This incident was Other Peep’s second attempt at piecing together a loose narrative with disparate elements. But, our story building skills were beginning to gel as a creative team. The structure for Incident 2 was crafted by the mutual hunger, laziness and selfishness of the three roommates. When the Incident opens, the three find themselves jockeying for the last bit of food in the loft – a supernaturally intrepid hoagie. After following the hoagie down a rabbit hole, the three roommates launch into an Alice in Wonderland style trek through various surrealities.
We open this section with a Saturday Morning Cartoon style haunting. A bright and playful creature named the Dimple Worm (played by Eric Keuhnemann) is singing a kind of absurdist nursery rhyme (John wrote the first verse, and Eric wrote the second on the day of shooting). We’re, also, introduced to Trina (played by Nikole Beckwith), a gum smacking, social media obsessed girl slated to go on an internet-turned-real-life date with Cricket later that night. Her frantic traipsing through Brooklyn is a sub plot of the three roommates supernatural journey, but the two run adjacent.
This section is also where the homemade art making aesthetic of Other Peeps really comes into play. The roommates find a hoagie in their glumly under populated fridge that then comes to life through the magic of stop animation, and was crafted from yucca, dried mangoes, and clay. When the roommates follow the mystical hoagie through a tiny hole in the wall, we filmed ourselves slipping through it by erecting a sheet of spandex, which gave the effect of a malleable hole-in-a-wall on camera.
The second section takes place in a laundry room – which we created on the roof of the Other Peeps loft. We spent the majority of the day building the set from found wood, string, and thrift store clothes. We illuminated the rooftop set by running cables down to the loft. In this scene, the laundry room is a haunting wherein the roommates are confronted by their worst child hood memories. To get this hand held horror scene look, we each had to take turns filming the other person to capture the sneaky voyeuristic aesthetic we were looking for. Our friend Candace Walters gamely played a David Lynch inspired troll character that leads us into yet another section of our journey. There was a rooftop show going on at the building next door so the sound of the bands was kind of inescapable. Thankfully, the music was perfect for our scene, so we just used it.
This dream sequence section was filmed by our bada$$ friend and filmmaker, Les Rivera. We shot this section in a large mansion like home in Bed Sty where our friend Kris Dadonna lived at the time. Jenny Greer (as seen in Incident 1 as a Scientologist) plays a vision of Imelda Marcos, and our other dear friend Brad Ellis cuts an ancient figure as a Man Lamb (half man, half lamb). His costume was fashioned with white tights and rawhide pig’s ears affixed to his head. The set was covered in real hoagies and sandwich meat, and we shot the sequence in the dead of summer, so there was a ripe smell in the air after a few hours of filming.
This section was filmed in Britt’s old apartment in the East Village. We filled the apartment with hooded men in suits, dubbed “Execudruids”, and lifted the text from the movie Misery. This sequence was filmed by the incredible Craig T. Wood, our friend and some time collaborator. We served all the folks who generously donated their time to play mysterious cult members pulled pork sandwiches (continuing the sandwich theme of the piece). Needless to say, the neighbors were none too happy with the strange noises coming from my apartment.
In this section, a dinosaur swallows the roommates, which is the final section of their strange journey. Mark Rohrer helped with dino animation. John Peery built a dino puppet, the small scale intestinal track of said dino (made from cardboard and paper mache), a large dino mouth (made from old mattresses and painted beer bottles), and a larger scale intestinal track (made from plastic trash cans that were spray painted). In the final section, when the character of Trina (Cricket’s would be paramour) comes to her untimely demise – she turns into a skeleton that was borrowed from the artist James Nares.