March of 2008 I was asked to be the SCRIPT SUPERVISOR for an upcoming 35mm film project titled "Mental Scars" that would film in the Indianapolis, Indiana area in May 2008. I have never taken on the responsibility of SCRIPT SUPERVISOR but with the help and knowledge provided to me by Amanda K. and others I was able to perform my duties successfully as SCRIPT SUPERVISOR for the "Mental Scars" project. I am always willing to learn and put my best effort forth to accomplish the goals at hand. 

The remainder of this blog or as I like to call my chronicle section is solely based on my own person experience(s) while on the “Mental Scars” project in Indianapolis, IN. My shared experience(s) does not reflect that of others on the “Mental Scars” project.

 

During the duration of the filming of "Mental Scars" (from May 9, 2008 to May 16, 2008) director Ivan Rogers relieved himself from the project on his own accord due to creative circumstances with Richard Myles and Mischa Perez. It was his decision to be removed from the “Mental Scars” project no matter what else you may have heard. I know for a fact that there are or were rumors out there about this situation. I have talked with Ivan Rogers and he explained to me the truth of the matter for I wanted to know what was going on with that situation.

 

I was sad to see Ivan Rogers leave the “Mental Scars” project since Ivan Rogers has been a mentor of mine for several years. I have learned a lot from him and I was looking forward to working with him. Shortly after Ivan Roger's departure, Mischa Perez (Co-Executive Producer/Director/Editor/Photographer - Viper Productions, LLC, Mental Scars, LLC) became the new director for the "Mental Scars" project. He was going to filling in some rather large shoes with this added responsibility. We (the cast and crew) were instructed NOT to contact Ivan Rogers for any reason. I asked Mischa Perez and Richard Myles if it was still allright that I keep in contact with Ivan Rogers since he was coaching me in the ways of SCRIPT SUPERVISOR. Both Richard Myles and Mischa Perez said it was ok for me to do so.

 

When Ivan Rogers left the project I was ready to leave as well. But he encouraged me to stay the course and I did. I am glad I did for I had a wonderful education in the film making process that I will never forget, it will help me in my future endeavors.

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Before any work was done in Indianapolis, IN. I created a flyer and with the permission of both Richard Myles and Mischa Perez I posted them at many locations for a casting call for the project of "Mental Scars". Without these flyers that I had posted I do not feel many people would have shown up to the casting call.

After the cast and crew was selected Richard Myles and Mischa Perze called me up and had me do lots of running around and phone calling trying to get information for them for the upcoming project. This included locations, accomadations, contact information, and more.

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From the get go of this project, I feel, from the casting call to the end of principal filming in Indianapolis, Indiana that there were hick-ups and hurdles to overcome as in any project of this scale. As the SCRIPT SUPERVISOR my job was made more difficult since the script changed almost on a daily basis. Let me remind you that this was my first time being a Script Supervisor and not only was I already nervous, the almost daily changes scared me even more. Like I said above with the knowledge provided to me during the project I was able to perform my duties as required to satisfaction and beyond. Many of the changes on this project had to do with the talent, time constraints, questioning could things be pulled off the way the were written in the script or to the new changes made, weather issues, equipment, the list goes on. Things kept changing almost daily to make things work with what was available to the crew.

Most if not everybody involved on this project came together to finish this project and make it work for what it was becoming. The cast and crew for the most part worked hard as a team and became somewhat a family. Some of us even pulled double even triple duty if not more. I myself during the shooting was asked to update the script as changes were made. Yes as a Script Supervisor one makes the notes of changes made that day on the script but to rewrite the entire script with the new changes is the WRITER'S job not the SCRIPT SUPERVISOR'S job. When I asked Richard Myles and Mischa Perez about this and why they were not using the hiried Writer, they would not give me an answer that I felt was appropriate and just told me to do it. So I left it at that for all I know maybe something happened between the writer and Richard Myles and Mischa Perez, it is none of my business. So I took on the extra responsibility and everynight I would write in the new changes of the day and get it to the editor at the time along with my Script Supervising notes.

