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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Guest Post #1 - Jacky Reres

Jacky was nice enough to recount her experience during the original FOC, so you can get another point of view. So here's Lynn Blodgett herself:

When I first saw the audition notice for FOC, I was thoroughly disheartened. I had stumbled across it a month after it had been posted. I assumed the role of Lynn had been cast, but I submitted anyways.

To my surprise, I got a call from the Casting Director and she asked that I come audition for one of the producers, Rick Ganz and and the writer/director/god almighty, Kevin Kangas.

Oddly, the audition location was in the BASEMENT of someone's home. Even though the location creeped me out, I foolishly thought everything would be safe...and I was wrong...Kevin Kangas turned out to be as sociopathic as the people he writes about (of course I didn't figure this out until WELL until the production process):)

After the audition I was pretty unsure of how I did. I thought Rick (who played Tuck) and I had amazing chemistry, but Kevin was kind of indifferent. I walked away assuming I hadn't gotten the role...which by most auditioning standards IS the norm. Three weeks later, Kevin offered me the part and I was ecstatic beyond belief.

The first day of shooting was uneventful and I remember thinking to myself, "actors really do sit around a WHOLE lot during the filming process while everyone else is running around doing stuff." It's amazing actors get the big bucks!

Anyways, the thing that I loved most about the FOC experience is that it really was guerilla filmmaking at its best. We were working on such an insanely low budget and the hours were long and a lot of times we didn't even have appropriate location licenses but we shot places anyways...often under cover.

I can remember crawling through a wired gate to get to the old abandoned park that Lynn and Tuck go to.

Despite it all, it was the best film experience I've had to date (maybe with the exception of my reality tv experience). The people could not have been nicer. The crew, the cast, etc. When you're working on a low-budget film...the thing that can make or break the experience IS the people. When you're working an 18 hour day on next to no sleep, you want to actually ENJOY going to work. I enjoyed it immensely.

A lot of my initial shooting was sans Mark Lassise. It wasn't until(I believe) a week into shooting that I met him. I can recall the moment distinctly:

We were in the parking lot of the movie theatre and he walked up to me IN makeup with his black clown eyes in and I just ran away. He was terrifying, even with his "Mark-smile" on.

Later, when I saw him without his makeup, I had one thought: "DAMN HE'S HOT!"

Mark was a trooper and I think of all the actors on set, he had the hardest job and did it with such ease and such a positive attitude.

Although FOC has gotten a lot of criticism, I can't speak more highly of the experience or of Kevin. On a daily basis we were dealing with shit. Lots of problems. Flakey actors, location problems, noise problems coupled with a very difficult shooting schedule would be entirely realistic to expect the very worst from the person running the show.

Kevin never lost his cool. Sure, he made snide remarks and he was his maniacal self, but I don't think many people could deal with what we dealt with and still not completely gone postal. I guess we lucked out. All of us were pretty go-with-the-flow.
Some of my more memorable experiences from FOC:

1). Shooting at Tuck's Mansion! Until I moved to LA, I didn't know people had that kind of money! I couldn't get over the view, the location, etc. I also really enjoyed that setting because it was the first of many that we did have control over. We also had a killer seafood dinner afterwards.

2). I loved working with pretty much an ALL male cast. It's always good to be the only girl guarantees that you get attention...and what actress doesn't love a bit of male attention?

3). I absolutely LOVED every scene I shot with Carl (who played my husband). He was an amazing actor and a real pro.

4). When Dave said to me, "Um, are you acting or just hanging out?" When you're working with men...there is no "sugar-coating" and the bluntness on set was often laughable. I think one of the reasons why I am so brazen today was working with the guys on FOC.

5). Discovering that even though he wants people to think he's a jackass, Kevin Kangas really is a kind soul. The day that Lauren Pellegrino shot her nude scene, I half expected all the guys to be total animals...but Kevin was unbelievably professional (from what she told me). It was a closed set and they refrained from their sexist humor (which believe me, would be NO small feat for any of them).

6). My favorite shooting memory hit the cutting room floor. It was when I had to drive a stick shift car down a driveway at a fast speed. Mun had taken me out that afternoon and tried to teach me. I never got the hang of it and come shooting time, when I kept stalling out the car....Kevin made the HUGE sacrifice of having me sit on his lap while he manned the car for me. It was pretty ridiculous. Given that the scene didn't make the final cut of the movie, part of me wonders if he just "wrote that in" so I could sit on his lap..hmmmm?

My least favorite this:

Shooting in the movie theatre was a bit sucky. There were MICE running through the aisles because it was super late at night and they probably were used to the place being empty. It was almost as scary as Mark. It also was pretty depressing LEAVING set from the theatre because we'd get to the location at close to midnight and leave when the sun was already up. When the rest of the world was just starting their day, we were ending ours. It was like being a vampire for a time, and I prefer being awake during daylight hours.

I learned more in those three weeks on FOC, than I've learned in any experience here in Los Angeles. For most of us actors, it was our first film experience and I, personally, am thankful for the mistakes I made. They've made me a better actor.

I have absolutely nothing negative to say about FOC or my experience. Sure, there were days that were a pain in the ass...and there were some on-set dramas...but you'll have to wait for the E True Hollywood Story to come out before I'll talk about it.

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