Another large construction for GASA occured this past June. After a year of courting Ms Paige Shuttleworth for the role of the GASA computer plumber, we finally found the right time and spot to build the set and shoot the scene.
Paige's virtues shall not elude you, reader. Aside from those virtues easily extracted from the above photo, go 'head and table another in that both of her outfits used in GASA were made entirely by her, for her. She is a master at sewing and fashion design.
This set is a close second in terms of time/effort in building to the white laboratory posted about previously. We wanted to acheive more "steam punk" than "cyber punk". Paige's character works as a "plumber" of sorts, sending the two lead wretches to various "virtual" testing grounds where they unwittingly experience more pain than pleasure through psuedo food fetish S&M scenarios. Paige is central to the movie, and her character is less one dimensional than all others, as she is, in spite of incredible Glam Rock style and good looks, a working stiff and ground down by the steamy tomb room she stations at.
There is a smoke machine on the left by the bicycle rim. We take "steam punk" literally and there is occasional gusts of "steam" pouring from the wall to achieve Fritz Lang or Jules Verne style sci-fi energy. The set was built right in Dan's studio in the H+H building. We liked the idea that Paige's console for operating the whole thing was a big, dilapidated organ manual.
Thanks to my lovely and insightful wife Jackie for being our camerawoman and logistical inspiration. It was unbearably hot in Dan's loft and the three nights we shot footage were grueling. Baltimore warehouses in summertime will forever stand in my memory. It's a very memorable body sensation, that sauna like climate.
Jackie took all of these pics. The four of us had fun in spite of the temperature....expecially "choreographing" the fight sequences. As stated previously, Paige's plumber character is very abusive to our "wretch" characters. Like in every other scene in this movie, our characters have no hope of even getting a shot in as we are kicked, whacked and otherwise bullied.
The above pic shows how we achieve our type of "movie magic". This was a long tracking shot of Dan getting "punched" and a "fist POV" of him flying 10 feet into a wall.
Here are a few varied pics-
It needn't be said that the butt figures prominently into GASA. Below note Tom testing out the "butt whanging" mallets.
I am relieved this shoot is over. Thanks Paige and Jackie. The end - for now.
GASA has many "fight scenes". We have been influenced by a great many Hong Kong and Bollywood fight sequences, not to mention some of the glorious things available on youtube. I'm not sure frankly what the appeal of violence is for us (all of US....humans?). There is so much violence out there intended for comedic purposes...well, it's interesting. prat falls, larry, moe, curly, wile e coyote, etc....it all seems pretty painful....yet amusing. Perhaps, even though films ask for "suspension of disbelief", what they also ask is "suspension of belief"....i.e. this isn't really violence....now LAUGH.
part of the appeal, in my humble opinion, is the lack of credibility of many films.
for a particular scene in GASA, our doppelgangers (played by the inimitable two can ladies Jessie Unterhalter and Emily CD) seek us out, challenge us to a duel, kick our asses, and eat our souls. We needed a place to shoot this scene, and since the scene occurs "outdoors" (more on that in a sec) it needed to be color-flipped and altered.
so, firstly, the location we chose for this scene was a "PCS base station" (cell phone signal receiver/amplifier/transmitter) atop Dan's warehouse, the H+H building. it is quite convenient to have a loud, humming 60hz, current sucking, high voltage SCI-FI-begging-to-be-used setting just up a few fire escape flights from Dan's living room.
We went up to scope it out one day, and instantly fell for the thing, knew it was perfect for our purposes. but of course we got to it by climbing up the fire escape.....if we'd gone up through the locked door at the top of the stairwell, we'd have read the signs saying "DONT ENTER! HIGH RF RADIATION. HARMFUL" etc.
We got a bit freaked out that we'd just been all over the place for the past hour and had a good old time in high energy radio fields. I calmed down later in the day when i started googling RF facts. Apparently no link has been made to cancer...........yet. However, like it's big sister the microwaves, radio waves with a lot of amplitude can heat up organic tissue really fast. one article i read said that if a human stood directly in front of one of those rectangular cell phone antennas that their eyes and testicles (ladies excluded) would likely heat up and explode in less than 30 seconds. The rest of you would get 2nd or 3rd degree burns pretty quickly.
So, when we went back up there a week or two later with our doppelgangers, we kept a nice distance from the antennas.
For particular reasons, we want the "outdoor" scenes of the movie to be "color altered". Each scene shot outside will get it's own color palette.
On this particular day, there were storms in the area and grey skies. we had previously been very pleased with the huge spectra of gorgeous color we'd gotten through HDDV in our previous shoots. THe footage from our PCS Station shoot were awfully dull- a result of the heavy overcast and low grey light. Ultimately, it didn't matter, because Dan was able to do this great, spacey, foreboding and creepy color scheme with brilliant pinks and purples.
We did our best with the Kung Fu.
This particular scene is a "sword fight" in the tradition of samorai "jideigekei" film. but obviously - retarded, goofy, and pseudo-futuristic.
Below are some "power pill taking" pump up Rocky-esque training scene stills.
Lastly, a head butt to help your day along.....