Monday, July 25, 2011

William Bloomfield as the George W. Bush inspired President of the United States.

Filming has officially begun on Alison in Wonderland. On Friday the 15th I filmed the President scene with actor William Bloomfield playing the role that will show up on Alison's TV. Sadly I had to postpone principal photography proper for two weeks due to some scheduling problems, shooting will resume on August 5th and I have the first several days scheduled for shooting most of the 'real world' scenes. I am pretty pleased with the President footage and am almost done with preparing the version that will be in the movie. The film will be shooting into October now, which is maybe not so bad since the Wonderland scenes having more of an autumnal flavor might be kind of cool aesthetically, also the movie's heavy, elaborate costuming won't cause my actors quite so much suffering which I was rather worried about.
Costume tests for Aria David as The March Hare. 

It has been a tough haul, just as much of a challenge as last summer's rush to get Black Sunshine: Conversations with T.F. Mou done if not more so, but I've handled it somewhat better I think. I've especially hit a lot of resistance in the past month or so but I've gotten through most of it, a real all time low came when my apartment complex threatened to evict me after some carelessness with spray painting the props resulting in paint stains on the porch. Now they have adopted a completely non-negotiable stance even after I offered to use plastic padding and I have to sneak off to a nearby park at night to do it now. I really got flack for that, but the stains are removable with chemical cleaners over a period of time which I was planning on doing anyways. Thankfully the prop and wardrobe work was almost complete when they slammed the gavel on me anyways. The college I wanted to film at also denied my request so I have to look elsewhere to shoot the school scenes.
Costume test with Jacob Schwartz as the Mad Hatter as he brews some twisted tea with milk, sugar and Roofie.

On the plus side, I am very happy with how the movie is shaping up to look and its design for the most part, I did costume tests with Jake Schwartz for the Mad Hatter and Aria David for the Hare and they seriously look like they jumped right out of my drawings, in fact the look of both characters has exceeded my original mental images I'd say. The whole film's sense of design and macabre fantasy world is shaping up to look very "J.L. Carrozza" with the best attributes of Little Red Riding Hood's aesthetic but with larger scope and sophistication just as I had intended. My almost painterly attention to detail during pre-production is paying off I think, but the paradigm is shifting. One of the harsher realities of making films, one that breaks many a weaker willed upstart, is that your vision will inevitably be compromised somewhere along the way as moviemaking is a very earthy, unglamorous and logistical difficulty-riddled process, especially with no budget. I feel now that I must let go of my perfectionism and single minded pursuit of artistic excellence to some degree in favor of the struggle just to get a finished film out of the deal.

The Mad Hatter welcomes you to J.L. Carrozza's own personal vision of Hell.

In that spirit, as shooting commences, here is my official statement:
The thing about Little Red Riding Hood is that it was just the starting point: an inception and point of invention. It was me jogging past the starting line of more authentically making films. I want to complete the first lap or two with Alison in Wonderland! It will hopefully be a superior product because I’ve already invented the whole concept of a trashy, twisted post-modern fairy tale film on a micro budget, so now I can have fun with it and fool around with it even more. My intent is to streamline the concept, perfect it and build it even bigger and stronger using everything I’ve learned since.
The latest production diary, for your viewing pleasure: