Monday, June 06, 2005

Letters from the Battlefront

TUESDAY MAY 24--Today was the first day of shooting at the historic church in little Germania, Pennsylvania. What man of the cloth allowed the demonic twins to have unlimited access to this sacred spot remains a mystery. Though I remembered the ban on cussing at the church from earlier in the pre-production phase, when I had to rewrite the script to take out the bad words. As I pointed out in an early post, if we were going to hell, it wasn't going to be for cussing in a church.
I have always been amazed that the good people of the small towns of Pennsylvania--Wellsboro, Ansonia, Germania, and so on--don't rise up with pitchforks and torches and drive the Polonia Brothers across state lines into the wilds of upstate New York. As a for instance, we couldn't get cell service, so Ken VanSant (Lt. Bonham) walked down to a pay phone in front of a mom and pop store. This was unfortunately after the scene where he gets wounded and thus had some bloody bandages on. Apparently this caused a bit of a stir in downtown Germania, a stalwart hunting and fishing community where such injuries are perhaps not uncommon but certainly not welcome. Though later Dave Fife (as a German prisoner) walked into the local honkytonk with a leaking neck wound and a Nazi uniform and apparently didn't cause a stir. But this is what happens when Hollywood comes to town.
After a few 12-hour shooting days a mild form of hysteria sets in. This is why you see uncontrolled laughter on blooper reels when nothing is that funny. In a "you had to be there" moment, I was weeping with laughter when Mark Polonia called for quiet on the set, and Brian Berry and Brice Kennedy were in the choir loft, eyes bugging with mock concentration, ever so slowly trying to remove snacks from crackling plastic bags.
The funniest thing that happened that you didn't have to be there for, but it helps if you know that Brice Kennedy is from West Virginia, is when Brice threw a mock actor's hissy fit and said he was going back to his trailer, and Dave Fife cracked, "You don't have to go all the way home."
Tomorrow, actual journalists come to visit.

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1 comment:

Christopher Sharpe said...

These updates are great, John. Keep em coming!