Monday, 7 January 2008

Acne, Madness and Death

I think Ken Russell rediscovered his freedom shooting movies in his backyard with a bunch of neighborhood friends playing the characters. This film I shot reminds me of that, nothing about it is spectacular but it was the first fully scripted film I made. Over a two day period we shot Acne, Madness and Death in my share house at that time. My housemates painted the kitchen cupboards and pitched in dressing the set. I operated camera (DVCPRO), recorded sound (So I framed, rolled, and then thrust the Boom out), and edited the whole thing. As the major scenes were a progressively drunk dinner party, we all managed to get rather blotto which accounts for out-of-focus shots, poor sound, and limited shot variation.

The actors hadn't remembered all their lines, so bits of script were hidden around the set. The guy who built the masturbation machine was an ex-junkie who fell off the wagon on the day of shooting, turned up late with two creepy friends and struggled to put together the machine he so brilliantly designed over the previous weeks. During the main dinner party scenes there are about ten people all crouched out of shot watching the performances. I had a fling with the actress in typical filmmaking fashion. The whole damn film can be summed up in two words: Great Fun.

The film features several of my friends who have since gone onto other things. I haven't seen Vina since running into her at a bar where she was working. Jack is now a foreign correspondent with a major television station here. Francis was the only "actor" actor of the lot and went on to feature in Rage in Placid Lake and He Died with a Felafel in his Hand amongst a barrage of other films and television shows.

This is that feeling of filmmaking where everything becomes an adventure and no real headaches are experienced because our expectations were free and loose. Anyway, for all its demerits I hope you are tickled by this treasure of trash cinema.

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