The first shooting day for my new feature film The Synthetic Man went relatively smoothly with only a few slight hitches. The day started out early for me with a nice uplifting scene where our lead character Richard Chase (played by the excellent Jeff Hartley) kidnaps an old woman (played by the equally-excellent Beverly Promersberger) and beats her to death in the woods. I’ve earned a special place in hell for even writing let alone planning and executing such a scene. In every film I make I try to do an homage to a classic album cover – in Frankenstein it was Peter Gabriel’s Car, then I don’t really remember what happened with Scars of Youth but I think this scene looks like that first Wild Man Fischer record, only instead of a paper cut-out I did it with the real thing.
Angel Ribolla was a late replacement for another actress but she came in and did a slam-bang job. I slapped on a thick coat of Fuller’s Earth and Ben Nye Plains Dust and she charged through the woods with this stone knife in this tyrannical rage, screaming her head off like a banshee. When I initially envisioned the shooting of this scenes, I was afraid the actress wouldn’t be able to work themselves up sufficiently; what I wanted was less a clean fight scene and more a struggle for life and death, crawling and scraping at each other. This is exactly what she gave me.