*AZ legislature candidate Blaine Walpole, portrayed by the hilarious Kevin Goss. Photo by Denise Elfenbein.
Principal Photography for “Dead Votes Society” wrapped yesterday afternoon as DP Forrest Sandefer raced against the dying sunlight to catch the last shot of the day.
It has been a hell of a project so far and it was a hell of a day to get it all done. 18 set ups in 7 hours.
There are waaaay too many people who gave so much of their time, effort and amazing abilities to give them all the credit they are due this hot minute. Over 60 people crowded the north steps of Prescott’s historic Courthouse, where politicians from Goldwater thru McCain have played out their political drama. On Sunday, October 28, 2012, we played out our satire of the same high drama
I will say that the cast, Judy Stahl, Dino Palazzi, Kevin Goss, Jody Drake and our herds of extras went above and beyond with their focus, their flexibility and comic characterizations while working in such a public place.
The crew was astounding – from Max Kornhauser’s creative and tireless fight choreography to Forrest‘s on the fly lighting and re-lighting of the shots to pull them off, Chad Castigliano and Matt Montgomery and Deb Gallegos racing from one side of the set to the other getting scrims and lights swung ’round, Cindy Nichols running up and down ladders and keeping the clapboard clacking on time, Penelope Davis – ladies and gentlemen, the amazing Penelope Davis and her crew (Chelsea Stone, Sylvia Boyer, Jasmine Castigliano, Dori Mion, Ginney Bilbray, Andrew Pigeon, Susan Crutcher and Debra Klein Duncan) who turned out such amazing make up designs for our zombies and “normies” with such incredible speed, Phil Hammon and his crew – Nick Stecki and Jerod MacDonald-Evoy – dealing with an ENDLESS stream of motorcycle choppers, dogs and yes, at one point a freaking wandering saxophone player, Cynthia Kitts Sobo keeping the shoot flowing with her assistants Terri New and Kay Pifer, all three of our extra Wranglers – Dan Seaman, Coralie Cole and Cole Lahti for organizing and leading their herds of people through shot after shot, and finally our stalwart, Sean Souva who not only detailed the script continuity with a meticulous eye but came early, stayed late and worked his ass off.
Truly, without our hardworking cast and crew, Angie and I would still be sitting around the breakfast table going, “You know what would be cool?” “What?” “We could make a movie!” “That would be cool!””Yeah.” “What’s on television?”
Thank you all and it’s off to post-production. Viva los Zombies!
Every Friday, this blog will re-post a letter to the editor of the “Crest Top Chronicle” newspaper, to provide a platform for voices from the community concerning some of the real issues raised by the short film “Dead Votes Society.” This week: local activist Manfred Tungun.
It’s been more than a year now since the dead rose up and took to the streets, driven by their insatiable hunger for human flesh. A year of sometimes horrific violence, of constant danger, as a public health crisis rapidly escalated into a grave threat to the very fabric of our society.
As if all that wasn’t reason enough to make it the best year of my life, this was also the year I finally found true love.
So many apocalypses, and love connections, just didn’t happen. Multiple false alarm Raptures, comets that missed us by that much, the total failure of the Elders of the Trilateral Illuminati to bring off their long-promised global banking endgame, Barack Obama. And, most heartbreaking of all, Y2K. I got my hopes up sky-high with every potential cataclysm, thinking that maybe, at last, I would find someone to share my reinforced underground bunker with. And when these catastrophes fizzled one by one, what did I have to show for it? Dashed dreams of domestic bliss and a heck of lot of canned food.
Then, just when I was beginning to lose faith, the dead walked. Hallelujah! Now my air and water filtration systems and chemical toilet don’t seem like squirrelly paranoid obsessions anymore. Now they just seem like good, sound investments. (I told you so, Mom.)
Best of all, the plague finally brought Terry into my loving arms. We’d had a flirtation for years, sure. Dates at the shooting range and such, but it wasn’t until the marauding zombie hordes turned our city into a bloody abattoir that we were finally able to truly consummate our love.
Before the uprising, people looked at us funny when I brought Terry with me to Dunkin Donuts. Some even called our love unnatural. Now, those same folks take turns buying me coffee. They know that Terry and I are all that stand between them and the slobbering walking corpses that want to eat their brains. Just a man and his one true love, my sleek and beautiful M-4 Carbine Assault Rifle.
Terry loves it when I caress her trigger. I love the sensual heat coming off her barrel and the almost erotic smell of the powder flash. There’s something deeply, profoundly satisfying about a good solid headshot, too. I tell you what, before zombies came along, there just wasn’t anyone around you could mow down and slaughter without serious legal complications.
That’s why I say the so-called “apocalypse” is in fact a Godsend. Terry and I have never been happier.
MANFRED TUNGUN is President of the Crest Top NRA chapter, and a Mayoral Candidate for the True Marriage Equality Party, which advocates for the right of individuals to marry firearms. The views expressed here are his alone and do not reflect those of the administrators of this blog or in fact of anyone, anywhere, ever.