Along with the other duties I helped out with. I got all the daily changes to the proper cast and crew at the time as a Script Supervisor should. I also helped out with the SPFX crew, set up and tear down of equipment, slated a few times, became a chauffer (I put an extra miles on my vehicle due to this since I was 80-Miles round trip from the accomadations that the rest of the cast and crew were at. I was not given the luxury of a room at the accomadations), and even filled in as a background extra. I did what I could, I sacrified myself to help out to make this project flow as smoothly as it could so to meet the nearing deadline as many of the cast and crew did. Everyone deserves and big hand for helping out as they did.

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As I am lead to understand this is the first major film project by Richard Myles and Mischa Perez. They have done a few smaller projects that they shared with me that I thought were fairly decent. You have to start small before you take on a project like "Mental Scars". Richard Myles and Mischa Perez had the correct people to help them out but they chose not to use some of the advice given to them at times. It is their project and they made the decisions on how to proceed, which is their right to do so it is their project and not anyones elses.

 

I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to be on this project of "Mental Scars" as the Script Supervisor and so much more. I learned a lot as Script Supervisor and met a lot of nice people. Like I said, I had a nice education while working on this project and it will help me in future projects that I may be part of.

 

One of my biggest fears while working on this project as Script Supervisor was that I was going to mess up. Daily I would have to send my notes that I took from the days filming with all the changes made to the script and get them to the editor at the time before the next days filming. I was told that my notes were very good and I was doing a great job for my first time as Script Supervisor. Little encouraging words like that helped me along the way, not just from the editor but from whoever would take the time to stop and say “good job!”

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I do not believe some people realize how valuable of a position the Script Supervisor is. The Script Supervisor works not only with the Director, Camera Crew, Sound Department, and Talent but with the Editor, Props and Costumes, Special FX Department, Locations, and more all while keeping track of what is going on and most importantly the continuity of the project. You have to have an eye for detail on everything. That is when my digital camera came in handy, I would take a picture of the set before each shot so when a second or more take would be done the set could be reset to like it was. Without the Script Supervisor's notes, there is no movie. Those notes are probably the most integral part of filmmaking with lots of loaded responsibility; they are the roadmap to the finished product. I spent many extra hours off set and off of production time working with my notes and getting them to the proper people on deadline ontop of other tasks that I was told to do. It was a lot of hard work but it made me a better person.

One of the things that really bugged the heck out of me was as Script Supervisor you need to time each take. In my opinion that means only one person, the Director should be the one calling the shots. That means only the Director should be yelling "Action" and "Cut" not two or three people as it was from time to time. When I am watching my monitor, following the script making sure the talent is saying the proper line and I hear "Action" or "Cut" several times it screws up the timing of the scene. There should only be one voice to be heard and that is of the Director. This is probably my biggest complaint of my time on "Mental Scars" but I worked through it and made notes when such incident happened.

Towards the end of the shooting period we had a break for dinner. I had a small bite to eat and was helping the Special Effects Department on getting some items ready for that night due to last minute changes. Richard Myles knew I was off to the side helping out since I told him where I was going to be. When I looked around at the people eating, talking, ect I noticed only a few were around. I asked where did everyone go and I was told they went up the hill next to the junk yard and continued shooting. To my surprise I ran with my notebook, timeing sheets, and stop watch to see them filming. As soon as a "cut" was called I asked what was going on. The Director Mischa Perez told me that they thought I left. I was pissed! This is the first time on set that I ever got upset and I made sure everyone around knew. I told the Director and those around that they knew I was helping with the Special Effects Department and nobody said we were back on set. I was told that they did not tell everyone they were back on set and that they wanted to get a few quick shots out of the way. I was ticked since they did not have any timing or notes for those shots and I made sure the editor at the time knew about it so I would not get in trouble for the error. Lack of communication like this can get a project into major trouble. Again like I said I do not believe that some people realize how valuable of a position the Script Supervisor is.


