Truth, Justice and Complete Exhaustion… Tales of Light & Dark Production Week 6

Never has a weekend been so much fun but completely exhausting as the same time.  We shot 25 pages of the TRUTH, JUSTICE AND THE AMERICAN WAY script in two days; nine hours on Saturday and fourteen hours on Sunday.

Saturday started out with an animal rights protest scene led by Father Peter (Stewart Thomas) where Anne (Lucienne Spoja) is accidentally killed.  This sets off a chain of events that will challenge Father Peter’s faith and morality.

20130824_110359Lucienne had a ball with her death scene and I certainly never pass up the opportunity to pour blood on my actors.

20130824_10453020130824_104456Cleaning the mess up on the street afterward was a real pain though.  We needed to leave no telltale trace behind.  Thankfully Ed and Jude discovered a nearby hose that helped immensely with the cleanup.

BloodCleanupThe majority of the script takes place in a basement and I expected to coast through these scenes.  None of us were prepared for just how exhausting it would be.  The tiny confined space and dim lighting made for an oppressive atmosphere on set.  Stewart was blindfolded and his hands, legs and arms were bound for hours.

20130825_180939 It didn’t take long for him to succumb to the environment and we had to have frequent breaks so as not to overwhelm him.  Chelsea cheered him up with her Candy Corn vampire impression which has since inspired a bit for LOLLI GIRL.  And luckily we had bananas on hand because you need them to survive🙂

20130825_21504520130825_143910Stewart made the best of the set conditions and channeled it into a fantastic performance.

20130824_161737We wrapped earlier on Saturday and come Sunday, the gang was ready to go since they knew what they were getting into from the day before.

I think some of my favorite scenes that I have ever shot have come out of this episode.

20130824_161833Chelsea and Stewart’s performances floored me and at one point, Chelsea’s monologue literally left me with chills.  The other day while scouting the location for LOLLI GIRL at the train station I found myself parked in the same spot where I had one of my final conversations with the late Joe Lauria.  I was reflecting upon how easy it was to write for Joe.  He instinctively understood the character motivations.  I never thought that I would find someone like that again that was simpatico in every respect until I met and worked with Chelsea.

20130825_182233The onscreen chemistry between Chelsea and Stewart is riveting.  I wish I could talk more about this episode especially about the performance of the actor who played the “Captor” but I don’t want to risk spoiling the many plot twists that are in store for viewers.  Rest assured, this is an episode that you’ll definitely want to watch.  The story raises some controversial issues too, so much so that we had a few actors turn down roles once they realized what it was about.

Danielle Masterson did a convincing makeup job on Chelsea making her look like she had been badly beaten.  The cops that pulled us over on the way to the train station thought so too.

20130825_16091920130825_161004Chelsea thought it would be fun to travel home all beaten up so she left her makeup on.  The makeup took the officers by surprise as did it with a number of people on the platform at the train station as Chelsea and Danielle playfully tossed out comments about her supposed beating.  In addition to her work on this episode and OPEN CALL, Danielle is doing the makeup for Chelsea and Jude on LOLLI GIRL.

Gene Mazza provided blood and makeup effects on GEOKILLING and despite some initial kinks (we had to recast the mask in silicone since the actor has a latex allergy), created a very haunting mask which quickly became the centerpiece of this episode.

This weekend marked the last of the big shoots.  With one remaining episode to go, TALES OF LIGHT AND DARK is off to a good start.  You’ll be able to see for yourself when the trailer debuts on Friday, September 13th.

For more behind the scenes and production photos from the GEOKILLING episode, visit our Facebook page at and click on the TRUTH, JUSTICE AND THE AMERICAN WAY photo album.

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