Two weeks ago, Carie Hughes (lying down in the picture to the left) portrayed the hapless Poll Worker charged with teaching zombies how to use a voting booth modified for their special needs. Needless to say, it didn’t end well. But, in terms of our shoot, it went awesome, with Carie turning in a great comic turn. Here’s her take on what it was like on the set:
“WOW! What an Amazing day, at the day of the shoot as the poll worker. This was my first time acting in a movie and I wasn’t sure what to expect or how it all worked, but once I arrived and got to make-up then costume I was ready for more. I so enjoyed watching the crew prepare and set up for each shoot. I was so impressed how well they worked as a TEAM.
When it was time for the Director to direct us to his visual of the scene I was so Excited I could hardly contain myself. I loved hearing “Rolling!” then “ACTION!” Each take I got more into it and wanted to give my very best. Working with the 2 Zombies was so cool make-up can make them be so Real.
My final scene was a great test for me on my patience. Laying on the concrete floor for a period of time with blood, guts and other special props was so Intense! The time and preparation for this one shoot was long but fun. I have to admit I loved having all the attention on me, I truly felt like a star:) For the last take it got really messy, but I mentally prepared myself to keep on acting even though I knew what was coming. Once the blood started to shoot everywhere I tried to stay in character. I was thrilled to hear Andrew yell Cut! I couldn’t see a thing but from all the laughter I knew it must have been a keeper:)
I had so much fun and laughed so much- I look forward to the next…
I totally have a new outlook and appreciation for the filming Directors and Actors.”
— Carie Hughes
* Art/Illustration by Justin Gammon – ’cause I just love his work!!!
On Sunday, October 28th – just a few short days away, Dead Votes Society will be shooting the final location footage for our lil’ zombie movie. We’re nailing down a few details and could still use some help! So if anybody in the Prescott, AZ area would like the chance to work in front of or behind the camera, now is the time to speak up! We could use a few more Extras to play Press/Reporters, and 2 or 3 folks to work on the tech side (grips).
And you know what? Making a movie is FUN! Yes, there’s plenty of work to do, but ask anybody who’s been on set with us and they will tell you that we know how to have a good time while gettin’ the job done. So last chance, people. If you want in on the fun, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch!
I DO believe in zombies!!! I do, I do, I DO!
*Artwork by Justin Gammon – pretty much sums up how I’m feeling at the mo’.
With just over a week to go before our final shooting location, I keep reminding myself that “It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” but it sure feels like things are picking up speed as my “To Do” list continues to grow.
We’re still looking for a few more volunteers to help out as tech crew, a few more regular hair and makeup peeps, and we even have space for more Press/Reporter Extras. It’s the last minute “cover all yer bases” sprint before we hit the ground running on October 28.
Want to help out? Then shoot us an email at email@example.com and put “Volunteer” or “Hair/Makeup” or “Extra” in the subject line and I’ll get back to you ASAP. Again, we can’t pay folks, but we will feed ya and you will be credited in the movie.
We’re so excited to be bringing the very important issue of voting rights for Undead Americans to life, er, um, whatever, in this movie.
Viva los Zombies!
(Production Designer Penelope Davis does last minute touch up for actress Joanne Robertson as fellow actor Parker Anderson unleashes his charisma at the camera.)
Joanne Robertson, star of many, many productions at Prescott Center for the Arts, wrote us this note, fresh from shooting her scene as news anchor Melissa Blonde in “Dead Votes Society.”
“So what did I do today? Got to watch a team of very talented filmmakers doing what they love to do. Got to be directed by Angie and Andrew, who really get this acting stuff.
Got to hang out with Parker Anderson who was the source of continuous laughs. Got to know some really cool people like Penelope the production designer and latent actor (ha ha.) Got to hang out with some long-time friends like Arnold who I really respect. From beginning to end, a top-notch, professional and VERY fun time.
Thanks you guys for the GREAT day! Break-a-leg on the remainder of the shooting… Can’t wait to see the movie. It’s gonna be great!!!”
Don’t forget, if you’d like to be an extra in the climatic last scene of
Dead Votes Society” on Sunday, October 28th, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Fine Print) Sorry, no one under 18 years old. Must be available from 8am to 6pm on that day. This is a volunteer position. We will, however, feed you and give you screen credit on the film and IMDB!
*Aaron Boe and Lex Althoff. Photo by Chad Castigliano.
Dead Votes Society has officially passed the 3/4 mark in principal photography. It was a full weekend, starting off with a news desk location on Saturday, and ending with the goriest shoot of the movie on Sunday.
Joanne Robertson and Parker Anderson did an incredible job as our morning news show hosts. More than one crew member on the shoot turned to me and said, “Oh my god, that was perfect casting!” And they were right. This pair of local actors had great timing and chemistry together and were fully believable as their characters. Plus? Super fun and easy to work with. This was the one location that didn’t require SFX makeup, and the shoot zipped along smoothly. We actually got out early!
