Interview: Bill Burke (Sweet Prudence and the Erotic Adventure of Bigfoot) | April 3, 2012

How did you create such a convincing looking Bigfoot?
Being a huge monster movie fan I would have loved to have a custom suit manufactured, but unfortunately the budget really didn’t allow for that, so I used another method.Our Bigfoot costume was actually a combination of two suits that had been manufactured for a television commercial years ago. I directed a segment for the Canadian Paranormal series “Creepy Canada” entitled “Bigfoot UFO”, which is a personal favorite of mine.  We had rented a very good Bigfoot costume for that segment, and I was pretty impressed with it.

I had outlined an erotic Bigfoot movie and filed it in the back of my mind, so years later when I actually decided to shoot it I went back to the same sources.  Some of the pieces and parts had been lost or damaged, so we combined it with another existing suit and created something I thought really worked. Admittedly its a bit campy, but the fact that we went out of our way to present the best possible Bigfoot for the budget makes it work.  I think audiences can tell if you just are deliberately cheesy, which amounts to not giving a shit as opposed to really making an effort so any shortcomings are more easily forgiven.

On the next Sweet Prudence movie I promise to have a custom built monster.


What can you tell us about the relationship between Sweet Prudence
and Bigfoot?

Sweet Prudence is…well sweet.  She has a good heart and does not accept other peoples preconceived notions or prejudices (or for that matter their notions of monogamous relationships.) So the idea of Bigfoot being a monster never enters her mind – he’s just a creature that needs to be understood. One fun aspect of the character is that she lives in her own world, and though she seems like a complete scatterbrain she is, in many ways, very bright.  She is also someone who is devoted to her friends, and would do anything to help them.

Bigfoot is a lost soul (I don’t want to give away the specifics) trying to find his way. So it seemed natural that Prudence would open her heart and help him, and that the big guy would respond to that.

During the theatrical screening at Cinekink the scene where Prudence reads her poem to Bigfoot actually got the biggest laugh, but also got an audible “awe that’s sweet” which felt very good. We knew the onscreen relationship actually worked.


What made Angie Bates the perfect Prudence?

Angie Bates made Angie the perfect Prudence.  So much of the character is part of her real persona – her sweet nature, devotion to friends and those incredibly expressive eyes.  I had only met Angie once, when she auditioned for a Cinemax series I produced entitled Lingerie. She ended up being in a one-day role, but during the audition I could see that there was something very special there, and that she had a natural comedic talent.  So, while I was writing the character I pictured her in the hopes she would agree to play the role.  Fortunately she agreed, and completely embraced the character.

It’s interesting that I met Albina Nahar under the same circumstances, and she wound up being in Lingerie for two days.  I could see that she was talented and uninhibited that would make a perfect foil for Angie. I was very lucky to get both actresses – my perfect sexy Lucy and Ethel team.


What was the biggest challenge in making Sweet Prudence and the
Erotic Adventure of Bigfoot?

There were many challenges, first off being the limited budget and a tight shooting schedule of only a few days.  Fortunately I have produced and directed enough projects to know my limitations and understand what I can and can’t get away with.  So I took the restrictions and tried to turn them into advantages, and wrote the script around things I knew were available.

I knew that I couldn’t get a fantastic gothic mansion or some grand interior location, but Ontario is beautiful in the summer, I mean they don’t call it the green belt for nothing.  It was a perfect backdrop, especially because you don’t see many erotic films set among outdoor splendor.

I wanted a place where the cast could frolic naked in the sun without having to hide from prying eyes. Fortunately I found a nudist resort that was willing to let us shoot, and had beautiful woods and lakes. I think that nudity in the wide-open spaces gives the film an innocent retro feel, as well as being a throwback to the old HG Lewis or Doris Wishman nudist camp films that adds to the fun.

I had written something that required the right cast to pull off, which can be dangerous in this genre.  I was very very lucky in finding the perfect actors from my Lingerie and Forbidden Science casting files.

