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Reed Diamond Talking Darkroom (transcript with screencaps)
damien listening guitar
rogoblue






The people who speak in the relevant portions of The Dark Room Exposed—a small documentary about the making of Darkroom—are as follows.


Reed, cast in Darkroom as “The Man” who has been in a mental institution for many years and doesn’t know who he is or what he did before he got there.





Mark Altman, writer/producer.




Michael Hurst, writer/director.




Shaun Pyfrom, cast as Stanley, a 14 year old boy who befriends the man.







PIECE NUMBER 1: The Casting of The Man (which is really fleshed out in the commentary to the film—a transcript of which I’ll try to do but that’ll take even longer than this—they talk about it a lot).

MA: We had gone to a bunch of people for the man and a lot of people, because he was passive and reactive by nature, didn’t respond to the character. And we’re supposed to start shooting, you know, and, again, at this budget you can’t push because you have to pay the crew every day.

SP: You know, when we were first starting out, we hadn’t cast the man yet and we were already working and I was like “Oh no, what’s going on here?”

MA: And it was mentioned the name of Reed Diamond, literally the day before we had to have this actor. And … um … I said “I really liked Reed Diamond on Homicide.”

RD: At 10:30 pm I had my meeting and I thought maybe we were going to see if I was going to do it or not do it, but I guess I was already doing it in their minds.

MA: And he said “So when does the movie start? In a couple of weeks?” Like, No it starts tomorrow. Didn’t your agent tell you? And it was like Nooooooooooooooooooooo.

RD: And they said can you be here or be at work tomorrow at the ass end of the valley at 6:00 am? And I had a 7 page scene.





MA: And he says, “I’d really like to but, you know, I don’t know if I’ll be prepared.” And we’d lost a lot of people because they didn’t think a week was enough time to prepare. And he said, “You know, it’ll be a challenge. It’ll be fun. I’m not afraid to challenge ...” And we’re like, “Go! You go, girl!”

MH: This is where … this is where his New York training came in handy, no doubt.

RD: I had my wife drop me off at work and I … I’ve just learned my scenes and I was like, “I don’t know, I think I’ve made a terrible, terrible mistake.”






RD: (EPIC Spoilage here) So I went to the director and “I said Shaun and I are supposed to be the same guy and I’ve got blue eyes and Shaun’s got brown eyes.” And he said (waving hands about, slipping into Michael Hurst’s accent), “No problem, mate. No problem. He’s like … um … “We’ll get you brown contacts and we’ll put them in for the last scene.” And so we’re like (looking directly into the camera) if you’re interested, you can watch the movie and see when my eyes are blue and when my eyes are brown.



PIECE NUMBER 2: Who is the man (EPIC Spoilage below)?

The writers discuss their varying concepts for The Man.

RD: Also, for my character, he doesn’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know he’s me. I realize that at the last moment.





PIECE NUMBER 3: What can the man do (EPIC Spoilage below)?

RD: Probably the hardest thing for me in this entire movie was … ah … because I’m not really there, I couldn’t touch anything.

(They play a scene where the man asks a couple if they can spare a few coins for a war veteran as he’s just seen another homeless man do and they move right past him.)

MH: It’s not easy to come up with ways in which your lead character cannot be interacted with by anyone else in the movie. It takes some sort of artful doing. I have to give Reed credit for this, because sometimes I would give him a direction that would involve him physically manipulating the world and Reed would go, “I can’t do that, can I?” The only person who can look him in the eye and address him is Shaun.




PIECE NUMBER 4: The Asylum (perhaps should be subtitled gaining experience in being strapped down and convulsing)

RD: We shot in a real like county mental hospital which was … it was one of the most horrible places that I’ve ever been and I think like if you weren’t … if you were already just a little unstable , that place would completely unhinge you.



MH: That’s Norwalk (spelling?). It’s a real psychiatric institute. It still is a psychiatric institute for most of it. There’s a wing that’s been closed down … ah … and it’s still left as it was. They haven’t bothered dismantling it or anything.

RD: It was just full of ghosts. And it was … it was just like one of those … those nightmare places that you would hope have all been condemned and was incredibly institutional and bleak and hopeless. But it was great for what we had to do.






PIECE NUMBER 5: Reactions to The Mud Monster (the monster wasn’t as ridiculous as it sounds) (Minor Spoilage Below)

RD: Nine times out of ten the monster was never there. And I would just scream and … and moan like a little girl and … and hope it … it seems effective. (clip of said screaming and moaning) I’m sort of the victim here so I can be as unmanly as possible. That’s why I think I became an actor in the first place. So I could play characters that were completely unbecoming, but people would laud me for it. (Looking directly into the camera) And you could still get girls.



Bonus picture (he’s not falling asleep or pretending to kiss anyone; he’s trying not to laugh):





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MA: And he said “So when does the movie start? In a couple of weeks?” Like, No it starts tomorrow. Didn’t your agent tell you? And it was like Nooooooooooooooooooooo.

RD: And they said can you be here or be at work tomorrow at the ass end of the valley at 6:00 am? And I had a 7 page scene.


Oh, lol. That must have been so stressful. (or awesome, if you're the type who relishes stress and panic)

I was mildly surprised with this movie. I figured out the twist just minutes before they revealed it, which is artful because I normally figure things out at the start (all I keep thinking about throughout the film - before I figured it out - was, this movie is too yellow)

So I went to the director and “I said Shaun and I are supposed to be the same guy and I’ve got blue eyes and Shaun’s got brown eyes.” And he said (waving hands about, slipping into Michael Hurst’s accent), “No problem, mate. No problem. He’s like … um … “We’ll get you brown contacts and we’ll put them in for the last scene.” And so we’re like (looking directly into the camera) if you’re interested, you can watch the movie and see when my eyes are blue and when my eyes are brown.

