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Gruesome Threesome filmed Sunday February 19th

In this screengrab from Gruesome Threesome, “Sarah Peters” (Chanise Renae) is online webcaming with her boyfriend. Photo AVS Production Company

On Sunday January 19, 2017 filmmaker Terry R. Wickham and his production team shot the wraparound segment for Gruesome Threesome.  This is the 7-minute storyline that hosts three of Wickham’s other films; “The Downfall of Johnny Garrett”, “Stalk” and “Hair of the Dog.

Writer/Producer Timothy David Clark and Director Terry R. Wickham made a formidable team on HAIR OF THE DOG

Wickham talks about the shoot, “It was the best experience I’ve had so far on a set in 2017 because it gave me a chance to direct another script written by my long-time friend Timothy David Clark (Hair of the Dog, Stash).  What I love about making films from Tim’s scripts are the qualities he always brings.  There’s no doubt that Tim loves to make things horrific, but it’s his wittiness and humor that separates him from other writers (like myself.).

Tim was smart to design Gruesome Threesome so it could made with very little resources, yet make lots of sense and ultimately be fun for the viewer.  He also quickly figured out a way to integrate the other films seamlessly.  My hat is off to him for doing that.

Gruesome Threesome Production team: (left to right) Sound Recordist Bryan Lopes (standing), Location Manager/Still Photographer Mark Goldberg (kneeling), 1st AC Giorgio Savona (back), actress Linda Collins (middle), actress Chanise Renae (front center), Producer/Director Terry R. Wickham (somewhere way in back), actor John Logan (front center), DP Adrian Popescu (back), PA Nicholas Girimonte (front), Make-Up Artist Regna Tune (far right). Photo AVS Production Company

Plus I got to work with a cast & crew that I hand-selected myself, which is always best for a film director, because these were all my people.

1st AC Giorgio Savona (standing) goes over the placement of lights with DP Adrian Popescu (sitting). Photo AVS Production Company

Speaking of which, it was my third consecutive film with Director of Photography Adrian Popescu.  Adrian and I have developed a chemistry that is undeniable.  It doesn’t matter what outside factors are at play, our trust & communication between each other is special and something I value greatly.

This screengrab from Gruesome Threesome shows off DP Adrian Popescu’s amazing ability to light and cinematically capture “Ray Burns” (John Logan) at his computer. Photo AVS Production Company

What was so cool on this production was aiming at getting quality rather than quantity.  I’m not saying we didn’t try making beautiful cinematic shots on our previous projects, it’s just we had so many more shots/setups to get on those, that having only 10 total shots, allowed us to really focus in on these ten shots.

Wickham took the opportunity between setups to show his three films “The Downfall of Johnny Garrett”, “Stalk” and “Hair of the Dog” to his team. Photo AVS Production Company

I like to take each project as an individual entity and visualize them based on what’s written.  I think it’s a mark of a good director to be able to adapt to each unique tale according to it’s tone, rather than force some kind personal style on a story that may not need it.  To approach each project this way is more fun and leaves more creative opportunity for the filmmaker-cinematographer.

Before the shoot, I did my homework and watched a couple other webcam horror films.  I was strictly watching them to see what I didn’t like about them.  What I came away with was not wanting to waste precious screen time looking at anything that was not important (specifically not seeing characters).  I also totally disliked seeing snowy video screens, Internet delays and other technical glitches.  Is that stuff real, absolutely, but does it make for good viewing entertainment?  I would have to say no, so I wanted to avoid doing anything like that altogether.

DP Adrian Popescu and 1st AC Giorgio Savona make a dynamic duo. Photo AVS Production Company

Adrian and 1st Assistant Camera Giorgio Savona (who was making his third consecutive film with us) were both tremendous in getting beautiful lit, composed shots that maximized the mood and atmosphere we were going for.

Director Terry Wickham (on step stool) gets help from PA Nicholas Girimonte blocking out the daylight coming from windows. Photo AVS Production Company

The film takes place at night, but we shot the entire picture from 9:00am until 7:45pm, so it was done completely during the day.  But with the use of some long black garbage bags and painter’s tape, we had no problem concealing the daylight.

1st AC Giorgio Savona (leaning down) assists DP Adrian Popescu (kneeling) at end of bed. Sound Recordist Bryan Lopes (with boom mic) and PA Nicholas Girimonte (slate) stand, while actress Chanise Renae prepares to do the scene in ‘Sarah’s” bedroom. Photo AVS Production Company

There’s no doubt that Adrian and Giorgio work together wonderfully.  It’s obvious when you see the stellar shots they get, but I also observed it behind the scenes with their working style.  They show a lot of respect for each other and that means a lot to me.  Making movies is hard work.  There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be as pleasant as possible.  Working with these two gentlemen is not only an honor but a privilege.

