About The Film
Dead Weight is an independent film produced in central Wisconsin throughout the course of 2011, and released in March 2012. It tells the story of Charlie Russell, traveling the wilderness in the wake of an apocalyptic viral outbreak, in search of his girlfriend, Samantha. As his journey brings him closer to his destination of Wausau, WI, he must face physical exhaustion, malicious survivors, and perhaps most menacing, his own emotional burdens. With his newfound traveling companions Charlie must attempt to find attempt to break his obsessions with the past. He must learn to let it go.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT FOREST FIRES
I debated whether or not to share this story. Not because I am embarrassed, or anything like that. I just wasn't sure if people would want to hear such a story. But, then I thought, hey people like to hear all the weird behind-the-scenes stories… so why not? Things are gonna get a little "risque" here, consider yourselves warned.
Day two of production started with us in a house, filming a little kitchen scene. This was a quite welcomed change from the insane winds we faced on day one. We spent a couple hours in the house, and had everything from moments of panic, to arguing, physical confrontation, and even projectile vomiting… and that doesn't even include what we actually filmed. Or does it?
Once we left the comforts of the house in the city, we ventured back to the outskirts of town, to film the exterior shots of the house. As we finished our shots at this location, Cari pulled up with lunch/dinner, the infamous Wrap Car, as did three additional cast members; Matty Field, Jake Martin, and Mark Muetzel. It was time to step into the woods and film ourselves a scene around a campfire.
Nothing too bizarre yet. Just you wait, I gotta set it up first.
As we drive onto (producer/script supervisor/location manager/script editor/actor) Lee Marohn's step-dad's land, Travis (our DP) and I get the lighting/camera truck stuck in the mud. Tensions were high at the moment, but with the help of the crew, we got it out no problem. We carry all the gear a couple hundred feet into the woods, and start setting up for the scene. This was our first night shoot, and we had about eleven pages of dialog to cover. We knew it was going to be a LONG night.
For the campfire itself, well, it became everyone's arch nemesis. It didn't seem to matter where you were positioned, the smoke went straight into your eyes. The cast had to sit around that fire, smoke in the eyes, for a good three straight hours. In between every take, the cast shielded their eyes with their hands, hoping to find a few moments of comfort. Needless to say, once we wrapped the scene (around 12:30am), everyone was happy to get the hell out of there.
I know, I know, still not that bizarre. Well, hold onto yo' butts, here we go.
All the gear was packed up, the cast was sent home and we were just getting ready to leave the location. And finally, that damn fire was extinguished. Now, it was dark as hell out there; no fire, no lights, just darkness. It was fairly dry in the woods, so we wanted to make damn sure the fire was completely out. All the water we had was dumped on the fire, and I don't recall exactly who it was, but someone piped up and said, "Anyone have to pee? If someone pees on the coals, that should do it." I did a little piss check. Yep, I should be able to squeeze something out.
So, there I stood, in a circle around the remaining campfire with Adam, (producers) Lee and Dan, and (crew members) Seth, Lance, and Cole. There might have been someone else, I can't remember. A few of the guys had flashlights, some were pointed on the coals, and a one or two were pointed at me, right on the crotch. Well, time was wasting, we all wanted to leave, so…
I was pissing on a fire, standing around with at least six sets of eyes, and flashlights, all on me. All male eyes, mind you. People were pointing out coals that were still hot, it was almost as if they all were my support, encouraging me on.
Now, I'm sure all of you are wondering, "Did you successfully put out all the coals, John?" You better believe I did. But, I can't say I've ever had a bunch of dudes stare at me when I was pissing, let alone with flashlights lighting up the scene. This is a great example of the strong bonding that happened on set. That, and I guess you could say that some people have shame. Sigh… I don't.
God, I miss filming...
- ► 2012 (31)