48 Warm and Funny Scenes: a Tutorial
by Doomed Planet Gaffing Coordinator J. C. Gadue

How'd we manage to make America's favorite all-digital Armageddon comedy for less than $10,000? That's what people always ask. Well, here's a little secret: it's easy ... as long as you follow some basic movie-making guidelines.
Here are a few of the real-life tips, hints and how-tos from the Doomed Planet Project. Hopefully they'll help guide you on your own digital movie-making adventures. Good luck and happy film-making! (And remember to take the lens cap off!!!)

Description: Travelogue-style introduction to the movie.
How'd we do it?
Ferry sandwiches, Ivar's french fries, hippie fare at Folklife Festival combine to give Director Alex Mayer severe gastric distress, and he has difficulty operating the camera for the next two years. The Spoonman refuses to allow his image to be used in the Movie but this information is never passed to the Editing Team and now it's too late. Our sincere regrets, Spoonman, for assisting you on your quest for fame. Alex squeezes into the very pinnacle of the Smith Tower to obtain dramatic Seattle footage, suffers extreme claustrophia, cannot operate camera. The important ferry-footage Master Tape was handed over to a gaffer, who that night taped porn on it by accident. Alex forgave him because it was pretty good porn, not too "talkie," good camera-work and use of color.

Description: Opening credits of movie.
How'd we do it?
"Producer" and "Director" listed ahead of George Clark in opening credits. Mr. Clark fires the entire Editing Team but leaves error "as a reminder." The people in charge of controlling traffic were never hired, so Taffy stands there at the curb for several minutes as the camera rolls and miles of valuable digital tape are squandered. Seed-money for the Project came when Alex sold the domain name "superporn.com" for $20,000. "Sometimes I miss that old domain name," he says wistfully. Superporn.com is now a multi-million-dollar adult-entertainment site. Check it out. Of the first ten acting credits, four are porn-industry workers.

Description: Taffy chases Eva and Chalos around Belltown.
How'd we do it?
Alex runs after actors all day and uses up entire month's supply of prescription asthma medication. Homeless man attempts to steal camera; Alex convinces him to take a Doomed Planet flyer instead, telling him "it'll be worth money someday." Hand-cramps, writer's block and an allergy to paper were some of the reasons Taffy used to avoid signing a release. Now that the movie's finished, he says he'll do it in exchange for domestic distribution rights. Smart, smart man. When Alex was offered $5,000 for the name "massivemedia.com," he snickered. "No way. It's the last cool domain name," he said, countering with $5500. The bidder called Alex's bluff, and that's why Doomed Planet is a Galaxaco Production.

Description: Kurt and Lala panhandle, converse with Amazon.com idiot.
How'd we do it?
The original Cult Observer #1 treats make-up girl to an unsolicited breast-squeeze; George Clark fires him and expunges all mention of him from the production and all future productions. The Dishman imbues his character with that gritty, alcohol-drinking, won't-learn-his-lines quality and repeatedly jostles good-natured paraplegic Jesse and is fired. He goes home, then moves to New York, where such behavior is considered unremarkable. Local unpaid "actor" types, take note: two actors fired in the same scene. The Director does not tolerate incompetence in others. Alex acquaintance Jeffrey Sparks walks by, is quickly inducted into Project, takes over in Dishman role. Jeffrey received a complimentary copy of the videotape, unlike Dishman. Blob of shmutz on lens throughout. Alex gave Jesse the character name "Kurt" because he figured that would remind people of Kurt Cobain but that hasn't happened. With seven crew-members for only three actors, the scene is clearly overmanaged and is reshot a year later without incident, although at one point Alex rifled through the prop bag, found the Stunt Sandwich, ate half, suffered gastric distress.

Description: Chasing, confrontation in stairwell of BBC Dance Studio.
How'd we do it?
All chasings were done within easy walking distance of Galaxaco Studios because, of the two hundred people who worked on the Project, only one had a car, and he wasn't answering the phone that morning. The ominous "Red Skull List" is introduced, not explained, never mentioned again. After Chalos escapes, he is assigned to audio duties. Not much of an "escape," dude. Scrawny, sallow "dancer" types on their way to the changing area repeatedly walk right in front of the camera.

