Johnny Depp is drenched in blood when he walks up to the nurse’s station and jokes to me and several others… The fog machine is on overdrive, so we can all barely see one another through the mist, and then the first AD calls for a reset back to one — David Lynch is about to enter for his scene.
We’re in an old ghost wing of a hospital across the street from Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, on the set of a short zombie film called The Black Ghiondola. The 60-person volunteer crew, including renowned special effects and makeup artists, is there, along with Depp, Lynch, Laura Dern, Catherine Hardwicke, Chad L. Coleman, and Richard Chamberlain. But the star of the film — and its writer — is a 16-year-old named Anthony Conti.
Make a Film Foundation Grants Film Wishes (MAFF) to children who have serious or life-threatening medical conditions by teaming them with film industry professionals who help them to create short film legacies. MAFF is currently in production of THE BLACK GHIANDOLA written by Anthony Jonathan Conti with Scott Kosar (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and additional writing by Wash Westmoreland (Still Alice). Anthony was diagnosed with stage 4 Adrenal Cortical Cancer in July. MAFF is making Anthony’s dream of writing and starring in his own film a reality. THE BLACK GHIANDOLA is a story about a young man risking his life to save a young girl he has grown to love, after his family has been killed in the Apocalyptic world of Zombies.