Sunday was a different story. We were all tired from the previous day’s shoot, it turned out that the location’s electrical system wasn’t going to cut it (a huge “THANK YOU!” to Forrest‘s dad for letting us borrow a couple of generators), and it took FOREVER to get our zombie actors ready. But, as you can see, they turned Aaron and Lex into great looking zombies and we finally started shooting around 1:30 p.m.
Folks were getting impatient as the set up time dragged on for the “martini shot,” or the last shot of the day. And yet, Carie Hughes, busy freezing on the concrete floor while Production Designer Penelope Davis and her crew prepped the scene with a gallon of stage blood and faux innards and gore, managed to stay professional and patient. After lots of “Wait, you can see fill-in-the-blank,” or “Move your head more that way,” and “More blood over Carie’s shoulder,” it was time to settle and take the damn shot.
And you know what? That final shot was AWESOME! Jaws dropped as the action unfolded. I don’t think anyone (except me, ’cause I know how inventive and detail oriented she is) imagined that Penelope would be able to pull off gore as well as she did SFX makeup. But it looked amazing and it looks even better on screen than it did “in real life.”
When Andrew called out, “It’s a wrap!” we all cheered and started hustling our poor, shivering poll worker actress off that concrete floor (Carie Hughes was as soaked in stage blood and gore as Sissy Spacek in “Carrie”), while the crew broke down the lights and sound gear in record time.
From start to finish, a great movie-making weekend!
*Andrew Johnson-Schmit, Parker Anderson and Joanne Robertson. Photo by Chad Castigliano.
Every Friday, this blog will re-post a letter to the editor of the “Crest Top Chronicle” newspaper, to provide a platform for voices from the community concerning some of the real issues raised by the short film “Dead Votes Society.” This week: local ranch matriarch Maisie McAllister.
All right, enough’s enough. I been reading all the back and forth in this here paper for weeks now and I have yet to see anybody express a sentiment containing a lick of sense. Lettin’ zombies vote? What in the name of Juniper Creek are people thinkin’? Zombies smell just as bad as hippies and they’re almost as stupid. And there ain’t nobody fool enough to suggest we let hippies vote. (Not since we put down that Amendment in ’69.)
Heck, this used to be a halfway decent town to live in before all the walkin’ dead took over. Now first thing I gotta do every morning is grab my shotgun and blast me some zombie brains out. At least two or three a day. Like I ain’t got enough to do around here without that. Otherwise the smelly buggers’ll infest my property, spookin’ the livestock and gettin’ all bitey with the hired help. Plus you would not believe how many of them pus-brained corpses I’ve had to fish outta my cistern. Makes my water taste mighty pungent even iffen I boil it.
(I don’t want to belabor the comparison, but once again these are many of the same problems I used to have with them dang hippies.)
And now, insult to injury, I hear they’re fixin’ to put out a movie about this whole zombie voting debate. “Dead Votes Society,” they call it. Well, it just goes to prove that them Hollywood folks are plumb outta good ideas for movies. I don’t get down to the Antelope Theater much anymore since Clark Gable passed, but some nights when I’m soakin’ my feet I do like to watch the satellite, even if most of the stuff on there is about as pointless as a double-decker outhouse. Just the other night I saw some fool thing about a bunch of nine-foot-tall blue hippies that wouldn’t come down outta the trees no matter how much the brave soldier boys shot at ‘em. I don’t know who in their right mind would pay hard-earned money to see such trash, but I’m sure if people like that, they’ll just love this “Dead Votes” thing. Probably make a billion bucks. There just ain’t no accountin’ fer taste no more.
Anyway, that’s my two cents.
MAISIE McALLISTER is a fourth-generation Crest Topper, a direct descendant of pioneer stock. She owns McAllister Ranch, one of the largest cattle operations in Northern Arizona. The views expressed here are hers alone and do not reflect those of the administrators of this blog or in fact of anyone, anywhere, ever.
Sean Jeralds (that’s him in the black turtleneck) has performed in a lot of comedies over the years in Prescott, AZ. Besides many farces at Prescott Center for the Arts, he was a cast member in the last Coyote Radio Theater group on KJZA.
So it was especially fun to have him on this shoot – an adaptation of a CRT sketch – playing a completely silent cameo as “Nervous Guy #1.”
Here’s Sean’s reaction to a day spent shooting and re-shooting 6 shots of scary comedy.
“WOW! What a competent, professional, well-planned and executed film shoot – that’s what it was like working with the team Angie and Andrew put together for filming of DVS. No detail was overlooked; from the catering to costuming, everything was dialed. I’m not sure what I liked most about the day, but my choices are 1) getting “glycerined up” by Penelope, 2) being drooled on by Cason, or 3) Watching Tiffany trying to keep a straight face. It was a great time and I can’t wait to see the finished product. Break-a-leg Team DVS!”
Awww, shucks! (repeatedly stabbing right toe into the carpet) What a great cast and crew we have on this film!