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.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Being a crew member isn't the most glamorous job on a film. Typically, you are the first to arrive on set, and the last to leave. You get stuck with the shit jobs, have more down time than anyone else, and (let's face it) overlooked due to the cast. Without a doubt, the crew is equally important as your cast. They make everything happen. So, it's time to put the spotlight on the crew.

We reached out to our crew, letting them know that we want to hear their voice, their side of production. For this first time around, we have Lance Ford. Adam and I have known Lance for a few years now, as we met him at (where all the cool people in Oshkosh meet) House of Heroes Comics and Games. Lance has always been super supportive of what we have done, and has shown nothing but the utmost most enthusiasm when it came to Dead Weight. Lance was one of the few crew members we had every single day, from start to finish. Hell, he took his first week long vacation from work in 23 years. To his wonderful wife, Monica, thanks for allowing him to spend that vacation with us. The next vacation will be spent with you, we insist. As if that isn't a testament to Lance's dedication, everyday he was officially the first one to arrive and the last to leave. Lance worked his ass off, and made all of us incredibly proud to have him on board.

I've rambled enough. It's time to turn the spotlight on Lance. So, please, take it away:

Lance slating the first shot of Dead Weight.
Before the week of filming Dead Weight, I'd tell my family and friends that I was going to be helping behind-the-scenes on the set of a movie that was being made by two friends in Oshkosh. They'd ask what it was about, and after explaining what it was and that it was being filmed in and around Oshkosh, they'd be - "Wow, that's cool". And the whole experience for me, since I like movies so much, and enjoy seeing the behind-the-scenes/making-of features and interviews with the actors which so many DVD's have - it was a perfect fit. I was so excited to be helping out and since it was my first week-long vacation in over 20 years, I'm glad it turned out to be a memorable one. I was totally pumped up for days prior to filming, even though I had no idea what tasks I would be assigned. I guess that sort of added to my excitement a bit. And since I really didn't know that much about the script, it was really cool to see it unfold chronologically right before my eyes as it was filmed. That aspect, by itself, was indeed a royal treat. Although, I did miss the last day of shooting in Neenah, due to a leg injury. I was really bummed about that, just ask John. I even told him I felt like I was letting them down, and being the great guy that he is, he reassured me that that that was not the case. Which brings us to something which John said on that last day - he said that it wasn't just his and Adam's film, it was Our film, as well (maybe its a good thing that I wasn't there, because that would have brought tears to my eyes). I guess I never really thought about it that way before hearing it put that way, because it had been written by John and Adam and it was their commitment, perseverance, overall drive and undying dedication to making Dead Weight that made it all happen. And because of their devotion, it enabled us to be a part of such a terrific undertaking. An extremely huge round of applause to both of them.

The stories that you hear about cast and crew members who have worked with the same people for years and how they become like a family isn't only true about people who have worked together for years, it's true when you've also only worked with some people for a week. It seemed as if I'd known everyone I met on the set forever. And when filming was done, I missed them. Thank God for Facebook. I met so many fascinating actors and crew members, and I wouldn't change that for anything. Everyone who acted in the film, even those who had never acted before, were unbelievable. I lost count of the number of times while standing there watching, that I got goosebumps or a tear let loose from the corner of my eye at how excellent a job they were doing. And excellent doesn't even begin to describe their performances. I was totally blown away by the range of emotions brought forth during the films intense sequences.

Lance in said snowstorm.
From Day One, everyone I met was so down-to-earth and fun-loving. Professionalism reigned when it was called for, but jokes and laughter were present all day, every day. Yes, even on the day of the snowstorm, laughter became a weapon to ward off the blues. I have delivered to Ripon many times since and every time I drive by the BP gas station in Pickett memories flood over me and it makes me smile. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of the 80+ hours that I was on set that week. It was so difficult going back to work, as I'm sure it was for alot of us on the set. The first day back to work, I was standing there running my press and as I looked around, I wondered "Why am I here? I want to be back on the set making another movie." Every aspect of being there was awesome, from driving Dan Kiggins to and from locations, to chauferring A.C and Michelle to their romantic get-away at the Americinn for their anniversary (courtesy of the cast), right on up to getting to chat with cast and crew members during down-time, to getting to yell "QUIET ON THE SET!!" right after John called "ACTION!!" That was truly AWESOME!!! Working a little bit with Travis as he was getting the light set up was also pretty darn cool. Like I said - every aspect of this entire experience is truly something that I will carry in my memory from now until the end of time. Years from now, I know that I will talk about it with the same enthusiasm.

For me the week flew by, despite the long hours or disasterous weather, because something was happening every minute of every day. One of the most hilarious moments occurred off camera at Ryf's house when Dan Kiggins did his "tuck", and Sam opened the door and there was Dan standing there looking all innocent. Sam kept right in character and didn't mess up the take. I'm surprised I didn't start laughing out loud and ruin the scene. Good Times.

It was really great getting to know everyone on set. I know there were a few people I really didn't get a chance to talk to much, but those I did get to know a bit, I would be proud to call my friend.

And now, I would like to take this opportunity to thank John and Adam for allowing me to be a part of this endeavor. It was truly an honor and a privilege to get to know both of you a little better and to help you fulfill your dream. Thank You.

-Lance Ford

One last thing from John: You can pick up Lance's first novel, Ace Kincaid: In Search of Heroes at House of Heroes Comics and Games, 407 N. Main St., Downtown Oshkosh.

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