For 21 days, we are re-living the process — day by day — that brought Judas Kiss to life two years ago, with reminisces from the creative team, behind-the-scenes photos and video clips.
Actors Sean Paul Lockhart (second from left) and Richard Harmon (second from right) confer while shooting their characters’ romantic sunset rendezvous. Director J.T. Tepnapa (left) discusses the scene with cinematographer Dave Berry (third from left), and sound recordist Alex Ibrahim looks on.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 21, 2010 After a day of intense, dramatic interiors, Day 8 took us back outside for exteriors shot on the University of Washington campus.
In Judas Kiss, the Keystone campus is supposed be a place of magical realism. Like that Latin American literary form, our film blends fantastical elements with what you typically think of as the real world. Keystone serves as a temporal nexus, where normally parallel timelines can actually intersect, creating the possibility for this type of story to take place.
On Day 8, we watch Zachary Wells (Charlie David) cross into that magical world as he drives onto campus and is greeted by the cantankerous guide, Old Man Welds (Dale Bowers). That drive along tree-lined Pend Oreille Road leads to UW’s Gatehouse 3.
The car Zach drives, a Volvo sedan, actually belongs to cinematographer Dave Berry.
For director J.T. Tepnapa, closing down a road to shoot this scene made him feel big-time.
“We had traffic cones, barricades, and police officers blocking traffic while we shot the opening campus drive,” he recalled. “Today I feel like we’re shooting a big budget movie. I got my coffee and my Subway sandwich and I’m ready to go.”
THE SCENE takes place at the 08:48-minute mark in the movie, and features several portents about what is about to happen to Zach.
PORTENTS Magical events begin immediately upon Zach’s arrival at Keystone University. The golden key on the purple banner above his car exhibits the telltale “shimmer” used to indicate a temporal anomaly in the story. Also, take a look at the words roughly spelled out by the car’s license plate: “To Future.” Also, note the young woman pictured in the banner. It’s actor Genevieve Buechner, who plays villainous Shane’s henchwoman, Sam. All these elements, including the film festival banner and its logo, were added in post-production by visual effects artist Joël Bellucci.
NIGHT FOR DAY The next location was the “stand of trees,”which is supposed to be a secluded area for Chris (Sean Paul Lockhart) and Danny’s (Richard Harmon) secret tryst. We had to do another company move (pack up all our trucks and equipment, and set it all up again somewhere else).
As you can see from the campus map above, “the woods” are hardly secluded. They’re a patch of trees sandwiched between tennis courts, a road and high-rise dormitories. But movie magic, provided by Dave Berry and the crew transformed the locale, and kept it looking like late afternoon even though we shot well into the night.
Joel, our visual effects wizard, also digitally painted more foliage onto the image to make the woods look “deeper.”
AFTER SHOOTING well into the night — and braving a little rain, which necessitated some emergency tarps — the second company move of the day took us to the Padelford parking lot for the scene in which Danny’s father, Daniel Reyes Sr. (Vince Valenzuela) prepares to leave Keystone following the debacle at the film festival.
The scene appears in the film’s fanciful musical number, “If I Fall,” by Brian Lam, over the closing credits.
The Volvo station wagon belongs to Judas Kiss writer and producer, Carlos Pedraza.