There is a document on my computer, The first page of it reads: Everybody Loves Murder.- 2nd draft.- December 4th 2002
This is the shooting script for what was/is to be my first attempt at making a feature length movie. As we say goodbye to December 2009 it’s still not done. Holy shit, I’m going to shoot myself.
I’m going to try and chronicle the making of the movie as accurately and best as I can from my less than stellar memory. Hopefully it will be somewhat entertaining, and maybe even informative to those looking to make a movie with little to no money or resources, it should at least give you an idea of what not to do.
Part 1: Pre Production
This script came about after I realized my first script (Zombie movie, sorry Nick) was going to be completely impossible to film without any money, so I set about writing a movie that would be mostly Character stuff with a few nasty deaths to at least get some practice at killing folks for the Zombie movie (again I’m so sorry Nick).
The first idea was to make a movie about a boy band who when not performing, would commit acts of murder, then I realized it was kind of a one note premise, then I realized it was stupid. Around the time I was trying to come up with a better idea there had been a lot of reports in the tacky entertainment news of sitcom casts (Home Improvement, Friends, and Everybody loves Raymond were the ones that got the most attention) secretly hating one another, and counting their lines to make sure their co-stars weren’t getting more screen time, and raging egos as they all tried to transition into movie careers. Basically my idea became what if Mathew Perry wasn’t just a dick to work with what if he took it that one step to far and killed somebody who was ahead of him for a part in a movie that would get him off the show and into a big time movie career?
That idea good or bad, stuck, I finished the script. Through writing it The Main Character of Vince morphed from flat out serial killer to more of an Iago type Villain, manipulating everyone else around by their flaws and weaknesses, I tried to work in the theme clichéd though it is of “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”, setting it up that almost all of the character could have stopped Vince early on but instead because of their own vices and secrets stayed quiet. Unfortunately most of that theme got lost due to scenes being dropped during shooting or cut during editing, it sucks but it’s one of those things.
Also threw into the mix the character of Daisy, an obsessive fan of Vince’s who ends up getting coerced into doing much of the killing for him, then gave her an overly needy boyfriend to set up a weird sort of love triangle.
Anyway script was done. While this had been going on I was working as a butchery assistant at a supermarket. Id been there about three years at this point and I was pretty sick of it, but I sort of walked around in a cloud of daydreams thinking “this isn’t my real job, this is just what I’m doing until I get to make a movie” then one day my manager asked me if I wanted to get sent on a course to get my forklift licence, so that I could unload the delivery trucks when they arrived, and all of a sudden it dawned on me that this wasn’t some temporary gig this was a bonafide career path I was on, one I had no interest in pursuing and I’d been out of high school three years and hadn’t done a single thing towards making any of my filmmaking goals happen I’d just slacked around and waited for it to be dropped on my lap. That’s when I first experienced something I’d never possessed before in my life…Drive. I had a purpose and a determination that had always alluded me at school, I wrote and I wrote and I wrote, while taking on more and more hours at work so I could save up and buy the equipment I needed and have enough left over to take a year off to shoot it, I figured it’d only take six months but thought better play it safe (Hey there 2010, you bastard). So there I was I’d saved all year, I had a camera and a microphone, I’d given a full months notice, to give myself a bit of time to hold auditions before I was an authentic unemployed artist… oh and God help me I moved back in with my mother.
For the auditions we managed to get the use of a school assembly hall for free on a Saturday. I put an ad in the local paper asking for volunteer actors to perform in a no budget black comedy, with my cellphone number to ring or txt me if interested. The best Txt I ever received resulted from that, and it’s still saved on my phone.
DO YOU NEED
A 13 YEAR OLD
GIRL THAT IS
After a brief stint in jail I held the Auditions. Got a lot of the parts cast, most of the key roles had been cast already amongst my core group of friends from high school. We’d been making movies together since we were 15, and I wanted them included in what I considered the culmination of all those hours we’d put in making movies just for the love of it.
With all the necessary actors on board, we held the first read through of the script. We did this in a tiny caravan parked on my front lawn, I always hated how white trash it made our house look so it was nice to actually get some use out of it. The read through itself was interesting, I don’t think a lot of the actors and actresses really had much of an idea of what they were signing on for, and it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. One actress as soon as we were done actually ran from the caravan to her car and a few minutes later rang me saying she couldn’t be in the movie, I asked why she said “well it’s umm… it’s because I have morals, sorry”. Fair enough, I thought, my brand of filth isn’t for everyone, so we recast her, and were ready to film.
Tune in Next time for Part 2: The shoot (all 7 years of it)
No Short movie until the end of part 3. I’m building to something here, you jerks!