Wickham leans against wall with blue script binder, while DP Popescu makes a lighting adjustment for the first shot in “Sarah’s” (Chanise Renae) bedroom webcam scene. With all the windows closed and garbage bagged, the room got very hot, which was the reason Chanise kept her sweater off her shoulders between takes. Photo AVS Production Company

I had worked with actress Chanise Renae before on The Devil’s Five segment, and that was the reason I asked her to audition for the role of “Sarah Peters.”  I knew she had the ability to play all sorts of emotions and her fearlessness was why she ultimately won this role.

In this screengrab from Gruesome Threesome, Chanise Renae looks very comfortable playing “Sarah.” The red bra she is wearing is the exact same one she purchased from Victoria Secret and wore during her audition. It was this kind of thought & preparation that helped win her the role.

Chanise came totally prepared and she looked dazzling as “Sarah.”  I loved how nothing seemed too daunting to tackle and she gave me multiple choices in her performance, which is a testament to her acting ability.

It was clearly visible that these two actors enjoyed working together. Photo AVS Production Company

Plus the emotional and psychological interaction between Chanise and actor John Logan was noticeable.  I don’t mean that in an off-set way, but rather how their worked while shooting the movie and what’s detectable on camera.  The fact is these two were having a blast together doing their scenes and this made it believable that they could be “dating” in the movie.

Chanise and John always kept at getting to their heart of their scenes. Photo AVS Production Company

This was my first time working with John Logan and I’m so glad I choose the talented young actor to play “Ray Burns.”  John has a real professional attitude and approach any filmmaker would welcome.  Part of this might be because he’s produced films himself.

At times “Ray Burns” (John Logan) gets a bit spooked by what he sees

What I most admired about John was his ability to do what Tim had written.  The moments where “Ray” was supposed to be scared and frightened, would deflate some actors’ egos.  But John was smart enough that doing those things showed more of his acting range and I pointed out to him will probably garner more fans, especially of the female kind.

You might not want to mess with “Ray’s Mom” (Linda Collins). Photo AVS Production Company

Actress Linda Collins was perfect as “Ray’s Mom.”  The blonde is sort of a southern belle, which really worked for the character.  Linda’s slightly southern accented voice really worked in her favor and totally sounded like a legitimate mother.

In this screengrab from Gruesome Threesome, “Ray’s Mom” (Linda Collins) doesn’t look like the type of guardian you’d want to cross

Linda also looked similar to the “Bloody Mary”actress in Hair of the Dog, which was intentional by Writer Tim Clark.  I also give her credit for the handling of the real-life sharp chainsaw used in the movie.  The chainsaw was not dulled and could have easily carved through the floor, destroyed any nearby prop or person.  I was very adamant about her safety and of the location.  I made sure Linda knew to stop the scene if there was any problem at all, but things went incredibly smoothly and nobody got hurt (including the location).

Speaking of the chainsaw I have to thank Essco Service Co. Inc (584 W. Hoffman Avenue, Lindenhurst, NY 11757 Phone 631-226-7304 www.treeservicesupplies.com)  in Lindenhurst, New York for allowing us to use one of their saws in the movie.  Natalie Raso and the other nice folks @ Essco were incredibly helpful in not only allowing use of the saw, but teaching me how to use it safely for the film.  I’m indebted by helping us out.  Essco is the best company on Long Island to contact for not just chainsaws, but Stump Grinders & Chippers, Timberwolf and Log Splitters.

I’ve always appreciated strong female characters (Jim Cameron is one of my favorite directors) and I have to say both “Sarah” and “Ray’s Mom” both fit that character description.  Kudos to Tim for creating them.

Make-Up Artist Regina Tune prepares Linda Collins for Gruesome Threesome. Photo Terry Wickham

Make-Up Artist Regina Tune returned for her third consecutive production (Abandoned, Whatever It Takes Trailer) and did another stellar job on the actors looking great.  She’s a real sweetie and I know the cast and crew feel the same about her way of working.  She’s there doing what needs to get done on each actor in almost an invisible way.  I couldn’t ask for more from the person handling the look of my actors.

Sound Recordist Bryan Lopes on the set of Gruesome Threesome 2/19/17 Long Island City, NY. Photo AVS Production Company

Sound Recordist Bryan Lopes was a real find.  He fits perfectly together with Adrian, Giorgio and Regina as highly trained professionals that go about their business the right way.  I like how Bryan doesn’t need to shout to get his point across.  Instead he is respectful on how he expresses himself and that comes across much more impactful.

