Blog Posts

Blog Posts

Confessions of a Working Director - 1/6/2009


Actress Sarah Swofford has been wrapped on RATLINE since early December.  After completing her last day on RATLINE, and after a couple of recuperation days, she hit the road to return to Austin, Texas where she resides.  Shortly thereafter, she got really sick with the flu or something...

I hit a wall at the end of 2008 and got sick.  So did actress Emily Haack, production designer Trevor Williams, production manager Bob Nealon (who is still bed-ridden), and now Sarah Swofford.  I guess all of us just pushed ourselves extremely hard in November and December - and we couldn't fight it off when a nasty virus made its rounds.

Even though she was feeling like crap, Sarah did a very thoughtful thing.  She put together a big box containing banana bread, tea, candies, and snacks for the Wicked Pixel Cinema offices, plus little Christmas gifts for the cast and crew members she worked most closely with on RATLINE.

She shipped this big box of stuff from Texas to us, providing a nice morale and energy boost to all of us still working our asses off on this movie (and enduring some kind of virus at the same time). Sarah suffered all the long shooting hours, sleep deprivation, and freezing temperatures just like the rest of us.  And when she was not required in front of the camera, she helped out on this production in other ways, whenever she saw an opportunity.  "Overworked and underpaid" definitely describes Sarah on this shoot, as does "going above and beyond the call of duty."

She gave RATLINE (the mathematically impossible) 110 percent, endured uncomfortable working conditions, and came down with some illness as a reward for her intense effort and devotion.  And still, she thanked us for casting her in RATLINE with a big box of Christmas gifts!  It was a very sweet gesture from an amazing actress and wonderful person.

After the holidays, before launching full-force back into the RATLINE production, a bunch of us took the night off and went out.  On January 2nd we went to a Dead Man's Carnival show in Fredericktown, Missouri.  Dead Man's Carnival is a traveling magic, juggling, burlesque dancing, and circus side show stunt troupe.  Opening for Dead Man's Carnival was very talented singer / guitarist Holly Rains and an excellent old time blues / ragtime band called Rum Drum Ramblers.

The show was produced by Unique Ink, a graphic design and t-shirt printing company.  Unique Ink created all the cool Wicked Pixel Cinema movie t-shirts for sale at the Wicked Pixel Cinema online webstore!  (Shameless self promotion:  Head over to now and click on STORE to buy some of this quality movie merchandise!)

In addition to making t-shirts, hats, hoodies, and posters for companies like mine, Unique Ink produces rock shows in the Fredericktown, Missouri area - and always does a great job.The night off was much-needed by all of us who attended the Dead Man's Carnival show.  But now...  back to work!

Thanks for reading.
Eric Stanze