we shot the fantasy sequence where Johns mentions during Amandas
party (with Kim Lannon)
that "one dead cow would supply a TON of food for a keg party."
This occurred to me when I was actually chatting online with
someone (from Texas) that they indeed sell old, mangy cows
for around hundred bucks. I figured, "a hundred bucks? That's
all? A piece of steak costs $10. There's alot more than 10
steaks in a whole COW."
First, we had
to find a cow. (I assumed that the field to film it in would
come along with it.) Second, we had to figure out a way to
EXPLAIN what we wanted to do to this cow to the person who
owned the cow. Old-coot farmer: "Internet? alt dot SEX?? And
what do you want to do to my cow?"
here's a piece of indie fimmaking advice:
"you think of this shit..you gotta film it."
A year and a half ago when I wrote this scene, I thought,
"this'll be cute, I'll have everyone PRETEND to kill a cow
out in a field with these huge knifes." Man, it LOOKED easy
enough in my head. :-P
Dan and I had scouted
out some farms with cows near my home and surprisingly, everyone
seemed receptive to us filming there. (We didn't go into much
detail.) Dan eventually contacted the Doug Stephens farm in
Framingham, Massachusetts, and the owner Doug basically told
Dan that we could do it, but under our own risk. (Do insurance
policies for movies cover cow attacks? Didn't bother me, since
we didn't have any insurance.) I managed to get everyone together
except John Horrigan. (Since he didn't have any lines from
this sequence, I figured we could get away with not having
never had the chance to hang around cows, so this was my first
up-close personal experience with a cow. (And basically the
same for everybody else on our crew.) The farmer woman who
worked there found us a nice, placid animal from the herd
that was watching us from behind an electrified fence. (Farmer
woman to cows as she enters the gate: "who here wants to be
a movie star? Tess? How about you?") We pile all of our equipment
out in an adjacent field while Johnny fed Tess with some cow
treats. (To get her to "cozy on up to the person who will
be leading her.") The minute we laid all of our equipment
down, three to four cows snuck under the gate and approached
us, sniffing and drooling all over the C-stands and equipment
cases. It's amazing how curious these animals actually are!
I always thought
that cows were just large blocks of living meat, waiting to
be sliced up when the time came. Johnny noticed that each
cow had a personality, and they appeared to be very affectionate.
You tend not to think of these things when you are in the
supermarket, looking at the nicely wrapped chunks of material
on a styrofoam plate. This doesn't really get hammered home
until you've actually hung out with a bunch of cows yourself.
(Insert sexist male joke here.)
Luckily, we finished
up just before the rain really started to come down. As we
were leaving, I tried to explain to the farmer women who worked
there on WHY we had a keg, a large bag of charcoal and a bunch
of knives out in a field with Tess. They laughed when I explained
that the concept was "a cow would supply a ton of food for
a keg party." I thought all farmers are right-wing animal
rights activists. Johnny thought that since they deal with
cows and farm yard animals (and most likely have them killed
on a regular basis), that the death of one of them isn't such
a big deal, that they know their fate from the start. I'm
just waiting when we can genetically engineer a large chunk
of cow with just a set of internal organs with no head or
nervous system. That way you could "kill" it when your good
and ready and not feel guilty. Problem is, a living cow bio-mass
would make a lousy pet.
Hey, what's this?
Hacking away at "cow"
Johnny & Tess
Phil & Johnny ready
Phil gives up rubberass
Cows, camera & Geoff