Chanise, Terry and John on the set of Gruesome Threesome. Photo AVS Production Company

When I’m directing a movie, lots of things are running through my mind.  If things are just blurted out by crew members, it’s not only distracting but unnecessary.  I’m usually juggling the shot that came before, the shot that will follow combined with the actors performances, the look of the shot, lighting in the shot, camera movement (if any), focus, flow of the scene, if the scene comes across as real, good enough or needs to be redone.  If it does need to be redone, what’s wrong with it if it doesn’t work, etc.?

It shows that Adrian, Terry and Giorgio love working together

For these reasons I like crew that respect the process and each other by communicating their problems/concerns in a more subdued professional way and Bryan does that to a “T.”

PA Nicholas Girimonte and Director Terry Wickham

Production Assistant Nicholas Girimonte was incredibly helpful as our PA.  He not only operated the slate for most of the shoot but ran to pick up painters tape for covering the windows and later drove to pick up all important lunch from Chipotle.  Nick was another positive person to have onset and he certainly lent a hand at what needed to get done.

Location Manager/Still Photographer Mark Goldberg (sitting) sets up “The Downfall Johnny Garrett” on DVD for the cast & crew to view. Photo Terry Wickham

Last but certainly not least is Location Manager/Still Photographer Mark Goldberg.  Mark was kind enough to volunteer use of his new apartment for all the locations seen in Gruesome Threesome.

In this screengrab from Gruesome Threesome, Goldberg’s cozy LIC residence was turned into a house of horrors

His apartment worked beautifully, as it was central located and a super comfortable place to film.  I really appreciated Mark being flexible enough for us to move around his furniture and to allow us the best use of his space.

Chanise Renae chills out between takes on the Gruesome Threesome. Photo AVS Production Company

Mark is a professional photographer by trade and as you can see in his many photos that accompany this blog, his work speaks for itself.

Still Photographer Mark Goldberg captures “Sarah” (Chanise Renae) on the monitor during Gruesome Threesome filming. Photo AVS Production Company

I can’t thank Mark enough for all that he did towards making Gruesome Threesome.

Finally Producer David Melanson must be acknowledged.  David helped give the movie enough financial support to get the behind the scenes things needed for the movie and cast & crew.  I can’t thank David enough for consistently coming through and being a true force behind creative endeavors like Gruesome Threesome.

Main Street Pub delivers breakfast for Abandoned

MS_publg

Saturday April 23rd and Sunday April 24th the production of Abandoned was fortunate to have breakfast supplied by Main Street Pub, 21 Main Street, Kings Park, NY 11754.

Each day the cast and crew was treated to delicious mix of bagels, cream cheese, butter and orange juice.  For a tiny production like ours, this generosity was a huge in making it possible to make the movie.

Not only did the production receive the food and beverages, but the Main Street Pub ensured the production had paper plates, plastic utensils, napkins and cups.  This went a long way to getting off to a good start each day and putting a smile on everyone’s faces.

I can’t thank Main Street Pub Owner Scott McKinnon enough for his support and kindness.  I highly encourage everyone to make a visit to the Main Street Pub for lunch, dinner or drinks while anywhere close to Kings Park.

I know I will.

Main Street Pub
21 Main Street
Kings Park, NY 11754
(631) 544-5461
www.mainstreetpubkp.com
www.facebook.com/Main-Street-Pub-111511632219667/

The Devil’s Five Shooting Weekend #1 Part 5

Golderg's Famous Bagels, 130 East Main Street, Riverhead, NY  11901 (631) 740-9131
Golderg’s Famous Bagels, 130 East Main Street, Riverhead, NY 11901 (631) 740-9131

By Co-Writer/Producer/Director Terry R. Wickham

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  It’s what gets you going into your workday.  On Friday September 18, 2015 we had the biggest shooting day of entire The Devil’s Five schedule taking place at Riverhead Town Hall in Riverhead, New York.

That day we were filming 18 scenes that equaled nearly 12 pages of script.  That’s an insane amount by anyone’s standards.

Thankfully Goldberg’s Famous Bagels in Riverhead provided the first meal of the day with their delicious glazed, ring-shaped rolls with a tough, chewy texture.  There was a variety of 100 bagels to choose from, which the cast & crew had no problem gobbling down.

Micah Brown at work in Goldberg's Famous Bagels Riverhead, NY
Micah Brown at work in Goldberg’s Famous Bagels Riverhead, NY

Cream cheese and butter came as spreads with the bagels and I have to thank  Micah Brown big-time for his gracious kindness towards our production.  He certainly helped get our production off on the right foot.   I even got to bring some of the leftover bagels home for my family to enjoy.

Goldberg’s Famous Bagels is located in the heart of Riverhead, not far away from the Long Island Aquarium and a bunch of other places of interest.

Goldberg’s Famous Bagels
130 E Main St
Riverhead, NY 11901
(631) 740-9131

www.theoriginalgoldbergsbagels.com