Vendetta was conceived a few years back by three friends having lunch at a suburban Taco Bell. Some say they were eating burritos at this particular meal, some say tacos, but that discussion is for another time. What we do know for sure is their names.
Being that all three were unemployed, they didn't have what one might call a "budget", but they did have a good deal of free time. To meet the financial challenges while realizing their vision, some rather unique methods were used.
- Most of the outfits were purchased at a quaint little shop in Boston where you buy clothing off the floor and pay for it by the pound. Cost: $23.19
- The lovely Santa Claus costume was... um... "donated" by a local party store that seemed to have one too many. Cost: negligible.
- The guns were purchased in the expensive section of a dollar shop. The ridiculous fluorescent parts were easily pried off. Cost: $17.99
- The two Hi-8 cameras (with tripods) that were used for filming were purchased on credit and returned in pristine condition after a month of vicious around the clock usage. $0
- Video tapes of the highest quality were purchased, accounting for nearly half the total cost of the film: $43.01.
- A few more dollars covered gas, explosives, food coloring for the blood, and props like coffee. Cost: $25.50
After securing the services of several big-name small-town stars like David O'Malley, Lauren Buckland, Sarah Norton, and Thomas Sola, it was time for a nap.
Shooting began in the latter half of a cold New England November. Because of the cold, the camera batteries drained frightfully fast, and it became quite common on the set to stuff batteries in one's pants.
Police and security guards dropped by filming locations from time to time in an effort to protect the public. However, the team was committed to finishing the film, so the law slowed them only a little. In just over one grueling month, filming was complete.
Using his personal computer, Jonathan Field was able to edit a rough version of the first episode of Vendetta in time for Christmas. It was edited entirely on a 166 Mhz Win 95 machine, using an AVMaster video capture card and Media Studio 2.5 software. Painter 4 was used extensively for rotoscoping and traveling mattes. Nearly six additional months were spent editing Vendetta as you see it now.
Vendetta was first shown on San Francisco cable access during the summer of 1999. It was also the audience favorite at the IMAGE 99 film festival in Palo Alto. Being net savvy and bored, the producers of Vendetta decided to put it on the web, and the rest is history.
It is of interest to note that there is a short "pilot" episode of Vendetta which was made before the Christmas special was even conceived. Also, the second episode was filmed at the same time, but wasn't edited until years later when The Rev. Brendan Powell Smith finished up Jonathan Field's rough cut in 2001. Originally it was supposed to be one episode, but Jonathan ran out of steam.
If you still have questions about Vendetta, just email and he'll be sure to reply.