Neighborhood Arts Program Center

San Francisco, January - February, 1975






            Our good friend, Kieth St. Claire of the San Francisco Nieghborhood Arts Program, said, "Bill, you can shoot your movie in our big center hall if you want."

            Well, that's just what I wanted, and we set to work planning our big Science Fiction Epic, "Rocket To Mars."


            It would be a big send-up of those black-and-white sci-fi flicks of my childhood, like Flash Gordon, below.




            The first days shooting, however, took us to the Fort Mason sand dunes on the Pacific Ocean beach of San Francisco, dubling in for Cape Canaveral and our rocket launch pad.





            The director is always the one pointing his finger.






            The extras got to select their own costumes.




           The mighty rocket ship, Fury, is hoisted onto its own ... petard (?).






            "Ready for Blast Off, Captain."




            The script girl, Betty Wilkenson, makes sure everybody looks great.




            The Major General of the Army is ready.




            The watchman is on guard in his look-out station.




            The soldiers are standing at attention.






            "Here they come!"




            "Good luck, Captain Buzz!"




*  *  *


            Meanwhile in the big Nieghborhood Arts Center our giant rocket ship interior is taking shape.  Soon all is ready for principle shooting.




            Our 8-millimeter camera is one of the smallest ever developed.  Cameraman David De Montluzin would often be lost in the rafters.




            Our wonderful actors are gave it their all!




            I helped our space traveler Sandy with her reaction to seeing Robbie the Robot's metal penis.




            She did a good job.




            In the elegant Martian Hotel, I had to coach our spaceman Buzz on his upcoming sex scene.




            Even the Martian hotel maid gets special instructions on how to discover Buzz and Sandy screwing on the floor and turn out the light.




            She got it right away.




            In the big "Splendors of Mars" scene, everybody gets in on the action and has a good time rehearsing their parts.






            I made sure the Queen of Mars was ready to make her grand entrance.




            She was magnificent, of course!






            All that fun we had shooting our movie can clearly be seen in the wonderful performances of all our talented cast!












            By the third week of shooting, we managed to finish all the acting scenes with actors.  Then the model shots of the Rocket and the elaborate Martian city which Maria had made and the little pick-ups like the papier-mache meteors flying through space and such dragged on in our basement for a while longer. 

            But all we lacked now, was the editing.

            And we had no money.




            But the best part was our film was shot and “in the can.”


* * *


Coming soon ...                   

          ROCKET TO MARS!