in hopes of replenishing their dehydrated bodies.

JOE: I used the lighting to help give the scene what we could not give it through dialogue. All through the movie one side of Byron's face is covered in blood as a result of the beating he took at the hands of his Mother/Father. We did a close-up of Darren spewing out some of our awesome dialogue. I put a red light on the bloody side of his face and a green light on the other side and then a blue light above his head, shining down on him. It looked great! If only the dialogue was up to par.

JESSE: Oh yes, I was here for this shoot as well. I was the one who held the red light on Darren's face. We did this shoot on the first night I ever met Joe and Jeremy. I remember we did this take for what seemed like a gazillion times because either Darren messed up his lines or Joe didn't feel it was right. Jeremy (who held the blue light) quickly grew tired of this. At one point he got on Darren about it and Darren defended himself with the statement, "I'm an actor!" Jeremy shot right back with, "Well act then, dammit!"

I felt Joe was going Stanley Kubrik on our asses. He just kept shooting and shooting. I never question my directors (unless it's Darren) so I kept my mouth shut.

JOE: Darren also seemed extremely nervous shooting this scene. He couldn't remember his lines and was fidgeting too much. I asked him what the problem was. He said he couldn't concentrate with everyone in the room so Jeremy and Jesse left the basement and we shot it a couple more times until we finally got it right.

JESSE: It turns out that Joe was right to drag us through so many takes because when the right one came along it was gold. That still didn't make up for the cramps in my arms from holding a light for nearly two hours.


JOE: All through the shooting of Blood Pudding props were misplaced, footage was lost, cameras were broken, and make-up pieces were EATEN! Unicorn Boy's original prosthetic horn disappeared before shooting began. I did not know this until it came time to shoot the first scene involving Unicorn Boy. The horn was made out of liquid latex. I didn't have a vat of that stuff on hand to conjure up a new appliance so we tried out a few experiments.
 Our first idea was to bake a croissant, paint it white and attach it to Jim's forehead. Didn't work. Sure was tasty though! What ended up working best and what we ended up using was...drum roll...paper towels. We rolled them up into the shape of a horn and used masking tape to maintain its shape. We then taped it to Jim's head and covered it in white make-up to match the make-up we used for Unicorn Boy's face. As stupid as it sounds, it turned out fairly well.

With that problem solved we were able to proceed with the shoot. It went along smoothly until some of that snappy dialogue started to turn our stomachs. We had to trim down as much as we could in order to keep from performing the Technicolor hurl. You don't believe it was as bad as all that? Here is a sample! You brought this on yourself, mister!

BYRON: She didn't know I existed. (almost teary eyed he lowers his head to one side) Silly of me to love when I look like this.

UNICORN BOY: No it's not. When you put everything else aside love is all there is. All anyone can ever hope to achieve.

Oooooch! I can't transcribe anymore! There you have it!

At some point during the shooting of these dialogue scenes Darren decided out of the blue to bite Unicorn Boy's horn right off of his head! This was troubling because we couldn’t just stick the horn back on Jim's head. We would also have to apply more make-up to make sure it matched the other shots. That was time we did not want to waste. We had trouble with the horn from that point on.

JEREMY: First Dar eats the head I crafted for the decapitation scene in the movie, which led to us having to completely trash that idea, and then he goes and tears off Unicorn Boy's horn with his teeth during a take because he thought it would be funny. The genuine look of confusion that crossed Dar's face when he realized he was the only person in the room laughing was almost worth all the trouble. I really believe he thought we would all get a kick out of it.


JOE: We wanted to shoot a scene that showed the audience what happened to the homeowner Byron gutted on the steps. John was at work by this time so we improvised a little bit. I wanted Byron to tear out his insides and eat them. Why? I thought it would be cool! We dressed a pillow in the shirt John wore as the homeowner. We did a tight shot of Byron stabbing the pillow. We had it set up so blood was covering the pillow. Byron then threw away the knife, pulled out some guts, and chowed down.