Description: Chase continues
How'd we do it?
The idea here is that Sheila bombards Taffy with random clothing found in the back hall and changing areas of BBC Dance Studio. Taffy objects to being pelted with loose undergarments but there's nothing he can do, it's in the script. In return for use of her studio, BBC owner Elaine demands one line of dialogue apiece for her and daughter Rene. They provide us with the finest acting in the movie. Alex makes Sheila "trip" over boxes over 30 times as he figures out camera-focusing mechanism. Alex gets excellent footage of "dancer" types changing clothes.

Description: Eva and Taffy irritate Raymond; Eva goes ahead and gets kidnapped.
How'd we do it?
Sheila drops the Chihuly as instructed but misses the pile of laundry and sends multi-hued glass slivers all over the dance floor; she sheds a sensitive tear or two because it was only a "bogus" Chihuly. Producer/cameraman Jeffro has to leave to go to work, ends up going home, then to Los Angeles, never comes back. Chalos is assigned to camera duties, also holds cue-cards, cleans up glass. Costumer "Minus" goes home, never comes back. During Sheila and Lew's sensitive "free literature" exchange, irritating flamenco tap-dancing lessons start up next door, but it doesn't matter, turns out the mike battery is dead.

Description: Mr. Sparkle talks about cults; Dr. Pill is nuts.
How'd we do it?
Audio gaffer hides mike behind Mac G3, thus providing scene with relaxing, dulcet overlayment of computer fan noise. Since Alex only pretends to eat the pickled pig's feet, a spit-cup is provided, which soon brims over with chewed pig gristle, cigarette butts and old lottery tickets. Careful observation of the cast and crew helps Rob bring nuance and detail to his portrayal of Dr. Pill, junkie drug connoisseur. Big brouhaha: the feminists on the crew think the "Pierce County Coroner" joke offends women and refuse to work further, until finally Alex puts his foot down and says: "Look here! In a movie that contains lesbian necrophilia, nazi gags and a surgical dissection, a joke about the Pierce County Coroner will offend too many women," but he forgets and now there it is.

Scene 9: CEC TV Spot
Description: Cult of Eternal Consciousness TV Spot; Mr. Sparkle's observations.
How'd we do it?
Elle, who is Taffy's real-life divorcee, insists on forcing the word "bowtie" into her cult diatribe as an obscure-but-deadly jab at Taffy. Taffy sees footage and is pleased and amused. Neither Ed nor Veronica is answering the phone, so Alex dials through his acquaintance database until Jason picks up and reluctantly agrees to play the critical role of Oafie. Jason has since moved to Florida and is completely unaware of his new-found fame. If you have a couple of porn-industry workers in your movie then of course you can go ahead and have them do a lesbian scene, and Elle and Hadley enjoyed a spirited sapphic romp on the studio couch. We didn't use this material of course because sexual congress is a deeply private act between two mature adults (see photo, left) and anyway the Galaxaco Porn Library is completely full, there simply isn't room for any more, no matter how amusing. The couch will be made available on eBay later this year.

Description: Mr. Sparkle fails to calm Dr. Pill with mace.
How'd we do it?
Mr. Sparkle is wearing fashionable discount-store eyeglasses ... then suddenly is not ... then is ... then is not. In interviews, Alex refers to this continuity error as "special-effects magic." Alex's reaction-shot was filmed a year after the rest of the scene, using different lighting, background, facial complexion. The Wesson Butter-Flavored Cooking Oil Spray left Rob's face not only moist and flavorful but also flammable. The Dr. Pill character is based on the real-life drug aficionado -- and one-time Alex house-guest -- Jim Hogshire, who, after viewing the film, gave his complete blessing to the character, which he believes is an animated Japanese crime-fighting dog named Hello!

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