Friday, June 24, 2011

Filming "Into the Lion's Den"

Tearing up Amish country with Ronnie Kroell, Kristen Griffith, and a talented crew filming the thriller "Into the Lion's Den".

my screenwriter pal Chad Darnell says each time you look at a cell phone in a thriller, you're dead. Yup, I'm a goner.

at least I don't have a silo growing out of my head
Ronnie contemplates just having broken the transmission learning to drive stick
It's the fun intro road trip with following a mini-van with its back open and a crew and camera hanging out the back, or sometimes with a camera in the car, our director in the trunk watching playback, as I'm driving a stick shift jetta with fake california plates in Pennsylvania (we're supposed to be coming from LA), making porn star Jake Steel run buck naked onto the side of a busy highway, stealing locations, everything entirely permit free. I love micro budget!
And just like a road trip we're laughing and learning a lot about each other. When Ronnie was seven, he kissed his first girlfriend on a stoop in Chicago. She seductively rolled on her chap stick, and leaned in for the kiss.  After it happened he was so grossed out he barfed Spaghettio's into her lap.

At the same age, Kristen's parents were looking for him in the toy store, scouring the aisles of trucks and boy toys and finally found him with a death grip on a doll of Ariel the little mermaid, "With the removable shimmer fins and optional blue dress with blouse sleeves". Several years later, they sat him down and came out for him.

Director Dan Lantz will do anything to get the shot, and we've also come to love our make up artist Sherry. She's recently divorced and has found major success in the bountiful boy-hunting grounds of a website for cougars. She's also a photographer, mother, and a mixologist who shared with us her original recipe using whipped cream vodka.
Ronnie and Sherry aka "Crazy Tiny"
essential props
Sherry also is teaching me how to smoke since I don't know how and my character does.  Her wisdom: Don't fear the flame. 

There's been long days and long nights in backwoods motels near Lancaster, PA, in Amish county. Clothes drying on the line (we saw no bras or underwear, do they were them?), horse and buggies, clydesdales, weeding, bailing hay. It seems all bucolic until you realize that if their kids leave that isolated community (and venture out of 1834), they are effectively disowned by their families. That's the love of the Lord!

Kristen fuels up at the Amish buffet. Or maybe it's Mennonite. The Mennonites are allowed electricity.
Along our journey, I've been meeting the rest of the cast of characters. I meet gas station attendant Jake Steel ("I'll be blowing you later"), bartender Frank ("You'll be raping me later"), or backwoods Barbie "Betty" ("You'll kill me with a crossbow later")
Ronnie blocking. Betty should beware the Spaghettios.
the furkini...
Let's make the happy transition from religion to porn. Here's Jake Steel pumping gas.
It is illegal to leave this nozzle unattended.
sometimes you can't improve on the copy.
Bloggers note: Jake is wearing the boots he wore in his immortal film, "Piss in Boots"

don't get excited, it's not really $2.35 a gallon. the station has been closed for years.
There was a lot of discussion on whether or not Jake Steel should be soft or hard during our sex scene. Jake said he didn't care. It's not a porn but they wanted it to look real, so they asked him for a "3/4 erection". Jake just said, "I can give you soft or hard - I don't do fractions"! You'll have to watch the film to see which way it went. 

Today, I'm going to get buried in a shallow grave.  Which is I'm sure how many people would like to see happen to my career!


Anonymous said...

Oh oh! Now I know that your 'art' films most often get a DVD release in the US as 'unrated'but remember for some countries they need to be classifed/rated by a government board and a real life full on clearly seen erection can push it (the film, that is) into '18' or "R"[for 'Restricted'] in the UK and Oz. So if they've got some shots of both 'soft' and 'hard', it could be a deal breaker. That's why a 'semi-hard on' can, on this occasion, be a big help!! RL in Oz.

Eddie in OKC said...

Who knew you are taller than Ronnie ...

Jesse Archer said...

Hey RL in Oz! Good to know, but is it more difficult to sell if "R"?

Eddie, I don't think I am - I was wearing heels ;)

Anonymous said...

Jesse, the problem with an "R" in Oz is that it is leagally restricted to viewers - you HAVE to be over 18 to view the film at the cinema, +/or rent the DVD, and can't be screened on almost all TV channels,including cables, without cuts! So that dick, if fully hard, would mean those sorts of restrictions...and you know how we're longing to see ALL your films on cable TV in the near future and this could decrease the size of your package...of films, that is! RL in OZ