48 Warm and Funny Scenes: pt. 3
Scenes 21 - 30

Description: Geoffrey walks around reading Nazi books.
How'd we do it?
Alex had a vacation in Madison, Wisconsin lined up and it so happened that pal Kate, who'd already appeared in the Germany scene, would be there concurrently. Seemed like an opportunity to do a scene we could stick in the movie somewhere, so Alex had the Writers fix up some instructions for that. But Kate stopped answering her phone and anyway Madison is unappealing to the eye, so we shot it in Seattle using Jeff. As originally written, Jeff was to end up at Shannon's house, where he would recruit her into the cult, but when we got there it turned out no one had contacted Shannon about this so forget that idea. The Doctors of Death books were loaned to us by the George Clark Nazi Book Repository here in Seattle for a nominal fee. They wouldn't let us bring carrots into the Japanese Tea Garden, because they were afraid we'd feed them to the koi, so we ended up shredding pages of the script and feeding those to the koi because evidently there's no rule against that. The first day of shooting on this scene got off to a rough start when the guy with the camera was still in bed at 2pm and wasn't answering his phone so we all went home. Although they laughed uproariously through the rest of the Movie, the audience at the Premiere received this scene with a respectful hush. Ever-respectful of the nation's copyright laws, guerrilla-filmmaker Alex R. Mayer had one of the music geeks digitally regenerate Beethoven's 6th note by note even though it's in the public domain. At the very outset of the Project, Mr. Clark gathered us together and declared, "Doomed Planet, if it does nothing else, must impugn the name and reputation of Robert Fulghum." None of us knew who that was but we certainly had an excellent time impugning him.

Description: Mr. Sparkle gets agitated, Shayla does same.
How'd we do it?
The Hello! Show is a real public-access talk show, and our actors appeared on the show as actual guests. We are in no way responsible for the sudden and significant improvement in audio and video quality at this point in the film. When we gave Alex his blood capsules he asked for a glass of water then he swallowed them. Shayla was only supposed to hit the dummy one time but for some reason she thought that Dr. Pill actually was inside the body-bag. We got the body-bag from Army-Navy Surplus. Alex was convinced it was "used" and wouldn't go near it. The line about Scientologists being unable to dance is, we now know, incorrect. As many of our fans have pointed out, Tom Cruise and John Travolta are two of the finest dancers of our day, and L. Ron Hubbard himself was quite graceful for an insane fat man.

Description: Mary Jane and Mr. Sparkle fly to Tokyo to watch bands.
How'd we do it?
Alex hooks up with Shayla at Seattle's Gibson Lounge to watch bands, brings camera as an afterthought, loans camera to acquaintance, resulting in footage. A year later someone finds footage, turns it into the finest scene in the movie. Shayla flirts with cameraman, band members, everyone but Alex. He considers firing her but she had not been cast in the movie at this point so to punish her he was forced to cast her in the movie. Bright green EXIT sign in the middle of the screen muddies "Tokyo" illusion. Two different Japanese bands appear to be playing the same refrain over and over. That's punk music, for ya. Shayla finds music difficult to dance to.

Scene 24: GASWORKS
Description: Manic, Elle, Baba Jambi recruit at a July 4th Festival.
How'd we do it?
Elle, Hadley, Jeffro, Chalos and Erica are assembled at Gasworks Park for the Gasworks scene, but a quick perusal of the script reveals that there is no such scene. The Continuity Girl points out that Chalos has already been killed off in a previous scene but Alex is unimpressed with this sort of pedantic hair-splitting and finally points out he is not entirely clear what a Continuity Girl does and hires her to be Screenwriter for the scene. A passerby with language skills is asked to proof-read and correct the dialogue; it ends up being something about Manic running into Jeffro, they chat, that sort of thing. It proved to be the most rewarding expungation of footage in the movie. Erica begs us to remove the footage in which she's "bustin' out of my brassiere," but c'mon, Erica, you're a professional.

Description: Elle, Baba Jambi, Jeffro recruit at a Pharmaceutical Festival.
How'd we do it?
This was actually some kind of Pirate Radio festival. Alex once hosted a popular talk show -- "The Mr. Sparkle Show" -- on local pirate-radio station FUCC until the Feds finally closed in, weary of Alex's constant on-air swearing and complaining. Everyone who meets Alex comes away wondering how he got the nickname "Mr. Sparkle," since he himself does not sparkle. The answer: his love of fine gemstones. Part of guerrilla filmmaking is assembling some actors in a place, turning on the camera, and letting things happen. Add a little narration, great rock music and some fancy editing, and you can make it seem like something happened but in fact nothing ever happened. Jeffro can't recruit teenage girls worth shit. The kid throwing up provided us with the finest acting in the movie.

