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Q & A With The Producers

Finance the feature! Contact Steve Blanton for a copy of the script: or (407)970-9295
What stands out: Under a Bad Moon was filmed in Central Florida during March of 2021. Nearly all of the filming was done at dusk and into the night. At dusk we were dealing with mosquitos and at night the temperatures were unseasonably low. Our filming days were eight hours or less due to the pandemic and the constraints of our locations. We were able to cast quality actors with strong ties to Florida. One was home from New York due to the pandemic, one was a Floridian working in Atlanta and rest of the cast and all of the crew were Florida residents. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the actors tested for Covid-19 before coming to the set and formed a bubble by staying at a local bed and breakfast. Two of the actors were local and went home at night to return the next day. Even so, we spent a lot of time together. We were able to stage each night in the multi-purpose room and had dinners together. The actors had leisurely breakfasts in the mornings and got to know each other well. This afforded them the proximity to develop deep back stories for their characters.

Where did the story come from?

Steve wrote the script and always had compassion for crime victims. A little over ten years ago, Jeff Norton, a longtime friend was murdered in a robbery. Steve and another friend discovered the crime scene and were drawn into the investigation first as suspects, and then trying to help the police figure out what had happened. They accompanied the police to notify the victim’s mother so she wouldn’t learn of it from the news. The murderer was arrested 48 hours after the crime was discovered. We learned first hand that regardless of the legal outcome, true justice is elusive. Jeff’s killer changed his plea to guilty at the end of his trial and was given a life sentence which he immediately began to appeal. We wanted to show women as survivors instead of victims and believe we achieved our goal.

What was your budget?


What equipment did you use to film?

High-end digital cameras

How did you find the locations?

All of the filming was done in Central Florida. The cabin scenes were filmed in NW Orange County, the water scenes were filmed in Tavares and Tangerine, and the laundromat scenes were filmed in Eustis. The field scenes were filmed in Tangerine, Florida. The entire film was shot within a fifteen mile radius of my neighborhood and these are areas that I know well. In fact, the field was located across the street from my house.

Who did the music?

Unknown to me, RJ Istvan sent a copy of the script to his personal friend, Dave Cooper who lives in Massachusetts. Dave wrote the song and collaborated with his friend, Frank Starchak in Deltona, Florida on the music. I found the e-mail with the song during filming (it had been sitting in my inbox for months) and found it to be hauntingly appropriate. It’s a powerful song and really elevates the film. Frank Starchak wrote and recorded the soundtrack.

How did you find the cast?

I attended Valencia College’s film program with RJ Istvan. After a number of years we reconnected and he was working as a casting director. He read the script, visited the locations, and became a consultant on the film. We set up auditions and decided upon the actors together.

Who trained the animals?

We used our personal dog as Roxanne’s dog. My wife worked with him to get in and out of the canoe and to stop upon command. We took him out paddling in our local lake to introduce him to the experience. We have a hawk scene that we unfortunately had to cut due to time constraints. However, Christian Miller, a local falconer, did a great job in preparing Buzz the Hawk to fly in and eat some meat on Roxanne’s dock.

What was your prior film experience?

I attended the first year for Valencia College’s film program. This program offers training for all positions in below-the-line film production. Primarily, I write screenplays, but I’m learning all of the positions associated with film making.

What problems did you encounter?

When we were on the Dora Canal filming the river shots, we encountered excessive boat traffic due to a fishing tournament that we did not foresee. We located to another off-shoot from the canal where there was virtually no traffic and setup on the shoreline of a vacant lot. The next day the owner’s caretaker of the property came by and said that we had to leave the property immediately of which we would lose a third of the filming we needed. The caretaker was relentless. We were disparate and pleaded with her but she would not give in. We finally asked if we could speak to the owner. This she was willing to do. She called the owner and handed over the phone to us. It just happened that he was an editor out in L.A. and understood what we were up against.He gave us the go-ahead and the project was saved.