Thursday, June 22, 2006

Chapter Twelve - The Party Bus

With five grand closer to my goal and no more oil wells to tap on the list, I took a break. I had a short film to edit and some other corporate jobs to finish to keep up my proper reputation as a media company. Wade was lost. He had emailed me one night but the thpe was so unreadable in its word structure that I chose to ignore it. I had planned at that point in time not to say anything else to him or Cutter about the movie. I was just going to wait until after I scored the rest of the money and was a week away from shooting. I wanted them to think I had given up so I could throw it in their face when it actually happens.
Cutter and I still stayed in touch, three or four times a week. We just didnt talk about the business venture anymore. He had moved on to his next project. He had for many years spoken of a concept he wanted to capitalize on, which of course, I blew off every time. He wanted to get a loan and start up a Party Bus business. A Party Bus Business is a simple concept with only a few legal obstacles to go through and a location where it would be needed. He wanted to go to Myrtle Beach with it. These Party Buses would be rented out for Bachelor Parties, Frat Parties, Dances, Bands, etc and in most cases, would be stocked with booze and entertainment. The bus would drive you around to the bars, sites, wherever your group needed to go and the bonus was, you could all party together instead of having to flag a cavalry of cabs. I thought it to be a good idea but never offered my assistance for the simple reason that I didnt have time to go to Myrtle Beach and back, nor did I know where to begin on a venture like this. I told Cutter I would help him in anyway I can, but he would have to know which direction to go.

As he began making calls and connections he met the Owner of the Crazy Horse Strip Club down there. They were chit-chatting back and forth and of course if it meant a strip club owner investor for Cutter, he was dropping our name for the porn. The Owner was not so interested in the Party Bus idea, but as it just so happened, was looking for video work. He was rebuilding his website and wanted to shoot every dancer he had in these little tease set ups where they talked to the camera fully clothed, teasing the horny men of the world, inviting them to come see them on the nights they were set to work.
That was something I had never thought about, but was ecstatic about. This would be some good tape for me to have and if he had ten to twelve dancers, that would be a nice chunk of change. Cutter scheduled a meeting with some prominent investors for his bus endeavor and planned a meeting between the Owner and I. They were all to be conducted on a Saturday, due to the hectic schedule of all of our real jobs. Mandi was not happy, obviously, because she did not trust Cutter to keep a basketball out of a busy road when he was not even dribbling it. She could not go to keep an eye out on me and neither could his wife. They worked in the service industry, so missing a Friday night could be detrimental to ones paycheck. She finally agreed that if we were just going to be one night she would be OK with the road trip. I promised her we would not get in any trouble. She did not believe me. I finally comforted her and the trip was set. We were to leave Friday after work and return Saturday night the following day. I actually began to become excited on Thursday. I had not been anywhere since I ventured to Rhode Island to see Ryan, so an escape to even the next town would have been OK. I had not been to Myrtle Beach since I was twenty-one and that last trip had been a great one. Granted, I was without child, girlfriend or the amount of bills I had garnered today, but nevertheless, I withdrew a hundred and fifty bucks, left my credit cards and packed a bag.
Cutter picked me up from the house at about dusk. I kissed Mandi good-bye and headed to the car. I looked back to reassure her. She had a look on her face like she was never going to see me again.
I hopped in the car and Cutter of course exited in his normal fashion by throwing gravel all over my yard as he peeled through the driveway. The music was loud and Cutter had the biggest shit-eating grin on his face I had ever seen.

What is it?

What, he asked.

Dude, I know you. What are you thinking?

Cutter pulled a box out of the backseat and demanded I look in it. I opened the top and my heart sank Mandi never trusted Cutter and she had always been right. The box contained a half gallon of Jose Cuervo, an ounce of shwag, and a vile, probably a sixteenth of coke.

He looked over at me and I swear I saw, John Candy in the devil suit laughing sadistically, as he did in Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

FUCKIN MYRTLE BEACH, DADDY!!!! He screamed as he dropped his Mercedes into third and peeled down the road.

