Sunday, Nov.25th, 1979 —
Today I worked out at the cabin painting. Don and I painted the trim around the doors and windows battleship grey (as instructed by the Almighty One). When this was accomplished Sam decided he wanted all the trim brown, so the rest of the day was spent re-painting.
Just previous to Sam’s original decision to paint it grey, I suggested it all be painted brown and was ignored. I’m getting to be an extreme I-told-you-so.
Today’s shooting consisted of a few fake driving shots in the afternoon. The morning was spent getting the subject car out of the ditch Sam drove it into while attempting a stunt that had been filmed possibly twenty-five times previously.
This now puts us six days behind.
After work on the cabin, myself, Dart, Don, Rob and Sam piled into the rental truck and attempted to drive home, however yesterday’s and today’s rain has almost made the long driveway to the cabin impassable. Four of us had to push to get the truck up to the road.
In a few minutes I leave for the Knoxville airport to drop off the film. This is the second time we’ve sent out our film on Sunday, the day when the only freight service open is Delta which happens to be the most expensive.
Monday, Nov. 26th, 1979 —
It’s about 10:30 A.M. and Rich and Tim just left to get a couple of second-unit driving shots. Later today, and supposedly all night, we’ll be in the cabin.
Last night, while I drove to the airport, everyone else was out at the cabin working.
Scuttlebutt has it that the middle bedroom is painted yellow and the back white.
Yellow? For a horror movie?
The furniture is to be purchased today, interior shooting tonight.
The Arriflex-S busted and now Bruce is calling equipment rental places in Atlanta to get another. Ivan Raimi [Sam’s older brother] was going to bring one down, but he doesn’t want to make the drive. The footage of the car and truck stunt didn’t run through the Arri-S, however it was covered by the BL and the Bolex, nevertheless, there are a few more shots lost.
Tuesday, Nov. 27th, 1979 —
We did shoot all last night at the cabin and got some real nice shots. The front room was absolutely filled with lights, about 7000 watts inside and 3500 outside, and we did a 90 degree dolly from the porch to in front of them and an upward ramped pull back/zoom back that should be interesting.
There are more fakery fog shots tonight and I don’t know what else. I’m rather bored of this whole deal and having no one to talk to. I figured going in that if nothing else I could always talk to Bruce, however that is not the case. Bruce is either all business (which I’m not part of) or shticking for everyone, which I find rather tedious.
At first I tried to sit in on the business end of this thing, but found that I was neither a part, nor wanted. I have ceased this practice.
Early the next morning…
Shooting ended about an hour ago, at 7:00 A.M., and we got six shots in total: a straight-on shot of the car (approaching the bridge) tilted to about 4:00, the camera tilted to 4:00 and Bruce and Ellen getting out at a normal angle. [A storyboard is drawn]. I like it.
Thursday, Nov. 29th, 1979 —
Things have gone topsy-turvy. We all changed over to a night schedule that would permit filming from when it got dark at about 6:30 P.M. to dawn, however within two days things have gotten pushed to the point of beginning to film last night at 2:00 A.M., then going until noon. It’s 1:00 A.M. now and we have yet to begin, nor does it appear as though we will for another hour or two.
Winter has come, the muddy driveway to the cabin has frozen allowing access to it, and the cabin itself is now always astoundingly cold inside, even with a big fire and two space heaters. Last night, on the seventeenth take of an exterior dolly shot the sync cable froze and we were forced to go in and let it thaw.
Our director is a first-rate mess. He is sleeping at the cabin (someone has to since all of our power tools were stolen: a skill-saw, saber-saw, drill, chainsaw) and seems to get more frazzled and less organized by the day.
After completing the filming at noon yesterday, Sam and I put away two-thirds of a bottle of scotch and smoked four doobs until we were stumbling idiots. I awoke a few hours later in total pain from sleeping on the floor and hung-over and drove back. I awoke at 10:30 P.M. and went right back to the cabin. I’m back at the homestead now taking a shit (actually leaving one) and awaiting the return to the cabin for filming.
Everyone including myself, is a fried-out wreck. This production is taking its toll.