The owner of the mansion we were filming in had done some research and discovered that the lady had once been some type of servant in that house. How else can you explain that his girlfriend in her trancelike state knew  about the attic window being moved?

I sensed a coldness whoever I entered her room. One time after we finished filming in there and it was over a hundred degrees with all the lights I was using but a few seconds after the lights were turned off and I was alone in that room it grew icy cold. How could there be such a change of temperature in such a short time especially when it was Summer and very hot outside? The old lady probably had died in that house. I know it all sounds strange but there is no other explanation for this. As we filmed there day after day, week after week I sensed a change in the feeling of the rooms of the house. All of my actors and filming people also felt more comfortable  there. It felt more friendly. Work went smoother and I think that after a while the ghost got used to us and enjoyed having some company. I had a tarot card scene to do downstairs in the kitchen a few days from then on a Saturday and I promised the owner that I would not write something that  would anger the spirit in the house as she did not mind being with us. I   would not write an exorcism scene..
 


















We got that Tarot reading scene completed in 5 takes. Believe it or not we used a RAT trap as a special effect as the cards had to "magically" toss in the air and burst out as the actress who played Martha collapsed in a  faint. I shot the ending in a slow motion of 64 frames per second and it  really is a wonderful scene filled with a sense of mystery and foreboding.



The next Thursday it was time to "flesh" out the ghost scene, pardon the pun. On the first day of filming months ago I had taken the master shots and long shots of my actors for this scene and now it was time for CLOSEUPS! I had made a fogger from a bug sprayer to save on cash and it had worked pretty well to this point. So my actors and I set about creating the rest of that scene knowing that we would finish the real special effects when we got to filming on my stage I built in my garage. I built that to save on having to rent a stage and to pick up on any shot that needed to be re-filmed. So we tried our own "home made" bug eyes , but it just was not working for me. It looked very fake. I know I wasn't impressed. We tried some test shots of the girl  wearing a  mask and that didn't look real to me either. So I decided to just film those later on my stage and made a note in my scirpt.

I concentrated on the special effects and turned on my home made fog machine. The fog machine worked so well soon the entire room both downstairs and upstairs was filled with a gravelike fog which looked great. My actor who plays the young man Robert (Ryan Reuter) dutifully fell on cue. I prepared to do another take when I heard him yell. He couldn't get up! He  was literally stuck to the floor. I tried to keep from laughing but it was a funny situation. The Fog machine I had built worked but the smog it created quickly dissipated as it fell to the floor into a condensation so hot that it actually melted the wax on the floor. My actor was in a pair of shorts and the wax adhered to his skin and he found himself stuck. Worse yet some of the the varnish was also removed as he peeled himself off. It wasn't easy for me to ask for another take but I had no choice and once again my actor dutifully threw himself onto the slimy floor till the scene was   finished to my satisfaction. Then we again "peeled" him off the floor and my actors went home for the night while I faced a delima. What do I do about  the floor now? It was a sticky mess!
 






























I have always believed that honesty is the best policy but I also knew that if I wanted to get the film done that floor had to be repaired before I told the owners. At least I had to see if I could repair it or have it professionally done. I was responsible. So there goes more money out of my film budget.

Lucky for me that I have taken woodworking classes in High School and floor finishing. I went to the store and bought finish remover and set about removing the reaming wax and finish on the stairs, ornate woodwork and floor. Then I re-finished the wood and relaxed the floor. It sounds easy but you should try it sometime. It's a lot of work. I spent my entire Saturday there from sunup to sunset. Twelve hours in all. Once all of that was done to my satisfaction I placed fans in strategic spots to dry the wax. I thought that wax would never dry. Finally I could step on it without leaving a footprint and knew it was finished. Only if you looked closely could you tell that it has ever been redone. Satisfied with my work I went back home exhausted but happy. After I had a good sleep and recovered from my ordeal I called up the owners of the house to tell them what had happened but also made a point to tell them that they need not worry because I had already corrected the problem and the floor and woodwork were as before. They came to inspect my work and were relieved that I had been so conscientious to solve the problem. I told them that I didn't want to worry them about it till I knew how serious the problem was. I had been able to correct the problem myself and asked them not to be angry with me. So another disaster had been averted and filming resumed the next week.

I have never liked location filming as the filmmaker has no control over the elements or outdoor sounds. This proved to be true as we began to shoot the police officer scene. My actors were in full police uniform and I had asked them to briefly parade in front of my actors while we were working in the house and to hassle them a bit. One of my tech crew came to me very upset asking what the cops were doing here and at first I did not tell him that these were only actors.

Now we were preparing to film our scene outside and about that time it decided to rain. We needed the rain as the grass outside was brown but as a filmmkaer I did not need it. I tried to make due by placing a plastic garbage sack over my camera so the filming could go on and I began to direct the scene. I had placed a blue revolving light we had borrowed on the top of my car and since my car is the same type the police use it looked very believable. So much so in fact that every time my car came down the street with the light on all the other cars would pull over. They actually believed that this was a police car. So I would have to stop filming and run out to tell the people they could go on and that we were making a movie.

My other location problems were so strange that they were laughable. I swear that every car in that little town of Tiskilwa we were filming in must have decided that time was when they wanted to drive by the hosue. We were filming on the porch and I had my camera focused on Sandra & Robert on the porch swing. I swear that we had cars, motorcycles, lawnmowers, you name it, all pass by. We were in the midst of the love scene from my film when Robert realizes that he cares about the girl and as he moves in for the kiss suddely a semi-truck passes by and we hear a BEEP, BEEP of his horn! I can't even remember how many takes we had to do of the scene but finally we got it in the can.
 

  
  

         

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