Description: Sad Flower Cult worships.
How'd we do it?
When we were wrapping up this scene, Alex took Andrea aside -- she's the one on the far right -- and said: "Who are you? What were you doing in my movie?" Turns out she's a friend of Elle's. When Ed delivers the line "I'm standing here worshipping a tennis shoe," he is of course seated because, in Ed's opinion, it would be more "natural" for his character to be sitting whilst reading from a cue-card. Throughout the Movie, we used the expedient of kooky body jewelry to "draw the eye" away from the acting, camera-work, dialogue, etc. But it was over 100 degrees in Veronica's apartment and the jewelry would not adhere, and that's why this scene is not as excellent as it could be. Veronica objected to the idea that she would have a Chihuly in her apartment, so we never got around to Failed Smashed-Chihuly Gag #4, although later we smashed it anyway for the joy of it. Hadley kept looking at the camera because that technique worked so successfully for her hero and role model, legendary newsman Howard K. Smith.

Scene 27: DEAD CAT
Description: The Sad Flower Cult gets a ransom note.
How'd we do it?
Alex employed the "Wandering Eye" camera technique for this scene, as well as the cutting-edge "Eye Cannot Focus Properly" method. Those are real, mint-condition Hitler stamps on the envelope, and the envelope really was addressed to Germany, where Hitler first came to fame. Stylist "Olivia" dressed Ed and Jeffro in skirts and also Alex, who was not in the scene. Then, satisfied, she went home, never came back. The dead cat objected to being wrapped in The Stranger. Sorry, Clarence: it was a paid product placement. It would be snide to suggest that Clarence provided us with the finest acting in the movie, but this much is true: Clarence remained drug-free for the entirety of that day's shoot. Thanks, little friend. Sometimes simpler is better. Example: Shayla chose the character-name "Mary Jane" because it's a slang term for pot. Ed's on-screen name? Just plain old "Pot." Shayla's son is named "Sativa." Really. Ed drew the original sad-flower design but has no memory of that and thus is not entitled to compensation.

Description: Walking around Düsseldorf.
How'd we do it?
Bad news: Alex's aversion to airline food means no trip to Düsseldorf. Good news: there's a suitable location just down the road a spell, in the charming Hitlerian enclave of Leavenworth, Washington. Taffy only agreed to do this scene because it afforded him the opportunity to wear his fancy lederhosen. What was it like for the cast and crew to live in close proximity with Alex for 48 hours? "It was a treat for them," says Alex. Alex employed the "Wandering Voice" technique on the Doom Barrel song.

Description: Taffy and Fed squabble; Eva escapes.
How'd we do it?
Sure, the Germans caused problems in the 40's. But that doesn't mean a lot to today's kids. And if a real German had played the part of evil, fascistic Fed Kohl, that would've just bored them. That's why Alex used a Serb. In real life Sheila and Szeljko are a married couple. She looks kind of irritated when he talks about torturing her because she knows it's just talk, it never leads to anything. Sjelzko was speaking real German, but was actually talking about torturing Alex. In the left foreground you can clearly see "evil henchwoman" Kate reading the TV listings to see what time her soaps come on. Remarkably, during the entire two years it took to make Doomed Planet only one actress threatened to sue Alex unless all reference to her was expunged from the Project. She didn't dare threaten Mr. Clark, of course ... isn't that right, Kate Kingery? The Obertal Motor Inn was more than happy to let us film in one of their rooms because one look at Taffy's lederhosen and they figured it had to be porn.

Scene 30: VERN FONK #2
Description: Vern Fonk commercial "Vern Baby Vern."
How'd we do it?
For over a year, Internet fans conducting a search for "Vern Fonk" were directed to the Doomed Planet site and the image of Dr. Pill wearing panties on his face. Fonk Insurance reaped immeasurable benefit from this free promotional resource until Alex expunged it as a way of fighting corporate greed. A "Vern Fonk" search also directs you to the July '98 issue of the online magazine "Commercial Haters." When Fonk Insurance revenues begin to flag, old man Fonk gets Rob on the phone and tells him, "Do another one of your funny commercials." Rob's darkly satirical outré tone poems are irresistible to the life-loving high-risk drivers that Fonk Insurance specializes in. Rob thinks Doomed Planet is a "pretty weird" movie. In no way, shape or form, and by no stretch of the imagination -- and no, not even within the storied dominion of Bacchus, where all things are possible -- do we have permission to use this commercial, Alex.

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