The Haunted Stroller
It was bound to happen. After spending years watching cinematic masterpieces such as “Creature from the Haunted Sea” and “the Thing With Two Heads,” it was only a matter of time before your humble narrator created a abomination of his own. (Forgetting the classic script (“Zombie Wife”) that I wrote in college of course.) Add (ex-Dead Formats’) Truant into the mix, and you have a shlock horror team that can’t lose.
The following will be as close to a step-by-step production journal as my over-caffienated mind will allow.
The Venture Compound, St. Petersburg’s accessible/affordable art gallery, brought the challenge in the form of the Florida Free Film Fest. Two weeks to make a original film, 10 minutes or less, with no other real rules besides the usual legal stuff (no using copyrighted material, signed releases, etc.).
Was spent at the Venture Compound hashing out the script. Truant and I immediately set our sights on the prize for “worst.” We then ruled out using After Effects as cheating. The ruling on whether our actors will have to speak their lines with marbles in their mouths is still up in the air. Cast your votes now!
Truant painstakingly transforms our handwritten scribbles into a readable script. Sumo Stan signs on, and we locate a composer.
DAY THREE: –THE SKUNK APE SPEAKETH–
The first day of real pre-production work. The Wagon Wheel flea market is turned outside down by Truant in a fruitless hunt for a haunted stroller. Or just a plain stroller. The production takes another hit when Pinellas Park icon, Lisa Marie, turns down our offer to contribute an original song to the soundtrack.
Luckily a luchador mask is found, followed hours later by the day’s greatest catch: the elusive Skunk Ape.
I take Skunk Ape to work with me; feeling as proud as any father who has ever lived. Going along with that theme, after work I pick up the last piece to our puzzle, the stroller.
Later, while dining on tacos, Skunk Ape gives birth to a mutant baby. Sadly, its birth means her demise, as she’s disemboweled in the process.
Such is the (short) life of a Skunk Ape.
Rough cut of the soundtrack arrives courtesy of Whirlynn and her friend Andrew performing as Brite Blood. I spend the day in a kaijuu-inspired musical reverie.
Production phase one is capped by me being locked in a dunk tank.
Post-production preparations end with the cutting of millions of “Haunted Stroller” fliers coming in three flavors: “Bueno Hasta la Ultima Gota,” “Hora de Poner al Bebe a Dormir,” and y personal favorite, “[the Haunted Stroller] Coma su Bebe y el Sexo a su Esposa.”
Collect them all!