Oktober Wurstnacht

GASA is dogmatic about indoor vs outdoor, i.e. real vs virtual, but the "death metal/sausage/s&m" segment of the "Part 1 Interludes" subverts us by being an outdoor as indoor scene. As with the "sauna shoot", the "sausage shoot" occurred during the mild, lovely Baltimore October times. The spark for the shoot came from Dan, who envisioned a part of the movie in which his roommate, artist Gina Denton, would flog him Dom-style with a long sausage rope. Gina, who loves and listens frequently to death/black/doom metal of the heaviest kind, just seems to exude more "S" than "M", though in person she is not sadistic or abusive as far as I can tell. She just has powerful woman energy and likes wearing black and listening to loud heavy shit.

We chose The BANK, West Baltimore's finest underground venue located at the end of the ghetto rainbow, as the site, and imagined how we could shoot the scene in their "courtyard" and make it look like a strange "room" - since, after all, it is meant to exist inside of a computer program (imagine GASA as a video game with no beginning or end). Additionally, we really wanted to add Gerry Mak to the scene, because he too is a master of metal (throat singing for art-metal band Bloody Panda), a thespian, and an interesting physical foil to Gina - being a very petite male he is rather smaller than Gina, and he would be playing her "igor", or halfwitted assistant (archetypes!). We decided that Doom Metal sounds would fill the scene, and i asked Gina and Gerry to come to the shoot as "feral" as possible. You won't fail to notice in the above photo of them that they did indeed come "feral".

Gina was our MC character in the infamous (though not yet blogged) nightclub scene and in that scene she adorned herself in some scary/beautiful pelts and of course we'd continue that for this shoot too. She is exactly the same character, in fact, for in the GASA universe archetypes abound, ideas bob up and down in the sea of data.

We initially envisioned a starker scene, using the BANK courtyard to suggest the whole scene was happening in a big cement box (which the courtyard is, basically, but a roofless one with a veg/herb garden on one side). However, when we arrived (via the back bungalow of our courteous host the inimitable Little Howlin' Wolf) we got a bit magnetized by a mysterious corner of the thing with an enormous Ghetto Weed Nut Tree of some sort growing out of it. Instantly we went to work building our "indoor" S&M Sausage Dungeon with a tree growing up it's spine. Note in the above photo the St. Christopher's Cross (St. Steven's Cross?), meant for tyin' and whoopin".

Here Gina preps her pelted headdress. Note her leather glistening in the bottom lit TomTom drum light. The light was on faders for percusso-lumination effects. Ta!

Dan hangs the "candelier" in front of BANK bottle mosaic. The combination of the attractive BANK-designed courtyard art, the Nut Tree, the moist October harvest air, and our additions of gloomy dungeon decor quickly spun the location into our perfect setting for the Dan character to get his butt whooped by a screeching, grunting feral duo of sausage wielding and chomping maniacs. Gina provided us with a a great mix of doom, gloom, and Scandinavian guitar sounds to flesh out the moods apropos.

Above: The Nut Tree, glowing in the purple Westside night.

I could hardly comment on Gina in the above photo in a way that would improve on what the photo itself speaks formidably. Note the sausages dangled, which were Gerry's actual dinner.

A parting shot (below) of the back wall of the BANK. The shadows from our lights went well with the mysterious Poe Moon out that night and eerie heat that seemed to move into the city earlier in the evening.

A fun night indeed...and thanks to the BANK folks, especially Wolf, and way ups to Gina and Gerry.

Sauna + Hot Dog Last Supper

Snacks is at last stretching down into the back leg of our shooting schedule for "GASA". Specifically, it is also the "Part I interludes" phase. Don't allow me to expand on what that means, because it will be esoteric jumble that may only ever have meaning to Dan and I. Briefly, I can say this - We shot the movie backwards (sort of), and the "middle beginning" consists of "interludes", autonomous "vibe" pieces that wedgie themselves into the bigger picture of the film - but retain non-narrative spirals in and of themselves. In each interlude, the lead "wretches", played by Snacks ourselves, are "tested" by a series of tortuous "pleasure" routines inside of an infinitely huge computer system.

Just about a short week or two ago Snacks crammed three shoots into a sublime pocket of October weather, two of which went towards visualizing the "sauna scene" concept......

The sauna itself exists in the backyard of the one quarter Danish/one quarter American/one half Portuguese marriage partnership of Jenny Graf Shepherd and Jorge Martin. They bought a sauna in it's entirety from a fellow on Maryland's Eastern Shore and it was delivered a contiguous whole via flatbed ------- all the way from the Eastern Shore to that exact spot (see above photo) in Arcadia, Baltimore (sort of the lower left ventricle of Lauraville, NE Balt). It's a fine item, this sauna, smelling sweetly of wood fires and high quality seasoned cedar.

Since this part of the movie occurs inside of a computer, the spaces are meant to be "2D", mere simulacrum or projection. However, the simulacra have teeth, and in this particular scene, those teeth sink into some hot dogs.

In the above photo you will see Dan "preparing" a hot dog for a "movie magic" moment in which it will fly perfectly between the toes of this lovely person....

Kat Sotelo. Performce artist extraordinaire, she is the anchor of the scene, and she ministers over her charges as well as her victims with succinct efficiency.

When the wretch portrayed by myself arrives into the sauna simulacrum, he is in worse tune than a west baltimore church basement piano, and Kat must burden herself with the necessary task of "tuning" Tom. She is soon assisted by a second tuner, portrayed by Katherine Ralston - of Baltimore's Annex Theatre. Hot Dogs, in one dimension, can be thought of as "tuning forks".

In the topmost photo, one can see the entire cast for the scene. Several "musicians" are required to "play" Tom, now that he's been "tuned". Big thanks to our players - John Kahn, Sam Shea, Katey Truhn, and Ami Dang.

Consistently throughout this entire movie our lead characters (US) are treated very badly. Use and abuse are interchangeable. Use IS abuse. Note how hardcore deadly Kat looks from the POV of the person's face she is slamming her foot into.

Every expert victim tuner who lives in a computer sauna must be armed with a "quiver" of hot dog tuning forks in her towel.

Jenny and Jorge were fine hosts, and their superb sauna shall be immortalized in our "art". The first shoot was rather chilly for our nearly naked toweled persons to be prancing about in the backyard, although we eventually got the wood stove in the sauna kickin' and that was plenty heat to warm the hot dogs and also our scruffy souls as well. There was an eventual late night hang and also we dined on the weenies too 'round midnight or so.

The second shoot we did a week later, and my gosh it was a lovely Autumn eve of the best kind - those humid breezey patches of tropical air we get waltzing occasionally through Bmore from the Caribbean during foliage weeks.

Here's a parting shot of the sauna, languid in the the October night....