But, Who's Counting
From a spark in a mind, to a flaming, hot noir film.
Review and Commentary by Moon Shiner
I had a unique view of the creation of this cinematic movie. Beginning to end, a winding walk through
the artistic cycle of a finished professional high quality movie. The path this project followed was
fascinating, at least to an amateur like myself.
I was introduced to the lovely Grace, from a review she wrote, for a movie, Sex and Murder League 7,
the last in that series, produced by Chris Corner Videos. I had written a story in a competition to win a
movie of your story, if selected. I did not win the contest, but the story I had written did actually get
made, eventually becoming Sex And Murder League 7. Grace in her role as official Reviewer for the
Cris Corner Video site, reviewed the film, and gave it a 4 bullet rating.
Grace moved into another section on the site, called Talk Back to Grace. After exchanging some
messages, I offered to write a story for her about her. We brainstormed for a couple of weeks,
through emails, and we came up with some ideas, scenarios and plots. Grace has a very good
imagination, a unique perspective on the erotic noir theme, and can express her ideas with a flare of
humor, combined with a fresh intelligent point of view. I penned the story, running it by Grace,
discussing points, changing aspects of the story, revising dialog and actions, brainstorming as she
likes to call it. Just as we were finishing the story, Grace had persuaded the site manager, Othello to
create a section on the site for stories, written for Grace. That's how But, Who's Counting, became the
first story in that section. It was followed by many others, from top authors, Othello, NightHawk,
Flemming, Egeek, and Robert. The story was submitted and received quite a few comments, I was very
pleased by those, they are the golden nectar of a writer.
The story sat in the Grace X Files for several months, any further movement toward a movie, must
have the next item.
An Angel. It's a term, used by playwrights, for the money man, someone that is willing to sponsor the
creation of a movie. I heard rumors on Talk Back to Grace, that the story had an Angel and was being
considered for a noir film. After an Angel has agreed to sponsor the film, next is an editor, someone
with the skills to adapt the story to dialog, action and scenes. The story must be condensed to a point
that the story theme is maintained but cutting out the whistles and bells, that do not contribute to the
movie. Othello stepped up to this difficult job, the editor can fix storyline problems, smooth out the
action, condense the story into one stage, as few characters as needed,, to cut away all the fat, just
leaving the lean meat. Othello did this with professional skill and expertise. You can see his
condensed script on the Talk Back To Grace, section, on page 6, I think.
The script is set, next is choosing the actors, Originally Grace was set to be played by Belle, who had
portrayed her once already in Chris' Corner's The Grace X Factor. The male lead, portraying me, was a
gentleman named Johnny Wood. Before the shoot could be scheduled, Belle decided not to do the
role, a set back. Get used to it, these are humans, not gods, things happen, roll with the punches and
consider your options. Another young actress agreed to do the film a delightful lady called Dani
Valentine, an excellent actress.
We're ready to film, but then yikes! Another unexpected problem. The shoot had to be postponed, Cris
came down with an illness. Well shucks, another week at least before it could be rescheduled. Like I
said before, get used to it, if you want smooth running, get in the kiddy slide business.
The shoot finally happens, excitement builds, the editing of the video begins. Grace secures some
preview pictures, giving us a sneak look at the movie, through some film captures.
Its so close to completion now, I'm giddy with anticipation, chain smoking and I don't even smoke.
The doubts start to take over, what if no one likes the film? What if its been totally changed, ripped to
pieces, not even recognized by myself? I nervously pace the floor, chain smoking stinky cigars,
drinking sweet energy drinks, not sleeping, I can thread a sewing machine, with it still running. Agg, I
hate those sweet energy drinks.
Hurry, CB, I may not make the reviews!
Finally an email arrives, I have been sitting in front of my machine, waiting for that happy female voice,
"You've got mail." I'm a mess, my hands so shaky I keep hitting the wrong keys.
