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F U N N Y    F A C T S    4

Ming the Merciless
The "charlotte sometimes" end crawl includes a credit for Ming Zezza as Assistant Editor. The six-year-old daughter of Visionbox VP Lulu Zezza, Ming Zezza spent many a summer day at the office where Eric Byler was editing the film. When interactive games like "Little Mermaid" failed to amuse her, Ming would sit next to Byler and watch him edit. Often, when Byler watched the same sequence over and over again making minuscule changes, Ming would become exasperated. She'd sigh out loud to subtly make her point, and if necessary resort to shouting: "Come on already! You're driving me crazy! Just leave it! It's fine! It's fine!!!" Byler, ever the perfectionist, says he would never have finished the film without Ming's periodic encouragement. Thus the credit: Assistant Editor.

More on Ming
Ming has seen the completed film with her mother present on several occasions. At one screening, Byler asked Ming to summarize the film for the small group of audience members. Ming replied: "There are two boys and two girls. One of the boys has lots of hair. One of the boys has no hair. Both of the girls like the boy with lots of hair. And nobody likes the boy with no hair."

Laputa: Castle In The Sky
Like the finished film, Byler's screenplay for "charlotte sometimes" depicted Michael and Lori watching Japanese anime in one of the film's opening scenes. Without mentioning Miyazaki's classic "Laputa: Castle in the Sky," the screenplay implied one of its inspirations: "On the television, a boy and a girl sail through clouds in a giant kite, searching for a magical island in the sky." Rough cuts of the film included "Laputa," but when Byler contacted Ghibli Studios in Japan to ask for permission to use this clip, he was flatly denied. So, Byler recorded the voices of production designer Robert Shinso and actress Kelly Miyashiro and crafted a 15-second short to be used instead. Neither Miyashiro nor Shinso were confident in their Japanese language skills, but they translated Byler’s simple dialogue (i.e. “What should we do?” ”Jump! Ready?” ”Yes!”) and performed it in less than an hour. Byler and Sound Designer Bradley L. North added sound effects including a missle and an explosion to go with music by composer Michael Brook. The visuals are from a short called "Sprial" courtesy of Mondo Media.

Looks Good In Leather
Recording artist Cody ChesnuTT visited the set of "charlotte sometimes" during production and performed a scene with actors Kimberly-Rose and Michael Krawic. Writer/director Eric Byler intended the scene to depict the interwoven lives of the main characters, the supporting characters, and the leather-clad one himself. The scene was edited out of the film, but it is included in the Bonus Features on the DVD. Later, during post-production, ChesnuTT donated his time to play guitar accompaniment for the opening title sequence of the film. Byler and Sound Designer Bradley L. North wanted to fade out the vocals of "My Women, My Guitar." But ChesnuTT could not locate the original tracks. So, composer Michael Brook hosted a brief recording session in which ChesnuTT played along with the original recording.

More songs from Cody ChesnuTT
"Up In The Treehouse" was licensed for use as the second music cue of the film. But a guitar song by Michael Brook was a late replacement. Another song from ChesnuTT's acclaimed debut album The Headphone Masterpiece nearly made the cut. "Six Seconds" was replaced during the editing process with another of ChesnuTT's ballads: "Five On A Joy Ride." The Masterpiece songs that DID make the film are "My Women, My Guitar," "Upstarts In A Blowout," and "Boy Life in America."

 


The Worst Film of All-Time
The Internet Movie Database "user rating" for "charlotte sometimes" was a subject of great concern early in the film's festival run. Despite only three public exhibitions, 82 votes were registered on IMDB in less than a month, and 72 of them were an extremely negative 1 out of 10. This landed "charlotte sometimes" on IMDB's "Bottom 100" list as the #1 WORST FILM OF ALL TIME with a rating of 1.3. "charlotte sometimes" remained in the "Bottom 100" for five months until film critic Roger Ebert wrote to complain about the possible abuse of the site and its rating system. In December 2002, soon after the annoucement of the film's 2003 Independent Spirit Award nominations, IMDB instated a new rule that disqualified films with less than 625 total votes from the "Bottom 100."

Voters on IMDB are required to register with a working email address, but no other verification is required.

The Tape Recorder Scene
Some viewers are confused by the scene in which Eugenia Yuan converses with her own voice on a tape recorder. Byler intended the scene to show that Yuan's character, "Lori," is an actress preparing for an audition. Byler says if "Justin" were more considerate, he would have rehearsed with Lori several times the night before (as all good boyfriends do in Los Angeles). But Justin is NOT a good boyfriend, so Lori is forced to record the lines of her would-be scene partner on a tape recorder and rehearse with herself. Yuan found the procedure so absurd that it was all she could do to get through the scene without laughing out loud. Several of Yuan's giggling fits, including one from this scene, are included in the DVD's Bonus Features.

FUNNY FACTS FEATURED ON THE DVD BONUS FEATURES:
**Why the director was afraid to put the camera in the same room with the actors.
**Complications when actors drank real alcohol during filming.
**How an off-screen romance…affected on-screen chemistry
**The one time the director lost his temper on set
**Comparisons between Eugenia Yuan and Golum from "Lord of the Rings"
**Comparisons between Eugenia Yuan and Godzilla
**A behind the scenes quarrel that added tension to the alraedy tense lunch scene.