Saturday, January 23, 2010

Seeling It With A Kiss...

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Hey Folks,

I know it's been a while, but who's complaining? (By looks of my followers list... I am.)

Frank Silvera in "Killer's Kiss"
Anywho, you might be wondering what I've been up to. I finished my adaptation of a scene from Kubrick's "Killer's Kiss" with good marks from my professor and peers alike. Woohoo! As of now, I'm starting a new semester which means new opportunities. You'll be seeing at least three more scene adaptations before the year is out, plus some Documentary work and who knows what else.

I'm really proud with what came out of the two day shoot for "Killer's Kiss". It was my goal, more or less, to emulate the energy, over the style of the original film, without duplicating it. Sure my version shares a lot with the Kubrick version, but there are some differences that I think put it into a more contemporary context.

Brought to you by Canada Goose.
The cast was great! I have to give a hats-off to them. My Gaffer and Key Grip Luke Francy as well. Everyone was so committed and gave 110% through the toughest conditions. In fact, the opening sequence was filmed in 23 degree weather. Lucky for Dozzia and Fil, I decided to make the scene take place in the car... Unlucky for me, I planned to film it from outside... But no matter, I had my Canada Goose jacket to keep me warm. That thing is a wonder.

 It was so cold that day, but it didn't matter. The energy was so high, and I think that might have been because my father had rented a Cadillac for us to shoot with... I said to get something mildly luxurious, but I was sprung with surprise when he came to pick up me and the crew in this sleek monster. The following location was in Brooklyn; my building, actually. I'd always wanted to use it in something. It has a very dreary sort of warehouse look to it... mainly because it used to be a factory at one point.

Setting up for the exterior shot in Bushwick.
We shot in the loading dock, as you'll see, which actually doesn't lead to some isolated loft area like in my scene, but to many apartments in the building... The rest of the warehouse scene was actually shot in the school's soundstage with a small set, which doesn't look half bad, but seeing how it's just a warehouse, it really didn't need all that work in the first place.
Me & Luke Francy working the 8x10 set.

It was a pretty confined space, but several elements help make it seem a little more spacious. For one, when I needed to shoot the other side of the room, I just shuffled over the table and shot the same brick wall I'd mounted my set against. Also, with most of the focus usually on one side of the room, it sort of gives your imagination the opportunity to fill in space and make the room seem larger than it really is.

Something I decided late on , and not until we got to the action sequences, was to induct the swinging light when Dozzia chokes Filipp. I'd seen Stuart Gordon do it in "Re-Animator" in the scene where Herbert West is chasing around the re-animated cat in the basement. I thought the swinging light was brilliant and created such a chaotic environment. The night before the shoot, I told Filipp to bring a clamp light I knew he had when he came to the set. I think it definitely supplies a lot more suspense to the sequence.

Anyway, here's the scene, and if you're at all interested, just below is Kubrick's version.

I hope you enjoy. And please, leave comments. I really appreciate feedback.

Raw Power,
John Morgan