Set in an aging 1920s-style Italian villa, complete with secret passages and a bar stocked full of rum, Good Mourning, Lucille follows the trials of a grieving twin and her five unsuspecting houseguests as they try to figure out what the &*%# happened to Lucille’s missing sister Rachel. It’s a night of scandalous secrets, unexpected debauchery, and ruffled feathers. Guerilla Filmmakers Vanessa Libertad Garcia and Shannon Constantine Logan bitch about the joys and perils of making an indie feature, getting Eric Roberts to “come out of the closet,” and shooting a movie in less than ten days.
Pop Curious: Houseguests, secret passageways, and murder suspects in stylish mansion setting—sounds a lot like the movie Clue. Was that intentional?
Vanessa Libertad Garcia: It was completely unintentional. I came up with the concept for the Good Mourning, Lucille after seeing Gosford Park. I didn’t see Clue until after we were in our polished drafts, which is INSANE when I think about it because Good Mourning, Lucille and Clue are twinsies!
Shannon Constantine Logan: Vanessa had no idea she accidentally wrote the movie Clue. After reading her first draft, I forced her to watch Clue, and then we had a lot of fun intentionally incorporating sly references to the movie into our script. There’s a funny scene with Jack and Selma with a candlestick that should get a chuckle from audiences.
PC: How did you get Eric Roberts to play a flaming queen?
VLG: We originally wrote his role as a flaming queen, but we were open to other interpretations like…straight, sleazy grease ball, overly tan drunk, etc. Fearless performer that Eric is, he dared to play it the original way, even though he’s usually known for playing tough straight guys. What a gem!
SCL: It’s hard enough trying to get a name actor into an indie film with no budget, let alone an Academy Award nominee. When I sent the sides to Eric (without Vanessa knowing), I took out the part about his character Ristori being a “flaming queen with a bad temper,” so we wouldn’t limit his creativity or squash his interest in the part. Eric picked up on the original intention for the character Ristori after running through the lines once or twice, and jumped right into it — flaming queen, bad temper, and all. I’m really glad he did. He’s hysterical; you can tell he had a lot of fun with the character… and the unusual “prop” we used in one of his scenes. We also bribed him with vegan doughnuts; I think that helped.
PC: You shot a movie in less than ten days. Is that usual, or are you out of your goddamn minds?
VLG: No. Mainly, just broke. It was a 9.5 day shoot or nuthin’. We took the 9.5 days.
SCL: Certifiable. After about day three of shooting, we realized that we didn’t have enough footage for the entire movie unless we crammed in 11 pages or more a day and switched our call times to 2am. It was basically organized panic right till the end.
PC: You’ve got an attractive cast, is there a lot of nudity in the movie?
VLG: I wish there was MORE! I tried to get everyone naked. I would have liked the whole film naked, but the actors weren’t taken in by my “Come on guys, it’ll be funny!” speech.
SCL: Hell, yeah! It’s titty city. Kidding. We didn’t pay anyone enough money for that. There are a few hot sex scenes in Lucille, though, some heavy petting, a little phone sex, and some ‘implied’ nudity.
PC: We can’t wait. When can we see the movie?
VLG: It will take the world by storm in January 2014, when it will be making a tour of the film festival circuit…and then it will be on HBO. JK! (Don’t sue me. Please.) A girl can dream and scheme can’t she?
SCL: Find us on our official Facebook movie page right now, and stay tuned for announcements, information about tickets to special screenings this summer 2013, and our official film festival dates in 2014.
PC: You guys wrote the script — have you guys collaborated before? How did you decide to make a movie together?
VLG: We met through Facebook via a mutual friend. The rest is history.
SCL: It was kismet. I actually found Vanessa under the missed connections section of Craigslist, but neither of us were looking for each other.
PC: So, what the $%&* happened to Rachel?
VLG: She choked on a ham sandwich. She OD’d on crystal meth. She jumped off the Ritz Carlton. ALL LIES! You’ll have to see the movie to find out. Muahahaha!
SCL: I drowned her in my bathtub. With any luck she’ll come back as a zombie, and we’ll have to make a sequel.