We shot the film over 4 days in the winter of 1997. The crew consisted mainly of people I was working with on the TV show PSI Factor. They were all professionals who donated their time to, in most cases, do the jobs that they currently performed in the industry. I was truly honored to have so much support from my colleagues (this made it all the more disappointing that I was unable to drum up much interest in the finished film… more on that later). I’d written the script with the geography of our rental apartment in mind but by the time I was prepared to shoot the film I no longer lived there. I was having a hard time getting my head around staging it somewhere else and luckily my associate producer and general fix-it man, Christophe, was able to convince the current renters to allow us to shoot there for two days to do the scenes in the kitchen, living room, foyer, bathroom and the exterior shot on the front porch. The other two days of filming were done at my parents’ house which was mostly the bedroom.
Overall, filming went rather smoothly, however at one point as we were shooting the scene in Colin’s room where the smoke gets sucked into the closet we set off the smoke alarm. My parents’ weren’t around and the alarm system was hooked up to an outside security company. As I was explaining the situation by phone to the security guy — the fire department arrived. Having come all this way they weren’t going to leave until they’d taken a good look at what was going on. As a result a gaggle of men dressed in fireman’s gear headed upstairs to our bedroom set. They seemed rather excited. Some of the crew speculated that they were hoping to take a gander at a real live pornographic film shoot in action. Other than the lovely and talented Beth Bovaird I’m sure we disappointed them.
In the scene where Colin first meets the Man In Black there’s a moment where Death’s eyes fill with two skulls. Drew Potter figured out a way to do this in camera using a beam splitter and um… some very clever technical stuff …which allowed us to shoot that image on the set, take that CGI!
After filming was complete I edited the film on a steenbeck that my college friend Masako Nagai had come across and was keeping in her apartment. Once I ran out of money I went to work on Earth Final Conflict and continued to work on the Reasons To Live on the weekends. By the end of that season I had a a final cut and most of the sound edit complete I now needed to get Meher Steinberg to write the score. A few months previous, Rob and I had written the “Hervig Prufrock” song Too Much Lovin’ and Meher had arranged the recording session with musicians he knew and I sang the vocals. Now, Meher had gone to Los Angeles to explore job opportunities and I grabbed my VHS tape and flew to L.A. where I hung out with Meher as he wrote the score in a motel room. It turned out to be quite an adventure. Although I won’t go into it now, I have extensive journal entires from this time and plan to transcribe them into future entries for this blog.
I returned from Los Angeles very pleased with Meher’s score for the film. It had just the right amount of Tim Burton/Danny Elfman touches while maintaining its own uniqueness.
Gord Creelman who had recorded sound during the shoot was essential in helping get the film done. He did the sound editing at L.I.F.T. and spent a lot of time with me finishing the film — being paid a salary that consisted of nothing more than roti’s and other lunchables. Gord hooked me up with a D.A.T. recorder which we used to record a couple pieces of replacement dialogue and sound effects. If you have a low tolerance for grossness please skip the next sentence: I even recorded myself going to the bathroom to achieve the authentic sound of an unhappy bowel movement.
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