Oh dear God, was all I had time to say before I lost my breath.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

My Wrestling Addiction Silenced....

Ive been a wrestling fan as far back as I can remember. I believe my first PPV, I ever paid for was Wrestlemania IV, but had been a fan since Wrestlemania II, but did not have the resources to buy the PPV, (this is I remember correctly.) Of course this wrestling craze would go on and off as life took me in different directions. Upon leaving High School, my wrestling days were over. I had films to make.

Three years later, my good friend from film school, Mike Philly Ward was watching WCW one night while I was drawing storyboards in our living room. It was during the N.W.O and Wolfpack era. Twenty minutes in, I put my sketchbook down and began watching the circus. By the second hour, I was sprung again, but this time is was different. I WAS SPRUNG. Wrestling would change my life this time. I began working out hard as hell. I looked at the Rock and Triple H and wanted to look like that or at least something like that. I got healthy, quit smoking and really ended up letting my new little fad take over my life. Months after the initial infatuation, I began writing my mockumentary about backyard wrestling that would later become a movie that was praised as, ingenius, and hilarious. At the pinnacle of my wrestling era, I had made a great movie, buffed up to 195 lbs of muscle, contributed to writing for some of the smaller wrestling federations in the SoCal area and landed the girl of my dreams.

If you are not familiar with the Jobbers film CLICK HERE

Upon the burn out that ended that era, I vowed never to watch wrestling again and have lived up to that promise. Sure, Ill check the websites to find out whats going on, but I do not watch it, nor do I care to watch it. I met some friends at one of side jobs that wrestle in a small federation in the Charlotte Area. They caught me on a good day and I offered to shoot their show for them. I thought it would be fun, maybe pick up a couple extra bucks, and meet some new friends.

We worked out a deal for me to shoot their supershows which are basically equivalent to pay-per-views. I have shot two so far and being around the wrestling aura again has not changed me. I still dont feel it. In fact, I dont even like cutting the actual wrestling matches. Theyve got some cool talent and of course on the way home from the shows, I write one of theirs in my head. Its fun. Nothing more.

BUT, the openers of these shows are what I have found to be my motivation to continue to do it. Ive become a much better editor since the first cut of Jobbers and being that they actually wrestle in a ring and know moves, makes for great footage to make a kick ass, knock your dick in your watch pocket opener. These little one-minute snippets are the only thing that ties me to my wrestling addiction I was once plagued with. These are the things I couldnt do back in my hay day, so call it, writing the final chapter.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Chapter Eleven - The Film Buff Investor

A friend of a friend set me up with his old boss. I was weary, due to the wash I had been taking with all my other friends connections. I chose to go because I knew of him. He occasionally invited us to his basement where he had built his own private screening room and I mean a swank screening room with digital sound. He had a vault closet full of 35mm and 16mm films from Rambo to Pulp Fiction and he owned every film ever made either on DVD or VHS. We shared some Hollywood stories. I had already heard the one where Tarantino had actually flown into Charlotte, drove to Lenoir and purchased his 35mm print of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and had actually brought a 35mm print of The Wild Bunch, to view in his screening room. This was a proven fact which I thought to be cool considering I was sitting right where Tarantino had roosted when he had been here two years earlier. I had no Hollywood stories, with the exception of arguing with Ed Norton about a Drivers License before settling on a difference of opinion and buying each other a drink, but I told it anyway. When I arrived he had the film schedule for the evening planned out. We were to watch a 16mm print of Cannibal Holocaust and then a 16mm print of Deep Throat. After the movies were over we would talk business. I had seen Cannibal Holocaust a couple of times before and I liked it for its Shock Cinema effect, but just didnt rank it very high on my Top 300 movie list. Deep Throat, I could deal with. I loved the story behind it and had not seen it in many years. Hell, I could have been forced to watch Meet the Deedles and Kazaam and would have been completely content just so long as the meeting about my movie took place.
He had worked at the local United Artist theatre since he was seventeen. He was promoted to Manager at the age of 21 and still now at the ripe age of 45 lived with his parents, so when he was twenty-eight, he acquired a loan and bought the United Artist theatre and became the proprietor of it, thus making him some real money, doing what he loved to do. I had to hand it to him, with the exception of still living with his parents and still not paying a dime for bills. With all the money Ive made in my lifetime, I could have funded the fourth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise, had I never had to pay for rent, bills and groceries. Still, he had a plan and he followed through with it and was sitting pretty. His parents were in the upwards of eighty, so he was the soul heir to their paid house and was more than anxious to turn the whole place into his film shrine.

