The Colorado Cast That Demanded Satisfaction: Brenna Otts, Luke Sorge, and Ketrick "Jazz" Copeland talk Rondo
My favorite moment while shooting RONDO was one that likely won’t even appear in the final cut of the movie--the long take. We choreographed an entire chase sequence in a single, uninterrupted shot. While John Bourbonais (the superhero DP) followed with the camera, Jazz chased me down the hall before I veered off and ducked into the elevator. John got on with me and we took the elevator to the bottom floor. John then stepped out and Joseph Veals stepped on while I hid. As the elevator doors closed, I attacked Joseph. When they reopened after a moment, John panned down to frame the floor where Joseph lay, knocked out, and I stepped over him and off the elevator (a true moment of movie magic--real me wouldn’t stand a chance against the real Joey Veals).
The joys of independent filmmaking meant that we didn’t have the ability to shut down the elevator for our use only, so a few takes were ruined when residents of the apartment complex got on. But the look on their face when the doors opened to reveal camera-strapped John and strung-out me waiting for them made it all worth it. And that’s to say nothing of the little elevator call-button dance we had to perform in order for it to work. It was a genuinely exciting moment while shooting a genuinely exciting movie.
Later on, our director, Drew, told me that he’d seen an obscure member of the Denver Nuggets on the elevator that morning. Most sane people have never even heard of this player, let alone would recognize him. But Drew did. And most sane people would never have attempted a shot like that in a public elevator. But Drew did. That's how I knew I was working with the right people.
Rondo remains one of the best experiences of my life. It set the bar for every project I’ve worked on since. The crew, the cast, everyone involved had a mutual sense of respect and dedication to the project. I came on to the film fresh-faced and intimidated, but director Drew Barnhardt believed in me. He coached me through everything and was able to pull true horror and emotion from me. The entire experience with Rondo confirmed that this is what I’m supposed to do with my life.
I think Drew, giving me money to buy lingerie was pretty funny. He awkwardly handed me money and said something along the lines of “here, I’m bad at shopping for this stuff so buy something you’re comfortable in,” and then immediately ducked his head and ran away. I also had never smoked before the movie, but I was intent on doing everything for real so in between scenes I went out into the yard and had Drew teach me how to smoke. After I got the hang of it I went in and laid on the couch and chain-smoked cigarettes while we shot the scene. Everyone was worried about me and kept bringing me water and asking if I was alright. I didn’t understand everyone’s concern because I felt fine…until I stood up and almost passed out.
Other fond memories include finding the cubby in the basement and waiting for the scene with Ketrick to begin. Everyone was calling for me and searching for me so we could begin filming, and I had no idea, because I was actually at my start mark, hunkered down in my dark cave like Gollum. I also remember the scene where I smack Ketrick with the bag when he’s about to drug me, at one point I got too into character and actually hit him as hard as I could, and his fall off the bed was real. I felt so bad!
DESHAWN..................................KETRICK "JAZZ" COPELAND
I had a blast filming Rondo. There was never a dull moment on set. The cast/crew were always up to no good and creating some very funny moments. One of my biggest memories was when Joseph Veals came into the scene with a pack of sweet cakes or cupcakes or something. I totally wasn't expecting that. Ever since that day I started calling him Sweetz, and he doesn't seem to mind being called that. It was a blast working with Reggie DeMorton as well. Reggie a true professional and veteran. I'm excited about Rondo and can't wait to show the world.