Saturday, April 16, 2011



JOE: The next thing we shot was some outdoor stuff at a small creek behind Jeremy's house. Easy enough, you say? Oh, how wrong! The first problem was that it was very cold out, it being the dead of winter at the time, and the ground was covered in a thick blanket of snow.

Okay, I thought, no problem there. The snow'll just give the exteriors of the movie a cool look (pun intended). I figured we'd get out there, do the scene, and get back inside where it was warm within a reasonable amount of time. Of course, if life went as planned there'd be a far lower suicide rate, believe me.


The scene we were to shoot that day involved Unicorn Boy being chased by some Jerk with too much time on his hands. Unicorn Boy hides in a ravine under a bridge next to a frozen creek. It is here that Byron encounters and befriends the little freak. The bonding moment between the two is cut short when the Jerk finds them and is delighted that there are now two freaks to pick on. Byron, still fresh from murdering his Mother/Father, quickly dispatches the Jerk and pulls out his insides. This, of course, frightens Unicorn Boy. Still, he has no one else to turn to, so he leaves the area with Byron because, as he puts it, "I think someone's following me!"


So!  The scene involved more murder and mayhem! I was pretty excited about this shoot. Darren would be in full bloody Byron make-up, and my brother, Jim, had agreed to play Unicorn Boy. I don't remember where we got Unicorn Boy's costume from but it was a skimpy little yellow gown with white sleeves. It looked like something the character would perform in at the side show. The only problem with it was it offered zero protection against the cold weather. I told Jim, "This will be a quick shoot. We'll just get out there and knock out these two scenes." he said, "Okay." And that was that.

Our friend John Mattingly had shown up to portray the Jerk. Darren and I had worked with John the summer before on our live comedy sketch show. He was not much of an actor, but he was a stand up guy who showed up when we needed him. Jeremy was also there, playing the bounty hunter, Patch, for the first time. Patch was to make a brief appearance at the end of the scene to show that someone was indeed following Unicorn Boy.


I wanted to shoot some behind the scenes footage of Blood Pudding for a documentary. Unfortunately, the first and only thing we ended up shooting was us all standing around Jeremy's grandmother's kitchen while we mixed sausages and chicken livers we'd bought at Marsh with corn syrup and red food dye in a large mixing bowl while Jeremy paced restlessly around, periodically peeking out the window and telling us to hurry up and finish before his grandmother got home from work and saw what we were doing.

This goulash of the damned was supposed to be the Jerk's guts after Byron rips them out. That footage ended up getting lost along with the outtakes, bloopers, etc. I have no idea what happened to it or why that's all we shot for it.


JEREMY: Once everybody had assembled and were in their costumes we headed for the creek under the bridge. It was a short walk from my grandmother's house, five minutes at the most, but we had to climb over a tree-studded hill, cross the railroad tracks at the top, and navigate down an even steeper, snow-laden hill in order to reach the creek. Dar was in a mood that day, and he was snapping at everybody within earshot. Naturally, this led to us all teasing him every chance we got.

Joe went through the scene with Dar and Jim, explaining how he was going to shoot it and how he wanted their performances to be. Simply put, Byron was to come across Unicorn Boy being tormented by the Jerk, rush to his aid, kill the Jerk (this is where that bucket full of gore would come into effect), exchange some brief dialogue with Unicorn Boy, and then they would go about their business.

Dar suggested that his character should rush across the creek when he spies the commotion. Joe agreed it would be a good shot if he was willing to do it. Dar said "No problem", seemingly disregarding the fact that it was the middle of winter and the water was ice cold. Joe called action. Dar put one foot in the water and immediately broke character. "The water's cold!" He shouted, jerking his foot back onto land.

"Of course it's cold!" Joe shouted back. "It's winter, what did you expect!" Joe told him to just run across as fast as he could and that would be it. One take, then they'd move on, no big deal. Dar tried it again, got about a quarter of a way out, broke character, and ran back to land. He then tripped and fell in the snow. Now his hands were cold and he was complaining about that. He told Joe the shoot was taking too long and we all needed to get inside before we froze to death.

Joe is normally a very controlled and calm person, but at this point we were all freezing and what precious few hours we had to shoot in were quickly slipping away with nothing to show for it. Joe lost his cool and yelled at Dar, telling him the shoot would've been nearly finished by now if he'd quit his belly-aching and just do it. Dar countered that he couldn't perform when he was half frozen.

While all this was going on my immediate concern was for Jim, whose sheer costume was the only thing between him and the chilly weather. The kid sat with his arms crossed, shivering violently. I removed my trench-coat and gave it to him. He took it gratefully. I then turned to the others and shouted something to the effect that this pointless arguing had gone on long enough. Joe agreed and tried to get Dar to comply as well. We attempted to finish the scene but Dar just refused to cooperate, repeatedly complaining about the cold, as if he was the only one freezing his ass off. Eventually, we gave up and headed back to my grandmother's house, all of us in a rotten mood now.

JOE: Darren really irritated me that day. He told me beforehand that filming in the snow would be fine as long as it did not take a long time. I assured him that it would be a relatively easy shoot. There was not much dialogue and I knew exactly how I was going to shoot the scene. We had all the props and equipment we needed to get it done. Darren was fine with this until we actually got outside. He began to complain almost immediately. I really messed up by allowing his complaining to get to me. That didn't help my brother who had the skimpiest costume and was most affected by the cold, even if he did wear Jeremy's trench-coat.

Before we went to the creek we shot the Jerk chasing Unicorn Boy around on the railroad tracks. This little chase ended with Unicorn Boy falling down a hill and eluding the jerk. My brother fell into the snow and rolled partially down the hill. He did this with zero complaining. Did I mention he was wearing what amounted to a sheer dress? Darren, on the other hand, had on long pants and a trench-coat. He had it better than my brother yet he whined like a little bitch! The other thing Darren complained about was that we did not provide hot chocolate for this shoot. Baby!

JEREMY: As noted, Dar was in a bad mood that day.  It doesn’t excuse his actions (or lack thereof) but I don’t want to paint him in a bad light.  We all have our off days.  I just wish Dar hadn’t picked that day of all days to have his.

JOE: The shoot for the day was a bust. Jeremy and I decided that if that was the way things were going to go we shouldn't shoot in the winter. We put a hold on filming for the next couple of months and concentrated on rewriting the script, adding more interior scenes and cutting out the bit with the Jerk all together.

We patiently waited out the last days of winter and when spring finally came we resumed filming in all its gory brilliance.



Post a Comment

<< Home