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2011, 88m, comedy, musical, mystery
A SLAPSTICK HORROR MUSICAL FAIRYTALE ABOUT LOVE AND DEATH! Once upon a time in a land at the edge of the world called Hollywood, a pair of old lovers, long-estranged, meet again at a Halloween party only to have their new chance at romance spoiled by a guest list of odd and magical characters and a mysterious dead body! Follow our heroes, Tru Holliwood and Ashley Wednesday on this strange trip through our deepest, darkest dreams!
A thousand thrills crammed into 88 minutes! Bizarre, barbaric sights never before seen and beauties beyond compare! Sing, dance, laugh, cry, and whatever you do.
10 questions with Scumbabies director, Joseph Lewis at the half-way mark.
Saturday, February 27th, 2016
1This movie is so insane. What was the initial seed that made you want to make this film? I once met a man in a bar that told me a ghost story about a haunted handmade book that is passed from person to person in Chicago and contains a story so insane that you are cursed if you tell anyone that you read it or where you got it from or who you passed it on to.
2I love all the practical special effects that you used. How did you learn how to do that? I taught myself in my Brain Kitchen.
3How was the music created for this film? A Chicago composer/producer named Daniel Sherer wrote this epic score and engineered the musical numbers. The songs used were a collection of original and traditional songs that Daniel specially arranged specifically for the movie. The Laughing Song is an update of the most popular cylinder recording of the 1920s, written by George W. Johnson, a gay black man that managed to dominate the music industry of his time. The original lyrics of the song are about how he combated racism and homophobia by laughing at people that discriminated against him.
4I know you said this film took a long time to make. How long did it take you and what's the biggest thing you learned from that process? I was pitched the project by the producer, Emilia Richeson, in August of 2007. I had a first draft of the screenplay completed in May of 2008 and used that to assemble the cast and crew. I was living in Chicago during pre-production and the LA team was prepping things out there while I prepping to direct. I flew out for a cast readthru and meetings with my department heads that summer, with aims on shooting principal photography in California in January 2009. We completed shooting in 10 full days and 6 half-days, which is a miracle largely attributable to my AD Dave Paige and my cinematographer Nick Hartanto. I edited as we shot, as well, and had an assembly cut of the movie pretty quick. Fine-tuning the editing took another 9 months, and after that we worked on sound design, scoring, and mixing for another 18 months after that. It was very important to me that the sound be as theatrical and spectacular as the visuals, and this took awhile. It took so long, in fact, that I shot another entire sci-fi fantasy adventure movie before the Scumbabies sound mix was locked. Biggest thing I learned? Screens damage your brain...and there are lots of stray dogs in LA.
5What's the film that made you want to become a filmmaker and why? Evil Dead 2 because it looked like a lot of fun.
6Who would win in a fight Pee-Wee Herman or John Waters? They would not fight each other.
7You've got a collection of talent that you've worked with on other movies as well. How did you find each other and why do you like working together? Emerson College in Boston nurtured a wonderful community of like-minded content creators. I was lucky to be a part of a transitional generation that recognized the value of mutual friendly support in pursuit of wild heretofore unattainable dreams. Many of us lived together on the same floor of our dorm Freshman. It was the floor dedicated to students that swore to a straightedge lifestyle. We liked being productive and having fun and wasted little time on college party BS. For me, being able to go to college and study what I love was a privilege and responsibility. By the time I graduated I had shot my first two features and directed/produced numerous theatrical productions. I couldn't have done this without meeting my teammates.
8Most indie filmmakers don't make films for a living. What do you do to make $$$? Fortunately, I have never wanted to make my living making movies. Honestly, making movies means too much to me to debase it with commerce and I have no interest in producing a movie in any way other than exactly my way. After Scumbabies I made Sci Fi Sol, and once they were both completed I felt no great need to make anything else. I had accomplished that which had driven me through my 20s, namely, to chase destiny like a ball bouncing down a windy beach. The aspect of the media making process that still calls to me is in its application as a maieutic educational tool capable of conveying philosophical constructs that all human beings must comprehend if we are ever to ascend to a higher, more compassionate form of human being. I also am very passionate about educating the very young about screen awareness that they may learn to fortify their minds against the adverse effects of screen usage. If the children of today can learn to use technology and not BE used BY technology, then we will see major strides towards world peace over the next 100 years. If not, the world will be ending soon.
9You're part of a group called the Underground Multiplex in Chicago. Could you explain what that is? The Underground Multiplex was created by myself and Legendary Lew Ojeda as a platform by which we could produce and distribute media in Chicago as community activism and an instrument of community building.
10What's next? DISREGARD ALL CONSIDERATIONS OF QUANTITY XOXAEXOX
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
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