The CIVIL WRATH Diaries: Part 2

The CIVIL WRATH Diaries: Part 2
By Mother Brain

February 8, 2014

The day began dreary and wet. Not the best time to scout the trail location 24 hours before production. John met up with me at the hotel and we went to the Cinnamon Swirl Restaurant next door for breakfast. His excitement level had not changed since yesterday. He was determined to not let anything stop production…except the alternator of his 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee failing on him.

SAMSUNGScared to drive any further, we took my Toyota rental car down to the Just Horsin’ Around Ranch on Route 44 east. The location looked perfect if it was only overcast and dry. It was damp and isolated, boulders riddled with moss and fungus, and enough trees to block out the sunlight. We went over all the blocking and placement of the potential campfire and graveyard sites. Afterwords, we met with the owner of the ranch to pay the rental fees for the horses. Interestingly enough, he’s a local Florida attorney who originated from Queens, NY.

SAMSUNGJohn took his Jeep to the only mechanic open on a Saturday. The shop immediately tried to screw John over with the labor costs and he had to resort to calling any shop like AutoZone to buy the spare part cheaper than what was being asking for. John’s situation has not been the greatest financially in recent years and he would often receive financial support from a retired cop friend from Staten Island. He feared he would not have the money to get the Jeep fixed on time as he had already arranged transportation for the crew. Yet, as luck would have it, his friend sent him a $500 check that came in the mail at the right time. You seriously cannot write this shit.

SAMSUNGWhile the Jeep situation was getting resolved, John showed me all the props and costumes at his house plus the cemetery signs being painted by his sweetheart spouse, Valerie, and his son, Joseph. Everything looked as authentic and worn out as possible. It was arguably more production design work done than any other movie I’ve made where I did very little rearranging of a location.

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Later, the cast and crew arrived. Karl Anderson was the camera operator with a decent knowledge of operating, rigging, and using editing software. Simple-minded guy but seemed to have a grip on what we were doing. Darrell Faucette and Donald Epps were playing Roy and Ace, the Confederate bad guys. Darrell was quite the character. Never goes anywhere without his beer and his enormous beard made everyone believe he was the uncle on Duck Dynasty. Don was cool too. He gave me a tip about a local bar where I could go see bikini girls wrestling if I got bored. Had funds not been so limited, I would have considered going!

20140106075700-DonOther cast members included Marc Hannel and John’s neighbor, Ralph, playing extra Confederate soldiers. Ralph in particular was supplying his generator for the shoot. Charlie, our sound recordist, came in last. Everyone got to know and learn from each other fairly quickly. Seeing the visuals and the faces of these guys only got me hyped up that much more.

Mother Brain
About Mother Brain 151 Articles
"Staten Island, NY native Andre´ Joseph had a love for movies from a very early age. He began his career making short films with family and friends on home video. He attended the New York Film Academy summer program in 2001 where he first gained experience working with 16 millimeter film and later graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emerson College in 2006 where he received a degree in Visual and Media arts. He also interned in television production with VH1 Classic in the summer of 2006. In 2008, Andre´ formed his own New York-based independent film production company, AJ Epyx Productions, LLC. The company’s first feature film, Priceless, which Mr. Joseph wrote, starred, and directed, opened at Tribeca Cinemas in October 2008 and was selected for exhibition at the NY International Independent Film & Video Festival in March 2009. His second feature film, Dishonorable Vendetta, was the official selection at the NewFilmmakers NY Winter Series in 2015. Most recent projects include the dramatic short film Night Stream which was nominated for 4 World Music & Independent Film Festival awards including winner for Best Supporting Actor, the comedic short film Tempted which was the official selection at the Garden State Film Festival, and the short dramedy The Dinner. When not making films, Andre´ co-hosts the movie review web series The Cinefiles for the geek culture site, This is Infamous. He enjoys weight lifting, running, yoga, comic books, wrestling, football, basketball, and an extremely eclectic taste in music."

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