He is very good with continuity, I gotta tell you. AWESOME. There's this write-up on him by an extra in H:LotS where he basically praised Reed and him being mindful of everything going on in the script.

And. His eyes were blue the first time we see him.

That’s why I think I became an actor in the first place. So I could play characters that were completely unbecoming, but people would laud me for it. (Looking directly into the camera) And you could still get girls.

AHAHAHAHAHA.

Thanks for sharing. Transcribing must be pretty difficult. -_-

Transcribing was tedious, but nothing in comparison to putting the pictures in this beast. There has to be an easier way to do this than the clunky method I devised, because, OMG, LJ didn't want to put the pictures where I wanted them and it was very frustrating. But it's done. I have several more pictures but I need a rest after wrestling with this.

The whole casting thing is discussed at length in the commentary to Darkroom. The story is interesting enough that I might be motivated to try and transcribe it. It was more nervewracking for the producer and director than it was for Reed, ultimately, I think.

They did a nice job with the twist, I think. If you ignore the clothes and the fence at the asylum (which you tend to do because they were at the very beginning) he didn't touch anything. I'm like "Why is he telling the kid how to pick the lock rather than doing it himself?" I asked myself a lot of questions like that before coming around to the conclusion.

Glad to see/hear that he's a stickler for continuity. I am too. I hate when things don't track.

His eyes were blue through most of it.

I can see why some actors wouldn't have liked this character. He can't really do anything to change things and he's caught up in a nightmare he lived when he was 14 years old under the influence of who knows what chemicals. There's nothing particularly heroic about him, but he was still, I thought, somewhat sympathetic.

You're welcome.

So, how do you make the sets of four and eight pictures like you do for picspams? I tried a few things, but they didn't work, so I gave up and did it this way. I think I need more guidance before I venture forth in this way again.

Are you using the rich text editor? I use the html editor when I post my entries (all my entries) so that I can have control on them. Although if you make a mistake with any part of the html code, your post will get screwed up (but you can always edit it. Heh).

So how did they get Reed, aside from his name being tossed around?

I actually noticed the cars too. I was like, "what era is this movie supposed to be in? The cars. So retro." and it turns out it's part of the twist (and they show the garage again, with a modern SUV. How could have I missed that?!)

The four-six-eight set picspams were made through Photoshop. But with these, I just make sure that all the pics are of the same height, then grab the codes from photobucket.

It's quite tedious. And I applaud you in your first attempt at something this massive. Thank you so much for sharing *hugs*

I use the html editor for everything. It's just easier for me.

I will have to transcribe their story of how they got Reed, because it's really interesting. And it was totally last minute, 11th hour and things would've gone badly had he said, "No, thanks."

I missed the cars, because I don't notice cars.

I will enventually try again. Really. But I need to recover from my session swearing at LJ.

Hugs are much appreciated!

I just realized I make it sound like the movie's set in the 70's with the way I described the cars. Haha.

LJ can be such a bitch sometimes. There was one time I got locked out of LJ because it thought I was a robot. *rolls eyes*


I've seen this movie and was really surprised by how well it was done despite the overall low budget feel. I didn't get the twist until the police officer doesn't see the man in the car; I thought there was enough family resemblance that maybe he was the boy's missing father up until that point.
This was really interesting, thanks for posting :)

I think they did really well on a limited budget. The story was interesting and convoluted enough to interest me. The waitress taking the milkshake or milkshakes kind of threw me, but I didn't put things together until later.

I'm glad someone other than me found this interesting because, while this might have been easy for someone more experienced with screencaps to put together, it was a protracted and frustrating process for me.

Thanks for commenting and letting me know someone did.

I thought she was just a really terrible waitress :)

It doesn't show that you're new to using pics so yay :) TBH when I post more than one pic at a time I tend to collage them onto one larger canvas first because, yes, LJ can have all sorts of ideas about how to display things. I manually encode all my html now because that rich text editor is not to be trusted.

A terrible waitress. She was probably that too. Apparently that actress agreed to do the nudity in the shower scene but backed out at the last minute, kind of leaving these guys in the lurch. So they had to get someone else.

I'm glad it doesn't show that I'm inexperienced. So I'll risk asking my question--how do you collage them onto one larger canvas first? If it's impossible to explain, don't bother. I just figured I'd ask.

I use Photoshop but any graphics programme should do. Make a canvas/new image that's the right size (let's say 300 x 600 pixels) and then open up the photos. Drag and drop them as new layers onto the canvas, adjust size/brightness etc as needed. Save the entire thing as a png or jpeg. :D I often use a background image and/or text but you could make the canvas transparent so it won't show up, or put the pics close together and trim the edges that there's no background left anyway.
I don't whether that sounds too easy or overly complicated now...but I hope it helps a bit!

I think I see the step I missed when I was trying to do it. Thanks for the info. It doesn't sound easy but it doesn't sound insurmountable either, so that's a step in the right direction.

Thanks!

Lol, I thought she was a terrible waitress too. I was all, "hey, girl, couldn't you see he wasn't finished with the milkshake yet?".

Oh, lol.

Aweso post! Thank you for taking the time for the transcripts. :)

Hey, thanks! It was trying, because I had no clue what I was doing, but it looked pretty in the end--yes?

Thanks so much for commenting. The transcript took some time but, you know, that part was fun.

I'll try to do more. I have access to Homicide: Life on the Streets, seasons 4-6, so I think my work isn't done.

Oh yes, it looks very pretty. :)

Thank you!

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