1. Tom Burman and I
  2. An early production meeting. Seated (left to right) are John Chavez, Tom, Pippa, Bari, Neil and Brett Alexander. Standing are Joe, Ed Eyth, Barney Burman and Johnny Logan.
  3. An unused prototype sculpture of the toad creature (we called this the ‘Black Lagoon’ approach).
  4. Rob Burman at work on the edge fly sculpture.
  5. In the art room at the Burman Studio, Ed (at right) goes over ideas with (from left) John, Mike Stuart and Tom.
  6. An unused prototype sculpture of Bud’s chicken.
  7. Bari’s barber chair (note fiberglass rough of Henry’s hardhat atop it).
  8. Tube storage at the Burman Studio.
  9. During a production meeting, Tom shows Joe exactly how he wants the tentacle to strangle Mr. Crabneck.
  10. Plywood couch frames and the basis for the kitchen table (on sawhorses in the background is the beginning of Bud/Billy’s bed).
  11. Sculptor Brian Wade at work on an unused lantern glow worm concept.
  12. Three of our stars: Shnutz Burman looks on as the geoduck clam and dead chicken are prepared for plaster impressions.
  13. Barney enjoys his work as he takes impressions of chicken and clam.
  14. The final glow worm sculpture.
  15. Tom explains the workings of Bud’s chicken to Pippa during a weekly production meeting.
  16. Johnny displays some of the props he’s collected already for the kitchen.
  17. In the foreground, Rob works on a sculpture of the tentacle (unused – number two in a series of three tries), while behind him Barney completes the approved chicken.
  18. Ed (on right) shows John his finished ‘turbo toilet’.
  19. Joe, Ed, Pippa and Tom examine part of the kitchen under construction at Lexington.
  20. In my role as backseat sculptor, I sketched this possible design for the face of Spike.
  21. The page-turn.
  22. Mike Stuart (in white shorts) examines the 14- and 10-foot wall sections at Lexington (note recently foamed couch sections in the foreground).
  23. Barney (working on the chicken) and Adam Hill (sculpting the leech) wait for the plaster dog molds to dry.
  24. An (unsuccessful) attempt to create instant burn sculptures involved actually applying a blowtorch to clay placed on a lifecast of Richard Portnow.
  25. Tom pitches in to finish the chicken sculpture.
  26. At Lexington, Johnny demonstrates the proposed workings of part of the kitchen to Pippa and Tom.
  27. The finished face of Spike.
  28. Rob collates foam pieces for Spike.
  29. In between interviews, Tom demonstrates the Hollowhead phone for post production supervisor Ken Hall and Bari.
  30. Mike Earnest stuffs the chicken (with cable articulation, that is).
  31. First assistant director Matt Hinckley, Tom and Ed check out the room at the cannery where we will eventually meet Station Master Babblaxe for the first time.
  32. Tom plans a shot at the cannery as Mike (left) and Matt Hinckley listen.
  33. A Hollowhead bed under construction.
  34. John and Bari stand atop the platform which will soon enclose the Hollowhead living room.
  35. The sets are moved onto Stage 8 at Ren-Mar (the staircase leading to Grandpa’s room is at left).
  36. Shnutz in the cloth undersuit of his Spike costume.
  37. The sets continue to progress at Ren-Mar (the kitchen is at center).
  38. A huge oven room at the cannery, planned for the shoot but eventually abandoned due to time constraints.
  39. The cannery.
  40. The cannery.
  41. Tom examines the couch upholstery as Pedro and Angela work behind him.
  42. Mike and Johnny work to finish the kitchen as shooting approaches.
  43. The bathroom set as viewed from the greenbeds (and still under construction).
  44. The living room set, complete with blue polka-dot upholstery on the couch.
  45. Tom and Pippa sit in on rehearsals (and script supervisor Jesse Long stands in for Oliver Digits).
  46. Ditto
  47. Rehearsals continue as Tom, Marvin (planning shots) and Bari (with Juliette, who still has her hair extensions) look on.
