Some ‘cross posting’ here… I’ve been ‘holding boom’ for my friend John, who was so gracious to do so for Treasure Hunt, not to mention being so supportive and encouraging as I started down the movie making path (something that continues to this day). He calls his current project ‘Sledgehammer’ and this is its IMDB page. He’s been filming significant portions at our place in Virginia. He loves the ‘production value,’ but I also think he loves that we’re fine with him filming for free.
He claims I’m doing a good job with the sound. I appreciate the chance to return the favor (he did Treasure Hunt for free, so I’m also working for free), though I’m doing little more than starting and stopping the recorder, writing down which shot lines up with which file name and trying to keep the microphone and boom arm out of frame. It’s all his equipment and I’ve only learned just enough to plug everything in and be ready when he calls ‘action.’
Sledgehammer is a very violent script. Everyone is a bad guy, there’s just the degree in badness (sort of like the movie Payback; its tagline: “Get ready to root for the bad guy”). The main character has these extensive, and often single-sentence, monologues and it needed just the right actress to pull it off. John found a young lady (only recently turned 17, so has her parents with her when we film) who seems to be channeling the character so well I’m starting to get nervous when she plays with a knife (knives factor strongly in the story).
So far, there’s only been a little blood, except for one scene. It was actually a re-shoot, as John realized he didn’t have enough blood when he began to edit (we’re only filming on Saturdays, and will continue into November as a consequence; I don’t envy him his continuity challenges). As the actress mimed stabbing someone, I squirted fake blood on her. Here’s a still John posted to IMDB:
Interestingly, while the fake blood seemed to clean up everywhere else without any problems, it was a pain to get off skin. Her mom had to scrub hard to get that stuff off her face, and she had a modeling gig the very next day.
Last Saturday we filmed a lesbian sex scene. Without any sex, of course – it’s all implied in the edit. But the room was full of bored people and it was getting late in the day and everyone was tired. I think the actresses did an amazing job, at least from where I was standing. Originally it was a hetero scene, but the actor John had lined up for the part bailed and, in a fit of creative disaster recovery, John went with the lesbian angle (since the actresses were up for it). This was actually a reshoot, as one of the original actresses decided she had something better to do than be on John’s project. While I’m sure it frustrates the hell out of him, I believe John when he says he likes to deal with the challenges, to rise above them, and to wind up with gold.
As an example, the character Joe was originally a suit-wearing hit man. Until the actor rolled up on his Harley motorcycle wearing a white T-shirt and leathers. John immediately fell in love and Joe immediately did away with his suit. “Production value!”
So far, at least once the main production started (John initially filmed some portions as shorts, to test out the look and feel, though has since had to reshoot most because of changed actors), all the main actors have shown up each day. If he can keep that streak going, I have some high hopes that he’ll capture enough that he can completely rewrite the story in post and come up with something completely different. Just John being John.