In Control Of All Things Part 2 Message Board: Zodiac Media: In Control Of All Things Part 2

By C. Powell ( - on Friday, June 13, 2003 - 11:53 pm:

Vallejo Times-Herald
June 13, 2003

Zodiac movie begins filming in Vallejo

Child actor Rory Culkin walked down Marin Street on Thursday filming an early scene of “In Control of All Things.”

Culkin’s character “Johnny” carried a composite sketch of the mysterious Zodiac killer, who committed many of his murders in Vallejo, in hopes of finding him.

The young actor, of rich acting pedigree, plays a character in the independent film being shot throughout Vallejo. The story focuses on the lead detective who hunted the serial killer and the community surrounding him. Culkin plays the detective’s son.

In addition to Culkin, the cast includes numerous well-known actors: Justin Chambers (“The Wedding Planner”), Robin Tunney (“The In-Laws”), Philip Baker Hall (“Bruce Almighty”) and William Mapother (“In the Bedroom”). The film has a lean $1 million budget.

Thursday marked Day 4 of shooting “In Control of All Things.”

Los Angeles-based Shadow Films, the production company, has been in town for months and the film shoot is one of the most extensive in the city’s history. The crew of about40, with about five trailers lined near the Empress Theatre, plans to shoot throughout Vallejo the next three weeks. To date, the crew has shot scenes on Georgia Street, Lake Herman Road (the site of one of the murders), at the Empress Theatre and off Lakeville Highway, near Sears Point.

“There’s a difficulty of keeping with the period of 1969. A lot of the reason we’re in Vallejo is the fact it still has a good feel to it. A very real feel,” said producer Corey Campodonico.

“We love being here. We camped out in Vallejo while we were getting things ready.”

The production staff has rented office space in town and the crew is staying in Vallejo during the shoot.

Director and co-writer Alexander Bulkley couldn’t be happier with Vallejo.

“We looked for the perfect Vallejo in 1969 and after four months up and down California checking every town –- where’d we wind up?” Bulkley said. “The perfect 1969 Vallejo is in downtown Vallejo.”

Of course, some alterations were necessary. For instance, the Marin Street federal building will serve as the police station in the movie.

The production staff called Vallejoan Mark Miller to borrow some vintage 1960s cars to help set the mood.

The film covers a small segment of the Zodiac case, from December 1968 to October 1969 (when the Zodiac killed a San Francisco cab driver). Although theories about the Zodiac’s identity abound, he was never caught.

“We’re not trying to solve the case,” Campodonico said.
“The main focus is on the detective and the town and what (the Zodiac) did to the community. That’s the story,” Campodonico said.

The lead detective portrayed in the film is a composite of all the investigators who worked the case. The director saw a lot of parallels between how the Zodiac case played out and current highly publicized cases.

“It’s a very timely subject. This has the seeds of a lot of the media coverage we see today. It has the seeds of a lot of the terror we feel today, “ Bulkley said.

Bulkley co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Kelly, as they watched the D.C. sniper case unfold.

“The No. 1 thing was not to glamorize the Zodiac. We don’t really care who the guy was,” said Bulkley, who referred to the Zodiac as a “terrorist.”

The Zodiac character is never seen in the movie, Campodonico said.

“The key thing we are trying to project in the story is it’s not a slasher horror flick. It’s an emotional thriller. We’re interested in the emotions of the characters involved, It’s definitely not a glorification of it,” he said. “There’s not a lot of blood and guts. The idea is that fear is in all the dark corners of the city.”

Alexander Bulkely grew up in Marin County and drew inspiration from his early memories of the Zodiac.

“Both my brother and I grew up in San Rafael and Kentfield and it’s a bit of a local legend,” he said. “Every kid in the area knew about the school bus incident. It had serious ripple effects.”

The Zodiac, in one letter to a newspaper, threatened to blow up a school bus with children on it, causing police departments to chaperone school buses.

The Zodiac wrote letters to newspapers, including the Times-Herald during his killing spree, taunting police and bragging about his murders. The intense media coverage the time provided numerous research sources for the brothers.

“We wrote it over the last four to five months. We lived and breathed this project,” Bulkley said.

“This is a very well documented case. It was inspired by a lot of newspaper articles and I had a great consultant that talked me through the case," he said, referring to Tom Voigt, who runs a Zodiac Web site. “We’re focusing on the facts – police reports and newspaper articles.”

Distribution of the film is still up in the air, Campodonico said.

Thursday’s shoot centered around the front of Crystal’s Salon of Beauty, 625 Marin St.

“It’s exciting,” said Crystal Quarles, owner of the salon. “It’s nice to know they’re doing something like that… that they picked this spot.”

Does she expect to receive her big acting break in the movie?”

“I doubt that,” she said laughed. “I don’t want to do that.”

Matthias Gafni
Times-Herald staff writer

By anonymous ( - on Saturday, June 14, 2003 - 06:56 am:

Hey all,

Remember what I said about an avalanche in the last thread? I hear a rumbling sound...

Actors with this kind of juice only go for smaller projects when the script is really good. My guess is that the budget will increase...

Wonder why Lester hasn't chimed in lately?


By Tom_Voigt ( - on Monday, June 16, 2003 - 07:52 pm:

Here's an update on the cast:

Justin Chambers
Robin Tunney
Phillip Baker Hall
Rory Culkin
William Mapother
Rex Linn
Brad Henke

By Jake (Jake) ( - on Friday, June 20, 2003 - 07:51 pm:

Ya know, I'll cop to a certain amount of early skepticism, but this movie is starting to sound really good. Shot in Vallejo starring Phillip Baker Hall? I'd see it even if it weren't about Z.


By Mike J. Doe ( - on Friday, July 04, 2003 - 11:33 pm:

Just thought I'd pass along that In Control of All Things has been added to Internet Movie Database (finally). If interested you can check it out through this link: There isn't much info on the movie, but it has a list of all the actors, crew members and their bios. For some reason it doesn't list Tom Voigt as a consultant but i'm pretty sure he'll be added when they get more info. Peace.

By Wendi (Wendi) ( - on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 10:29 pm:

Too bad its not a perfect world and we could all go on a "field trip" together to see this. Heck, I'll make sack lunches even, with stickers and candy! lol
I'm looking forward to the point of view used in the film; ignoring the killer while showing the ripple effect of his actions on society and law enforcement.
I'll be there opening day, I'm sure.Its been awhile since a film has tapped into my senses of curiosity and passion enough to wait in line...

By Wendi (Wendi) ( - on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 10:33 pm:

amendment: not ignoring the killer, but creating a tense atmosphere where you know he's lurking, but you're relying on only what the public had back then to guide you.
I hope this is a film I'll find myself lost, absorbed into the story instead of wondering why the girl in front of me dyed her hair orange.