The Children of Samhain Exclusive:
The Pinup Dolls on Ice Interviews - Part Nine with Geoff Klein and Melissa Mira
BEHIND THE SCENES
If you haven't heard me raving about Geoff Klein and Melissa Mira's sexy homage to the slasher genre, Pinup Dolls on Ice, then you've been living under a rock. And if you haven't been following my nine part series of interviews with the directors, cast and writer, then you've been missing out. And this week, we've reached the end of the series with a special behind the scenes look at the film, from the directors POV. After I gave the film a stellar review (that you can read here) in which I describe the film as 'A cross between a traditional slasher movie and a drunken night at Jumbo's Clown Room… that works like a charm.' I jumped at the chance to speak with the people behind making such a brutal old school slasher. I would like to personally thank each and everyone who took the time to answer my questions, and a special shout out to directors Geoff Klein and Melissa Mira who just returned from Madrid attending Nocturna, Festival Internacional de Cine Fantástico, where they screened the film. So here we go. First we featured writer Michael Penning in Part One. Then we featured Karine Kerr in Part Two, Jordan Mae Antoinette in Part Three, Kyla Shinkewski in Part Four, Ashley Almon in Part Five, Geoff Klein in Part Six, Melissa Mira in Part Seven, and last week featured William Jarand in Part Eight. So here is The Children of Samhain's Pinup Dolls On Ice Interviews: Part Nine THE FINAL INSTALLMENT featuring Geoff and Melissa's BEHIND THE SCENES exclusive look at the film. I'd like to personally thank everyone who participated and everyone who followed the series. Cheers. I can't wait until Moe returns so that we can do this all again. Until then, keep following me at The Children of Samhain. Cheers.
TOO COLD FOR A SWIM, ASHLEY?
We know how important opening scenes are in slasher films; they introduce you to the opening kill and they set the tone for what you are going to see in the next 80 mins. Ashley Almon’s (Kristy) skinny dipping opening scene was no different.
Battling Canadian weather in the middle of October for a skinny dipping scene is next to impossible, especially when we’re working with temperatures of 5 degrees celsius. The crew was in winter gear for heaven’s sake, while Ashley was naked in the water! Up until that point in the shoot, the weather had been awesome, with the only real challenge being the pesky mosquitos at night, but the weather had dipped so drastically that and even they were starting to disappear! The lights were up, the camera was ready to roll, and Ashley was pumped. She flew-in from Alberta the day before and had been watching us work, taking everything in, preparing for her scene the following night. Then, she got in the lake...
I remember Melissa keeping an eye behind the monitor and Ashley was already in the lake at this point. As I was about to call action, I see Melissa running onto the deck! Ashley was in tears and couldn’t feel her legs anymore because she was so cold. But being the trooper that she is, she didn’t want to disappoint us and wanted to go ahead and shoot the scene anyways! Melissa pulled her out of the water immediately and called it a night. After Ashley took a long hot shower, we met up with her at the location diner and broke the news to her that we would have to reschedule her shoot for the following summer, when the lake would be a little warmer. She broke into tears because she felt that she had let us down and she expressed her concern about us finding another actress to shoot her scene! We told her she had nothing to worry about and that the role of Kristy was hers.
She came back in August the following summer and she was determined to shoot her scene no matter how cold the water was. If only the camera hadn’t died on us that night, we would have called Ashley’s scene a wrap! We had to cancel her shoot and fly her in again in September! We planned an entire weekend of shoot just for her and we got it done!
QUESTIONS FROM THE UNION
It’s always a compliment when were told that PINUP DOLLS ON ICE looks like a big-budget film. Tricking the audience into believing that they are watching a big-budget film is always a goal of ours, prioritizing production value in all aspects of the shoot. I’ll never forget the phone call from ACTRA (actor’s union in Canada) after the trailer went viral. They warned us that the next time we wanted to shoot a unionized film without their authorization, there would be legal consequences. They couldn’t believe it when we explained to them that the film was entirely shot with non-uninonzed cast and crew and that we had achieved such great production value on such a low budget. This situation simply justified to us that we were doing something right and that talent is talent, whether it’s unionized or not!
The fact still remains that we don’t expect to change the way we make films in the future; we don’t plan on ever going union. We believe in giving young talent their shot at proving themselves, and PINUP DOLLS ON ICE is the perfect example of what can be accomplished when you put together a group of talented dedicated people, no matter how pretty their resume may be, their background or union status, and let them do their thing. We’re extremely proud of what everyone was able to accomplish on this film.
THE COPS SHOW UP
On another occasion, Kyla Shinkewski (Caylin), was supposed to smash a breakaway window with a baseball bat and climb into the room. She was so immersed in her performance that she also broke the adjacent window, which was real! Having only that one breakaway window, we couldn’t call cut so we had to just keep rolling and cross our fingers she wouldn’t get hurt with the real glass shards and her nine inch heels! Kyla stayed in character as the table wobbled several times, glass shattered on the floor below, and eventually managed to climb through the window! We all heaved a sigh of relief, but the shot wasn’t done!
She had to make her way to the phone and call 9-1-1. Trouble was that we had forgotten to unplug the phone, so she dialled the real 9-1-1 and spoke to a real operator, begging for her life and screaming that a mad man was killing her friends! This obviously prompted the local police to descend on the campground! It took some careful explaining when the cops showed up. We had some half naked girls covered in blood running around, and Moe, with his bloody axe lingering in the darkness. Thank God we only had to point to the generator, huge lights and entire crew to convince the police that we weren’t doing anything illegal here.
They believed us, but still stuck around for another half hour; maybe it had something to do with the fact that the girls were in skimpy outfits, or maybe they were just doing their job, who knows. Either way, it was a great way to spice up a scene at 4:30am!
THE BGOI FILMS LOGO
Since we are not lovers of credits before films, we at least wanted to put a nice animated logo before the film. We had ran out of money at that point and decided, on a Sunday afternoon, that we were going to created it at home with whatever tools we could find around the house. Melissa made a batch of fake blood with ingredients in the kitchen cupboards, we propped an old lime-green sheet behind our kitchen window as a poor man’s green screen and I grabbed my iPhone. The hand in our company logo is none other than Melissa’s hand! She repeatedly slapped her hand on the window until we got the perfect framing and right amount of smudge.
Then, we brought it into After Effects and removed what we could of the “green screen” because of the creases, and then masked out anything that was left, including Melissa’s face in the bottom right of the frame. It doesn’t get much more indie than this!
GO CHECK OUT BGOI FILMS ON FACEBOOK.