Hubbard: The madness and determination of filmmakingWritten by Ian Hubbard | | email@example.com
Don’t ever make a film unless you are willing to ride it off the cliff. Before you commit to the process, make damn sure you understand the madness and determination it will take to see a film through to the end. Realize that few will see your movie and fewer will care. A small handful of people will appreciate the effort, if you’re lucky.
This is without mentioning the horrors and tribulations that wait with giddiness to destroy your dream of saying “Look everyone, I made a movie!” Once you agree to make a film, you release that little man in the back of your brain from his chains. He’ll swing and swing and he’ll keep swinging until you slump away, crumbled by defeat.
As hackneyed as it sounds, the only thing you can do is continue on. In the name of all that is good and holy, never stop until the credits roll and that bastard in your brain is sent wailing to the darkest corner of Hell.
That is what I have learned in the four years of working on “See You Next Tuesday,” which is set to premiered Nov. 16, at the Ohio Theatre.
Yeah. Four years.
Excuse myself and the rest of the team while we sing “Hallelujah!” Funny thing is, this isn’t even my movie. I’ve merely been a co-conspirator, an apostle to a man who calls himself the Messiah.
Joseph S. Vogt is no messiah, at least not in the biblical context. He’s more of the Jim Jones mold, a man who embodies the psychosis and sheer will that has been the ethos of this filmmaking experience.
He just would not stop.
Once, after another setback in shooting, Vogt looked at me with a general’s glare and said, “If you want out, do it now, because we commit ourselves to finishing this movie if we go forward. Whether or not I have to finish this movie by myself doesn’t matter, because not only will this movie be made, it has to be made. We’ve come too far.”
Every story you have heard about troubled movie shoots somehow all coalesced during the production of “See You Next Tuesday.” There was a reason this beached whale took four years to resuscitate. We faced, and overcame, every obstacle imaginable: shooting cancellations, scheduling conflicts, dozens of script changes, zealous crew members, natural disasters, months of waiting and a pizza delivery guy who thought we were making a porno.
This film was declared dead three times. And every time a fresh face or a fresh idea would come in off the bench like Steve Kerr in the final three minutes and revive the production. This was not an artistic achievement, but an achievement of perseverance.
The production was fortunate enough to have a troupe of actors who were committed to running right off the cliff after us. Ms. Danielle Welty took the brunt of Mr. Vogt’s wrath as the surrogate Shelley Duvall to his Stanley Kubrick.
During the most intense day of shooting, Ms. Welty willingly threw herself down a hill no less than 30 times until Mr. Vogt was satisfied. He’s said on many occasions that his only regret with the film is his inability “to throw that bitch down the hill another 30 times to get the perfect shot.”
Ms. Emily Johnson and Ms. Sophie Lewis were the two wild cards. As such, they were used sparsely but provided a bind in the film’s narrative. In basketball terminology, they were the “sixth man” for the film: both only had a few minutes of playing time but provided five points and two rebounds apiece.
Honestly, though, this whole circus would not have taken off had Ms. Gina Arnez declined to take part. Volumes can be published about her poise while on set and her patience throughout this production. An accomplished performer in her own right, Ms. Arnez – with the help of her luscious-haired husband, David – transformed into the Lucy Ricardo hellion that Mr. Vogt was looking for.
She was the only person approached for her role, and without her this gravy train wouldn’t have made it past that fateful night in the spring of 2009 when I and my accomplice Charlie Phouse agreed to participate in Mr. Vogt’s grand scheme.
To fully explain the turmoil of this film in the hours leading up to its premiere is impossible. My word is only part of the puzzle and most of those late night and early morning memories are hazy at best. Forget sentiment, there is none to be had here. Let the audience cry when they admit they like the film, and mean it. The rest of us will be laughing all the way to 2018 – when the next film is slated for premiere, if everything goes right.
Contact Ian Hubbard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tags: Charlie Phouse, filmmaking, Joseph S. Vogt, Lucy Ricardo, Messiah, Ms Welty, Ms. Emily Johnson, Ms. Gina Arnez, Ms. Sophie Lewis, Ohio Theatre, Shelley Duval, Stanley Kubrick, Steve Kerr, “See You Next Tuesday”