Luck stayed with me throughout the casting. For the character of Flower I had written an underwater love scene, as well as having her conduct a nude yoga class.  It was only after casting Heather O’Donnell that I discovered she was not only a certified life guard but also a Yoga instructor.  That was either blind luck or intuition.

The biggest hurdle was the schedule, which had me shooting about twenty pages a day, which is crazy.  Fortunately I had a great team behind the camera and we were able to move along without compromising.  Also having all of the locations in one small area was a huge help. So I guess age and experience come in handy once in a while.


Do you have a idea on how much nudity it too much or not enough when filmmaking?

It really depends on the project.  In this case, partially because of the setting I put a lot of nudity in. But my logic was …okay this is an erotic film full of beautiful women, so I am going to deliver the goods on all fronts, nudity, erotica, comedy and monsters.  I think all the outdoor nudity gives the film a nice uninhibited feel, so you don’t feel like your watching a dirty film, just a very risqué one.  If you turn the color off you might feel like your watching an old monster nudie from the sixties.


Do you have any funny or interesting moments during the making of
Sweet Prudence?

We certainly had some funny moments shooting the film, but fortunately we avoided most of the horror stories you hear with independent films;  probably because I avoided them- preemptively.  The actual nudist resort was open while we were shooting, which was interesting.  So there were many moments where a perfect take was ruined by a group of naked people wandering into the background.  It makes for interesting outtakes.

Also our caterer was a nudist, which is…unique.  She was preparing breakfast on the first day when the crew began to arrive.  I figured if anyone was going to freak out they would do it right off the bat and just go home.  Surprisingly nobody batted an eyelash.  Of course if there’s food in a room a film crew pretty much gives that their full attention and ignores everything else.  She did make good eggs.

Despite the crazy schedule we kept things light, and the actors were open to trying new things.  That’s why Veruca is doing handstands and other crazy positions during her love scene with Mike – we were open to creativity.

Daniel Moshe Johnson probably had the toughest time being trapped inside the Bigfoot costume in sweltering hot weather.  We sort of staggered scenes around how close to heat stroke he was at any moment.


Is it difficult filming a sex scene?

If you have not done one before it can be challenging.  The trick is to treat it just like any other scene and give each one something unique.  Because I don’t let it rattle me, or nervously dance around what I want the actors are comfortable, and that makes for a much better scene.  Being comfortable with sex scenes is why we were able to add a little pizzazz to them – things like Veruca’s crazy positions, or Flower’s underwater sex.

The final love scene with five people in a Jacuzzi seemed like it was going to be difficult but was actually pretty straightforward. Since the cast was very comfortable with each other they just dove in. It’s a pretty amazing sex scene.  It was so over the top that we threw a great piece of retro seventies porn music behind it.  It was the musical cherry on the sundae.

I’ve never shot actual sex and I imagine it would be very different – more about biology than story or logic.


Who do you think has a great sexual appetite, Sweet Prudence or Bigfoot?

Prudence just thinks sex is fun, and probably can’t imagine why anyone would be ashamed of it.  Bigfoot, well not to give away to much, but he’s kind of a sailor on shore leave…so he has quite an appetite.  I think it’s a perfect match, but I wouldn’t picture them in a long-term relationship. Society would never accept their love.


Where can our friends watch Sweet Prudence and the Erotic Adventure of Bigfoot?

We will be premiering April 6th in the USA on Cinemax and many nights thereafter.  Cinemax also offers it On Demand.

For readers in Canada and across the world we are in the process of making sales now, so more information will be coming.

Our website is where you can see the trailer, clips from the film, stills, reviews, and read personal blogs written by the movie’s characters.  Tons of entertainment!  We really set out to make the website fun, to show our fans that we love them.


Do you believe in Bigfoot?

Not really, which is a shame.  I think the world would be a lot more exciting if the woods were actually full of Bigfoot’s, the sky was full of flying saucers and the lakes were filled with water monsters.  But that’s why we have movies.