CASEY: We wanted the cast and crew in the film to be
making something very ambitious and stylish. Something that
would be a challenge for a low-budget film crew to pull off.
We chose the two extreme looks of a CGI shoot and a classic
gothic horror film. But up until a few days before the shoot,
we still hadn’t nailed the exact execution.
We were sweating over the script in the kitchen early on a
Saturday morning and I had just rolled out of bed. Still half
asleep, the name “Lady Quasimodo” just popped into my
head, with the idea of a female writer flipping the politics on
classic horror. I instantly knew this was the film within the
film. I love when ideas erupt from the deepest recesses of
BUILT: There’s a pretty creepy prosthetic arm in one
scene. Was it left over from last Halloween?
ADAM: We based the look of the arm on an actual
disfigurement a friend got one summer. Apparently, when you
have lime juice on your skin and go in the sun it activates and
becomes swollen and covered in boils. We gave the makeup
team photos of her hand when it looked like a monster claw.
Don’t worry, our friend's hand eventually went back to normal.
Although, when it was all boiled up, we shot it for another
short film called "Beach Witch" that will come out this
summer. Lesson: Wash your hands after making margaritas!
BUILT: We hear that some aspects of the plot—e.g., the
catering company not showing up, stars quitting
mid-shoot—have happened to you in real life.
CASEY: Everything that happens in this short film has
happened to us…and worse. Slashed budgets, injury,
electrocution, botched catering, insolent crew—you name it!
But sometimes the limitations of a low budget can force
creative decisions that are better than those that come from
endless resources. In fact, on the day we were shooting this
film, catering arrived and there was a lot of bread in the
delivery. Patrick Johnson, who plays the wardrobe stylist, was
joking around about being on an all-bread diet and we told
him to put it in the scene.
BUILT: Lots of prominent downtown artists appear in the
film. How did you pull all of them together?
CASEY: One of the great things about NYC is that people are
really here to be creative and ambitious. If you can come up
with a good idea, people are very enthusiastic to help make it
happen. Many of us work together doing stage productions,
so this was a fun way to share some of our favorite people
with a larger audience.
ADAM: They’re shockingly talented artists and total pros. The
makeup room scenes were shot at 1:30 am at the end of a
18-hour day, but Angela [who plays the makeup artist] and
Patrick’s improvisations and delivery were so spot-on that
sometimes the whole crew would bust out laughing before
I could call “Cut!”