An unexpected treat, an email from Grace, CB has arranged for a preview of the movie, for Grace and
I. It's a gift. I've been bestowed with renewed belief in the tooth fairy, I'll put my last tooth under my
pillow and exchange it for a shiny brand new quarter, it's Christmas on what ever day it is. With
shaking nervous fingers, I follow the instructions to view the movie, damn, my screen has so many
finger prints and nose smears, I can hardly see the picture. Its dark! Too Dark, oh no, I'm going to
miss it. Calm down, think, come on Moon, think. I finally see it, it wants a password, I got no password,
come on Moon, calm down, get into the game, quit complaining and read the instructions. My blurry
eyes, try to focus on the screen, mouthing the words that will reveal the secret of the password.
I finally get to that sentence in the instructions...The password is : Your First Name! Damn, what a long
password! I start to type the letters, Y, O, U, R, F, R, I, S, then horror, the cursor stops, I can't type any
more letters, my heart nearly stops, a dribble of saliva drips on my hands. Oh no, what's wrong? The
clock's ticking, you are going to lose the chance to preview the film. It's a cruel world, right on the
edge of seeing the finished movie, and you can't even type the password.
My heart is racing, my hands are wet with sweat, women perspire, men sweat, silly things start to run
through my mind. You need to go downstairs and check the fuse box! We don't have a downstairs, I
scold myself for wasting time. The seconds click away, tears run in a salty stream down my cheeks,
Oh please, give me a hint? I snuffle with despair, my eyes scan for help, a sign, a hint just help me!
Another message pops up: Please enter your first name as your password, it reads. My first name?
What is my name, I'm so strained now, I'm pitiful. Ok, Moon, calm down, you can figure this out, its a
simple question, everyone knows your first name, think Moon, you have written it a thousand times,,.
The phone rings, I look at it dumbly, behind it a picture of a moon faced boy, Moon, a picture of me. I
let it ring, I don't have time to answer Moon's phone, let the sorry SOB answer his own phone. My
eyes scan the room, silly signs hang every where, Moon's Secret Cookie Jar, Moon's room, Moon
Lives here, A photo on the wall, with a full moon rising over a dark lake, with my face in the bright
circle. Your first name, I repeat the hint. I look back at the telephone, I see it, the solution, there on
the phone, a label with the phone number on it. All I have to do is look up the number and see who it
belongs to. Damn, Moon, you're a genius! I anxiously grab the phone book, and start to look through
it, scanning the numbers listed there. Another fine idea by the phone company, these are in
alphabetical order, what a useless book!
I finally answer the phone, on the 2nd ring, Hello, I shout with a cranky voice. Moon? The voice of my
wife filters into my cloudy senses. What?I ask. Moon, you seem a little distressed, something wrong?
she asks. Wait a minute, who were you calling? I ask. You, she answers, confusion in her voice.
You? You who? I ask, finally seeing a way to out smart the telephone company. YooHoo to you as
well, but I don't have time for that now, I respond, thinking to myself, what's wrong with her, can't she
tell I'm in a hurry! (Sorry, I could not resist that old joke) Moon Shiner? She answers the question.
You are calling Moon Shiner and this phone rang, you got the right number? He asks for verification.
Yes, I think so, she says with hesitation. OK, thanks, there's more than one way to solve a problem.
My first name is Moon, I hang up the phone, and type it in.
The screen flickers to life, I sit glued to the screen, every sound, every line of dialog, just as Grace
and I had discussed it.
The camera work by CB and his crew, is wonderful, Othello's adaptation of the Story to a script, very
well done. It maintained the story theme, without sacrificing the story details. The two actors,
performed with professionalism and intensity, relating the idea of the scenario to the viewers, with
great expertise. I was very pleased with the way it was presented, the attention to details, especially
the bullet hole in the hat.
A special thanks to the dark eyed temptress Grace, for her kind encouragement and her imagination,
the story would have never gotten finished without your help. May I suggest that those interested in
perhaps getting into the story writing, adapting to a movie script, producing a film and wonder where
to start, read the story, in the Grace X Files, then the Script, in the Talk Back To Grace section and
then watch the finished movie. It is the history of But, Who's Counting from start to finish.
Skip over my description of my restless attempt at humor, I just could not resist.
A question for Chris B, if I may.
What would you take for the hat? I hope its a 7 1/8 size, I'd love to acquire that hat.
Click HERE to purchase and download from the Chris' Corner Nicheclips store.
