Saturday, September 30, 2006

Chapter Fourteen - A Much Less Intense Ride Home

*It has been awhile since I have added a Chapter to the never ending saga of trying to make a movie. I have been rather busy and even experienced a real slump in motivation to write, (which you will hear about in the next chapter.) So if you are at all still interested the story continues now--


My eyes burnt and my head hurt as I left the Crazy Horse Strip Club. The owner agreed for me to do the job, but wanted me to shoot a spec commercial to show him. He didnt know me. He had not seen my work. I thought that to be fair considering he did what nobody else had done and that is sign a contract if my example was up to standards.  At that point I was excited, sure, but I just wanted to get home. Cutter waited at the bar for me. He had managed to drown his hangover out with a half pack of Camels and four Bud Lights. His meeting had not gone as well as mine. In fact, I had found out that morning that Cutter never really had an interview or meeting with the Party Bus guys. He had, on a whim, thought he would come down and talk to the guy because three days prior the guy said, come down here and check out the company. Cutter thought he would surprise him and show up, showing him he meant business. Two days prior, the guy had gone out of town. Cutter hadnt done his homework. I couldnt complain. I had potentially made a shit load of money. The trip back was less nerve racking, in fact almost too slow for my taste.


Cutter pulled into my driveway. His eyes bloodshot and bagged as he pushed out,


If you need a hand shooting that thing, let me know.


What the hell are you talking about, I returned.


He repeated his offer. I returned with, your fuckin wifes best friend is gonna be my model. No negotiations.


He looked at me shocked that I just blasted that out. I gave him no sarcasm back. I was dead serious and he knew it. An eternity passed before:


Ill call you tomorrow.


I exited the car. Mandi met me at the door. She tried to hold the Im pissed off. Dont touch me aura but it didnt matter. I was ready for the front line of a war, just so long as it came tomorrow morning. I grabbed my children, Payton and the Ball-Less Wonder, Vinyard and closed the bedroom door. Mandi would normally not allow me to take a nap anywhere or at anytime, but I think this time would be an exception.


As I lay on the bed, my ears still thumped, eyes still burned, I began wondering if this porn film was even needed anymore. Did it even need to be a part of my two year plan? I had so many other different projects I could invest time and more importantly money into. I would need $5000 to make one of my short films. I would need $10,000 to shoot the other. I would need at least $10,000 to begin shooting key scenes of my feature and those projects are just the beginning. I still have a horror script, drama script and Spielbergs On the Lot short that was due in December.


By that time, my mind was cloudy. Maybe I really had wasted seven months on a pipe dream that wasnt a good one. . A Professionally Made Gonzo Porno in the Heart of the Bible Belt? Was I stoned? Maybe thats why Wade fell off the wagon. Maybe he woke realizing what a sinner he was. 


I will deal with all this tomorrow, I whispered to myself.


Mandi busted in,


Dont you even think about going to sleep!!!!


I fired up nearly tossing my offspring onto the floor.


What the fuck happened in Myrtle Beach!!!???


Her face was as red as my sleep deprived eye lids.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Meter to be Shot!!!

The film is actually rolling this time around. I have kind of slowed down and set up appointments, meetings, and location testing yada, yada, for when I get back from Ryan’s wedding in Las Vegas. But the City of Hickory was more than happy to allow me to shoot downtown if I did not obstruct any roads. A nice cabby at Yellow Cab by the name of Marty has giving me a deal to rent him and his cab for $20 bucks an hour which in all sincerity is not a bad price. Since Yellow Cab is a block away from where we’re shooting I might try and work out a better deal with them. Maybe drive an older not in use cab up to the location and let us use it for cheaper. I am meeting with them after Labor Day to see if that will be possible.
And my arch nemesis from my high school years, Officer Grace, (now Sergeant Grace, of the Hickory Police Department has agreed to meet with me to get an arrangement made and give caution flags to the prop gun that will be used in the public for the final scene. I plan on filming all this. I always purchase the DVD’s that have a lot of "how they did it" featurettes and behind the scenes on it, so I figured I would do what i love and document everything.

I also have the front runners for the lead role submitting sides on video to me in the next week or two and I’ll be posting those talented guys as well. So anyway, as I blabber on, I’m stoked. I’ve waited too long to make the "hardest, small movie to make."

I’ll keep you posted.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

F#&King Actors

*This is actually a post from my Production Journal and an email to all the -actors- involved.

Although this situation wont postpone production but maybe a week, I have to rant on yet another situation. My theory for North Carolina was this: It was cheaper and easier to produce a film in my hometown because you dont have to get permits and have resources upon resource to make it, BUT finding crew and talented actors is impossible. Making films in LA, your crew and cast is as easy as snapping your fingers but resources and finances are impossible. This was my Catch 22 theory. It has always been proven.

This production fits the criteria. The biggest thorn in my side is finding a lead and a couple of guys who do what I do and love itHell, they dont even have to love it. They can just like it and Id be a happy man. As of today, I have yet to find one crew member.
So I campaigned a different way, at least for the actors. I received twenty -two headshots. Yes, thats right. I received headshots. They were actors from Wilmington, NC(5 Hours away,) and Knoxville, TN(at least four.) There were about seven in an hour away radius, with the exception of one who was two and a half. I narrowed that down to five actors. ONE in Hickory-- Instead of having these guys come in from all over, (with gas prices and busy schedules,) I asked them to shoot themselves with a podunk camera or whatever acting my sides out. In this day and age, everybody and their mother has a video camera of some sorts and I thought I was being considerate by only costing these guys an hour of their time, a DVD, tape or some shit and a 65 cent posting fee, (yes thats right, Ive sent out plenty and thats how much it would cost.) They all praised me for not dragging them to Hickory for a whole afternoon.