It always made me laugh after seeing the completed scene. Byron does not hesitate; he simply rips out the guts and eats them as if he has done this many times before. I was also amused by the fact the Unicorn Boy seems unfazed that Byron is cannibalizing this corpse. Maybe he was too busy brooding over being called a freak.

JEREMY: In this shot Byron is in the foreground ripping out the homeowner's guts and feasting on them while Unicorn Boy stares at his reflection in the mirror in the background. "Why am I the freak?" He asks nobody in particular. "Why aren't I normal?" Byron looks up at him in between bites and says, "You're not the freak. They're the freaks!" And then proceeds to gorge himself on more raw intestines.

DAR: Blood Pudding was fun except for the fact that I was eating all of this raw meat. I don’t know, I guess in Pink Flamingos Devine had it harder than me when John Water’s had him eat that dog shit and he ended up having to go to the hospital. But I could’ve gone to the hospital. When they turned on the lights after that scene in the basement where I had to eat those intestines it looked like a bowl of fucking puke. We did so many takes of that.

JOE: This shot also set up Unicorn Boy's flashback to his time at the circus. The camera zooms into his reflection in the mirror and then dissolves to Mr. McCorman lighting a candelabrum so that he can make his way through a dark passage where he is keeping our little horned freak tied up in a chair.


JOE: We now come to Jeremy's favorite part of the shoot, the lighting of the candles! This is the beginning of Unicorn Boy's flashback to life at the circus. The flashback opens on Mr. McCorman lighting three candles. We found a beautiful old lamp that looked like a fancy candleholder and put some candles in the slots where the light bulbs were supposed to go. Since we couldn't find anybody else to play McCorman Jeremy talked me into performing the character myself. I didn't want to. I wanted to concentrate on the directing and that was all. But it was not to be. So I did it.

I had to rely on Jeremy's direction of this scene. I trusted him. I do to this day. He's got a good eye. All I had to do in this shot was light the candles and open a door that led to the room where Unicorn Boy was tied up. Jeremy called action. I lit the candles and opened the door. That was all there was to it, right? Wrong! Jeremy called for another take for safety. Fair enough. We did it again. Done, right? Jeremy called for a third and a fourth and, much to my disbelief, a fifth. Finally we get through sixteen takes and I say, "It's time to move on." Jeremy relented and we did just that.

JEREMY: Joe's lying his ass off here, by the way. I may have called for two takes because I always like to have a backup handy in case something goes wrong with the first take. I'm a cautious guy in that respect. However, Joe was nervous about being in front of the camera as well as a bit frustrated that he couldn't see how the shots were turning out until we rewound the tape after each shot. I'd show him and he'd say, "Let's do it again." So we did it again, and again, and...well, you get the point.

He states above that he trusted me with the camera but I don't think that was the case. Joe was a control freak on the set. Not in a bad way. He never yelled at or demeaned his actors, but he was very particular with what he wanted and to trust someone else with his film, particularly somebody who had never directed anything in his life, must have made him very uneasy. So, to make a long story short (too late, I know) we ended up doing somewhere in the ballpark of sixteen takes because Joe wanted to make doubly sure he got what he wanted since he was no longer in control of the camera.


JOE: Unicorn Boy's flashback was short and pretty straight forward. Mr. McCorman enters the room where he is being held captive and prepares Unicorn Boy for his nightly performance. He does this by slathering white make-up on his face while he taunts him.

My grandmother's basement had a room in it that was partially dug out. It was like somebody had begun digging out part of the floor and then had inexplicably stopped. The floor was dirt and it was separated from the rest of the basement by a cinder block wall with a crooked door as the only means of access. A dilapidated stairway led from the door up into this tomb-like dwelling. It was a tight fit and you had to stoop when you entered because the ceiling was no more than five feet from the ground.

