DSC_2346 It has been a little over a week since we wrapped filming The Cleansing Hour. A lot of work goes into pulling off the monumental task of shooting a movie, but the work doesn’t end when the cameras stop.  The past week has been mostly spent driving around Los Angeles returning props and equipment. I’m only now getting back to straightening up my house, which we re-purposed as a sorority house for the shoot and which has been all but neglected for the past month. Very soon I’ll dive into editing, where the fruits of our labors will pay off.

 

TCH Warehouse Wrap Tears

 

As I sit thinking about the incredibly talented people I had the privilege to work with, the cast and crew who helped bring my vision to life, I’m nearly brought to tears. In fact, while giving a speech when we wrapped out of the warehouse location (where most of the film takes place), I couldn’t hold my emotions in because I was overcome with joy and excitement over what we had just accomplished.  What a remarkable group of people! I am so blessed to know all of you!

 

First, I want to thank our cast for their powerful, emotional, and moving performances. You breathed new life into The Cleansing Hour. It never ceases to amaze me how an actor can take the words on the page and turn them into something you never imagined or expected. Thank you for your dedication and attention to your art and craft.

 

Next, I want to thank my good friend, creative partner, and writer of The Cleansing Hour, Aaron Horwitz, for his dedication to the film, attention to detail, and commitment to writing something that stands out from the slew of horror films out there these days.

 

CH.BTS.1.089Years ago I learned from my friend Sam Jaeger, when we were driving across the country in an RV filming his movie Take Me Home, pick a crew that you will be happy to spend long, grueling hours with in close quarters because that’s when people’s true colors show. Well, I think we did that on The Cleansing Hour. I’ve forged new and lasting professional relationships with all of my crewmembers, and your hard work never went unnoticed.

 

Jesse, my Director of Photography, my right hand on set, and one of my best friends, thank you for your patience with me, your guidance, your creativity, your vision, your focus, passion, drive, and commitment.

 

Alex, my 1st Assistant Director, thank you for your positive attitude, your candor, honesty, and expertise in keeping the set running smoothly.

 

Nikhill, A-Camera operator, thank you for your professional attitude, open mind, steady hand, and approachable personality.

 

Alex & Craig, 1st and 2nd Assistant Camera, you rounded out our camera team, always hustled, and were always on the ball.  Thank you for your attention to detail and efforts to keep camera running smoothly.

 

CH.BTS.1.100Earl, our DIT, I truly appreciate your positive attitude, always putting on a smile, and rolling with the punches even when things weren’t going exactly as planned.  You rock, dude.

 

Mike, our Gaffer, and Julien, our Key Grip, you are consummate professionals, and I never had a doubt that you were striving to meet every demand we threw at you. And, again, so much of what lead to success on set was that you had the right attitude, did a great job, and never let misgivings of the limitations working on a short film taint your mood.  Thank you for your hard work and dedication to this project.

 

Theresa, our Production Designer, you deserve extra special thanks for your incredible attention to detail, for weeks of preparation, and for going the extra mile without being asked. I am in love with the sets you created. Your work holds a special place in my heart because of how it is reflected on screen. Thank you for bringing The Cleansing Hour to life.

 

Che and Matt, you guys busted your butts decorating our set and creating special pieces for the set that were better than I could have even envisioned.  I am so impressed with your work ethic.

 

Jennifer, your special makeup effects were an integral part of our story, and your weeks of preparation, testing, troubleshooting, and experimentation were an invaluable part of this process.  Thank you for helping me to realize the look I wanted, for going the extra mile, and for making everyone look beautiful and scary!

 

Marylou, our costume designer, our visions “clicked” as it were, and I never once felt a hint of doubt that you wouldn’t deliver. Thank you for dressing our cast to perfection and bringing their characters to life through wardrobe!

 

Mike and Erin, sound mixer and boom operator, you guys are some of the sweetest people I’ve ever met.  Thank you for your smiles and professionalism.  Mike, you saved the day numerous times in pre-production, and I’ll never forget it.

 

Ben, our Technology Producer, my good friend, you did a job I think few people could do with such pluck, determination, and eagerness. You met every challenge you faced with a cool head and were never fazed. Thank you for hitting every curveball I threw at you.

 

Judy and Kelly, thank you for your beautiful set photography, capturing this important event in my life.

 

Kole & Nathan, thank you for the behind the scenes video. But, more importantly, thank you for being willing, able, and excited to do ANYTHING we asked of you. The extra hands you offered to every department was invaluable.

 

Val, Jordan, and Mei Li, our longsuffering Production Assistants, I cannot adequately express with words the magnitude of your impact on this film. So much of what appears on screen would not look the same or straight up would not have happened if not for your tireless efforts behind the camera. Thank you for your positivity, hard work, and willingness to do anything we asked.

 

Valerie Brown, our Production Manager, you resolved so many problems and put out so many fires that to think what the shoot would be like if you had not been there gives me nightmares. Thank you for your expertise, professionalism, and tireless hard work.

 

Last but not least, I want to thank our Producers, Shirit, Natalie, Steve, Chris, and Dirk. You worked day and night for weeks in many different capacities to pull off a successful shoot. Additionally, you managed the minutia of the production for me so that I could focus on our cast and directing the movie. To say you were an important part of this film would be a gross understatement. Thank you for all the thought you’ve put into this movie and for being as dedicated to it as I am.

 

I’ll see all of you at the cast and crew screening!

 

Damien

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