Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Asylum Movies

It looks like there's a new Asylum picture with both Tiffany and Debbie Gibson. Mega Python Vs Gatoroid. It's being directed by Mary Lambert whom I have worked with. She's hands-down the worst director I've ever seen. Like "you'd be better off without a director" bad.

I was the sound mixer on The Attic. It's the last picture I did sound for (immediately afterwards we shot Millennium Crisis so I've been doing that ever since.) John Savage is in that picture. Funny thing about John -- he's an old song-and-dance man. His voice is amazing -- as an actor and as a singer. He's a great example of how much of acting is simply in a trained voice. When you hear him he is instantly recognizable and he always sounds great.

So one day we're doing a scene and John comes through a doorway and he flubs a line. He says to the director who tries to feed him lines "Don't give me my lines -- I have them, I just have to do it a few times." So I'm there in the room and I figure OK, he's one of those actors you just have to give a little bit of space to -- he'll totally deliver because he's not thinking about the lines, he's in his role. But Mary comes onto the set and starts to read him his lines. He keeps telling her he has his lines, but she keeps reading them to him. And better yet, she reads them wrong.

I was trying to figure out if I could hide under the kitchen sink at that point. 

In retrospect, John was pretty cool about it. But other actors were not. I've never heard actors yell at a director as much as she was. Yelled at in the "You don't talk to me like that Mary, I will not respond to you" way.

It was also readily apparent that she has zero idea about performance, or editing, or really anything. She was constantly in an argument with the art department on that picture. I have no idea why, they were pretty good. But it made the set very tense, which is why by-and-large I put my recording gear in another room and ignored them.

There was a shot on the movie where did a take of a wide and suddenly Art and Electrics realized that there was a huge bundle of electrics cable running along the wall in the bottom of the shot. So they ran in to dress the cable and Mary started yelling at them and made them put the cables back. She said that "something you should know about me" is that she will use a take if the performance is good even if there's something in the background!

And I'm thinking: so you use that first wide take, and want to maintain the continuity of electrics cables in the background?

So yeah, trying to explain to production that they should have used quieter generators so we're not hearing them grinding away in the back yard all the time wasn't even a worthwhile proposition. They had a lot bigger problems on their hands. And although we shot Millennium Crisis after The Attic, we released the picture a year earlier than they did because (so I understand) of arguing among the producers and the director about the edit.

Hopefully the boys at The Asylum had a better time making Mega Python! ;-)


Kangas said...

Wow, that's a horrible name...I mean...Gatoroid? Is that a cross between a Gator and a hemorrhoid?

Wait, that IS scary...

Andrew Bellware said...

I'm sure SyFy just loved the kitsch value of the whole thing.