by Mark Bessenger [Director]
So the day came when I had to make the phone call. My cousin had warned me that her father-in-law was the quiet, stoic type and that he would probably say very little when talking to me but not to be put off by that. So I dialed his number and waited as the number rang. He picked up and I introduced myself. He remembered me (I had him perform the ceremony at my Mom & Dad's 50th wedding anniversary when they renewed their vows), and I thanked him for letting us use his junkyard. Then I told him about the things that he might find objectionable. The phone was silent on his end as I reiterated the fact that the junkyard was crucial to the making of the movie. Finally, he said that he co-owned the junkyard with his brother, and that they would have to talk it over before making a final decision. Damn. I had hoped to settle this one way or the other right then. But I thanked him and said I would call back in a few nights to hear what he had to say.
Meanwhile, I had the best actor, Olev, from the auditions come over to my house for a call back. He sat with the other two already cast, David and Windham, and did a great job. 90% perfect reading of the lines. I told him I would send him the script to read, then we would talk further. After he left, I discussed him with the co-stars, and we all agreed that we liked him a lot. I emailed him the script and moved on to my next order of business: finding a SPFX makeup artist. A friend of mine put me in touch with Travis Pates, who got excited about the project and loved the script. We talked on the phone and discussed what makeup effects would be needed, as well as a timeframe for creating them.
THE night came, and I called the junkyard owner, only to get his voicemail. I left a message, reminding him that I was calling to see about the junkyard and if he'd made a decision. Now, in the meantime, a fellow director had turned me on to SAG's Ultra-Low-Budget Independent Film Option, that would allow me to use SAG actors in my movie. I faxed over the paperwork to a SAG office, and the director warned me that I would be getting a thick stack of papers in the mail to fill out. The site mentioned that someone would call, and after three days of silence, I got nervous, but the same director told me that if no one was calling, it probably meant that everything was actually all right.
The producer of our movie was still very excited about the film and invited me and my husband down to San Diego to talk about the production some more. This would be over Easter weekend. We agreed, thinking that it would be nice to get out of L.A. for a day or two.
An email from Olev said that he had not yet read the script, but he would get to it by the end of the week. This struck me as weird, as I thought an actor really excited about a project would tackle it right away.
I discovered a voicemail on my cell phone. I felt sweat break out on the back of my neck as I hit "Play". It was the owner of the junkyard. He had discussed things with his brother and decided that we could use the junkyard, but any shots with nudity or swearing had to be done somewhere else. Whew. At least we could shoot the majority of the film there, and the guy's son told me there was another junkyard up the road owned by a friend of theirs where we could shoot the "blue" stuff, as he'd have no problem with it. So the location was locked.
Now, I needed to complete the casting. I still had not heard from Olev about the script, and I had three female parts to cast, two with nudity. Travis, the spfx makeup man called and said he had set up a head casting session for our guest star, and could I bring him to L.A. then take him over there? I asked who was doing it, and he told me: Rob Burman. I called our celeb actor and asked him if he was free that weekend. He said yes. So I made arrangements to go to LAX that Saturday to pick up the person I had decided would bring a "name" to my film: Evil Ed from FRIGHT NIGHT...Stephen Geoffreys.