This past weekend Local Film Talk had the privilege of visiting the set of director Christopher G. Moore's latest film. The movie- working title "Chompers"- is a twisted horror short that shot over two days in Apex, North Carolina.
I arrived early on Sunday- the second day of shooting- to find a surprisingly large crew shooting in the backyard of a suburban home (actually the home of Doc Rotten of Horror News Radio fame). I counted a dozen people including myself. Christopher and cameraman/cinematographer Ismail Abdelkhalek were framing a shot while Meredith Sause and Monique Velasquez adjusted the lights. Piper Kessler was readying her audio recording gear while Bill Mulligan put some final touches on the film's titular creature puppet.
If you know anything about the local film scene, then you're aware that this is a pretty impressive collection of local talent. The cast was nothing to sneeze at either. Yale Giffin, Chris Houldsworth, Tom Gore, and Jaysen Buterin were on their marks while the film's star Michael Ray Williams discussed with Bill the logistics of his encounter with the monster.
I was there to get behind the scenes material. I'd gotten the idea for set visit episodes at A Night of Local Horror and Christopher had agreed to let me tag along on this shoot. I don't even remember how I originally pitched it to him, but he was totally on board and gave me full access to the cast and crew.
Despite the long hours the crew was lively and accommodating. I was able to talk to almost everyone and got some great photos and video as the day wore on. I'm not sure exactly when the episode will air, probably sometime in December. There's no rush since the film won't be ready until next year, but I'm eager to share what I saw. Also, I have to coordinate with Christopher about what I'm allowed to include in the episode and what I have to leave out.
You see, one of the most fascinating things I was able to do was sit down with Bill Mulligan and discuss the creature he'd created and how it worked. Personally I find practical FX enthralling and Bill was more than happy to discuss his creation at length. The trial and error that goes into this stuff is amazing! If Christopher won't let me show the monster in this episode, you can count on an FX-centric episode of LFT in the future. Actually, I'd like to do more episodes on various facets of production anyway, so this would be a great first step.
Once all the backyard scenes had been completed, shooting moved to the basement. Things seemed to go more smoothly at this point now that the crew had total control of the light and they were isolated from outside noises. I wasn't able to stick around to see the climactic attack being filmed, but I still got some great stuff. I hear the rest of the shoot went great, so I can't wait to see what they got.
All in all I think I'll be able to get a pretty solid LFT episode out of the experience. If I'm right, then you can look forward to a lot more episodes like it.
Thanks again to the cast and crew for being so generous and patient. I'm looking forward to seeing the fruit of their labors and you should too. This will definitely be one to keep on your radar. Stay tuned for updates!