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Sorry about the delay…between shooting and the holidays I’ve
been slacking. So here’s my latest chronicle of the shooting of CHROMESKULL:
LAID TO REST II. (See part one of this diary here and part two here.)
After two days of no deaths, we start the morning with a
good one. The wonderful Angelina Armani (pictured below) will be facing her
demise in another disturbing way. Poor Angelina, she doesn’t deserve to die
this way. The FX work takes time to get right, and today is no exception. Rob
is particularly demanding of those guys, and I’m sure you can figure out why.
There have been several times that various members of the team have told me
they wish Rob was doing the FX on this film himself, specifically because of
his eye for detail and realism, but frankly, I’m glad he’s not. We need him
focused on directing, and so far he’s kicking ass. This one has a different feel
than the first, and I’m really excited to see people’s reaction to what Rob is
In the last diary, I brought up the question of what I shold
share with everyone about the movie. I’m still wrestling with that. I want to
let people know that we aren’t just remaking the first LAID TO REST. Yes, there
is a girl who is the object of Chromeskull’s bloodlust. Yes, he wears a mask
and kills anyone in his way. But there’s more. As I said last week, you won’t
be getting his motive, but you will get to see and learn more about his world.
Today is one of the deaths I came up with. Rob was giving me
crap because every death I wrote involves someone getting stabbed in the face
or thereabouts. Apparently, according to Rob, when I get backed into a corner,
I either stab someone in the face or have a character drop an F-bomb. I may be
guilty of that, but I think gore fans will enjoy this particular stabbing in
Just like the previous day, this one is all about the FX,
and Rob continues to be super-critical of everything—but in a good way. He
knows what fans of the original film want and is aiming to outdo it. Castwise,
we have Brett Wagner and Chris Nelson today. Both are great guys and fun to
Today really begins some of the movie’s more unique, bizarre
elements. We’re doing a bunch of stuff with Chromeskull when he’s not on the
hunt. Have you ever just laid on a hillside, watching clouds roll by on a
bright summer day, wondering what Chromeskull does on his down time? OK, maybe
not, but if you have, this may help answer some of those questions.
Danielle Harris is here today. As I wrote last time, I’m
excited to have her in the movie. This is the beginning of several scenes that
I believe are quite different for a slasher movie. I have mixed feelings
afterward because I wasn’t on set to watch some of these moments unfold. Where
was I? Off directing 2nd unit, which I really enjoy, but still, I would have
liked to be there for those scenes. I am proud that Rob trusted me enough to
send me off to shoot a few things, and later, getting to watch the dailies of
what he shot, I’m able to truly enjoy them and have that feeling of discovery
as the shots play right in front of me.
All in all, a great day.
Today we’re shooting a scene Rob has had in his head since
the moment we said we were going to write this movie. It involves Brian Austin
Green and, well… I guess if I said what it is, that would be telling. Right now
we’re being a bit closed-mouthed about things, but I’m sure as we get closer,
more details will leak out. I remember being 15, getting the latest issue of
Fango and wanting to know every detail about all the upcoming movies. The
Internet has made that even easier these days, but sometimes I really do enjoy
not knowing everything. I will say that it seems Rob is really proud of how
this scene turned out, and how it looks. Actually, I’ll amend that statement:
It’s not just Rob who’s proud of it, but all of us.
Speaking of all of us, I need to mention Chang Tseng, the
third partner in Dry County Entertainment (our production company, which did
the first LAID TO REST and FEAR CLINIC—though I have to admit to not working on
CLINIC, so if you enjoyed that one, you have both Rob and Chang to thank). I’m
doing more 2nd-unit directing today, and that means I’m not able to help Chang
and our line producer Krishna Devine and co-producer Stephen Niver, who have
been the driving forces behind the scenes on this film. I’ve known and worked
with Chang for almost 10 years, and it always amazes me how he can maximize a
budget and add production value to every project.
Well, today is going to be an interesting day. Andrew
Shepherd, our 1st AD, needed the day off. That means yours truly is stepping in
in that capacity. (That’s me with Chromeskull’s mask above, by the way.) Andrew
has been doing a great job juggling actors’ schedules and keeping us on track,
and he actually threw me a bit of a softball today. The first half of the day
is tough, but the second half is on light side. I’ve been involved in just
about every phase of moviemaking, from the creative side to the executive side,
from production to postproduction. I wouldn’t say I’m particularly strong at
being an AD, but I’m not weak either.
First up is a scene that plants Chromeskull in a very real
world. We have an actor working who may leave fans of the first movie
scratching their heads. I’m sure by the time the movie comes out, you’ll be
able to figure out who I’m talking about, but for now I’ll be vague. We finish
it up a little on the late side, and then it’s outside for another scene from
the beginning of the film. We don’t have a lot of day exteriors in this movie,
and it’s a nice change of pace. We get everything we need by lunchtime.
Woo-hoo, we’re staying on schedule today! Just barely, but it’s happening as
After lunch, it’s time to shoot the film’s very first shot.
I will let out this tidbit of information: It’s the very last shot of the first
LAID TO REST. The remainder of our day is all about poor Mimi Michaels once
again having to deal with Chromeskull. On the plus side, my lovely girlfriend
Renee has brought the entire crew brownies and ice cream. Nick Principe walks
on set with a big plate of goodies, and before I know it, everyone wants to run
off and get some.
Another day with some very interesting and exciting scenes.
In particular, there’s one that Rob had Danielle play differently than I
thought when we wrote it, and I have to say I really like what he did with it.
What Rob and Danielle came up with adds tension between characters and a hint
of depth that wasn’t on the page.
I’m back to just being a producer/writer today, and I’m very
thankful. I had fun being the AD, but I’m glad to have Andrew return. We are
coming to the end of the second week and I’m still really liking the footage.
TO BE CONTINUED
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