In filmmaking, there is so much work. There are locations, scenery, costumes, traffic control, electrical systems, audio systems, special effects, and all the stuff that allows everything else to happen.
Even a small film is a big project with many, many moving parts. Walking through Gage Park or along Ottawa Street when a movie is being made, for me, is like becoming a fly in someone else’s workplace. I can walk around and observe. Crews are polite and professional, sometimes they will ask that I wait, and I will — but I also get to watch a piece of a movie getting made. It’s fascinating.
David J. Fernandes is a Hamilton filmmaker living in the Stipely neighbourhood. He posted on Facebook that he was looking for extras for a series of short horror films he was making. I was in. What an opportunity, I thought, to be in the middle of making a movie; a horror film being made for Halloween.
It was on the hottest day of the year (maybe it wasn’t, but it felt like it) when my bit was being filmed. I was directed to a north end building where I waited in the heat, in a parking lot, with a lot of other people. First there were COVID tests, and then we waited inside. There is a lot of waiting in making a movie, I found out. Finally, we are led to our places on the fuselage of a small airplane. We’re passengers aboard a doomed flight and the weirdest thing is, the atmosphere is perfect.
We’re in a large warehouse full of movie props and set decorations. There is a complete courtroom, old war planes, and bits and pieces from seemingly every era of pop culture. None of it, though, offered the assured comfort of a museum. The entire building was in the dark except for a small area where they were filming. Water dripped slowly from the ceiling. Props would emerge from the darkness as I explored. The only other place where light fell was a work bench with vises, grinders, and saws. It was spooky as hell.
So, here we we are in this spooky place, on this old, spooky airplane, filming a spooky movie where the people on the airplane disappear. What could go wrong? Nothing did. I got to get inside and watch an important part of a movie being made and it was tremendous fun. The six short films are waaaaayyyyy scarier.
Fernandes’s “Creepy Bits” are six films under three minutes screening every Friday during October except the sixth and final episode because Halloween on October 31st is a Sunday. Previous episodes are available to be viewed at https://creepybits.tv/ including the one I got to be in,“Chapter 2: Occupied”.
It’s about a flight attendant who goes to get coffee for a passenger and finds when she turns her back the passengers and flight crew are gone. I’m not giving anything away if I suggest viewers should not look forward to a happy ending.
Other Chapters already shown and available for viewing are Chapter 1: Baby Face; Chapter 3: Special Guest, and; Chapter 4: The Gift. My observation is each one is a wee bit scarier than the preceding. The remaining episodes are Chapter 5: Pitter Patter, at 9 PM, Friday, October 22, 2021 and Chapter 6: Soul Sucker at 9 PM, Sunday, October 31, 2021.