***BEWARE! SPOILERS AHEAD!***
Towards the end of Women's Studies, Mary (Cindy Marie Martin) becomes aware of the deadly agenda of Ross-Prentiss Women's Academy. Soon, she realizes escape is only possible if she makes a stand and fights against the Academy Girls including Diane (Kelley Slagle) and Judith (Tara Garwood).
The "Duel of the Goddesses" as I've come to call it is the climax of Women's Studies on most levels. For Mary, it's the time where she finds her own inner strength, her resolution, and her will to truly stand on her own.
Yet it's also the physical culmination of Mary's relationship with Judith. Throughout the film, their friendship has undertones of something much deeper, and despite that fact that fate has turned them into rivals, that emotional and sexual energy finds an outlet in their physical confrontation. The idea I've always reiterated was while it looks like a fight scene, the Duel of the Goddesses is really a sex scene.
Cindy Marie Martin and Tara Garwood rehearsed for weeks under the tutelage of Fight Choreographer Shanna Beauchamp to perfect the elegant yet brutal fight moves for the scene. Once at the location, they endured unforgiving mountain terrain including sharp rocks and embedded roots. Despite those obstacles they, along with Kelley Slagle, gave nothing less than their all.
The Ningen Manga gremlins have finally started to give up and production ran the smoothest it has yet. Our biggest issue was being about thirty miles from an airport and having to wait for planes to pass so they wouldn't interfere with sound. Being a weekend, planes would come by at five and sometimes even two minute intervals. Our windows were short, but we managed.
Stephanie Petagno's costume and make-up designs were also on full display during this shoot. Though I think the actors did part of her job for her with the various cuts, scrapes and bruises they got while shooting. The combination of real and fake injuries is going to make this scene something really special.
Since we shot for three days, I've including sixteen pics taken over the course of the weekend. Enjoy.
Director Lonnie Martin, Fight Choreographer Shanna Beauchamp, and Sound Engineer Sean Russell survey the location.
Camera Operator Thomas Fant stalks Kelley Slagle (Diane) as she touches up her make-up.
Boom Operator Kevin Nowak sets up.
Joey Cabrera applies FX make-up to Kelley Slagle (Diane) while Shanna Beauchamp looks on.
Lonnie Martin and Art Director Stephanie Petagno discuss the look of the scene.
Stephanie Petagno's make-up arsenal.
DP Aaron Shirley and Thomas Fant work out how to shoot Cindy Marie Martin (Mary) with Lonnie Martin.
Sean Russell listens as another plane flies through.
Breaking for Lunch.
Shanna Beauchamp, Stephanie Petagno, and Tara Garwood (Judith) share a joke in between shots.
Weapons of choice?
Lonnie Martin and Aaron Shirley work with Cindy Marie Martin and Tara Garwood on a zip-line shot.
Cast and Crew watch a shot on playback.
Tara Garwood and Shanna Beauchamp talk over choreography.
Getting ready to shoot a scene.
Cindy Marie Martin, Shanna Beauchamp, and Tara Garwood celebrate the payoff for weeks of hard work.