In August, after performing marginally well at a stand-up comedy open mic, I was approached by someone who asked me to be in a movie. Lindsey LaForest (one of the producers) told me that I would be great as an extra in the background of a party scene. Though I wasn’t sure what about my aesthetic would make her think that, I took her up on the offer. About a month later, I was on the set of Pi Day Die Day, a new horror film shot in northwest Ohio. From my short time on set, I can tell that this is going to be a treat for fans of 80s horror films.
Slice of pi
Set on the mathematically-specific day of March 14th (3.14, of course), Pi Day Die Day is the story of a high school that has become the focus of attacks from a mysterious murderer. With the help of a math teacher at the high school, two detectives try and hunt down the killer before it’s too late. This is the kind of plot you’d expect to read on a yellowed VHS box you’d find in a garage sale. Lucky for us in Northwest Ohio, this isn’t an old movie, but a fresh new one being filmed in our backyard.
Pi Day has a similar feel to early slasher films like Friday the 13th, which makes sense as Friday the 13th’s first Jason is involved in the film. Ari Lehman is in Pi Day playing the role of Principal Hayward. Many might know him in another role, as the original Jason Voorhees, the badly disfigured child who pops out of camp Crystal Lake at the end of the original Friday the 13th. Michael Cullen, Pi Day’s director, talked with me about working with slasher royalty; “Meeting and working with Ari was a great experience. He is a very talented and funny guy. Pretty down to earth and I would love to work with him again.”
Party on the set
My single night on set for the party scene felt like an actual house party, but with more scripts and cameras. I drove up to the “party house” in Whitehouse, OH in the early evening to see a backyard full of cars. Inside the house was packed with party-goer extras and the cast and crew, enjoying refreshments like a regular party. Everything about the place had a party vibe, from the solo-cup-holding extras hanging out around a keg in the kitchen, to the discarded pizza boxes covering the living room coffee table.
I was around on set a while and saw a few different scenes shot. In fact, when you eventually see the movie, you might be able to catch me in the background of a wicked keg stand scene, or sitting around a campfire in the back yard. From my short time on set with the cast and crew, I could tell that this was a fun environment to make a film. Michael agreed with me, saying “I won't say every moment on set has gone as planned but this is a very smooth and fun set. I always have fun working on projects but this one has been a riot. I think it will show on screen too how much fun we all had making this film.”
Pi Day Die Day will wrap up production in the next few weeks. According to Michael, the film should be ready for release in March 2016 (hopefully around Pi Day), with a premier planned at the Maumee Indoor Theater. Even without the small chance that I might be in one scene of this movie, I’m still excited to get my hands on a ticket.