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'Ice From The Sun:' Pages From The Script

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When he arrived for a meeting this past March 15th, Jeremy Wallace (producer on my films Ice From The Sun, Scrapbook, China White Serpentine, Deadwood Park, and Ratline) brought with him a surprise that transported me back in time.  He carried in a huge stack of three-ring binders containing my shot lists, full shooting scripts (covered in hand-written notes), and numerous other production documents from our pre-Scrapbook movies (including our student projects).  

Stacks of Ice From The Sun documents, dating back nearly two decades, make up much of Jeremy's recently unearthed treasure.  The lists, schedules, diagrams, and notes - dog-eared, marked-up, and stained with coffee and fake blood - constitute a time capsule I've not seen since Ice From The Sun was completed.  Included in the dusty heap Jeremy delivered is my Ice From The Sun shooting script.

Ice From The Sun is an experimental horror / art film - a massive production, especially for its ultra low budget - shot entirely on Super8 film.  Unprecedented in its scope and logistical complexity for a film at this budget level, our exhausting 54 day shoot had us filming on more than 70 interior and exterior sets, at 27 different locations.  We coordinated a very large cast and crew, orchestrated numerous time-consuming special effects, and organized a staggering amount of travel for such a misfit, impoverished production.  

Pre-production began in late 1995.  Most of the movie was shot in 1996.  We finished shooting pickups, and started the lengthy post-production process in 1997.  The movie was finished in 1998, and finally released in 1999.  Demanding more of my time, focus, body, and soul than anything else that decade, Ice From The Sun was THE adventure of my 20s.  I cringe at parts of the finished movie today - but I will always be grateful for the incredibly unique, character-building experience of making that film.

Last week I posted pages from a variety of Ice From The Sun documents.  Today I'm spotlighting pages from my shooting script.  Full screen the image gallery below to peer into the past and glimpse the creation of Ice From The Sun.

On page 39 there are strange references to "mosaic steps" and a "waterfall cage" ...things that are absolutely not in the movie.  Upon reading these references, I was confused for few seconds - then my memory clicked and I realized these were attributes of a location that had fallen through on us.

One of the better scenes in Ice From The Sun contains a monologue delivered by DJ Vivona as The Presence.  This monologue was never in the script.  Shortly before we shot the scene, I decided to add the monologue for DJ.  I hand wrote the lines (in a state of advanced sleep deprivation) the night before we shot the scene.  Just a few hours after I had jotted down the lines, DJ was on set memorizing them.  Minutes after that, we rolled camera on DJ delivering the monologue.  

Full screen the image gallery below to see my last-second, hand-written monologue for this scene.

Thanks for reading.

- Eric Stanze

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