FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE...beware yon spoilers!

Jul 5, 2009

so i made a movie: VOYEUR, part one

Dear y'alls,

I bet you've been worried about me, right? Wondering where I was and if I'd ever come back from my vacation...why, I'm sure you weren't even able to celebrate July 4th to the fullest because of all the concern. "No, friend, despite the fact that I love American independence and the thought of powdered wigs, I cannot even fathom a hot dog right now for I am concerned about Final Girl. What if she never comes back? What if she's taken to the woods like Nell and she's off doing nudie midnight swims and tayyynnnn innna wiinnnn-ing ? Which useless website will I read then, friend? WHICH I SAY."

Well, don' worr', chickbayyyyy, I'm back...although the prospect of fleeing to the woods and finding a lake for my nudie midnight swims was indeed tempting. Tomorrow, as you may recall, is Film Club Day, so go get yer Italian zombie action on!

But first, behold, Part One of So I Made A Movie: Voyeur, which is a short film written by, directed by, and starring Shannon Lark, which we shot whilst I was away. We just know how much you dug our silly write-ups for Ludlow, so we decided to continue the series. See what you've wrought? This is what happens when you pay attention to us.

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SHANNON LARK: It seems as though the filmmaking process of Ludlow went so well between Stacie Ponder and I, that I decided to call upon her to film a short script I wrote titled Voyeur.

It was a perfect situation: I had just enough money to film this small beast, and Stacie had an itching to get the hell out of LA for a couple days. We made a deal for the exchange of services: she does the cinematography for my short and I see some big ass trees with her.

Fuck yeah.

STACIE PONDER: I learned two things (and two things ONLY) whilst making Ludlow: 1) Peperoncinis and peanut butter is a fucking delicious combo, and 2) Shannon and I mesh together creatively, like, super duper wicked awesomely. I’ll jump at any chance to work with her, and the fact that Voyeur came along so soon after Ludlow wrapped had me psyched. I was duly honored that she asked me to DP for her, but after saying yes I have to admit to a little panic. I’d never shot anything for anyone else before. I was going to be essentially responsible for her film (particularly since she’s also the star and wouldn’t be behind the camera with me), and for a while I wasn’t sure if I was up to the task. If I shoot my own movie and it sucks, I can just bury the tapes out in the New Mexico desert next to all those Atari E.T. game cartridges and no one ever has to find out. If I shoot someone else’s movie and it sucks, I’ve ruined her movie and I’m a big jerk. It’s a lot of pressure especially since, as I mentioned, it was my first time. I could only hope that Voyeur would be gentle and would still love and respect me in the morning.

Besides, the idea of seeing the big ass trees in Sequoia National Park after the shoot was too delicious to pass up, so it was on.

SHANNON LARK: I had written the script last November while I was still living in San Francisco (more like surfing on friend’s couches) and I was working at the Starlight Room in downtown SF. My boss, Harry Denton, who is like…famous and stuff, has an amazing apartment in a 40’s motif that I had read about in the papers. I wanted to write a story about a woman who is raped, and it’s really fucked up. I’ve always felt there weren’t enough rape films, especially male on male sodomy scenes. There aren’t any male on male sodomy scenes in the movie, but Harry Denton had the perfect apartment to match, so I was sold on the idea of shooting in the city.

I left San Francisco on January 1st, and drove like a madman straight to New Mexico to live, and like…have a home and a shower and stuff.

STACIE PONDER: Fucking diva.

SHANNON LARK: Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors hit and the shooting date fell though on two separate occasions for different reasons. Ugh. It’s a short film for Christ’s sake! And dammit, Christ wanted me to make this movie!!

STACIE PONDER: It’s true, Christ wanted her to make this movie. I read about it in the Bible.

Okay, not in the BIBLE Bible, but I read about it on a website about the Bible. It said something like “And lo, Shannon Lark shall maketh a film about a woman who is raped, and lo, it shall be good. And fucked up.”

SHANNON LARK: I got the crew together (which is all female, so it kinda rocks) and cashed in a free flight from Southwest, due to my nifty little rewards card. Stacie picked me up from the airport in Burbank and we hit the grocery store. I don’t eat gluten anymore and I had a great time telling Stacie allllll about it.

STACIE PONDER: Holy crap, if I hear about gluten one more time I’m gonna puke my pants. Shannon is worse than a born again! Actually, it’s kind of amazing how she managed to work it into virtually EVERY conversation:

“Shannon, what time is it?”

“Umm, it’s 5:30. That’s so weird, because I stopped eating gluten at 10:30 three weeks ago!”

“How is that weird?”

“I don’t know, it just is. By the way, I don’t eat gluten anymore.”

SHANNON LARK: She had arranged a screening for Ludlow and the Ghostella films that evening so we grilled up veggie shishkabobs and I drank wayyyy too much wine. I don’t drink that often and since I don’t eat gluten anymore (hehe), I can’t drink beer. C’mon! I grew up on beer!!

Stacie just drank herself sober…on beer.

STACIE PONDER: My goal for the evening was basically to get drunk. This would serve two purposes: one, the booze would soothe my jangled nerves and I’d be able to watch Ludlow and all my other crap in front of people. Two, I was looking to relax after countless hours and long nights editing that fucking movie, and three, it was also a sort of birthday party and to celebrate my FINALLY turning 21, I thought it would be neat to get drunk legally for a change.

Yes, I realize that’s three purposes but I’m a girl so math is hard.

My plan worked for a while, and I was indeed drunk. In fact, I was going around letting people know as much: “Look, I’m not gonna lie to you. I’m a little bit drunk.” The next thing I knew, however, I was unexpectedly and disappointingly sober. The sudden transformation truly counts as one of life’s mysteries.

SHANNON LARK: Everyone loved Ludlow, I think. Except maybe that one guy who wandered off into the night when it started to play.

STACIE PONDER: No one knows who that guy was! No one claimed the random drunk guy. Maybe he was a mass hallucination, or a ghost. That’s probably it. He did talk about peoples’ auras an awful lot.

SHANNON LARK: The crowd went crazy over Stacie’s short films and I ended up passing out on her bedroom floor directly after Ludlow screened. I spilled wine on her favorite blanket and water on her bed before falling asleep under a curtain that I pulled from my suitcase.

STACIE PONDER: Yeah, I think people had a good time. It’s an amazing feeling to have people react positively to something I made- it kinda makes me feel like a three-year-old who busted out some glitter-covered macaroni art and mom loves it- or claims to- and hangs it on the fridge.

After the movies were over, people wanted to tell Shannon that she was fantastic in Ludlow (because…you know…she IS), but she’d disappeared. I found her drunk on my bedroom floor, managed to get her outside to greet (read: slur at) her public, then tucked her in for the night under her beloved curtain. The wine spillage wasn’t discovered until a week later, after we’d returned from our Voyeur adventure. It really doesn’t matter to me- it’s just a fucking blanket- but what I find most amusing is that Shannon tried to convince me that the blanket wasn’t even mine and that she’d brought it with her.

SHANNON LARK: It looks just like the blanket I was supposed to bring! Honest!!

And so the adventures of Voyeur began, just like Christ said on that one website about the bible.

2 comments:

christine said...

I never tire of reading these back and forths...

Anonymous said...

welcome back, final girl! you've been missed!