* Art/Illustration by Justin Gammon – ’cause I just love his work!!!
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(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 email@example.com.
(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!
We wrapped up our first shooting day around 6 p.m. on Sunday. And yes, it was AWESOME! And a lot of work. But mostly it was so much fun that the work didn’t seem like work.
Penelope Davis, our production designer, did an incredible job with the make up for both the zombies and the “normies.” Even with a knee injury, Tiffany Antone had a great attitude and played a terrific “straight woman” to Cason Murphy’s zombie. And yeah, it was great to have former Coyote Radio Theater member Sean Jerald play the extremely nervous (and sweaty!!!) zombie interpretor.
Other than a great cast and a kick ass zombie “look,” what made the shoot successful was a crew that figured out how to work well together super fast. Truly, a great group of peeps for the crew. And I know we’ll only get even better as we move through the next three shooting dates. I DO believe in 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: Arizona State Senate candidate Blaine Walpole.
Blrrg vjuFRRggl desjghrr vmbjgdigf birth certificate cmvmvrglrlg blasdffd deficit bfrfsdcfvg dhbvsdg grldsdf Ronald Reagan. Grrrrsvdvfs dafidddd klorrdffsdfe fweuhf 2nd Amendment grrggaagrrrr dfdfasdf bf;;;w grwdvgfll BRAINS fkgjdfgjdoigfjdogj grgrgfl BRAINS fkgmdlkfgldjgrgrg BRAINS.
Glllughd nvfjnvn Obamacare nvjfnvurnuh bhbffdb death panel drrgggggl djsfsjh privatization ggjadjcnbvb grrrq f;ssfc bjss lower taxes! Fjhngdjvh nfdefgrrr socialism bldagfv djnvjsnv BRAINS g;gafgagd ngndjon gndaujg job creators cnnhvnvsuihv gasdfksadh bvyhdgbv 47% brrdgadsg axbsauxb asdhb smaller government.
BlrrwEF dfjgndi dnfuhs The Constitution nfgjdzncxnv Founding Father’s Christian principles dfnudf nsudhyfih gnsoi freedom. The troops cmvjxsodvihj grdasdr God bless America! Gdnfoi gardasd dfgijo BRAINS.
BLAINE WALPOLE is running for the State Senate seat in Arizona’s 31st District, and has already beat the incumbent Sen. Dudley Serling in a hotly contested primary race. Before his untimely demise, Blaine was the proud owner of a Chik-Fil-A franchise and treasurer of the Crest Top area Tea Party chapter. 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.
Behold, an Imported English Zombie Contact Lens.
Angie, as producer of this fine little zombie movie, found herself researching zombie contact lenses after talking with our SFX Make-Up Consultant, Ridgḝ Gḁllagḧḝr. (That’s Ridgḝ, testing make-up designs with zombie spokesmodel Cole Lahti.)
Ridgḝ, quite rightly, holds that its not enough to just slap on some white powder, paint a little fake blood and black around the eyes and call it an apocalypse. Don’t believe it? Go to Netflix and use the search term zombie. Lots of low budget films, yes? Watch a few. Aaaaand they spent the budget’s other $1.50 on the catering. In terms of production value, not a lot of it.
And this where I totally dig Ridgḝ’s approach. Besides his very detailed make-up, he talked with Angie about using contact lenses to take the effect farther, plus added effects like objects impaled in our walking dead or burns.
Think of it this way. If our zombies are still wearing the clothes they died in, everything that’s happened to them since is evidenced on these garments and this flesh. When Lex Althoff’s zombie appears on the screen, if she’s got a pencil sticking out of her head like a poorly aimed harpoon, you can just imagine some poor zombie killer that didn’t live to tell the tale. If Cole Lahti’s zombie shuffles around the Square will one arm charred you can just imagine the fiery fate that could not stop her shamble.
All of which makes for an interesting movie. And production values. And Angie scouring the EU for just the right look in contact lenses. Its the work of Ridgḝ and Production Designer Penelope Davis (costumes, make-up, props and production values) to make this all come to life aaaaand on a budget that matches what big Hollywood movies spend on coffee stirrers at the craft table (unless its a Bruckheimer film. Have you seen his coffee stirrers?!)
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 and businesswoman Callista Brubaker.
My good friend Hester Morton made some good points in her September 14 letter, about the many benefits legalized zombie voting will bring to Crest Top’s local economy. However, I do have grave concerns about this “satirical” film she mentioned, “The Dead Votes Society.” If recent events in the Middle East have taught us anything, it’s that certain segments of the population just can’t take a joke. I’m sure that as former human beings, zombies have many wonderful qualities, but a sense of humor about themselves is not one of them.
Who can forget the wave of zombie violence that gripped London in the weeks following the premiere of Shaun of the Dead? Or the terrible recriminations Woody Harrelson suffered because of his appearance in Zombieland? Some may say that these incidents were not directly caused by these films, but were rather cases of radical zombie organizations exploiting undead anger (or just, you know, hunger) in order to further their own agendas. But I say, why take the chance?
I’m all for freedom of speech, of course. My ex-husband was a lawyer for the ACLU and he would not shut up about that subject. But the First Amendment doesn’t give us the right to shout “fire!” in a crowded movie theater. Or to shout “brains!” in a shopping mall crowded with zombies. The makers of “The Dead Votes Society” would do well to remember this. In fact, I would suggest that the production take on a zombie consultant to review the script and to observe every scene as it is shot. If this zombie gets all offended and bitey by what he or she sees, then that portion of the film should be cut. After all, who wants to live in a society where anyone might be offended, just so smug Hollywood elitists can make a quick buck? I surely don’t.
CALLISTA BRUBAKER is the Director of THE ASSOCIATON OF LADY VOTERS. She also teaches a course in Applied Civil Disobedience at CREST TOP COLLEGE and owns the HEALING HANDS, HEALING HEART BOOKSTORE on Crest Top’s Historic Tequila Row. 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.
Tuesday night on the wonderful patio of El Gato Azul, over a fantastic spread of brews and tapas, the core of our Tech Crew for DVS met for the first time. This would be the Camera Department, the Production Sound Department, the Grip/Electrical Department, the Producer and the Director.
Besides making each other’s acquaintance, we decided on our work flow for the sound (the mic to hard drive course the sound signal will take). And planned a test shot prior to the first day of principal photography, to make sure all these fancy plans will work out when we have actors doing actor-ly things in front of both departments.
Its a pretty solid crew and they give me a lot of confidence. Here’s the roll call:Camera Department: Director of Photography – Forrest Sandefer Sound Department Sound Recordist – Phill Hammon Sound Mixer – Nick Stecki Sound Boom Operator – Jerod MacDonald-Evoy Grip/Electrical Gaffer – Chad Castigliano
If you’d like to get some experience working on a film crew, here’s your chance!
We’re still looking for:
- (1) Assistant camera person to work with our DP on the camera
- (3) Grips to work with our Gaffer to set up lights and staging
- (1) Production Assistant to work with our Assistant Director, Cynthia Kitts Sobo.
If you’re interested, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – and put “Crew” in the Subject line.
See you at Principal Photography!