‘Behind Me’ (and other film updates)

A tunnel at Sloss Furnaces

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of being a production assistant (and even an extra!) on an upcoming short film that was shot in Birmingham.

The film, Behind Me, is from writer/director Rebecca Pugh, and she has combined a very talented cast and crew for this film. I think it would fit in the “thriller” category, but she might have it classified another way.

Anyway, I was very happy to be involved and to be able see the behind-the-scenes stuff, including some amazing equipment (like a camera, made by RED, that I’m told costs almost as much as some houses or maybe a Mercedes – the same type used to shoot Prometheus, the Total Recall remake and a lot more.)

I was also able to see a couple of very nice lofts in Birmingham and a creepy tunnel at Sloss Furnaces, all of which made for great shots in the film.

The film stars Wonder Russell and Michael Shelton. You’ll have to wait for the full credits to see the entire crew list, but Joe Walker was director of photography, and makeup was handled by Lindsay Garrett (of the newly formed “Show Pony Productions”) with some special effects makeup by Somica Spratley.

If you’re on Instagram, check out some photos by searching the #BehindMe hashtag.

Death to the World is still in production. It’s getting closer and closer… Some more scenes were filmed last week, and we’ve got a few more scenes scheduled to film before the month is over. Be sure to click “Like” on the Facebook page for updates and check out the #deathtotheworldmovie photos on Instagram.

In Gut Munchers news, writer/director Jason Snellgrove posted an update at the beginning of June about the film:

“Hey everyone! The one question on everyone’s minds lately, when is Gut Munchers coming out? Well, I have an answer. We originally planned to have it out the 13th of May. The movie has been finished for the better part of 3-4 months now. It was a long hard road to get it done. 25 minutes shot out of focus, no proper sound recording during production, a hard drive malfunction that deleted the first half of the movie that had to be re-edited, cleaning up sound, adding overdubs, shooting a wrap around story, the proof back from press with menu errors (my fault), etc.

“When a movie is finished, you don’t just press DVD’s and sell them. You try your hardest to find it a home on a distributors label. We did that. Sent out DVD’s. Got some no’s, maybe’s, and even a ‘we’re interested in a future release, but not right now.’

“Well after all that, I’ve decided to self press the DVD’s. The order is in. And this afternoon I met with the owner of RAD Vinyl Records and More and we came to an agreement.

“The movie will be distributed EXCLUSIVELY by RAD! The deal was made, hands where shaken, and dates where set. Along with a special deal for those who pre-order the movie.

“It’s been a long hard road making our first movie for Did You Bury It? Productions and we’ve learned alot. I would like to say sorry to everyone who was involved in production (cast/crew/etc) for it taking so long to get out there. I know you’ve all been asked a million times WHEN IS THE MOVIE COMING OUT? Well, it’s coming out on DVD this month. With behind the scenes slideshows, behind the scenes videos, makeup tests, location scouting, etc. Tons of extras. Well over a two hour experience with the bonus footage!

“So thanks for hanging in there. Pre-orders will be taken in about 3 weeks from now (special packages too), and you will all be able to see the movie at the end of the month.”

Be sure to “Like” RAD! Vinyl, Montgomery’s indie record store, on Facebook, to keep up with stock updates and when Gut Munchers will be available.

Aha!

Johnny’s on TV!

A few weeks ago, I received an email from the company that produces the “Aha Moment” commercial series that is sponsored by Mutual of Omaha. The “Aha Moment” tour brought the team to Montgomery earlier this week, and they had asked me and others to be part of it.

So I showed up in downtown Montgomery yesterday for a 3 p.m. video interview in the back of their Airstream, and as I arrived, I saw a familiar face – my friend Johnny (pictured). I also met a lady named Caroline who is with Montgomery’s new art publication Made Paper.

Prior to entering the Airstream, I was sitting there, having a short conversation with the person who was handling the release forms, a nice man from California. It was like a short, pre-interview, but we ended up discussing music, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and people in Montgomery who are working to improve this place.

During our discussion about these positive issues, a couple of people walked out of the Montgomery Visitor’s Center and asked him what was going on. He explained what it was and asked them if they would like to be a part of it. The response from the two… uh… gentlemen (?) was… well… negative.

I’m paraphrasing here, but it was something similar to “Nah, you’d have to tie me up and shoot me in the head before I’d do a commercial,” while the other one responded with a very similar “I ain’t doin’ no commercial” attitude.

I couldn’t decide whether it was the lack of sleeves, the fact that something was off in the tooth count or a combination of the two, but these two guys embodied every toothless redneck joke that has ever been told about people from the South. These are the guys who always end up on the news after a natural disaster to jump in front of a camera, Keystone can in hand, and say with glowing pride, “I seen the whole thing!”

As they walked away, I looked at the guy from California and said my sincerest “Thank you” for not trying to change their minds about being part of this and reinforcing every negative Southern stereotype. He agreed, saying with all the nice, positive things he had experienced in the city, one spot with them might set it back 10 years.

It’s wasn’t about whether or not to do a commercial; it wasn’t about Mutual of Omaha (full disclosure: I don’t have insurance through them), it was simply about having class. They could have easily ended with a “No, thanks” and walked away instead of choosing to make an ass of themselves.