This Year’s FRM Halloween Sketch Brought to you by CineWest
#HalloweenSpecial #Horror #Comedy #Sketch #Halloween #CineWest #TheMilkman #FineRollingMedia #CreatingPowerfulConnections
Anamorphic Splatter Porn
The difficulty it takes to create an annual Fine Rolling Media Halloween sketch whilst juggling our regular workload is matched only by our love of creating them. It’s this love of the macabre and the ability to amuse ourselves and build team morale through increasingly ridiculous, and self-deprecating comedy sketches that keep us coming back year after year.
Thankfully, we’re not the only ones that get a kick out of them. It seems our long-term equipment supplier of choice, CineWest, also enjoy an annual laugh at our expense. So much so, it seems, that this year they offered to supply us with anything we needed to make our latest surreal, horror-inspired romp a reality.
We’ve partnered with CineWest on some of our biggest projects. They’ve created tailor-made gear lists that have rendered superb results for us and our clients time and time again. But what makes the company a joy to work with is the sheer fact that it’s run by a group of individuals, like us, that are willing to go the extra mile ‘just for a laugh’.
Enter The Milkman
CineWest gave us the works. An Alexa Mini, a whole host of Anamorphic Atlas Orion prime lenses, and all the bells and whistles. With all the goodies out and on display in the office, the question turned to what kind of Halloween sketch we should create to maximise the equipment’s potential.
Should we go high-brow? Maybe create something worthy of what is quickly and annoyingly being called ‘elevated horror’? Nope. F**k that. If we were gonna have a gear list from the Gods, we quickly decided to use it to make the most gnarly, balls-out, splatter-fuelled Halloween special yet! This year… we were gonna MILK IT!
The concept started out as a single sound. An ear-worm that had lived in our’ head for years. An ear-worm we’d often tried—but failed to turn into a Halloween sketch. The sound was the simple clinking of milk bottles on an old milk float as it travelled around
a sleepy village. Our usual creative team developed this fragment of an idea into a script titled, The Milkman. And… it’s safe to say that it was gross!
High-end production Low-end horror
We’d be lying if we didn’t get a kick out of the fact that we were using some of the best equipment CineWest had ever provided us to make a B-movie-inspired splatter fest that would give some 80s video nasties a run for their money in term of gross-out gore. But hey, they knew what they were getting into, right?
Much of the script dictated filming with early morning low lighting and night shooting. Something we knew the sensor on the Alexa Mini would handle—especially given the fact that we never have as much time as we’d like to light these things. Shooting took place over two days amidst our usual post-production schedule. The anamorphic lenses allowed us to create a cinematic look on a tight turnaround, allowing us to get back to working on our ‘actual jobs’ and keeping our clients happy.
More plastic wrap than an episode of Dexter
The shoot culminated in a final sequence set at the FRM office, in which our team was to be killed off in what we can only describe as a sequence that had the potential to be visually offensive to almost everyone watching at home. Especially if you’re lactose intolerant! But we’d committed so far, and the team were determined to see it through.
We spent two nights locked in the office, traipsing over carefully placed plastic wrap shooting our death scenes in ways that would make even the most diehard Tom Savini splatter effects fan-boy wince. Again, the equipment came through for us when we needed it the most. Standing around in little more than T-shirts covered in filth soon became chilly and a little tiring. Watching back the scenes between shooting became a massive morale booster that allowed us to pull through. Seeing what the Alexa could produce after each take had us in stitches. It pushed us on to go longer, grosser—and more splattery than we initially intended. And… well the results speak for themselves.
It sounds strange to say we’re proud of what we’ve achieved this year—and over all the five years that we’ve been producing Halloween sketches. But, in a strange way they do bring the best out of us. Take this year for example. Our lead actor playing the titular Milkman, Kelley Merrit, informed us before shooting that he wanted to donate his fee to a charity close to his heart—the Marie Curie Hospice in Penarth. It was a gesture that reminded us of why we started all this ridiculousness in the first place. A gesture that reminded us that horror is often made by some of the kindest people
among us. And that making people laugh—no matter how ridiculous and covered in milk you get in the process, is ALWAYS worth it!
“I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the reader. But if I find I cannot terrify him/her, I will try to horrify; and if I find I cannot horrify, I’ll go for the gross-out. I’m not proud.”
– Stephen King