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4th Floor Pictures and the Making of 'Serial Killer' PDF Print E-mail
Written by by Ryan Cavalline   
Jan 09, 2005 at 02:00 AM
"Director Ryan Cavalline shows a lot of talent and knows how to direct a movie."

As owner of 4th Floor Pictures, I have been creating "no budget movies" for over eight years. I am a man with a camera and a dream to make horror movies. There really isn't much more to say....
Ryan Cavalline

The Beginning:

Where to start??? Just like every other filmmaker out there, I had a burning desire to make movies ever since I was a little kid. (That burning could have been a rash, we really don't know) I had been making horror movies since high school. One of my first movies I made was titled "The Hunt". Shortly after the first one was made, I made part 2 and part 3. The Hunt part 3 was the biggest high school production I've ever done. It was a 45-minute slasher flick filled with demons and ghost hunters. My Mass Media teacher at the time felt, I should've got some mental help.
A few years after I graduated I stopped in at my old high school to say hello to a few people. The new Mass Media Teacher asked me if I had made a movie called The Hunt part 3? With pride I responded with a "Yes". It seems that a few students found an old copy in their archives of videotapes. The students watched it and loved it. The movie became a cult classic at the school. Students were walking around quoting lines from the movie. At that moment I knew I had to push on with my dreams of being a filmmaker.
My college days came and they were sort of a blur. I really don't remember much. (Its because Mr.Cavalline was drunk most of the time) College was where I really learned about filmmaking. It was the gas that I needed to add to the burning fire inside of me. It was in college where the 4th Floor truly came to life.
Actually, college made me sick at times. Sitting beside students who wear all black and were there to make artsy films. Don't get me wrong, I like artsy films. I just don't want to be surrounded by 30 students who want to make those types of films. Plus all these students wanted to do was watch films and then analysis them to death. To them, there was a meaning for every little thing in a movie. Fuck that... Give me blood, violence, and some good nudity. They should have classes in film schools that show how to make good violence and how to talk your actresses into getting naked on set. (I learned all this material later in life) Unfortunately, I still kissed their artsy asses just to be on their film shoots. I use to take part in any film or video shoot that was going on. I sucked information from the brains of any teacher that would let me. It was in college where most of my earlier movies were made. Our first flick 3 Evil Tales was shot during my college days. It was also where the Day of the Ax series got its birth. Now, most of my early movies really suck, but I chalk it all up as a learning experience.

Making of Serial Killer:

Now up to date.... Our latest flick Serial Killer was one of the hardest productions we ever put together. Three months of research on Serial Killers and then another three months of script writing. Plus another month of re-writes. I hate writing so to me this was hell. Serial Killer came together on paper and it was time to start shooting. We had three locations planned and all three fell through at the last minute. Then we were delayed even longer when our main actor had a death in the family. I should have seen the warning signs of all the bad luck yet to come.
Shooting began in late March 2002. We were scheduling shoots every other weekend due to actor?s schedules. It kind of worked out for the best doing it this way. It gave me time to re-work scenes and to re-shoot scenes that didn't work. Plus I screw up a lot and have to correct my own fuck-ups.
When you?re shooting a movie it really never dawns on you about the scenes your doing until that day of shooting. We had a scene in Serial Killer where a young girl is caged up in a dog cage. I thought it was a great idea when I wrote it, but when you?re about to shoot the scene your hoping your actor doesn't have a problem doing it. Of course they agree to do it on the phone, but who knows when its time to shoot the scene and the camera is rolling. Well, it was time to shoot and everything went as planned. It actually came out ten times better then I thought.
Unfortunately there is a flip side of the coin. Another scene in Serial Killer required a young lady to be jogging down the road... No big deal... RIGHT! Sounds easy enough. Well, this actor insisted that I only shoot her feet while she is jogging. What the hell is up with this! She felt that I was only going to shoot close ups of her breasts as she jogged. At this point I should also add that this actor almost didn't even show up because she thought that we wanted her nude in the strangling scene that was going to be shot later that day. Even after explaining everything on the phone a week before, she still had no clue on what was being shot. Can you believe this! I just got done shooting a girl in a dog cage, but this chick won't even jog down the road. It just goes to show you that your hardest scenes in a movie could be you?re easiest and your easy scenes could be you?re hardest.
One of the more odd moments was during pre-production. I had contacted Joel Wynkoop to play a cameo role in Serial Killer. Now, I'm not ripping on Joel if that?s what you?re thinking. Joel is one of my good friends and he has supported all of my projects. But... This is just funny... Joel was cast to play a character by the name of "Joe the Butcher". I mailed Joel the lines and waited on his response. He called me up and expressed that he would love to do the part, but the lines were just too raw for him to do. So, I flip out my script and look over the lines.
"Oh, I see Joel... You don't feel comfortable doing lines about masturbating animals and then having sex with them?"
Joel simply responded by saying, "No I don't feel comfortable."
At first I was over-joyed that I wrote something so great that an actor wouldn't even do the lines. Then I thought "Fuck" I just lost Joel. Well, I didn't want to lose Joel for the role since Joel is one of the best b-movie actors out there. I re-wrote the lines and Joel was cool with the new lines. To this day I still get a huge smile about that story.
Serial Killer was finished shooting and it was time to hit the editing room. (We call it the nuthouse) I could write a book on all of the problems we had during postproduction. Three different edits of the movie were done and after months of pulling our hair out the movie was ready.
The big premiere was here and it went over great. Over 50 people showed up for the big screening. Everyone watched and seemed into the movie (or they were really drunk). The credits rolled and everyone applauded. End of the story... Not really... Two months after the release I get a phone call from the local police.
"Hello, are you Ryan Cavalline" they asked?
At first I wasn't sure if I should answer that question or if I should act like a drunken Chinese guy and tell them they had the wrong number. But, I didn't... It seems that a local church-going fat bitch that lives in area had seen my movie and had a fit about it. This individual felt that we were making porn in the area and selling it. I almost shit myself over this. In this day and age, the definition of porn has turned into full nudity with a few bondage scenes. Well, to make a long story short, the cops just want to know if all of the girls in the movie were of age. I explained to them that they were all 18 or older and they all signed actor agreement forms to do the movie. The cops were fine with that and then went on to tell me what a cool flick it was. Then they started giving me tips on how to make movies. It seems the local police enjoy action flicks over thrillers.
The smoke has cleared the air and Serial Killer still stands. We have been getting some the best reviews ever for Serial Killer. I must say it?s our best picture to date. You can order your copy from Sub Rosa Studios right now... Go ahead... Don't even read the rest of this. Just go order a copy...

The Future:

The future of the 4th Floor is looking bright. We are involved in many projects that will be released in 2003. Sub Rosa and the 4th Floor are in the talking stages of making a new division at Sub Rosa. The new division is our main focus for the next year. To be honest with you, we are actually blackmailing Ron Bonk into making a new division. You see we have some Polaroid?s of him naked with a bowl of pudding. (That part is a lie but the blackmailing is true)
Now in production is "Evil Tales 3" and a new movie titled "Demon Slaughter" is in pre-production. There is also a Serial Killer 2 being scripted. Other 4th Floor filmmakers are busy making movies also. A new short titled "Meat Hook" is now in postproduction. Joel Wynkoop and the 4th Floor are working on two new projects also.
With new projects in the works and a new division being made, the next year will be very busy for the 4th Floor. You can check out our movies right now at Sub Rosa Studios.
Thanks for Reading,
Ryan Cavalline, 4th Floor Pictures

User Comments

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