Well, let's start with food. The Producer's 75 year old mother catered the food..., for about 4 days and then she got sick. After that meals consisted of frying hot dogs (and only hot dogs - period) on the prop guys stove in a deep pot. Not appetizing enough? Then imagine the horror of "troughing" Styrofoam cups through a casserole and using clothes pins like chop stick at "chow" time. One night we bribed the PA's to go to McDonald's and caught flack for it. The crews joke phrase became, "Here's two dollars. Go buy food for everyone. Bring back change and receipt."
Location, location, location. If we only knew where they were. Half the time when we got there the location was "Somewhere else." One night we got so tired of "traveling" we put the camera gear in the prop truck and went home. The director really "pulled" at us to come back that night. This non-permitted shoot had another phrase, this time from the producer, "Always say this is a Student Film." Actually that is more truth than lie.
Who's running this show anyway? One day not long into the shoot the producer and director got into an argument and he left (something I later caught onto as mentioned above... and below). The DP refused to shoot without him and we got one of the few breaks in the production.
What's that sound? I was a Grip/Best Boy on this shoot and had been "honored" with the job of tying power in (not that I was a certified electrician or anything). One night we shot in an old house and long after I pulled the cables there was a persistent sizzle from the power box. Come to think of it..., it would have made a better sound effect than the ones they used!
This film will never scare anyone to death, but the ride home one night nearly did. I was nearly asleep in the passenger seat when it felt like my chest was caving in on me (heavy braking). At 3:00AM in the morning some idiot is going 90 MPH on the wrong side of the freeway. Sad thing was I was half hoping to be put out of my misery at this point.
The best was saved for the second to last night. We were supposed to shoot at the beach, but that became Stoney Point in Chatsworth. It was a LONG day. There were problems when the AD failed to provide the costumes. Eventually we shot LONG-ER into the night. Lacking an Andy Gump the toilet was a trot out into the field beyond the range of lights. I guess we could have "roughed it" and used tough spun, but basically we all did without toilet paper. The nearly X-girlfriend was the first camera assistant and had the job of loading magazines. The DP kept wanting the tape to measure focus. Thus, I helped keep her hands in the changeover bag by trotting the tape to them. About the third time he didn't ask with any degree of politeness. Having had enough I made sure he had it quickly with an Airmail delivery. I then yanked appendages from the changeover bag, tossed a few light stands and beat our second retreat from the set. The Director then lambasted the AD who had previously that evening dropped her cars front end into a ditch. Sadly no one to my knowledge ever got paid (deferred payment). Not this woman who took the full fury of the night or even the sound guy who needed surgery and was counting on the money. Just to show there were no hard feelings in the end a number of us worked to some degree on the directors next project "Nomad Riders."
Where are they now? Yours truly is of all things a community college TV Production instructor. The director retired about 5 years ago from teaching acting and moved to Washington. One of the PA's works at the college with me nearly 30 years later. The X girlfriend (again, no hard feelings) is in Prescott, AZ., raising her daughter, going to school and pursuing a new career (good move there).
So, hey. Let's make this into a cult classic like the ending of "And God spoke." Gather your friends. Get that "Jonestown" like pot and fry up some "dogs." Trough those Styrofoam cups through that casserole. Go full out and spool up some tough spun for potty time. Finally, remember for a small honorarium you can show this film (I only found it with another film on the same cassette) to your film class and I can then fill in all the details not stated in this "trailer," (like which of the hood wearing zombies is ME!!!) Light the projectors! Tom