So I am getting a little uncomfortable half way through Deep Throat, because I cannot help but notice that this guy has been rubbing his unit very discreetly for the past ten minutes. Were in the middle of, one of the smaller scenes and Im thinking, Oh, God, hes a fucking dirty old man and hes gonna ask me to suck him off before hell cut me a check. I knew there was going to be catch.

The movie went off and he brought up the lights. Here it goes.

Step into my office, sir, he commanded in a cool and calm way. His office was just a desk behind the theatre seats. It was riddled with Voorhees, Leatherface, Mike Myers and Pinhead bobble heads. I wish I knew him better. With everything I had seen here, I wanted to be included in his will.

So Sean tells me you are making a movie.

I rattle off a different reply than normal, Thats the plan.

Why a porn? Why not a low budget horror or drama movie? Shoot it on HD?

I had an answer for that.

Well, I have a two year plan. The doors open quicker when you are talking Smut. It is also a lucrative business, so I figure, I shoot a year, year and half at about four to five movies in that frame of time, take the profits of mine, match them with an equally interested investor and shoot my mainstream.

You have a script, he asked.

I was not real sure how to answer that.

Uh, porns, well at least Gonzos dont really need one.

I mean for the mainstream, he clarified.

DuhIm an idiot.

Yeah, I have half of it done. My computer crashed and I managed to save it off my second internal, so Im just waiting for that time to get back into it. First thing is first you know.

He paused. Looked around. He took forever. I was ready for anything.

Im more interested in the mainstream movie. Id like to take a look at what you have.

I assured him, I would have it to him in a week. He paused again.

Alright, I tell you what.

Here it came. The catch. The shut out. The let me think about it.

Sean says youre good for it, so Im willing to give you five. Ill cut you a check, but you cannot touch it until youve raised the rest, he said almost too easily.

I assured him that I never would dream of touching it until I had all twelve.

You make me some money back on this, and well talk about that mainstream film.

I could not believe this. I was still waiting for the catch.

He continued on, You know, Ive written script upon script and just cannot seem to find that thing you need for a good one. Not to mention, I wouldnt have the foggiest idea how to put it together and get it shot. Sean says youve done it all.

I confirmed Seans compliment.

Im a film critic. A film watcher if you will, he explained. I assured him there was nothing wrong with that.

Thats the best thing to be. There are no headaches. Stress or insanityUnless of course you are watching a movie like Alone in the Dark.

He laughed for the first time the whole night.

Come down to the theatre tomorrow after noon. Ill have you a cashiers check. Are you interested in any of the movies at my theatre?

I thought about it and remembered, The Inside ManIm a huge Spike Lee fan, even if he does hate white people.

Its a great film. Come down grab your check, get a popcorn and soda and Ill let you check it out. That matinee starts at four.

I thanked him generously, still waiting on the catch.

If thats it. I gotta go cook my parents some dinner. You like meat loaf? Do you wanna stay for dinner, he asked sincerely.

I lied. The thought of eating with his family felt awkward to me considering I had just forgotten his last name.

Suit yourself. I wouldnt stay either. I cant cook meatloaf to save my life, but my father loves it.

He had seen right through me and didnt care.

I left his house and immediately jumped on the phone and called Sean. I praised and praised him for the hook-up.

GoodNow you can hook me up with a blow job from one of those bitches, he joked.

