Hoodoo For Voodoo Featuring Linnea Quigley
May 12, 2005 (Geneva, Florida) - In a crowded trailer filled with extras and unpaid production crew, sits a petite woman who will be celebrating her 47th birthday in just a few weeks. She is dressed in a colorful two piece bohemian blouse and dress, her braided hair is wrapped up in a silk scarf, shiny earrings dangle from her lobes, earthy necklaces hang from her neck, and every time she speaks with her hands, several silver bracelets clink and chime as if accompanying her words.
Her name is Linnea Quigley and she's been in over 85 horror/comedy schlock-fests, a few mainstream films, and Playboy. Her resume includes B-rated films with catchy names like Zombiegeddon, Bimbo Movie Bash, and Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers. It also includes more mainstream films such as A Nightmare on Elm Street 4, Play It to the Bone, and her most popular film, The Return of the Living Dead.
Producer, actress, model, 20-year vegan, PETA advocate, and model, Quigley is anything but ordinary and currently she's involved in the latest feature project by Orlando movie maker Steven Shea called Hoodoo For Voodoo.
"It's about a bunch of kids that get involved in something they don't know a lot about and everything goes really wacky," the soft spoken Quigley states while in between scenes. "It's a dark comedy almost along the lines of Return of the Living Dead. I think Steven's film is going to have that same kind of flavor to it."
Quigley is playing a Voodoo priestess that's really using Voodoo to scam New Orleans tourists to make a little extra money. Unfortunately, her false faith and misuse of the Voodoo religion has sinister consequences for her and some unsuspecting college students.
It's her first of two days on the shoot and she's happy that she had met Shea a few months earlier at the 2004 Scream Fest in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. It was there that Shea pitched the idea for Hoodoo to Quigley.
"[Steven] gave me the script and he seemed really nice and about a couple of months ago it was a definite and I [thought] that this was good. Let's do it. It'll be fun."
Just back from 8 days of shooting in various parts of Louisiana, Shea and his crew are preparing to shoot a scene in which a virgin is sacrificed on an alter surrounded by torches, cans of fire, and scantily clad blond bombshells who shake their hips and entice their viewers with alluring looks and suggestive smirks. 30 years ago, the scene might have been directed by Lloyde Kaufman. However, Kaufman is nowhere to be found and it's Shea that's running the show.
"It's basically a horror comedy about a group of college kids that win a radio station trip to Mardi Gras and get mixed up in a Voodoo plot," clarifies Shea whose first feature The Night Owl has already garnered a distribution deal with Brain Damage Films.
Hoodoo For Voodoo is his sophomore feature and while the budget of The Night Owl was a mere $2,500, Hoodoo is being produced for approximately $20,000.
"I really wanted to make a movie in Louisiana," says Shea, "so I ended up writing a Voodoo story because that's what the heart and soul of that state is."
Louisiana was a great place for Shea and his company Abyssmal Entertainment to shoot in because he had great connections there. His cousin Kathleen Babineaux Blanco is the Governor. With her in Shea's corner, shooting in Louisiana was extremely feasible even though he didn't get to take advantage of inviting production tax breaks currently offered as part of the state's production incentive program. According to Shea, any production that doesn't spend more than $250,000 in Louisiana doesn't get special tax breaks.
Still, the citizens of Louisiana were extremely happy to have Hoodoo produced in their state and they bent over backwards to help out Shea and his crew.
According to Hoodoo's script supervisor Anthony Demaris, "[We shot in] St. Martinsville [and] we had access to basically anything we needed. We shut down [their] main street. We had our equipment in the street. We had police supervision and police escorts in the rougher neighborhoods [for free]. We got discounts on food from local stores. People were excited to help out anyway possible."
Hoodoo even has sponsors in the form of Voodoo Rum and Red Rum. While not donating money to the movie, these companies did hook up the crew with props, T-shirts, hats, posters, & rum. In exchange, Shea is shooting an entire bar scene decked out in these companies' chochkees as a cross promotion.
Shea confirms, "It's crazy the amount of help we've been getting for this movie."
Yet, even with all of the freebies and the connections, making any feature film is tough. It requires long hours, tons of scheduling, immeasurable patience, and a little good luck.
Additionally, Hoodoo has approximately 40 speaking roles, about 250 extras, scenes on airboats, in cop cars, and in an old mansion – so directing the movie is a monster task.
Fortunately, shooting on 24P video reduces some of the normal headaches of shooting on 35 MM film. Fewer lights, less money, and shorter camera prep times slightly ease the production process. Still, it takes time.
Demaris, who has been working a few 20-hour days, met Shea in 2000 while the two worked together in a Video Superstore near The University of Central Florida.
He confesses, "Next time I'll think twice about script supervising an indie feature for zero compensation."
"I've lost my freaking mind, I've lost most of my highlighters, people steal my pens and god damn it... it's tough work but it's definitely worth it in the end. That's what we're here for."
It's that kind of sentiment that makes independent film and video happen. And Shea plans to continue making "it" happen. In fact, he's already thinking about his next feature project.
"It's called The Bends. I'm going to work on the script as soon as I wrap Hoodoo For Voodoo. It's basically about 4 people that wake up on a deserted island with amnesia and have no earthly idea how they got there or what's going on. It's a mixture between Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and [ABC's] Lost. Shea plans on shooting it in the Florida Keys.
Until then, Shea is going to post-produce Hoodoo and then most likely premiere it in Orlando, Florida.
Actor and indie movie maker Chris McDaniel is extremely excited to be a part of Hoodoo. He plays "Squid", the main character of the story.
"It's very motivating," McDaniel affirms. "We've been doing this for over a week now and we still have another [few] days to go and I could make movies like this forever. It's actually turning out a lot better than I could have imagined."
It's that enthusiasm and devotion that will continue to enrich and develop the small independent film and video scene in Central Florida. As long as individuals like Shea and his cast and crew continue to believe that they have something to say and that they have an entertaining story to share, then the rest is just hard work and persistence.
"Everyone wants Florida to be Hollywood East," Shea declares, "and the only way to make this Hollywood East is for people to... make movies and make it Hollywood east. You can't wait for somebody to come here and give work to everybody. You have to go out there and make it yourself!"
Official Website: www.abyssmal.com
On location pictures are viewable in the Photo Seen.
Constantin Traian Preda is a freelance writer and TV producer in Orlando, Florida. He produces and story edits programs for MTV and VH1 and he is the producer, director, and creator of Cinema Café on Vision TV. He is also the host and producer of "Flicks on Fairbanks", a monthly indie film/video showcase at Austin Coffee and Film. Check him out at www.constantinpreda.com
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