'The XXXX Saga' Production Diary: Week Two

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XXXX Behind the MaskAustin filmmaker James Christopher is directing Twitchy Dolphin Flix's new mockumentary-style features The XXXX Saga: Rise of the Beaver Slayer and The Porn Movie Massacre (no, they're not pornos). Check Slackerwood for his updates as the production continues.

You see the indie world of making a movie. The truly indie world where you rely on the kindness of strangers and you're often subject to rapid changes of mind and focus on the part of those that are not truly invested in the project as you are. It's one of the hardest jobs of an indie director ... to keep people's internal motivation to work on the project high, knowing that some of the normal motivators of the film industry just aren't there.

We got everyone going this weekend, knowing it would be a fast shoot. Most of us were being pulled in a bunch of different directions for SXSW and we needed to be freed up for that.

The film's diversity of story dynamics is proving to be very interesting. First, we're shooting two films at once, with the sequel (The Porn Movie Massacre) being a very different film from Rise of the Beaver Slayer. The actors are really responding well to the challenge of shooting scenes with completely different tones and beats from one scene to the next. We're tying to do a horror comedy with a lot of gore, but keeping the laughs there. We've got a creepy killer design, some fun ways to dispatch some folks and are even making a joke by having a different actor play the killer in every seen. Still looking for more! So far it's coming together, even if the mask is a miserable thing to wear.

The challenge of Rise of the Beaver Slayer is a little different, in that we're trying to make an over-the-top mockumentary about porn stars, peppered with political commentary and still have some heart. Too often, films with these high-concept setups forget that movies connect to audiences when they are about people. We're doing that by having characters face real problems, challenges and facing human dilemmas, all through the context of making an adult film.

We saw our first glimpse of that this weekend through Terissa Kelton's Jinger Snap, a working mom who's trying to balance raising her child and balancing her life as an adult film actress. Awkward. Bittersweet. Happy. And hilarious.

After 21 pages in two days, we headed off to enjoy the SXSW week. Twitchy sponsored an unofficial showcase ran by Kinetic Entertainment and did an interview with Indiegogo. Soon we'll be back on set!

XXXX Dinner Break

[Photo credit: All photos courtesy of Twitchy Dolphin Flix.]