CHICAGO – The legacy of public housing is one of the strangest forces of karma in the City of Chicago. For example, sites that were once some of the roughest and most neglected housing for the poor now contain luxury condos. It is the people of those former hellholes that still remember the sorrowful history of what they once called home. The American Theater Company (ATC) have gathered these stories for the poignant and extraordinary “The Projects.”
‘The Punisher: War Zone’ Director Lexi Alexander Posts Detail-Packed Filming Update
“The Punisher: War Zone” director Lexi Alexander has just posted an update about the film, which is slated to open on Sept. 12, 2008, on her official site. Though you can tell she’s a director rather than a writer, she does shed some interesting details. It’s below in full.
From left to right: Lexi Alexander, Terence Jay,
Deborah Del Prete and Linda McDonough.
Photo credit: Lexi Alexander
All right, people. It’s done – well, except one exterior scene we couldn’t shoot because of the snowstorm, which we will have to shoot in the near future.
I’m sorry I haven’t been blogging, but trust me when I tell you every spare minute I had outside work was used to catch as much sleep as possible.
[We had] 40 nights of shooting in the freezing cold. I’m surprised my cast and crew showed up every single night. I was lucky. Everybody was great and really involved in the film.
There were a few surreal incidents that happened during the shoot. One was that for the first week of shooting every time Ray Stevenson stepped in front of the camera it started raining.
It gave us all goosebumps because Ray portrayed Frank Castle with all his pain and history so well that the rain was perfect for the dark mood and feeling of those scenes.
I’m sure everybody will think I used rain machines, but [I] cross my heart and hope to die there were no rain machines.
The other even more bizarre incident was during a scene we call the “alley fight”. The location looked beautiful and pretty much everybody was mesmerized by the colors and lights we had chosen for it.
It wasn’t until the next day when we watched dailies in my trailer that we realized there was a huge, lit-up skull – identical to the Punisher skull – glowing through the front door of a building in the background.
I immediately complimented my DP and the key gaffer on the great idea, but they were as stunned as I was. Nobody had planned that. It just appeared.
That’s pretty much how the whole movie went for us, and other than the two major snowstorms we had to endure, the movie gods were clearly on our side. The cast was fantastic and they all exceeded my expectations.
Ray was so intense and he really, really became the Punisher. Dominic [West] made Jigsaw so much more than he was on the page. I finally got to work with Doug Hutchinson and boy oh boy does he have some acting chops!
Colin Salmon and Dash Mihok were brilliant in their respective roles as agent Paul Budiansky and detective Martin Soap.
They also received a huge standing ovation from the crew when they wrapped because of their constant professionalism and kindness to every member of the crew. Julie Benz as Angela Donattelli was amazing and she is one of the sweetest people I have ever met.
There are two actors I cast once I was on location (Marc Camacho as Pittsy and Keram Malicki-Sánchez as Pittsy’s son) whom I haven’t introduced. I’m so glad they were available because they are both very, very special. I hope I get to work with them again.
In the new year, I will get back into it with refueled energy and enthusiasm. No time to waste with a [Sept. 12, 2008] release date. Stay tuned. I’m sure more stories about the shoot will pop back into my head that I’d like to share with you all.
Thank you for your support and Happy New Year!