Published on June 8th, 2008 | by gareth0
My set vist to Postal
Postal” and got a chance to observe the controversial director in action as he brings the controversial but popular game to the screen.
The film follows a down on his luck guy know as “The Dude” (Zack Ward) who becomes entangled in a series of bizarre and violent situations in his small South Western town.
On my final day on the film, I watched Uwe and his crew setup for one of the films numerous action sequences and the energy and enthusiasm Uwe had for the film was clear, as was the dedication of his crew. During the course of the day, my scenes were shot which involved the aftermath of Vince scenes where I had to look for cover in the aftermath of the shootout and I can tell you I spent alot of time hitting the ground and running. While this was quite a workout, it prepared me well for Uwe’s style of shooting as when it came time to do “Far Cry” I really got into the heat of the action in full combat armor. But more on that another time.
The scene involved a theme park run by Neo-Nazis that is complete with some of the most bizarre and twisted references such as Dr Menglers first aid station and a mascot with a larger than life Hitler Visage.
The scene featured Vince Desi who is the President of Running with Scissors, the games creator, and he was busy going over his preparation for his big action scene with Uwe.
In the scene, Desi is dressed as Krotchky, a mascot that resembles male genitals, preparing to take on Uwe who is on stage as part of as morning show interview at the theme park. Things get out of hand and the bullets start to fly, especially when the Postal Dude and the Taliban arrive at the park each with their own agendas.
As it was explained to me by one of the crew, there will be a sequence later in the film where a rocket is fired into the crowd, and some prep work was being done which would be incorporated into a longer sequence that would have explosions.
After Vince and Uwe filmed their scene, the time came for Both Vince and Uwe to be fitted with squibs in order to depict the battle damage. Uwe also recorded some of his lines during the battle, which were so funny that they had the cast and audiences laughing after each take. It was clear to me that Uwe has a great sense of humor and is not above poking fun at himself or his films. Uwe has a great attitude on set and was in great spirits. I have been on several film sets, and it was nice to see a director who seemed very at ease and willing to discuss his scenes with the cast and crew, and was open to suggestions. It is clear that he loves what he does and that he runs a very professional, yet comfortable, set where humor and professionalism go hand in hand.
While many have criticized his film making style, it was clear to me that Uwe had a solid grasp of his craft with the great detail taken with staging the shots, communicating with the actors and crew, and making sure thing got done. I did not see any indecision or confusion, I saw a director and crew who put a lot of preparation into a scene so that when the cameras were rolling, the scene was captured in a few takes without seeming rushed or compromised.
The scenes were shot from many angles with a mixture of live and simulated fire. There were also sequences done with and without squib effects which when used, had great results and really added to the scenes.
Verne Troyer was also on hand and he had a part in the action that was being filmed. I will not spoil the surprise here, but if the scene plays out half as well as it did during filming, it is going to be hysterical, as it perfectly captures the subversive and over the top humor of the film.
The film is said to be a very dark comedy, that will capture the humor and action of the film and likely some of its controversy as well.
While I was not privy to the full script, and only saw a handful of scenes being filmed, what I saw was a lot of fun and made me look forward to seeing the completed film.
While I have long stated a film can be made or broken during the editing phase, I also know that you have to have good material going in as no amount of creative editing can save a bad story.
I am well aware of the disparagement that has been leveled against Uwe, and I am not writing this to be some sort of apologist, but rather to present an objective opinion. I have no financial stake in the film and when it comes out, I will review it objectively as I do all films. That being said, it seems to me that Uwe is getting better with each film, and that despite the mountain of criticism against him, he is a capable director who has the respect of his cast and crew, and is very committed to his work. He knows that what he is doing are B movies, yet he has a passion for the genre and despite the naysayers, his films continue to make money. I think if people were to overlook the bad publicity surrounding the work of Uwe Boll, and not be too quick to condemn, they just might find themselves enjoying his work.
Are his films filled with great stories, acting, and original plots? No. But then again, how many horror and video game based films are? In my opinion while Uwe’s last release Bloodrayne had room for improvements, it was more watchable than recent bigger budgeted studio films like The Cave, Boogeyman, and The Ring 2 which despite being commercial and critical failures, still get a pass. Nobody is calling any of those directors the worst in history nor flooding websites with venom about their past and future films. I want to note that two of his more outspoken critics recently admitted that they have never seen his films, and instead decided to jump on the bandwagon and bash his films. Instead of being true journalists and showing some integrity and doing some research, they decided to grandstand from a position of ignorance, rather than base their opinions on first hand evidence. No, his work is not for everyone. It is designed to appeal to genre fans who enjoy monsters, action, and video games, and who do not get hung up on plot, acting, and deeply drawn characters.