I thought this would be a good place to shoot Unicorn Boy's flashback. It looked great! My character was to carry the candles I lit in the previous shot into the room, piercing the darkness and revealing the partially silhouetted form of Unicorn Boy sitting at the back of the room.
At one point we discovered this large lamp gathering dust in a corner of the basement and decided to put it to good use by setting it up in the tiny dirt room as the main light source. The only problem was that we wanted McCorman to enter the room with the candles. If he had this massive light hooked up in the room why would he need the candles? We basically said the hell with it and decided to use both. When McCorman reaches Unicorn Boy tied to a chair in the back of the room he blows out the candles and then claps his hands. The lamp clicks on and bathes the room in light. 

CLAP ON! CLAP OFF! THE CLAPPER! That cracked me up.

We shot this a couple of times. Since my character applies the make-up to Jim's face he had to wash it off in between takes. That make-up could be stubborn. I applied the make-up roughly to his face. He was squirming and cringing in the chair, which was beautiful for the scene. That's what his character should've been doing.

JEREMY: Joe put his actors through a lot, but I think his little brother suffered the most.


JOE: It was finally time to shoot the end of the Mother/Father death scene. All that was left to do was Byron getting off the floor, grabbing a knife and stabbing Mother/Father to death. Jeremy and I did the best we could to match the lighting from the earlier footage we shot with this scene.

JEREMY: An interesting bit of trivia here is that the first half of the Mother/Father death scene leading up to Byron’s brutal beating was shot during the day and this last bit of Byron jumping up and committing patricide was shot in the middle of the night. Since we matched the artificial lighting from the previous shoot perfectly nobody appears to have noticed.  Ah, the magic of movie-making.

JOE: Jeremy got into costume and was ready to go. There was only one thing to do now, wait for Darren. We discovered that the latex pieces that constituted the deformed section of Byron's face were lost! I wondered aloud if Darren had eaten them. I figured Darren had to have some other form of make-up on hand but, alas, it was not to be. We had to think of something quick.

At one point, Darren poured some liquid latex directly on his eye-lid and howled in pain:

DARREN: OOOhhhhhhhhwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaa!

Darren runs out of the bathroom. Jeremy and Joe are seated at the dining room table.

JOE/ JEREMY: What the hell are you doing!

DARREN: I poured some latex on my eye! It fucking hurt!

JOE/JEREMY: You moron! You can finish the shoot, can't you?

DARREN: Yeah. I think so.

JOE/JEREMY: Okay then.

Darren cleaned up as Jeremy and I figured out how to solve this problem. We took the cardboard center of a roll of paper towels and unraveled it. Darren had part of a bottle of liquid latex left (Not much after the eye incident, granted). He poured it on the cardboard then used a hair-dryer to dry the latex. He then applied some flesh colored make-up to it. I don't remember how we got it to stick to his face. It was not great, but passable for the few shots we needed.

As I stated before, all we had left to shoot were a few takes of Byron getting off the floor and stabbing Mother/Father . We conveniently placed the prop spring-knife on the washer. So when Byron put his hand on it to pull himself up he could easily grab the knife. We always made weapons easily accessible in Blood Pudding. If the character needed a weapon, we put it just within reach. I must admit, I thought that was funny.

After Byron has stabbed Mother/Father multiple times and dropped him to the floor he menacingly approaches Mother/Father while the dying wretch gurgles on his own blood. Jeremy did a good job here. As Byron stabs Mother/Father one final time Jeremy spits into the air creating a disturbing image. Well, I know of at least one person who was disturbed by it. I just thought it was cool.


Finishing off Mother/Father was one of the very few Blood Pudding shoots Jesse attended. I was glad to have another hand on set. Yep, I put him to work. He did some camerawork and even helped set up some lights. I've always considered this the first time we actually shot something as a group. Yes, I did go to a couple of Laugh A Little shoots but I contributed nothing to them. I didn't even hold a light. I was just an observer.
At this shoot each one of us contributed something. Darren and Jeremy were acting while Jesse and I did the behind the scenes stuff. It was a fun shoot. Even though I didn't really know Jesse all that well I trusted him with the camera and I trusted his input. I figured if Darren let him DP his movie then he must have some talent.

