In April I attended Wizard World Comic Con in St. Louis and afterwards told you about our friends at Archlight Studios and Pirate Pictures. Their goal was to film an independent motion picture right here in our hometown entitled Four Color Eulogy. Thanks to sponsorships from companies like Lion Forge Comics and donations from people like those of you reading this; their goal is now a reality. I happily donated to their cause and publicized the film here on 8daysageek.com and just this past week I was contacted by the Producer of the film, Gayle Gallagher, who generously invited me to the set. I jumped at the chance to watch the filmmaking process in person and accepted the invitation.
The crew was filming overnight at a local comic book store here in St. Louis. I rolled into the parking lot of Newcastle Comics in Maryland heights shortly after 9 p.m. I was immediately greeted by Gayle and one of the writers/stars of the film, Jason Contini. I happily volunteered to assist Director Wyatt Weed and his crew members haul their equipment into the shop. I was introduced to the cast that I was not already familiar with and am pleased to say that they were all very gracious and welcoming. I have never been on the set of a film before and even on a small budget film such as this, the amount of work that goes in is tremendous. I watched with interest as the crew set up the track for the camera dolly, the multitude of lighting, and most importantly on this shoot…the set dressing.
One of the writers of the film and lead actor, Jason Contini, explained to me that dressing this particular set was one of the toughest challenges of the film. They were shooting in the middle of a comic book store amongst issues of the latest books, memorabilia, toys, and games all associated with the huge corporations that now dominate our geek world. In order to avoid any litigious issues with these companies, comics needed to be covered with false fronts, posters covered with sponsored and original artwork, and memorabilia strategically moved out of frame. Once the set was dressed and the large original artwork that would serve as a backdrop for the first scene of the night was pieced together, filming could begin.
I watched for hours as the cast did run-throughs, multiple takes, broke the gear and lighting down, reset the same gear and lighting for a different shot, and repeated the process. Everyone has seen behind the scenes footage of what it is like to film a motion picture, but until you see it first-hand, you just don’t know how much work truly goes into getting mere minutes on film. You must truly love films and filmmaking in order to put in the time and effort that goes into making a movie. Their love of the industry is something I noticed from this cast and crew-many of which have day jobs and schedules they have to work around in order to film ALL NIGHT in a comic book store. They had been at this same location the night before…at the same time…and filmed until well after dawn. Yet, here they were again, ready to partake in another all-nighter in order to transfer words on paper into a movie we can all eventually pop in our DVD player and enjoy.
The cast and crew’s love of film was no more evident than when they finally broke for lunch-if you can call eating at 3 a.m. lunch. As everyone sat down to satisfy their hunger, the conversation that dominated the room was of course…film. Movie titles were thrown around and everyone had their opinions of what was done right and what was done wrong, whether the endings of the films brought the story together or disappointed us in their failure to do so. Wyatt gladly gave advice, gained from his years in the industry, to members of the crew with aspirations of making their own films. As a writer/podcaster I have never had aspirations of making a film, yet I found that his advice could be easily modified to fit my chosen form of media. Let me ask you this. When you go to lunch at your job, do you sit around for the next hour discussing the work you just left behind? I know I normally don’t. However, this group does and I was pleased to be there to witness it.
I managed to stick it out with the group through lunch and into the set-up for the next scene. By this time it was after 4 in the morning and this geek was ready to call it a night. I thanked everyone for having me on set and bid them a good night. I very much enjoyed being able to witness this group in action and I hope that with the success of this project, others will follow that I can also be a part of. If you would like to be a part of the making of this film, donations are still being accepted here, or if you are even more adventurous, Four Color Eulogy is in need of some extras for an upcoming scene that will be shot at this very same location on July 15th. For information regarding this opportunity just click here. I would like to thank the cast and crew of Four Color Eulogy once again for inviting me to watch them film and urge all of you out there to like them on Facebook here and follow them on Twitter @FourColorEulogy. You can follow me on Twitter @SeanMLScott, or catch me on my weekly podcast over at the Showmedoctrine.com. Until next time…Allons-y!