Click HERE to purchase and download from the Chris' Corner Nicheclips store.
Comment from: Nighthawk
Date: September 4, 2012
I didn’t know that you had a humorous bone in your body ;-))
But you did yourself proud, is there no end to your talents? Wow my friend a
writer, a script writer, and now a comedian, next off you’ll tell me that you brew
corn on the side.
But to be honest I would rather read Grace’s reviews, she is so much prettier and
sexier then you are.
Moon my friend I couldn’t be more happier for you, and I am very proud of you too,
now you will have to get a tweed jacket and a pipe, and send me a picture, sitting
by the fire place, looking worldly.
Comment from: Eyes
Date: September 4, 2012
this was as entertaining as one of ur stories!
luv the moon references that double as the way to get u to enter the right pass
code but also tells a bit about ur nic.
the anticipation u mentioned, i have felt (did a custom with Chris and enjoyed it
quite a bit). i believe that what u have mentioned is a smaller scale of what goes
on 4 the mainstream big screen. i also think that our fet vids have certainly
progressed over the years to the point that it does take quite a bit of work now to
get sumthin on screen. and it really is not easy. the adaptation is probably the
trickiest part and could be the area that might frustrate a writer the most. Othello
does a stellar job. and my hat is off to Chris and Irma 4 there tireless work and
most of all the actresses who i really, really, really respect cause without them our
ideas r just imagination.
i find this whole process very interesting and exciting. i am not involved (nor
have i ever been involved) in the movie business professionally but i write quite a
bit (mostly non-fet) and i have role-played 4 real (and that was fet, shssss!). and i
have toyed with making videos (non-fet but interesting nonetheless). but i have
really come to enjoy what it takes to get an idea from ones head to a vid and
working with different people to make that happen.
unfortunately, i currently do not have this vid. not sure why as i really like Dani
V. and the previews r a real turn on. but i will work on that. thx again for
providing ur thoughts.
Comment from: Grace X
Date: September 4, 2012
My dearest KGK, you had me rolling on the floor laughing! That has to be the most
fun review I have ever read. Gosh so sorry about the password trauma, lol!
But in all seriousness, this film will always be one of my absolute favorites. Not
only does it capture the sexy murderous fun of our friendship together perfectly,
but it is impeccably scripted, filmed and acted to boot. I really loved Dani playing
me...she gave the role such a breezy badness (and what a hot strangle!!)...and as
for Johnny Wood playing you, honey...well, no one could equal the real Moon for
sexiness, but he does a mighty fine job coming close!
As I've said before, if we had met when we were as young as Dani and Johnny,
dear KGK, we most certainly would have gotten up to mischief JUST like this!
And as for that black fedora...ooh, I just go weak in the knees for a man topped
with a classy skimmer like that. And I can scarcely believe Chris actually put a
hole in it! I half-thought he would do something to cleverly fake it and not
ventilate such an expensive prop, but I should have known better. Chris always
goes the extra mile.
I loved this movie, Golden Gun and Screaming Orgasm all the way!!
Comment from: Moon Shiner
Date: September 14, 2012
Thanks NightHawk, I must agree, Grace is certainly easier on the eyes, than my
mug. A face only a mother could love.
Thanks for your comment, I did the easy part, Graces polish, Othello's skill at
revising and editing, CB's professional directing, Irma's camera work and of
course two professional actors, everything had to be right, any part of that
process that failed, would have put the film back.
Eyes, your summary was closer to the actual process, you obviously know more
than I do about such things. I was merely watching from the sidelines.
Thanks for pointing out the hard work it took for everyone to put this film in the
I hope you do manage to get a copy, its a pretty good adaptation of the But, Who's
Counting story. The Dark Humor, if you enjoy that sort of story, was presented
Aw yes, My lovely, dark eyed diva, a Golden Gun!
Oh my, I know everyone here will have a smile on their face, a honor for all
involved in the transformation of the film to a finished movie.
I'm pleased you enjoyed the review, I'm certainly not in your level, but do
appreciate the comment.
I give it the Screaming Orgasm, but I don't think anyone will notice, with that
coveted Golden Gun.
Thanks Grace for those wonderful words and for your excellent help in forming