[Michael Ninn has just announced a deal to shoot his first major feature film on U.S. soil (well, part of it — the movie, and the soil) in over three years. In honor of this happy occasion, we have decided to run a bit of the coverage from his last major U.S. feature, you know, so everyone knows what to look forward to. (We don’t count The Four, because it was almost completely shot on green screen — a fine and effective technique, obviously, but not “making movies” in the traditional sense.) Mostly we simply wanted to answer questions we’ve been getting about Heather Vuur and her Lost Chi. People worry about Our Sacred Heather it seems, and losing things can be very sad.]
SHOOT DAY THREE, Sacred Sin
It was another beautiful day in Los Angeles! Lucky and I arrived early because he had rehearsing to do! Not with Heather or another cast member, rehearsal for himself. Lucky was going to play Dee’s husband (a non-sex role, unfortunately for Lucky) in a bar scene later in the evening. [Here is what we have learned: Never, EVER, be around late the night before a day when Michael is already planning for “Part Two” of a big show. The guy that we had cast to play this role suddenly looked much better to Michael as a Police Captain further down the road. “OK,” I said, “but where are we going to find a husband at midnight the night before we’re supposed to shoot his role?”… I felt like Bugs Bunny looking at the screen when somebody explains to him what Hasenpfeffer is. … You know … (blink) … (blink-blink) ….]
Many of the crew members would be playing waiters, cops, etc. It was going to be an interesting night!
Lucky knows my love of newspapers, and bribed me with a copy of USA Today to rehearse with him. “When we’re done, it will come out of the drawer,” he smiled. OK. I ran lines with him, and then read my precious paper! [If you want to have some real fun one day, just take out the comics page from a newspaper and then fold it all back up nicely before you give it to D.Minion. … Not that anyone I know would do that, of course. That would be wrong.]
One of the women in Heather’s scene was AJ Bailey. She was right on time, and I chatted with her as she got her makeup done. AJ is still another of my “new best friends.” She’s smart, beautiful, funny, sexy, and looks a lot like another of my long-time best friends, Juli Ashton! [… and golly do we hear about that frequently at the office.]
AJ had come back from visiting friends in Australia the previous evening, and had cut her visit short to be in this epic. Wow! That’s dedication! [Considering AJ’s energy level during this particular shoot, however, I think it was more “capitalism” actually. “Dedication” would have meant coming back a couple of days early when the effects of the 19-hour flight weren’t still fresh in your brain. That said, AJ at 70% still beats the heck out of 90% of the rest of the current talent crop, which happens to be quite strong.]
Stills photographer Chris came into the makeup room, “This is going to be the best day EVER!” he said. (He was really looking forward to the three-girl scene coming up that afternoon!) [Chris had never seen Heather naked before, and Nevaeh was going to be on set too. A long-time fan, Chris also arrived to find Eddie Van Halen playing the piano in the living room while everyone was setting up. Eddie stopped to ask Chris if everything had been going OK, and … well … the mood for the nice man was pretty much set for the day.]
Heather jumped out of the makeup chair and into her wardrobe so Chris could begin photographing her. Jassie was there to climb into the chair as soon as Heather climbed out. Luckily, Katy, the makeup artist is fast! Her secret weapon (besides lots of talent) is a nutritious diet! Here is a photo of Katy’s breakfast. Very healthy. My breakfast consisted of fat, sugar, artificial colors and artificial flavors. Jeff, the other stills photographer, and I decided that with all the preservatives we were ingesting, we’d be well preserved forever! [However, being “well preserved” differs distinctly from “being preserved in a well state” – at least as I understand it from Katy. I had waffles and bacon for breakfast as I recall, with lots of butter and maple syrup. (Aren’t you proud of me, Lon? I talked about food.)]
Michael wanted Jassie, as “Baby Lust,” to have the look of a turn of the century baby doll. Michael had secured an old doll as a prop, and Katy copied her appearance, down to her tangled hair, on Jassie. It was different, but it was a good look!
Jassie was going to be dragging the baby doll around all day, and confided in me that as a child, dolls scared her. She still doesn’t like them. [Ah. This explains the extemporaneous “You’re such a slut!” line Jassie directed at the doll later in the day. It does not explain, however, why Michael decided to keep it in the movie. Just so you know, being able to see a Michael Movie in the edit bay some weeks before anyone else can buy it does not necessarily make it any easier to understand.]