  48. Ditto.
  49. Ditto.
  50. While I worry about rewrites and glow worms, construction coordinator Bill Acedo, Mike and Johnny worry about the latest changes requested to the set.
  51. Richard Portnow suffers a moment of guilt during rehearsal with Juliette Lewis.
  52. The dinner in rehearsal.
  53. Ditto
  54. The finished (except for dressing) living room set.
  55. The prop department behind the sets on Stage 8.
  56. Our first look at the actors in Eduardo’s costumes.
  57. Ditto.
  58. Ditto.
  59. The entire Hollowhead house set as seen from above (the brightly-lit room in the lower left is the bathroom, while the kitchen is at upper right).
  60. My eyeball (creature, that is).
  61. Matt Shakman gets a lesson in boom mike operation from sound man Joel Racheff.
  62. Pippa (and Marvin) observe during the first week of filming.
  63. The diligent art department on location at the cannery: From left, Eric Roemheld, Ed Eyth, Johnny Logan, Mike Stuart and Brett Alexander.
  64. Two members of the ream gang, Ron Tsuruda and Andrew Jones, head out for a breath of fresh air between takes.
  65. Three views of Anne and Logan Ramsey and our young stars at the cannery.
  66. Ditto.
  67. Ditto.
  68. Josh, Logan, Matt and extras wait as Marvin (at left) checks out his shot.
  69. John (in his plant worker uniform) takes direction from Tom as Josh (in asbestos-free mask) watches.
  70. One of the areas at the cannery we had planned to shoot in but had to lose.
  71. Tom blocks John and Nancy as the dinner begins.
  72. A very precise, pin-registered Mitchell optical camera (chained down to the landing halfway up the stairs against the wall) films Josh and Matt for one of the mattes.
  73. John Glover demonstrates what makes tubes hot, while Richard watches him (and Matt watches Richard).
  74. Tom (at right) continues on through the dinner scene as Pippa (at left) observes.
  75. Tom directs Matt and Richard at the dinner table.
  76. Lightfield Lewis does his best Brando on a darkened dining room set.
  77. The dinner draws to a close as Richard begins to pursue Nancy (note rear wall of dining room has been removed to provide access for the camera).
  78. An early morning rehearsal with the cops (Donovan Scott and Bob Goldthwaite, backs to us).
  79. Donovan, Juliette and Bob on set (the video monitor is in the background, next to the inert aquarium creature).
  80. Bari makes up Richard for his burnt-boss look.
  81. Filming the cops’ scenes.
  82. Ditto.
  83. The finale to the cops’ scene.
  84. Pippa, Bob and Neil between takes.
  85. The fight.
  86. Ditto.
  87. Richard’s pizza-back is placed by Johnny, wardrobe assistant Parker Poole and Eduardo.
  88. Happy actors ham it up: Richard threatens me with a scrub brush, while John gives me his best goofy grin (and ignores the instructions of the stuntman behind him).
  89. Ditto.
  90. Richard awaits the next take, which assistant cameraman Haywood Nelson is about to mark.
  91. While the tentacle’s ‘eye-light’ is placed, Andrew (at left) and Eric (kneeling at right) practice with the tentacle cables.
