The Making of…Johnny Garrett
By Writer/Producer Michael Knight
After completing a music video, I spoke with Terry about doing another project. I was impressed with Terry’s enthusiasm and drive. It’s easy to start a project but when problems arise, a lot of people bail. Terry proved he could finish what he started and make the best of it.
I had several horror fiction stories published at the time and had envisioned them as short films. After some reading we decided on my short story, The Downfall of Johnny Garrett and adapted it for film. It was like the old DC horror comics tale, a simple revenge story with a lot of visual aspects to it. In fact, the original story only had two lines of dialogue in it.
I also had ideas for doing horror soundtrack music with predominantly guitar. Not song placements but actual atmospheric music background for the film.
We were going full-on gorilla filmmaking because of the locations we wanted to use.
Steve Rodriguez had a great look for the 70’s style gang leader, Johnny.
Nicole Bryl made for the perfect innocent Sheila.
One of the problems we had was starting off with too big of a crew. Trying to be discreet with 12 people setting up a shot was a problem. The police kicked us out of our chosen locations on the first night of shooting. I decided to send half the crew home and to cut them from the remainder of the project. More was definitely not better in this case. My knowledge of Queens NY helped me think of secluded places we could shoot on the fly.
Lighting was a problem for several scenes because we didn’t have access to electric. We adjusted as best we could as we went along.
We shot the final scenes behind my (at the time) music studio in Massapequa, NY so we had privacy, permission to be there, and access to electricity. It certainly paid off for some great shots.
My buddy, John Hoelzer set up props and the arm and bone prosthetics for the arm chop. Craig Lindberg set up the blood pump. Jason Alvino did the dead woman’s make up. And my buddy, Ben Guzik helped with lighting (and driving to 7-11 for coffee and cigarettes, lol)
It was a fun project and it showed me how much work goes into shooting a short 15-minute segment like Johnny Garrett.
If you want to see what Michael has been doing since, check out his Amazon Authors Page:
Filmmaker Terry R. Wickham made Double Fantasy in 7 shooting days spread out between July 12, 1989 and May 6, 1989. There was actually 2 other shooting days that were done, not used in the film because of the replacement of actors.
July 12, 1989 @ Proimos Residence in Dix Hills, New York
September 10, 1989 @ Gardiner Park in West Islip, NY & Biondi Residence in Franklin Square, NY
November 13th, 1989 in Central Islip, NY
January 16th, 1990 @ Flash Studios in Central Islip, NY
February 6th, 1990 @ Flash Studios in Central Islip, NY
April 29, 1990 @ Wickham’s apartment in Elmont, NY
May 6, 1990 @ Cactus Studios in Kings Park, NY
The story of Double Fantasy involves three girlfriends played by Madison Di Loren, Noreen Abrams and Jennifer Drake. The friends drive out to a spooky house on eastern Long Island to tell each share their fantasies with each other.
The first fantasy concerns one of the girls (Jennifer Drake) getting more sexual loving than one could ever imagine. The second fantasy is a Beauty and the Best type tale of “Joann Lavelle” (Madison Di Loren) having a relationship with the legendary “Shadow Man” (Ted Moriates) who actually lived within the old house they are within.
The last girl (Noreen Abrams) has a funny quick fantasy that helps deflate the tension sustained in the dark love story that proceeded it.
But Joann’s fantasy isn’t over like you think, when she gets the ultimate choice to join her man in heaven. But if she does do it, she will die here in our existence.
On November 19, 1989 Terry directed his 14th amatuer music video (a music video done without artist’s permission, telling a story to a song). This time he tackled Metallica – “To Live Is To Die” off And Justice For All.
The video was shot on Long Island in 6 1/2 hours at the Wickham’s apartment in Elmont, Valley Stream State Park and Trapani home in Oceanside, New York.
The video was shot by Lou Trapani. Special Make-up Effects were done by Jason Alvino and Joseph Biondi.
The story involved six young women getting revenge on their cheating boyfriend’s by killing them in violent, gory ways (electrocution in the shower, throat slashing, hanging by rope, knife to the gut, rifle gunshot and pistol gunshot the head). It’s a theme that was carried over from Terry’s film Madame Red and believe it or not made for a fun shoot with everyone getting into it.
Lou Trapani films Frank Bartell’s electrocution in the shower of Wickham’s apartment in Elmont, NY