He was married. For once that request had been funny.

Take me and my wife out to dinner when YOU COME DOWN AND SEE ME, he sarcastically commanded.

I agreed. He lived in Myrtle Beach. I told him I would rearrange my schedule.

The next day, I showed up at his theatre. He was working the box office. I walked up, again ready for the rub.

One? He role-played.

One for the Inside Man, please, I role-played back.

He hit his button, popped out a ticket, slid it through the little hole with an envelope and a coupon for a free popcorn and drink.

I looked at him smiling. He winked at me.

Enjoy the show.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Useless Video

As the weekend ends, I found myself finishing three jobs and having a little time to screw off. I do these "Video Journals" for my website. They are not much. I "down and dirty" chop them up. There are no frills, no bells and whistles, but I always throw it together before the Sopranos comes on and it's usually the last weekend of the month. I have to wipe my drives clean to free up "Gigs" before I add more gigs to the "priority list," if you know what I mean? So I use a song I'm listening to, I throw a clip of Vinny in them and Bada Bing... A useless clip for people to look at.

OK, so I run nothing but Apple and I know most of ya's run Bill Gates' machines, so check this out. It only takes two minutes and does not mess with your computer. You are gonna' need Quicktime to view any video anywhere that has to do with me. So, I'm gonna' help you out and give you the quick hook-up. (If you are on Dial-Up, nothing of this pertains to you.)

Just click on the silver little Apple.

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Slashers, Dancers and a Couple of Goons Part 2

So I finished my Friday the 13th weekend Saturday afternoon. I had run out of installments to the franchise, refusing Jason takes Manhattan or Freddy vs. Jason as three more hours of filler. I have my reasons, but nonetheless, I watched all the important ones, but instead of just watching them and trying to relive those days in Russ basement, I pulled my steno pad out and began to breakdown the movies by scenes, length, blood etc. The reasoning behind it was to find a close estimation to the total budget for these particular small scale, run and hide, some blood on your sleeve kind of movies. I figured Part 1 to come in at about $700,000. Now that was 1979, mind you, but they also shot film, whereas these days its HD, so give and take in 2006, we would say $1 million, max budget on it. The others dont matter in my particular case, because I DONT DO SEQUELS. I will never shoot a sequel unless I George Lucased it and had three movies already written in order. But if you really want to know the budgets I discovered, add about $150,00 more to each of the franchise until Manhattan which was a whopping $5 million.

My film, if done exactly like an 80s film, would run at about $900,000. That is peanuts for a film, but my chances of getting it to a big time distributor would be tough. The thought of reliving the eighties through a nostalgic film piece gives me goose bumps and although I am up to my ears in productions, I may or may not ever get to even writing the actual screenplay. Im a pen and pad kind of person when Im writing any kind of documentation (in fact, this was had written and copied,) so it seems to take twice the time it should to get any manuscript in print form. I had actually written the first three scenes of the movie, but have had a hard time finding that particular notebook, but I still have the scenes in my head. Theres the cheesey music, raw images of the woods of the quiet hills of North Carolina, an old Volkswagen Van, and a lot of Karo and red food coloring.
You know what, Ive got a free weekend coming up. Im going to find that notebook and at least pen a couple of scenes. What marathon should I do? The Chainsaw, the White Mask or the Red and Green Sweater? Ive lost my interest in Freddy, so Im gonna go with the Texas boys. Maybe even the Next Generation one with Zellwegger and that stoner from Austin. Its a shame I couldnt go back down in Russ basement for the weekend with the movies, a VCR, and my notepad. I would have a shooting script by the time the season finale of The Sopranos came on. Ol, how I would love to tell Russ how much his basement, his twin sisters and the HBO box has meant to me.

Yep, thats what Im gonna do.

While we are on horror movies, my buddies out west just finished a zombie flick that they are in distributing deals with as we speak, so the movie is not far from reaching us. You should check out the trailers and info on their site:

The Quick and the Undead

Otherwise, heres my premise--

Shooting 24/7

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