  92. As the clapboard is held before his face, Richard awaits his cue to start struggling with the gelatin tentacle.
  93. Matt is instructed on the proper way to hurl a kitchen utensil to Nancy from a prone position.
  94. Matt’s training in kitchen-utensil tossing comes in handy as we prepare to film the actual scene.
  95. Lightfield reacts to the hideous visage of the burned boss.
  96. The Hollowheads have barely caught their breath at the dining table when Crabneck attacks again.
  97. Ditto.
  98. Richard assures Nancy that the knife she’s about to use on him is collapsible.
  99. Tom blocks the finger cutting with Nancy, then steps out to let Richard take over.
  100. Ditto.
  101. The Hollowheads worry over the happily-liquefied Bud (note the "Hot Set" sign on the dining table).
  102. A rehearsal of the ‘morning-after’ scene.
  103. Effects man Tim Wiles (at left) and Mike make some last minute changes to Grandpa’s chair.
  104. Juliette (still wearing her between-shots sweater) descends the stairs to feed Grandpa.
  105. The Hollowheads visit Grandpa and Crabneck.
  106. Nancy and John relax between pick-ups.
  107. Richard prepares to burst into tears for the first ending we shot.
  108. Andrew is on the floor out of the shot to puppet Bud’s chicken, while he and Lightfield wait for the cue.
  109. Richard wears the bonnet/bandage in one of the alternate (and ultimately unused) endings.
  110. Filming Grandpa’s room.
  111. Still photographer Melissa Moseley shoots the ‘glamour’ photos of our three leads.
  112. Marvin prepares to get the handheld shots in the kitchen.
  113. Josh, Matt and Tim discuss a scene between takes.
  114. Josh poses with the dummy of our canine star.
  115. Filming the toad scene (as Nancy spears the dummy).
  116. The toad slicer in operation.
  117. Ed Eyth checks out the Splat Spray launcher, with advice from the more skilled Matt Shakman.
  118. Nancy speaks into the end of Marvin’s tube for the ‘tube-travel’ shot in the opening montage.
  119. The real-life brother and sister team of Lightfield and Juliette do the tube-boogie for our musical number (note Andrew’s arms disappearing up the tube on the instrument).
  120. Joey for a day…a.k.a., the author dressed in Joshua Miller’s clothes for a lighting test.
  121. Marvin and assistant cameraman Dave Elkins check their incredible ‘skateboard-mount’ before shooting the Splat Spray launcher.
  122. Josh, Tom and Matt take a break between shots in Billy’s room.
  123. Matt, carrying the infamous lantern (and trailing the power cord out his right pants leg) enters the fly-infested tube forest.
  124. Bari makes Tom up for his appearance as ‘The Crazy Man’, while Matt tries to out-ham his director.
  125. Jon Pospisil, Mark Mangini and Joe Grace as the three edge zombies.
  126. Filming the edge walk on the last day of production.
  127. Eric gives a completed model section the first coat of primer (Ed’s original sketch is taped in the upper right corner of the frame for reference).
  128. Three of the completed model sections.
  129. Mike Stuart prepares to blow smoke through a section of clear tube to test the effect.
  130. Mike adds tubes, meters, and a new paint job to one of the former bathroom walls, which then becomes the set for the new opening scene with John Glover.
  131. Ditto.
  132. Tom (at left) prepares to blow into the tube to inflate the nipple in the phone John holds at right, while Marvin, Dave Elkins, Bari and Joe stand by.
  133. The model sections are moved into and out of the side lot of the Burman Studio as they are each shot (one of the whistles blown in the film’s first and last shots stands in the foreground).
  134. Johnny adds last-minute touches to Steve Johnson’s ‘distributor’ before it goes inside and before the camera.
  135. Matt stands at the podium in preparation to loop more whimpers during ADR.
  136. Gary Kroeger (second from left) is about to dub the chicken as Joe, ADR editor Jim Beshears and Glenn Jordan look on.
  137. Nancy listens as Glenn explains the Hollowhead theme for her.
  138. Barney Burman takes his first stab at looping.
  139. Pippa and Joe, pipes in hand, think up a phone conversation to dub in over the opening montage.
  140. Jim Beshears (back to camera) positions the pipes held by Bob Lambert and Neil Lundell as sound effects expert Bruce Richardson (far left) and Joe watch.
  141. Shooting one of the three matte paintings, with several of Tom’s models placed before it (the blacked-out area on the walkway in the painting is where the live action will be placed).
  142. Producer Chavez and Glenn Jordan in Glenn’s studio.
  143. A small Hollywood studio is transformed into the Life on the Edge matte-shooting stage.
  144. Ditto.
  145. Ed Eyth assists with filming of one of the three opticals.

COLOR PHOTOS (by Melissa Moseley):

  1. Me in Crabneck suit and fake arm, and Tom with blood syringe ready to go
  2. The Hollowheads and their creators
  3. Josh and fellow performer
  4. The Edge Slut