Here I am going over some new lines written on the spot.

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There were several times during the durations of the filming in Indianapolis, IN. I had concerns and or questions but when I approached Richard Myles or Mischa Perez they just brushed me off like they did not want to hear my concerns or would give me an unsatisfacory response. I did what I could for these two. I took on extra responsibilites just to help out the project they best I could. I feel that both Richard Myles and Mischa Perez took advantage of my well being for they knew I am a nice guy as I was told several times by the two of them among others on set. One thing I learned is that helping is one thing, being taken advantage of is another and I did not stand up to say enough is enough. I believe the reason I took on so many extra tasks was that Richard Myles and at times Mischa Perez kept telling myself and those around them (to me it felt threatening) that they are Federal Officers. The way they would tell you that they are Federal Officers was that they would get in real cose to you and invade your personal space, some of the times one of them would put their are around you and lean in close to your face and would say that they are Federal Officers. In my opinion you do not keep telling thoses around that you are a Federal Officer unless in my opinion you were trying to scar those into doing your will. As I think back on this I feel as if it were a verbal threat to my well being.

There are many examples I can put here about my personal experiences on the set of "Mental Scars" while it was filming in Indianapolis, IN. I do not hold grudges and I move on. But the way this production was handled in my opinion was rushed, not properly planned, and at time felt like an inexperienced kid was running the production due to miscommunication and more. But that is expected for how this project started off; the release of the original director, to daily script changes, technical problems, weather, ect. Like I said already, I had a nice education while working on this project and it will help me in future projects that I may be part of. I am glad things got finished. I believe when this film is fully edited it will make a nice little horror film. I am proud to have been part of such a production even though things may have not been as smooth as they could have been at times. With the combined efforts of everyone on this project it became a reality. I am glad this project has been finished or at least as of January 2009 there is an official trailer and editing is in progress.

*On Friday March 13th and Saturday March 14th, 2009 at 9:15pm at the Mission Valley Cinemas located at 2109 Avent Road Taleigh, NC 27606 is the World Premier of "MENTAL SCARS." Go see it and bring your friends! I wish I could be there.

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Some of the memories I will cherish on this project are:

 

- Being able to sit down with the various actors and rehearse their lines and actions with them was a great privilege. Just having the chance to work with Rebecca O’Gorman (Betty Taggart) and Sonny Landham (Cheif Bear) was amazing. Both are very good people as was the rest of the cast and crew. I hope to be able to work with some of theses people again in the future.

 

- Teresa Alexandria (Dedra Lanucci) I had a great time hanging out with you and getting to know you. You are a fun person to be around and you are not afraid to say how it is, I admire that. Never change and keep being that feisty person you are. You taught me so stand up and believe in myself and speak up for the truth.

 

- Lee Narby (1st Assistant Director), you do not realize it but you helped me keep it together. I know we helped each other many times through this project and I am grateful to have met you and have you there when I need that little extra something.

 

- David Lammert, thank you for sharing your noides with me. I look forward to seeing the progression of these little characters. Your sick sense of humor really made me laugh. You knew many of us needed it on a daily basis. Never change and keep being who you are.

 

- Phil Yeary, you took a lot of flak from this project. I am only glad that I was there to help you out when I could. You have always been a great person and I cherish our friendship. I look forward to many projects together. Keep the faith and keep on moving forward.

 

- Chris Elbert (Scott Duke) it was nice to get to know some other local talent. Hopefully we will run into each other in the future.

 

- Sarah Mynett, you are a wonderful person. I am glad to have met you and make a new friend. You are someone like myself and it is nice to have someone to talk to when needed. I hope to work with you in the future.

 

- Chelsie Rogers, it was nice to have gotten to know you better. I hope that we will see more of each other as friends as well as all of our local Indy talent.

