Monday, September 28, 2020

Herschell Gordon Lewis, Creativity from Limitations

I was watching the documentary Herschell Gordon Lewis: Godfather of Gore (2009). In it, he tells a story about when he was editing his 1967 movie The Gruesome Twosome. Seems that he'd committed to delivering a 70 minute film, but his final cut ended up only running 62 minutes. He was already back in Chicago and wasn't about to travel back to Florida to shoot pick-ups, and had already dismissed the cast and crew in any case.

What to do?

To fill in the eight extra minutes needed, Lewis had the idea of taking two Styrofoam mannequin heads, put outlandish faces and wigs on them, and had them talk to each other (through voice-over), exchanging some amusing banter about their experiences that the audience was about to see in the movie. And he filmed them right there in his office in Chicago.

It's a clever idea, a great example for low-budget filmmakers to get creative when it looks like all your other options have run out.

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