Saturday, February 13, 2010

"Go Ask Alice In Wonderland" (Cliff Notes edit)

I always encourage viewers to read about the film a bit first but if you're impatient and you've got ants in your pants, then watch the video HERE. (Feel free to Rate and Comment.)

Additional stills from this project are HERE.

"Go Ask Alice In Wonderland" premiered online Valentine's Day (what a beautiful valentine.....) 2010.

I wanted to make a very trashy family-special style of a warped (but beloved) story because I like to strip away the sanctity of some things and just to have some fun.

"Alice in Wonderland" was asking for a parody.

The "Go Ask Alice in Wonderland" short film is a narritive mashup of the Lewis Carroll classic and the teen drug panic spectacular "Go Ask Alice" (as in the Jefferson Airplane song....inspired by the Lewis Carroll book) written by Anonymous (aka someone's mom). I've read it and it's obviously a book about moral outrages (sex, drugs, rock n' roll, boys) clearly written by an adult writing what they imagine a teenager would write like if they were on a downward spiral away from home, church, and family. It's ridiculous and I love it.
Making "Go Ask Alice in Wonderland" was like experiencing a grocery check-off list of indie filmmaker phobia's:

-a budget that tripled itself (nice)

-a flood (watch for it in the background where the White Rabbit wallops Alice in the maze garden)

-camera malfunctions

-sound problems

-security issues (for Alice's house, we managed to brake into the monestary grounds without a hitch but got kicked out of the Hilton. Go figure.)

-swarms of mosquitos

and (definitely worst of all)

-a damaged DV tape that didn't reveal it was damaged until after we shot (fucking up the visuals in many parts and wiping out the sound completely in other parts).

"Go Ask Alice in Wonderland" is a trainwreck. A mess. A small disaster.

But my actors are a riot so it was worth it. And I know that the end result will be appreciated by people of a certain temperment. It's just for internet viewing; it's fun but it's obviously damaged (notice all the digital artifacting with some parts i.e. the ruined DV tape) and not suited for film festivals. No thanks.

With the production is tatters, I just figured that I'd go ahead with the mess that it is and just encourage those rough edges. The characters in the story are a mess, the story is about being a mess, and so (maybe) the production elements themselves decided to join in on the theme?

So I just decided to go ahead and have fun with it, drinking Mountain Dew while editing, praying to St. John (Waters), and dreaming of "Little Britain" the entire time.
The title of the film is not "Go Ask Alice in Wonderland". It's "Go Ask Alice in Wonderland" (Cliff Notes edit). It was originally intended to be an hour and a half-long web series but, because of the damaged DV tape, I've decided that it's best as an edited, get-to-the-best-parts "Cliff Notes" version (since both sources for the narrative ques are based on well known books; wink, wink). So, in a way, it's an abbreviation of a television show that doesn't exist. And even though it says at the end "Coming Soon on VHS", I'm obviously just kidding and it's a play on the bizarro, bargain-basement tonality of the project--the kinds of things that you stumble across as a value movie at Family Dollar. There's some really obscure, strange shit that you discover at these stores. Who knows when or where these creepy productions were created but, nonetheless, I love that kind of stuff! Hence......."Go Ask Alice in Wonderland" (Cliff Notes edit) which is an homage to movies best left forgotten (especially random Canadian and British television literary adaptations from the 70's and 80's; for some reason there's a lot of those).

Anyway, Britney Collins as Alice is fantastic and, of course, I consider her "one of the team" and she's in many of my projects. Same goes for Michael Marius Massett as the White Rabbit, Adam Roker as The Caterpillar, and Emily Gajek as The Red Queen (quite a changeup from the ethereal, tragic heroine of "Salome"), everyone I manage to force into my projects in one way or another:) (thanks guys, I love you).

On a serious note, I feel EXTREMELY LUCKY to have such amazing actors to work with. Beautiful, talented people who work hard and are definite troopers through all the challenges that indie filmmaking, especially, presents sometimes.

With all the craziness that happend while making this project, my mom said that it was the ghost of Lewis Carroll trying to sabatoge the project because I was making fun of his Alice. And when Nancy says stuff like that, you know that she's serious.

I was a little bit freaked out/stressed/broke ass after completing this project which is why I only worked on casual documentaries for a year and stopped doing indie narratives for a while. For my friends and collaborators who wondered what the hell happened and why I disappeared for a while (in a way), there's your answer: I needed a rest because "Alice" wore me out!

Luckily, the project that I did right after this, with all it's expenses, bells, and whistles, was the "Danse Macabre" short film which came out.......exactly like what it was supposed to:)

So maybe the ghost of Lewis Carroll was pissed off at me but, apparently, Bram Stoker gives me the thumbs-up! Very good! I finally did something right.

Enjoy "Go Ask Alice in Wonderland" in all of it's cheap, trashy, drug-fueled, hot mess glory. A bedtime story for stoners, methheads, sugar fiends, and Michigan resale store shoppers (which is like a rolecall of many of my friends and myself growing up outside Detroit). Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure that I found the idea for this project while shopping at the Salvation Army.....

Say it 4 times and you'll win a big surprise:





Oh, Alice......

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