Perishing Hearts Photo Gallery

Back in 1987 I tried making a feature film called Perishing Hearts.  It was a very ambitious undertaking as the screenplay ran way too long (close to 200 pages), I didn’t schedule enough time to make the movie (2 weeks leave from the US Army) and I wasn’t experienced enough to realize this before attempting it.

Throw in an inexperienced cast (high school students from Lake Charles, Louisiana area) and it made  for a difficult, in not impossible feat to pull  off.  A couple days into the shoot, in fact after filming 30-hours straight, my amazing Director of Photography, the late Jay Bullbear, passed out from exhaustion and one of my lead actresses had a nervous breakdown.

All of this forced me to take a drive by myself to evaluate the situation and I ended up at a stream-like river, which I believe was Two-Mile Creek or Hominy Creek .  It was by this water that I had to probably make the hardest decision to date as a filmmaker.  Do I throw in the towel and walk away from filmmaking altogether, because I realized I had failed on this attempt or go on.  After some very difficult, gut-wrenching moments and truthfully some tears, I made the decision to abandon the project but not to give up.

Since I had the actors, the time left in Oklahoma and the talented folks working with me like Jay, his late brother David Maker and our pal Kenwick Cook, I decided to make a romantic music video called “Exquisite Delusion”, which utilized the song “Colors/Dance” from George Winston (look for a photo gallery from that video in the near future).

Here are some photos from the March 1987 location scouting of “Blackburn Bridge” and graveyard near Hominy, Oklahoma.  Also shots from the pre-production period (April-May 1987) where I rehearsed my actors,  then traveled with my three cast members from Louisiana, through Texas to Hominy, Oklahoma.  Some of the photos show my dear friend and super-talented Cinematographer Jay Bullbear, who is unfortunately no longer with us.

 

Director of Photography Jay Bullbear and I scout the Blackburn Bridge
Director of Photography Jay Bullbear and I scout the Blackburn Bridge March 1987

 

Blackburn Bridge was built in 1928 and spans over the Arkansas River
Blackburn Bridge was built in 1928 and spans over the Arkansas River

 

George Jones & Terry check out frame of Blackburn Bridge
George Jones & Terry check out frame of Blackburn Bridge

 

DP Jay Bullear and Terry find the graveyard needed for Perishing Hearts
DP Jay Bullear and Terry find the graveyard needed for Perishing Hearts

 

Terry & Jay actually shot at this graveyard during the night 3-months later
Terry & Jay actually shot at this graveyard during the night 3-months later

 

Stephanie dyes Kevin's hair dark so he can play "Andrew Winston"
Stephanie Pyatt dyes Kevin’s hair dark so he can play “Andrew Winston”

 

Kevin & Stephanie ready for trip to Oklahoma
Kevin & Stephanie Pyatt ready for trip to Oklahoma

 

The character Cory stone is a blonde haired babe with an attitude
The character “Cory Stone” (Traci) is a blonde haired babe with an attitude

 

"Cory Stone" (close) and "Pamela Vanderhaven" (far) are the two main female characters in Perishing Hearts
“Cory Stone” (close) and “Pamela Vanderhaven” (far) are the two main female characters in Perishing Hearts

 

Terry with his two young actresses stop to take break while driving to Oklahoma
Terry with young actresses Traci & Stephanie Pyatt stop to stretch their legs while driving to Oklahoma

 

Perishing Hearts young ladies on the way to Oklahoma
Traci & Stephanie take a break on the way to Oklahoma

 

I actually bought this new car just to shoot Perishing Hearts.  I ended up owning the Dodge Colt 14 years before donating it to charity.
Terry actually bought this new car just to shoot Perishing Hearts. He ended up owning the Dodge Colt 14-years before donating it to charity.

 

The late great Jay Bullbear was not only an extremely talented Director of Photography but his family were ideal hosts, letting us stay at their home for the shoot.
The late great Jay Bullbear was not only an extremely talented Director of Photography but his family were ideal hosts, letting us stay at their home for the shoot.

 

Kevin & Stephanie get ready for shoot
Kevin & Stephanie get ready

 

"Cory" has her hair frosted for the part
“Cory” (Traci) has her hair frosted for the part

 

Terry Directs Stephanie @ Blackburn Bridge
Terry directs Stephanie Pyatt @ Blackburn Bridge June 1987

 

Terry watches as "Pamela" thinks about jumping
Terry watches as “Pamela” (Stephanie Pyatt) thinks about jumping off Blackburn Bridge in Perishing Hearts

 

Director of Photography Jay Bullbear films Stephanie as "Pamela" on Blackburn Bridge
Director of Photography Jay Bullbear films Stephanie as “Pamela” on Blackburn Bridge

 

The production scored Oklahoma filmmaker Larry Thomas to play "Dr. Alexander Parral"
The production was lucky to get Oklahoma filmmaker Lawrence “Larry” Thomas (Mutilations, The Change, Vigilante Blood) to play “Dr. Alexander Parral”

 

Terry's long-time friend Kenwick Cook has fun playing "the Corpse"
Terry’s long-time friend Kenwick Cook has fun playing “the Corpse”

 

Kenwick Cook as "The Corpse" pre-makeup
Kenwick Cook as “The Corpse” pre-makeup

 

Larry Thomas looks on as Jay Bullbear makes final adjustments to "Dr. Parral's Lab" set.
Lawrence “Larry” Thomas looks on as Jay Bullbear makes final adjustments to “Dr. Parral’s Lab” set.

 

DP Bullbear was really innovated hanging flashlights from the ceiling at different heights to light the scene.
DP Bullbear was really innovative hanging flashlights from the ceiling at different heights to light the scene.

 

Kevin & Larry run the the scene in "Dr. Parral's Lab."  This scene was filmmaked in the upper level of a barn on the Bullbear/Maker property.
Kevin & Larry run through the scene in “Dr. Parral’s Lab.” This  was filmed in the upper level of a barn on the Bullbear/Maker property.
Larry Thomas as "Dr. Parral" was having a good time though the shoot went on until the sun came up.
Larry Thomas as “Dr. Parral” was having a good time though the shoot went on until the sun came up.

 

"The Corpse" (Kenwick Cook) is made up for the scene
“The Corpse” (Kenwick Cook) is made up for the scene

 

"Dr. Parral" removed some brain from "The Corpse" (Kenwick Cook)
“Dr. Parral” (Lawrence “Larry” Thomas) removes some brain from “The Corpse” (Kenwick Cook)

 

Larry Thomas plays the mad scientist "Dr. Alexander Parral" with glee.
Lawrence Thomas played the mad scientist “Dr. Alexander Parral” with glee.   As Larry said, “Brains for my Living Dead.”

 

The director isn't afraid to get his hands bloody
The director isn’t afraid to get his hands bloody

 

Terry looks through the lens
Terry looks through the lens

 

Terry and Kevin shake after a successful all night shoot
Terry and Kevin shake after a successful all night shoot

 

Chow time @ the Bullbear/Maker residence
Chow time @ the Bullbear/Maker residence