“OTTO; OR, UP WITH DEAD PEOPLE” writer-director, Bruce LaBruce
I wish I had had 10 percent more shooting days. We shot Otto; or, Up with Dead People in 20 days, and that was almost consecutively. If you include the day I spent in a studio recording voiceovers, which had to be done then owing to the complicated availability of the actors, I worked on the film shoot 20 days in a row. My d.p. had one day off in 20. The days were extremely packed and long, so much so that we almost had a crew mutiny on our hands at one point. In the interests of sanity, there were a couple of minor scenes that I agreed to drop along the way as long as my producer promised me that we would pick them up sometime in the future as reshoots. But on a low-budget film, reshoots often end up becoming a luxury that never materializes. Your producers will argue that you don’t absolutely need the dropped scenes to make the picture work. Of course you don’t. You can make footage of an empty chair in a white room work as a feature film if you put your mind to it. But it sure would have been nice to have the option of using those dropped scenes!
[PREMIERE SCREENING: Saturday, Jan. 19, 11:30 pm — Library Center Theatre, Park City]