Friday, May 13, 2011
The Devil In The Wetsuit And Steel-Toed Boots
The Devil wears a wetsuit because he's kind of a Poseidon sort of devil, and the portal to Hell is located at the bottom of a deep, dark lake. Since we don't have much of a special effects budget and I wanted the Devil to be able to make dramatic entrances, I came up with the idea of having him emerge from a lake in the moonlight. There happens to be a lake near my home. I think it's going to work out slick.
The first guy I got to play the Devil looked too fat in the wetsuit. He wasn't a particularly fat guy in real life, but a wetsuit is unforgiving in that regard, and I thought it was important that the Devil be lean.
The second guy was really good in rehearsals, but after four days he started to have reservations. He said it was because he was a Born Again Christian, which may or may not have been true. He smoked a lot of pot for a Born Again Christian.
So, anyway, we're already on our third Devil. This one has appeared in a Car Soup commercial and also as Tevya in a local community college production of "Fiddler on the Roof." He's been lobbying hard for the Devil to have a love interest, and feels strongly that there should be at least one scene where his character gets to (as he put it) "do his old lady like a dog." He argued that this would be a subtle bit of symbolism or metaphor or some such nonsense. Though I'm pretty sure the motivation behind all of this business is purely selfish --I have serious doubts about whether this fellow has even slept with a woman-- he continues to insist that the Devil needs to be portrayed as "insatiably horny" in order to demonstrate his power, virility, and otherworldly appetites.
Since I'm not keen on trying to find a fourth Devil, I put an ad on Craigslist, but have thus far received only two replies, both from clearly underage girls with questionable motives. Nonetheless, the third Devil liked the looks of both of these candidates and suggested I immediately take them on --one as the Devil's paramour, the other as an understudy and potential body double. Afraid as I was of losing yet another Devil, I was even more wary of being caught up in some sort of sting operation and so thanked the young women for their time and assured the third Devil that I would continue to pursue other options.
Anyway, weather permitting, we are slated to film our first scenes tomorrow. The premise of "Satan and the Sacred Bone" is that the Devil has risen from the deep, dark lake in the moonlight and is stalking my dog through the Enchanted Dog Forest. The Devil is trying to capture my dog --and in the process steal his soul-- because my dog is a High Priest in the Brotherhood of the Sacred Bone, a holy order of dogs devoted to preserving the history and rituals of a bone that is alleged to be a surviving relic from the sacrificial altar of Abraham.
The Devil believes my dog knows where the Sacred Bone is being kept, and he intends to pry this information out of him at any and all cost.
At some point in its long odyssey through history and time, it is said, the Sacred Bone was once in the possession of John the Baptist. Then, for several hundred years, it was displayed in a monastery in France, and used in the annual Blessing of the Animals. Like so many other precious relics and works of art, the Sacred Bone disappeared during the Nazi invasion of France.
For almost three decades the Sacred Bone was presumed destroyed or lost forever, until a Dutch newspaper reported, in 1976, that a rich and unscrupulous art collector and breeder of dachshunds in Austria had the bone in his possession. Through diplomatic and legal channels this collector was eventually persuaded to turn the Sacred Bone over to authorities in Geneva, where an international tribunal attempted to sort through claims from a host of nations seeking title to the bone. It was generally believed that the Sacred Bone was most likely going to end up in Jerusalem, but a group of armed and well-trained commandos of mysterious affiliation broke into the Swiss compound where the relic was being held, made off with the Sacred Bone, and left behind a long and rambling note detailing plans to return the object to its "rightful custodians," the Brotherhood of the Sacred Bone, a loosely knit secret society made up entirely of dogs.
In the intervening years, information regarding the Brotherhood and the whereabouts of the Sacred Bone has been exceedingly hard to come by, but it is rumored that the Sacred Bone is possessed of extraordinary protective and healing spiritual powers, and is thus of keen interest to the Devil.
That's the backstory of "Satan and the Sacred Bone." I've persuaded my neighbor, Lonnie, who has a rich baritone and has done a few radio advertisements for a local bank, to provide a voice-over narrative of this saga as the opening scene unfolds. We've already recorded it (I encouraged him to try his best to muster a James Mason impersonation), and I think it sounds fabulous. Chilling, really.
I'm still trying to raise enough cash to finish this project --I've already invested more than $250 of my own money (actually money borrowed from my sister)-- and am encouraging people who might be willing to help out to chip in over at Kickstarter. Anyone who gives more than $10 gets a speaking part in the film. So far we've raised $48, but there's still a long way to go.
I'll try to keep you posted here, so stay tuned.
My iPod died today, by the way, and a "For Lease" sign went up at the Odd Fellows Hall over in St. Paul, so I'm feeling even more super bummed out than usual. Also I ate a jar of salsa for dinner. Just FYI.