In 2012 I was the costume designer for an ULTRA low budget movie called ‘Real Heroes: L.A.’. It’s about a group of B grade superheroes that end up on a reality TV show to fight crime.
Keith Hartman, the writer and director, actually approached me about this project about 2006,but didn’t have the budget to start. I had done some roughs of each of the main heroes and villains so he could possibly get funding to start the film. Six years later we did end up making this movie, filming being done over a two week period. In Summer. In the San Fernando Valley.
I had managed to talk a friend of mine into coming aboard as the Propmaster as I had already designed a majority of the characters personal weapons/accessories. He was able to expand upon that from the script while still keeping a tight budget. And we begged, borrowed and used duct tape for everything else. No, really, we used duct tape. A lot.
There were a total of 17 characters, several with multiple costume changes, that needed wardrobe on a budget. And weapons. And accessories. Yeah. So Ebay became our best friend in getting most everything we needed wardrobe and prop-wise for our characters. It was like Christmas for months since I was getting packages almost every day. 🙂
To add to the fun, two of the actors were replaced right before shooting so that was a fun thing making sure wardrobe would still fit. One of our main actresses decided to cut her long hair short right before we started filming on top of that. Much to mine and the director’s chagrin since her long hair was going to be styled a certain way for one of the outfits. *sigh*
We ended up filming in three very DIFFERENT locations. The first one (which turned out to be a brothel, no really, so eww) was at a warehouse in downtown Los Angeles. The big climatic battle, the death trap, the nightclub and a few other “rough looking” sets were filmed there. Thank God all the wardrobe was dry cleaned every night. And everyone was spraying down their shoes with Lysol. Not something I will EVER do again. I won’t mention the odoriferous smells.
Our second location was filmed in a nice, clean, air conditioned, office floor. Here is where the “interviews” for the show where held. Some great funny stuff.
Third location was at a house in the SF Valley that was partially undergoing a remodel. So that made for all kinds of fun. Like when the toilets backed up, the air conditioning was turned off while we were filming with HOT lights, the cat got out, and catering forgot that some of the crew didn’t eat meat. All of that aside it was a ton of fun and finally got edited for release in 2014.
I’ve only included some of the goofy things that were going on behind the scenes in the photos. All of the actors and crew were a lot of fun to work with. So if you get a chance check out the DVD. I’m not saying it’s not cheesy, but it’s a cheese all to itself. 😉 http://www.amazon.com/Real-Heroes-Keith-Hartman/dp/B00NJ3XXZO