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The Making of Cannibal! The Musical, by Jason McHugh


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Chapter 20 - Spring Break in the Mountains

Let's talk Shatterproof...

It's been awhile so I am really digging deep here, but that was an insane part of the shoot. We were shooting at this amazing location called "Buckskin Joe's" in Canyon City, Colorado. Buckskin Joe's is this classic old west town where dozens of movies have been filmed over the years. John Wayne, Clint East wood, Tugger McGraw, and other great cowboys all shot westerns at Buckskin Joes through out the years. They had several amazing sets for us all in one location including the jail, the general store, the saloon, and the town gallows. As they were charging us a real location fee, we tried to pack as much as we could into our shoot days and this made things tough. We were pushing one shoot right into the next. We got really worked over shooting the scene Shatterproof as it was a fight/dance/musical number and there was a lot of coverage needed.

Trey was on the hot seat because he was starring, stunt doubling, and directing this whole thing, which was a huge task. Trey re-injured his hip again doing a stunt where he gets tossed by "Ed The Cyclops." I am not sure how much I have ripped on our terrible beards and makeup lately, but naturally it was so bad we made it into its own comedy. It's important to make the most of your shortcomings when you're doing a low budget comedy. But nonetheless it was frustrating to find out at the end of the shoot that our makeup girl had been placing Ed's Missing Eye application upside down. If you look closely you can tell that the guy's brow is actually on his cheek.

The shoot moved along as fast as it could, but it is very time consuming to capture this kind of action quickly and it's even harder to keep your continuity straight. I was mostly trying to keep these Sorority girls extras from getting drunk and leaving. They were playing showgirls for us and they looked hot but they grew bored quickly and we didn't have enough booze or hot guys around to keep them at bay forever. No one had to go in drag that day, but it did happen.

Anyways, what else is there to say about at 22-hour shoot that didn't make the final cut! Damn. It is actually a good scene on its own, but it came at a time during the movie when we needed to end the thing, so Trey made the tough decision cut the scene. I think it makes a nice music video and the song Shatterproof has a really nice beat you can dance to, I'd give it a 9. If we released it now it could be TRL/Carson Daily material. The fun parts of shooting the Bar scene were Frenchy sucking helium for so many takes in a row that he almost passed out, and Marty Leeper as the drunk sheriff had us all laughing on set. I think he might have been somewhat drunk to help him get into character. And we had a great time running the loop through the bar scene going the endless stream of angry townsfolk scene! That joke was taken from a moment of film history. We were trying to comically recreate a scene from the original Frankenstein where the townsfolk are trying to lynch that poor dumb undead bastard.

It was also in Canyon City where we got a little testy with each other around mealtime. By now there were several different camps and cliques. One division was meat eater vs. vegetarian, which was an interesting division of personalities.

I remember we were barbecuing and Ian and Alex went out to shop for the Que and we were pretty bummed to come off this grueling day only to find a load of tofu dogs and tempe burgers. Us meat-eaters got around the grill and we quickly grew angry, especially Trey, who is a serious meat eater and needed beefy protein. So there was a small fight and I got my hands on some of our production money and headed for Safeway in search of meat and some beer. It was getting tribal at that point - I was hunting for my people at Safeway. Must get meat and beer for crew. I came back to my people with meat and beer and they greeted me with fire. Fire good, meat good, beer gooood. So we quickly threw the beef on the Barbie and started grilling. By now all the vegetarians were tired and afraid and went to bed. The rest of us stood around the grill eating the meat by hand and mouth as it came sizzling off the grill. I remember seeing Dana, our sexy second camera, chew on beef that was dripping with blood juice as she dangled it over her mouth just like Alferd does in the opening moments of the movie. Anyway, now Trey was feeling better and so was I. There is nothing like a sexy, meat-eating, open fire to get a crew's morale back in shape. TO BE CONTINUED...

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