48 Warm and Funny Scenes: pt. 4
Scenes 31 - 40

Scene 31: DISHMAN
Description: Cult-members are lauded in this bogus commercial.
How'd we do it?
Filming for Doomed Planet started in July of 1998. Alex and Dishman put together the footage for this scene in May of that year, before Alex had an opportunity to fire him. Alex had just gotten his new camera, and the idea was to take his pal Dishman down to a Christian festival and film him offending Christians, but the Christians wouldn't be offended, that's how awful they are as a people. Fast Fact Department: Dishman stood in front the giant crucifix and made a great Nazi salute. The "cult-members ...." title at the bottom of the screen is there to cover a blob of shmutz that was on the lens. At one point Dishman looks into the camera and ad libs, "God? I AM GOD!" Alex admires this fine extemporissement so much that he casts Dishman in the Panhandling scene and instructs the Editing Team to insert that clip somewhere in there. The Editing Team told Alex they would but they were lying, they destroyed that clip at the first opportunity. Christian-loving scum!

Description: Bogus commercial featuring the late Jerry Garcia.
How'd we do it?
Alex instructed the Screenwriting Team to prepare a scene featuring the late Jerry Garcia because he'd "heard there's some guy in town who looks just like him." It took us less than a year to track down local character and 1911 Tavern denizen Three-Finger Jack. Jack has made a small fortune busking around Seattle as a Jerry Garcia impersonator. We think it's in poor taste to make money off a dead man and that's why we did it. But Jack doesn't think it's in poor taste: he calls it "art." Shame on you, Three-Finger Jack! It was uncanny. Jack sat there on the couch in Galaxaco Studios, drinking beer after beer, refusing to leave, barking out rough-and-tumble tales of life as a wandering minstrel. "Just as Jerry himself used to do," lied Alex wistfully. "I miss those sweet times." A quick Internet search reveals that there is a beer named after Jack, "Three Finger Jack Stout," and also a mountain in Oregon and a type of modeling clay. According to www.potters.org, the special thing about Three Finger Jack clay is "the amount of grog in it that makes it a rather coarse clay and durable."

Scene 33: AURORA
Description: Manic drives Taffy up Aurora Avenue; they discuss Hitman.
How'd we do it?
Alex told the Cinematography Crew that he wanted to open this scene with a montage of oppressive, capitalistic billboards because "that's what they did in Zabriske Point." But none of us know where that is so we could not help him fulfill his vision again. We got the car from Enterprise Rent-a-car on Aurora. When the dealer heard what we were up to he gave us his card. "I'm also an actor," he said with a smile. Later Alex snickered, "An actor. Obviously he's never seen a Galaxaco production!" None of the cue-card holders was willing to ride on the hood of the car. Finally Alex puts his foot down -- "We're professionals, dammit!" -- and instructs the actors to just hold the cards in their laps. Erica is always exacting with her lines and the drive becomes a real adventure. It was over 100 degrees that day, but filming in a moving car requires that the windows remain rolled up, and the poor actors nearly suffocated in all the pot smoke.

Scene 34: MARY KAY
Description: Mary Kay LeTourneau visits the Hitman.
How'd we do it?
"What the hell is this Hitman crap? They go to all this trouble to hire him, there's this big build-up, then we never see the guy again and nobody gets killed!" That's what DP fans always wonder. Come on, people. Tad was cast as the Hitman in March of '98, before there was a plot or script. Then, when the script was written, it turns out there were no murders in it for him to commit. It really is that simple. The Mary Kay LeTourneau page at doomedplanet.com gets over 300 hits a day, from pedophile fans both regional and world-wide. We shot this scene just down the street from the original LeTourneau home, and when we were done we drove past and threw eggs at it . We like to think that Mary Kay would have given her blessing to the use of her character, as long as the portrayal was fair-minded, honest and caring. Of course, Diana's portrayal was crass and mean-spirited. Fuck you, Mary Kay. Elle's new lover at the time, Larry, was originally cast in the Pongo role, but when Elle heard that ex-hubby Taffy was in the scene she put the kibosh on Larry's participation, future fame, etc. It's too bad because he was perfect: bright, cheerful, getting good grades at South Kitsap Jr. High and covered in cryptic gang tattoos. Elle threatened legal action unless all of Taffy's scenes were cut from the Movie ... then Taffy's new girlfriend made the same demand regarding Elle's scenes! Fortunately -- like two positrons of opposite charge that collide in the bowels of a particle accelerator -- the demands completely cancelled each other out and we went on with our lives, unaware of what had happened.