 

-The Bhandari family, you are all nice and I was glad to have met you all. You all did a superb job.

- Richard Myles and Mischa Perez. I did what I could for the two of you. I went above and beyond your expectations as you have told me. But I am greatly offended that you both say how professional you are but from my experiences you are not at times. At times you were rude to me, took advantage of me by telling me I was going to be doing this or that before you even asked me if I was willing to do so. That really upset me but I sucked it up and did my part till the end. I know you are upset that I wrote the truth of my experience on the set of "Mental Scars" in Indianapolis, IN. I am not sorry that you are offended by the truth. I do not lay down lies, or have some hidden agenda against people as you Richard Myles have suggested. No I just stated the truth of my own experience and if you cannot honor someone elses experience because it does not paint a happy picture for you it just shows how little you really are.

I was VERY UPSET when I first posted this blog and both you Richard Myles and Mischa Perez demanded in a very hasrh and very rude way for me to remove this blog. I will not! As I told you this is America and you cannot tell me how to voice myself. As an American citizen I have the right to my freedom of speech and expression. Being Federal Officers as you remind people again and again I would think you would know the laws. Again I am grateful that you gave me the opportunity to work for you both on the “Mental Scars” project as SCRIPT SUPERVISOR and so much more that I took on. I learned a lot and grew as a person as I hope everyone did on this project. Best of luck to you both in all you do. I do not hold any grudes against the two of you and I look forward to the finished product. I just wish the both of you would cowboy up and be gentleman about such things instead of threating people. This is my biggest complain against the two of you, otherwise it was a pleasure and everyone worked together to get this project finished which is the way it should be.

I have offered to help promote "Mental Scars" at various venues during 2009. But you made it abundantly clear you do not want me to help you gain any FREE exposure or press. That is your lose not mine.

 

- "Mental Scars" is a 35mm film project. Film is slowly being replaced with digital technology so just to work on a real film project is always a treat.

 

-There were good times, bad times, hard times, times of learning and growth. If I did not mention you personally do not worry, I did not forget about you. It was a pleasure to work with you all. For the most part my time getting to know and work with some amazing people was a plus.

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*In August/September of 2008 there was some time set aside for some pickup shots. I was asked by Richard Myles to return as Script Supervisor. I wanted to return during this time to continue my duties as the Script Supervisor but shortly before I found out about the allocated time set aside for pickup shots I broke the mortise, talus, and posterior malleolar of the left foot (I shattered my ankle), tore the tendon, partially torn the ligaments, and had a partial dislocation on another project I was working on. I was put into a cast and pretty much bed ridden. I am going through physical therapy and it will be about a year from when I broke my left foot that I will return to or as close as can be to normal. There will be no jumping, running, or stunt work for me for a while. I was saddened that I could not return as the Script Supervisor. I cannot wait to see my name on the credits as Script Supervisor's as my contract states I will have: Script Supervisor - David J. Syczylo

Overall I had an amazing learning experience on the "Mental Scars" project, I learned a lot. All that I have experienced on this project will help me and make me a stronger person for the next project(s) that I am involved with.

You can view some pictures of me with various talent and crew members and feel free to visit the "MENTAL SCARS" WEBSITE to view some pictures and learn more about the project.

 

"Mental Scars" is released on DVD please go buy a copy to help support the film community.

View TEASER TRAILER

View Mental Scars Official Trailer

I invite you to view Freedom of Speech and Expression or Mentally Scared.

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When this movie is released December 15, 2009 on dvd go buy a copy and support independant movies!

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I purchased a copy of "Mental Scars" from Amazon.com
When I watched this movie I was surprised of the shots that were chosen for my little cameo.
They are of when I decided to be funny and look at Chelsie in a perverted way. Kind of funny.


Here I am talking to her and when she looks away I glance at her.


I decided to lean back and take a good look.


When she walks away I take a look at her behind.