Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween week... "Martha's Secret Recipe"

Over the years I've done many Halloween themed projects. This short horror/comedy film set in the sitcom world of the late 1950's definitely falls into that category.


Martha's Secret Recipe from Mike Crooker on Vimeo.

Neighbors at a dinner party discuss Martha's meatloaf recipe in this short film set in the sitcom world of the late 1950's. Written by Laura Matis, Directed by Mike Crooker. Starring: Laura Matis, John Coleman, Andrew Lent, Lori Rogers Lent.

The idea to make the film was hatched one evening after having Laura & John over for dinner. After showing them some of the small films that I had shot over the years (sort of the modern version of vacation slides), we started riffing on Halloween concepts that we could shoot without any budget, special effects and a small cast.

Laura went home and e-mailed me a script the next day. We shot it about two weeks later in my dining room and garage. My wife's parents house stood in for the 1950's ranch style home in the title sequence, but that's my front door Laura emerges from and gives that quintessential Barbara Billingsley (RIP) wave. We shot the whole thing in less than three hours, then opened a couple bottles of wine, went out on the patio and ate the rest of the meatloaf that my wife had made for the shoot.

The only thing that we had to go back and shoot a couple of days later was the close-up of the plate meatloaf which we missed the first time -- there's something about meatloaf (and food pictures in general) when shot in black and white that makes it even less appealing than normal. ;)

Here's a better picture of the meatloaf in color...

Tech stuff: The project was shot on a Nikon D90, and the audio was recorded (on a boom mounted SM-58) straight to my laptop -- the original audio from the built in mic was not very good.

I wrote the music cues in a about a week and did four different versions of the dinner music theme, but this one worked the best.


Dinner Music by MikeCrooker

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