Scene 35: KUNG FU
Description: Kung Fu battle in Hong Kong.
How'd we do it?
Worldly types know that English is the official language of Hong Kong. So the savvy viewer will not at all be disillusioned by the English-language store signs, English graffiti and posters, nice shot of Kingdome in background. The Kingdome will be imploded in late March, after which that nice shot of the Kingdome will be worth a lot of money. We were all so impressed at the ease with which Erica beat up Jeffro that we asked her to do it again so we could film it and try to incorporate it in the scene. Some International District hoboes wanted to take part in the Kung Fu battle, and we said, "Sure ... in exchange for some of that wine." We never used that footage, of course, so in effect we got ourselves some free wine.

Description: Doomed Planet cult celebrates at swing-dance club.
How'd we do it?
Local impresario Leslie Ferlinghetti allowed us to use her new swing-dance club in exchange for giving her a starring role in the scene, and in the last couple of seconds you can clearly see her starring. We got lots of great footage of swing-dancers dancing. But the New Swing Dance Era only lasted a couple of weeks, and when we finally looked at the footage over a year later, it was no longer clear what these people were doing. The idea behind not using swing-dance music in this scene was that we wanted people to enjoy the scene. Meet The Actors, pt. 1: Did you know that Taffy wasn't always the Dapper Dan? That's right: he used to be a Tattoed Punker. But when he was promoted to Manager -- and Head of Human Resources -- for The Lusty Lady, he began to see the importance of comporting himself in a manner more representative of his standing in the community. Drop by Lusty Lady, mention "Doomed Planet," and enjoy a half-price masturbation good through Labor Day.

Description: Frisbee assault at Bruce Lee's Grave.
How'd we do it?
Alex convinced a number of his actors to use drugs prior to doing a scene, desirous as he was of that spontaneous, "drugged" acting technique. But he was not able to convince these actors to get out of bed or answer the phone at these times. He had used up his entire stock of acquaintances by this juncture, so Erica saved the day by convincing her sister Monica to come with us up to Lakeview Cemetery, run around, get bombarded with frisbees, creating a family rift which exists to this day. The overdub is real Cantonese, provided by a real Hong Konger. This is what they're saying: "Why are we suddenly speaking Cantonese?" / "The camera guy forgot to plug the microphone in!" / "Maybe Alex will fire him!" / "Please don't make me laugh, I'm trying to deliver my lines!", etc. As soon as editing on this scene was completed, a gaffer threw it in the trash. Alex considered firing him, but when the entire Editing Team quit in disgust he figured that had the same effect as someone being fired. There was such a mob of cemetery-goers already defiling Lee's grave with idiotic Kung Fu filming that we were forced to defile other graves nearby.

Description: Select snippets from the Hello! Show.
How'd we do it?
The lesbianism on the couch was completely spontaneous and extensively rehearsed. Jeffro asked if he could be one of the actors in the lesbian footage. Alex snickered. "Yeah, right. 'Actors.'" It's too bad because Jeffro had the perfect look for the part. The host of the show, Joe Seuferling, "fell" out of his chair every episode, as a kind of gag. Joe is now a "professional performer" for clublove.com, where he can be seen daily in a "live" sex room having "sex." We've been trying to get him his copy of DP but phone messages go unreturned because he's such a celebrity now. Clublove is being sued by a number of employees because they were compelled to use an unclean "dildo-cam." If you think watching Joe "fall" out of that chair was awful, tune in to clublove.com and watch him use an unclean "dildo-cam". Really awful.

Description: Mary Jane and Mr. Sparkle have cult revelation.
How'd we do it?
We taped the cue-card right to the TV screen, but Alex keeps blowing his lines because "that's what Mr. Sparkle would do." In Alex's original edit, when Shayla starts her voice-over he sticks in the unused lesbian footage from Scene 9, but our Mac G3 kept crashing at that point, it can't handle video files that dumb. Poor Alex almost suffocates in that gas-mask because the filter-holes are clogged with kleenex and Crazy Glue. We've been trying to find out the name of that Hello! guest who talks about extraterrestrial life so that when he sues us we can act like we never heard of him.

Description: Eva and Fed meet by chance, make out.
How'd we do it?
When Alex reads the script for this scene he realizes that Szeljzko bungled pretty much every line. Off-screen couple Sheila and Szlejko had been married for over a year when we shot this and each requested a stunt-double for the make-out part. Rewind and watch that awful kissing part again. Freeze where they touch tongues. Now zoom in at 250%. See that? Sure, Schelzko was born in Serbia. But he didn't have that ridiculous accent until he got that ridiculous tongue-piercing. No costumers or make-up artists were available. The actors looked just awful, and Alex was fed up with this apparent breakdown of basic film-making standards. Reluctantly, he dialed up Shane and Minus -- costume and make-up specialists who had quit the Project early on -- and ceremoniously fired them.

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Doomed Planet