The filming of Mismo wrapped on Sunday, December 16th with the final shot being Bella’s (Diane Rooney) blood curdling scream. Diane told us she’d been practicing, but we still weren’t prepared for the sheer volume that meant we had to do a second take and sent San Rafael residents blocks away to their phones to report bloody murder! The cops pulled up just as we were popping the bubbly. Thankfully, they didn’t bust us for drinking in public.
Production of Mismo began on May 5th on location at Jim Heron’s studio, which was where our art gallery owner Rene (Larry Feurzeig) became intrigued with our aspiring artist Mitch’s (Jeffery Davis) “nudes...” This gives Larry the dubious honor of being the only cast member to have been on both the first and last day of filming.
Back in May, we knew we were going to shoot a feature film but Gino and I thought we’d do it deconstructive style i.e. shoot a series of shorts that we would re-cut to tell parallel storylines in a full-length film (and this from a woman who’s been writing screenplays for over 10 years). We quickly realized this approach was not going to work (funny how actors want to read a script!) and sat down to write the screenplay, which must be a record in of itself. On June 17th, exactly six months ago yesterday, we had a full cast table reading.
Since then we have shot in 43 locations including Café Flavia, Forbes Island Restaurant, Ginger Rubio Hair Salon, Plumpjack Wine Store, the Inner Mission Beer Parlor, Borderlands Books, and, possibly our most notorious, the privately owned Culebra Terrace (courtesy of Pierre Bleuse) where the neighbors were convinced we were shooting porn. What with the stranger from the bar’s pants around his knees (played by Frank Vera) and Toni’s legs (Lee Kuhn) hanging out the door, you can’t really blame them.
We have scorched under the Tracy sun while trying to get a gag at the side of the freeway where Rachel (Samantha Warnick) gets splashed by coffee thrown from a passing car; almost frozen atop the lighthouse at Forbes Island where Toni and Mitch take in the 360 degree panorama of the San Francisco Bay under a brilliant full moon; gotten extremely damp on a Chinatown Rooftop that was scripted to be a glorious sunny day; and, of course, raced against the fading sun as ex-con Diego (Ramon Bustos) fled from the scene, blood on his hands, towards his ironic fate (no spoilers here!).
We have borrowed from the best with Jorge (Peter Black) quoting Shakespeare and channeling Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski in Tennessee William’s Pulitzer winning play, A Streetcar Named Desire, opposite Rachel’s (Samantha Warnick) Blanche Dubois.
We have been moved by our cast’s -- Jeffery Davis, Lee Kuhn, Caroline Kuntz, Peter Black, Samantha Warnick, Diane Rooney, Ramon Bustos, Glen Caspillo, Marcos Monzon, Larry Feurzeig — amazing talents and braveness to simply ‘get real’. Our supporting cast is just as stellar with special thanks to Anthony Lymon, Sky Tallone, Michele Weber, Scott Free, Skip Emerson, Robert Love, Michael Petrie, Reno Ursal, Robbie Evans, Florentino Gonzales, Hattie Mullaly, Frank Vera, (and now I feel like I’m at the Academy Awards, terrified I’m forgetting someone!). Thanks also to our extras who added richness and color to our backgrounds. As they say, we’ve laughed, we’ve cried. When this movie hits your local theater, be ready for one heck of a rollercoaster ride!
Thanks to our brilliant crew and loyal and dedicated P.A.s and all of you who came through with locations, without which there would be no Mismo.
Now, we’re off into the editing suite. A trailer will be forthcoming as well as the wrap party in February, so stay tuned and don’t forget to spread the word and have everyone you know sign up at www.mismothemovie.com for updates (a full website is also in the works).