Beneath the Black Moon is our film-within-the-film for Meme. It’s not our main video in the film but it serves some important plot points. It was referenced in some earlier versions of the script and ultimately became a bigger part of the story as rewrites progressed. No scenes were explicitly referenced but the tone and style was. So, after we’d begun shooting Meme, I needed to write this project to shoot during the process of shooting Meme.
As we were shooting Meme on no budget we needed to work around everyone’s schedules. That stretched production out a bit and by June we had only a day or two left of principal photography but availabilities put us on hiatus until August. So, I decided to pull together the shoot for Beneath the Black Moon. We shot with a different cast and crew but still a wonderful group to work with.
For Beneath the Black Moon I tagged my friends Lisa Hammer and Levi Wilson, co-creators of the web series I’ve been producing Maybe Sunshine. I wanted them both to be on camera for this project. I also grabbed Jeanette Sears to shoot the project, who I work with sometimes as an instructor for the I Was There Film Workshops. Nicole Solomon, Art Director for Meme, joined to help me produce and do the practical special effects. The cast except for Lisa and Levi had to be newly recruited as I was using most of the actors I like to work with in the main storyline for Meme.
Beneath the Black Moon is very different from Meme in that it is pretty much a parody. It’s purposely cheesy and hastily put together. The film is supposed to be a homage to low budget straight to VHS horror of the 80s and 90s. I think we pulled it off. I think we made something fun that people have appreciated over the last few months since we released it. It’s not a wink and a look how bad this is style parody. It’s earnest in its way. We’re not trying to draw attention to what’s bad or cheesy. None of the instruction I gave actors on set was about doing something for a joke about the film. It was all about playing the characters they were playing, who were all already pretty absurd from the start. I think that allowed us to have a lot of fun shooting and makes the project more fun to watch on its own.
While you can watch Beneath the Black Moon now on YouTube not all of what you see is likely to make it into Meme.Beneath the Black Moon will show up on TV screens in Meme and certain scenes will be used to parallel the events of Meme and help make or contrast the point of those scenes. That’s what the film was primarily written for. How much will ultimately make it into Meme remains to be seen as we are still editing. I’m looking forward to seeing how much we keep and how much we cut and how effective it is as part of this feature. In the meantime, if you haven’t watched it again recently, take a look at Beneath the Black Moon again. Do you recognize the final scene from anywhere? It’s a recreation of the final scene from a classic mind-blowing film of the 1980s. How did we do in recreating it?