JESSE: I remember the shoot moving fairly quickly. We got all the shots in and since there was no dialogue we were finished in no time. I remember Joe covering Darren with fake blood. Darren laid on the floor as Joe dumped a huge bowl on his head and face. The syrupy blood oozed over him and he suddenly let out a high-pitch cry and told Joe he’d poured the corn syrup in his eyes.

I, being the asshole that I am, laughed and asked why the fuck he had his eyes open in the first place. Joe whole-heartedly agreed and said, "Yeah dumbass, you knew I was pouring it."

Darren decided to take it like a man. He went through the rest of the shoot and only bitched between takes. When the shoot was over we moved into the living room. Joe and I were sitting there talking when out of nowhere Darren comes out of the kitchen wearing nothing but his underwear. He had his hands over his eyes, trying to wipe the blood out. Joe and I sat there in shock, unable to quite grasp what we were seeing. We both agreed that Darren had no shame when he really should.


JOE: Now we come to Patch's flashback scene. This is when Mr. McCorman hires him. We shot this right after finishing the Mother/Father death scene. Unfortunately, Jesse could not stay to shoot this with us. What an asshole!

JESSE: I got into a shitload of trouble for this shoot. I had told my parents I would be home by This did not go according to plan. Darren was supposed to drive me home between scenes but he was busy showering in a vain attempt to get all of the corn syrup and spirit gum off his skin, hair, and eyes. He hopped into the shower around and I didn't see him again until  He came out of the shower bitching about his eye. I bitched right back about my Father killing me. I told Darren we needed to leave right away. If we didn't I would convince my Father it was his fault. So, my Father would have two people to kill instead of one (he would have enjoyed that).

When Darren finally dropped me off I noticed the living room light on. I walked into the house and received the riot act from my Mother. My Father said only one thing: "Your freedom doesn't begin until you leave my house."

I was forced to be home by eleven until we left for Florida. I will say it was worth it though. I enjoyed the hell out of this shoot. It was pure fun until the underwear incident.

JOE: In this scene McCorman hires Patch to track down Unicorn Boy and bring him back with a minimal of publicity. We shot it in my grandmother's dining room. The room was painted gold so we used yellow lights to bring that out. Jeremy looked great as Patch. He got to sit and twirl his knife while he did his dialogue. I just sat there and looked annoyed that Patch wanted to be paid to bring back Unicorn Boy. McCorman is a cheap sleaze-ball. The part where I hand over half of the money shows McCorman on the brink of tears at having to pay Patch anything.

Darren handled the camera chores on this shoot. He did a good job with it. This was one of the better dialogue scenes in Blood Pudding. I find dialogue scenes boring to shoot. So it was good to get another perspective on it.

JEREMY: This was Patch's big scene in the movie and we shot it around two in the morning after Dar had returned from dropping Jesse off. Nevertheless, I wanted to do a good job so I kept myself awake with lots of caffeine while Joe and I read over our dialogue.

Actually, I think Joe and I were the only ones on Blood Pudding who memorized their dialogue. Joe did a really good job playing McCorman. He hammed the character up, giving him as much depth as he could with the limited screen time he had. He plays McCorman as a weasel through and through.
I enjoyed showing off my knife-twirling skills and speaking my tough guy dialogue: "We don't come cheap, but we're well worth the money spent. At least I am anyway." This is also one of the best lit scenes in the movie. Everything had a soft golden hue to it, which mixed beautifully with the shadows. If I was to put together a demo reel of what I consider my best performances (it would be a relatively short reel, granted) this scene would be on it.

JOE: Well, there you go. That brings us to the end of this chapter and almost to the end of the movie.



Post a Comment

<< Home