In the deep pits of a historic, Texas BBQ joint, the fires are burning once again in the old cookers that are covered with nearly 70 years of a slimy, black ash. A billowing, spiral of smoke emits from the chimneys in the dark and early morning.
All this fire and smoke, used to be the symbol of hundreds of pounds of brisket and sausage being prepared for the day at the legendary, Taylor Cafe, but now those fires are due to a controlled burn created safely by stunt supervisor, Nick Howard. And those early morning smoke signals, aren't originating from the smoking of meats, but instead by the numerous fog machines that are carefully placed throughout the restaurant.
This illusion is not without meat however, but this time that meat is in the form of seven feet tall, hulking creation by SPFX artist, Tate Steinseik.
Principal photography has wrapped on the first segment of Garth Manor's MIDNIGHT MARQUEE anthology, and we certainly starting things off in our typically, twisted fashion.
The segment, entitled CHOP SHOP, was written and directed by Jarrod Yerkes, and stars Braeden De La Garza (Disney's The Quest).
After wrapping, Director Yerkes shared his thoughts on the experience:
"Where there's smoke...there's fire...and possibly a hulking mutated monster made of rotten meat!"
Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to make a horror film within a BBQ restaurant. It's the perfect setting and atmosphere. When writing the script, I kinda just threw everything and the kitchen sink with it. I didn't want to limit where we could go for as little money as we had...We just went for it. It's a love letter to so many genres but still overall feels very horror to me. Being the first segment to film, We had to really set the tone and I think we accomplished that.
After looking EVERYWHERE for a perfect BBQ location. It had to be just right. Walking into the historic Taylor Cafe for the first time, I knew we found our new home. It was just oozing with the vibe we wanted. The place had been there for 100 years! You can't make that stuff up.
Creating Ram-Head was another treat. Working with Tate, he really brought my rough vision and gave us the gnarliest looking monster. I still look at pics of it from time to time when I'm having a bad day and I can't help but smile.
Filming a lot of the same people I've worked with in the past and making new friends to make a whacky film like this together is a lot like summer camp...a very whacky summer camp. One of my favorite moments on set was seeing Ram-Head for the first time. Opening the smoker room door just gave me the ultimate high and I didn't want to come down."
Director Yerkes and the rest of the team will now move into the first stages of post-production on Chop Shop, meanwhile, preparations begin on the next segment tentatively titled HUNGER.