Every film has two stories. One that makes the film, the other one how the film is made. In independent filmmaking, it seems, the latter is mostly just filed under ‘E’ for experience to never be looked at again, or being told. Which, in many cases, is a loss to all of us on both sides – the teller of the story, because he or she doesn’t get to share a valuable experience, and the potential audience, which is stuck with a potential, but will never actually be the audience. We here at HorrorBug are especially thankful to Iabou Windimere for sharing her experiences during the filming of Randy Fabert’s ‘Psycho Killer’. She even is in the unique position to share it from multiple different perspectives without having dissociative identity disorder. We also have to thank Joe Kidd for being the facilitator for this.
There might be some mild spoilers in Iabou’s account of events but, having seen ‘Psycho Killer’, we can tell you, you could not put the hints together if someone gave you a map and a manual. Enjoy Part 1:
Set stories from the POV of assistant director Iabou Windimere
I remember that I almost didn’t do the film. It started as a favor for Sheila, turned into one of my most memorable acting experiences, and led to me becoming the First Assistant Director, which brought in a lot of other responsibilities, which were a lot of work but always worth it.
There are two types of independent filmmakers, The “Film Makers”, and the “Film Artists”. The first time I met Randy (Fabert) on set I knew he was a “Film Artist”. I knew that he was someone I could work with and that I would work with again just in the first ten minutes of meeting him. The difference between the two is that film makers just want to make a good movie, that’s well rounded, as fast and efficient as they can, and “Film Artists” want to make something so amazing that you can never forget it or imitate it, and if it takes all day to get the shot, it’s going to take all day.
First day on set, this Guy walks up to me and says a few words to me, his hair is so tall its like it has its own super power, and he never introduces himself. I knew he had to be the director – and he was. He never introduced himself to me and I respected that a lot. In this industry, a lot of people are all talk, they want to tell you who they are and why they are so awesome. A real director doesn’t need to introduce himself. Its his set, everyone should already know who he is… he’s the artist we are all there to support. It’s his Art. If I met Christopher Nolan or Pablo Picasso, I wouldn’t expect them to introduce themselves. That’s how I met Randy Fabert.
How I made the part of “School Girl”
Sheila called me up and needed some girls for a scenes. She said “wear anything”, and my agent at the time wouldn’t let me take pictures in my favorite skirt because I looked like a school girl in it. But when you are 5’10” and Blonde, no matter what you wear, all anyone sees is your legs – and whatever they imagine you wearing. So I decided what the heck, and showed up on set as a school girl.
I believe I was 29 at the time, but Randy asks all the guys to “dirty her up” and none of them would, because they thought I was a 16 year old school girl. I told Aaron Martin to go ahead and make me absolutely filthy. So here I am, wearing this designer outfit that my mother bought me in High School, it probably originally cost over $200 back then, and I’m having someone making it absolutely filthy. I can remember Aaron Martin telling me “It’s clean dirt” and then I just take some “dirty dirt” from the ground and start plastering it on my legs.
The first night of filming the direction we all had was “scream”. I told myself “there’s only one chance. You will never have a second chance to do this scene ever again.” That’s a motto I took with me after that. This was the shot where we are all chained and hanging by our wrists. First take and it all became real. This was the first set that ever really happened like that for me. I was so terrified in the moment the killer came through the door that, in the first take, I knocked over a large rusty air tank. I thought to myself “great I’ll never be asked back”… But then, a few months later, I get a call to come back and film the rest of my scene.
When I showed up to do the table scene, it was ice cold in the room. I was strapped to the table for a few hours. I couldn’t really see what was going on, so I had to rely on my imagination. I cried so hard on the way there so that I would appear exhausted and hopeless. I was crazy dehydrated so that I wouldn’t have to pee at all while I was on the table. I had to tell myself to fight through the fact that it was about 30 degrees in the room. The fake blood I was covered in smelled so good because I was so hungry. So I had Aaron Martin poor a little in my mouth. The smell of the sugar in the blood was killing my stomach. I never eat before a heavy adrenaline scene because I don’t want to get stomach cramps during filming. The moment felt so real while we were filming. For the time lapse scene, I laid on the table for maybe 20 minutes to get the effect in the movie of The Killer passing time while he’s watching me, waiting for me to wake up. All of the scenes were one take only, except for a take of my hand where the blood-oozing device didn’t work right on the first take, so we had to do two of them.
My double-jointed “talent” is actually an ability that I have had on my resume for a really long time. Randy finally let me use it on set. I actually pulled my right arm into my shirt and laid on it for over an hour, all while laying down the entire time, still strapped on to that cold ass table. I actually had a matching bruise on my arm and spine after filming that scene. I don’t think it would have been the same if he used a camera trick to skin my arm. That shit felt like my real arm. I also had a matching bruise on my hand from the nail device. It had to be shoved in there so tight that it almost felt real.
I had nightmares for a few weeks after filming that scene. It was like someone else’s memories in my head. I don’t remember any of there being a cast and crew in the room. I don’t remember where the camera was. I don’t remember any of that scene being acted out when I watch it. There are two types of roles for actors. There are those where you become a character that is almost like a long lost friend that you visit from time to time, and then there are the types where you sacrifice a part of yourself and you ARE the character. This one was the latter kind. It’s a line I have only ever crossed one other time. It can become dangerous. Let everything around you become real, and it will swallow you whole. You become victim to a sort of mental confusion for a few days after that. You have memories that are so real, that haunt you, because you let them. It’s something you do for every person that will ever watch that scene, you don’t have to pull from a life experience, because you just made the life experience real.
So after all that, you can understand why my costume has been on display since we filmed. I’ll always cherish playing that part in ‘Psycho Killer’. I will never forget any of that.
How I made the part of “Abigail”
Randy and Sheila asked me to come back to play a second role, the one of Abigail. I wore a dark black wig, so people wouldn’t recognize me. It was awesome to take such a small role, a role that never had a scripted line, and use all these acting rules I had been saving up. Sometimes, you do things for a role that no one ever notices. I had a coach point out to me that “as actors, we take pride in not being nervous in front of a camera, but eventually we forget that real people are always nervous. We have to add that back in.” So I had this bracelet I wore, and I kept playing with it throughout the whole scene to get my adrenaline pumping and get that uneasy feeling. Randy loved it and noticed it so he took a close up shot of it. It made my day that he did that. I never thought anyone would ever see that detail, but he caught it. That just shows his attention to detail.
Iabou Windimere is an experienced film and television actress, and a model. She has won titles for “Best Female Monologue”, “Best Supergirl”, and – we’re still wondering how exactly – “Best Comic Book Character”. When she is not in front of the camera, or behind it, she writes or does other things. Born in California she now lives in Ohio. Check out her website at www.iabou.net/ or stop by on her Facebook at www.facebook.com/iabouwindimere page and tell her you Like what she does.
Find out more about Randy Fabert’s ‘Psycho Killer’ right here on HorrorBug.