Are you having an Up All Night with Rhonda Shear flashback? Well, you should be! One of the famed and original queens of scream, the eternally divine Deborah Dutch (Sorority Girls and the Creature from Hell, Hard to Die, Vice Academy series), has been working on her dream project The Hollywood Warrioress (with a variety of behind-the-scenes contributors) for over the past year.
While the film, a combination of super heroine vengeance, horror and action, has shot most of its footage in (and around) LA, the East Coast and Midwest have, also, been used as locations. In fact, one very chilly March day in 2014, I gathered with Chicago director and terror entrepreneur Chad Hawks to shoot a newsroom sequence for the film.
Was I excited? Sure! But, in a special case of behind-the-scenes madness, I almost didn’t make it to the studio where we shot. Like most creative types, I have a primary job that serves as my (ahem!) financial oasis. So, while I was finishing up my shift for the day, Chad set up the space. Needless to say, after I left work, I was totally unable to find a cab to get me to the location. As I set about to call one, my phone, naturally, died due to the (suddenly excessive) Midwest wind chill. Frantic, I ran back to my place of employment, plugged the phone in and tried to summon a cab from there. I couldn’t get through to a single cab company! I got in contact with Chad and we, quickly, decided that I’d take a nearby bus to a certain street where he would pick me up. He urged me to keep my phone on, as well, just in case he decided to come fetch me in route. It turns out we only had the filming space for a certain amount of time.
I schlepped onto the bus with my backpack and (by now drooping) garment bag…where my phone promptly died again. Defeated, I turned it off, completely. Then, after, excitedly, getting off at the wrong stop and promptly hopping back onto the bus again, I flicked on my phone and discovered it had powered up again. At that very second, it rang. It was Chad. He was in his car, directly behind us. Flustered and unkempt, I hopped off that dusty yellow chariot at the next stop and got into Chad’s black sedan. After offering profuse apologies, we rushed onward.
At the spot, I discovered, once again, what a consummate professional and total trouper Chad is. Not only was the green screen we were going to film against ready to go, but he also had to help me make costume choices and style my recently cut hair into something I was (at least vaguely) happy with. He then allowed me to pound through the very florid, very fun dialogue a couple of times as a warm-up and then we set to filming. We worked through the material in a variety of tempos and Chad added a few, interesting visual flourishes. After checking to make sure the different takes all had sound, we then broke the set down and headed out for a much needed dinner celebration.
Now, would I have liked it much better, on the day itself, if everything had gone a bit more smoothly? Sure. But, as a writer type, I sure do love having a good story to tell and, with a year’s distance, I now can say I wouldn’t have had it any other way!
You can get a sneak peek at some of our efforts at:
Be sure to follow The Hollywood Warrioress, which recently had a highly successful preview showing in LA, at https://www.facebook.com/hollywoodwarrioress. More screening dates should be announced soon.
Fun samples of Chad’s video work (including a bevy of celebrity interviews and profiles) is, also, available at https://www.youtube.com/user/ChateauGRRR.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!