Heres the rub--- These starving actors, some with actual agents dont send me an audition. What? And when I resent out the email, thinking maybe they didnt get the first one due to maybe the PDF of my script being too big this is what I got: Three confirmed that they had received the sides. The others never replied. The three that confirmed, again, never sent an audition tape.

So here it is guysThis is from a guy who has been in LA and NYC, who has had to send audition tapes, demos, short films to every contest, festival, agency, and studio you can imagine. And yes, Ive received probably 65% rejection letters, but the other 35% got me work. Ive been in front of the camera, behind the camera, and know the way Hollywood works. Hollywood is a very small place and if you get called in on an audition and miss it, if you are not Brad Pitt, they do what they call a Red Flag. You get too many of those Red Flags you willwell as cliché as it may be, never work in this town again. You dont have to worry about me on this situation obviously but remember that.

Oh wait, thats right. You are AMATEURS. You are actors who try to scoop up these big movies who pass through Charlotte, Wilmington and the other cities of North Carolina. You are looking for that big break-- That one second of being in the frame behind two extras behind a lead. You wait and wait---

Keep waiting. I, (and Im not the best example, but will do,) have put hours and hours, years and years of hard work into my craft. I have lost relationships with loved ones, gashed myself because we were out of fake blood, lived in a Jeep with my hundred pound lab, and studied every book, camera, editing system there is out there for the love of my craft. After almost ten years, I can finally say that all that hard work has paid off. Are you guys ready to do that for what you love? Are you ready to live in your car for a week to be the first in line for an open audition? I honestly dont think you are and if I could be so rude, you should go back to your job at TGI Fridays and start campaigning for the Managerial Job, because you will never make it. Even in North Carolina you dont stand out as a performer. Nobody cares. You should take the time to. Otherwise, you can keep waiting for the chicken suit extra role, so that you can tell your girlfriend or mother that you are a superstar. I personally will never use you for anything else again and actually may return your third rate headshots back to you to show you how little effort it takes to do anything that makes you feel good.

Anyway, since I began writing this rant my luck, (OR HARD WORK,) has paid off; Both roles are cast and weve picked up two crew members. I just need a couple more and its red team go.

Friday, September 1, 2006

Chapter 15 - Off To See The Wizard

1 Month Later

Its the third Saturday since I returned from Myrtle Beach. I stared at the computer screen. Photoshop, Final Cut Pro and Flash were open I wasnt doing anything. Just waiting for something to come along. I had been putting off doing a friend of mines short film. I wanted to have the right mind for it. That was four months ago. I checked my Myspace accountNothing. I didnt really care. I was done with that dumb shit anyway. No phone callsNo leadsNo dice. I wasnt writing. I wasnt shooting. I wasnt even thinking. Payton had a pacifier in her mouth. I had one in my ass. I had for the first time since I bailed from LA, hit the proverbial creative slump. I didnt want to do anything. I had no ideas for the submission for Spielbergs reality show. I had five short stories of my writing partner, Ricks, but just couldnt so much as read them. I couldnt do the little things such as updating my websites and well, taking a shower. Mandi was working a double so Payton, the dogs and I had some quality time.

I had five weeks prior, ordered a how to book on Flash. I had a thought of doing some serious animation for my sites or something cool with Vector Graphics, but I had also stumbled across a Special Edition of Wizard of Oz, that had a pretty good price on it. I had grown up with the movie and I thought, well, maybe I should go ahead and buy it. I could get Payton started early on it. Its only one of the greatest films ever made that didnt have violence, curse words or Harrison Ford in it.

Well, I had not even opened the box yet, due to my schedule, so I thought if I couldnt do anything else, I could sit in front of the boob tube and watch Oz. I hadnt seen it in ages. It was the perfect way to kill two hours of my boring, unproductive day.

As I started watching the film a sense of inspiration began to hit me as Scarecrow danced down the yellow brick road singing, If I Only Had a Heart. As the movie progressed, I found my synapses starting to spark and a wave of creative thinking began to hatch. I dont know what started it, but man, it was something else. Almost like sex with out the mess. By the time, the boys were sneaking into the witchs castle I was banging out To Do Lists, Mission Statements, Production Notes, Drawings and updating websites. When the movie ended, I quickly fed Payton, let the dogs out and transferred the movie to my laptop so that I could view it again in front of the editing bay. As I caught bits of clips and let the movie play out in my mind as I heard the soundtrack, I was cutting the first two scenes of Easy Mark,(my friends film.) After getting to a stopping point I pulled out my script of Meter and began revising a third draft that kicked ass. From there I was reading all of Ricks stories and drawing out sketches of how we could shoot it. I WAS ON FIRE!!!!

When the smoke cleared it was eight o clock. I was hungry so I opted to take a break. I had literally filled two small steno pads full of notes, sketches, and journal entries of my obsessive compulsive mind. After visiting with Mandi upon her return home from work, I went back at it. Mandi is addicted to Bingo and will play at anytime she can find, which sometimes pisses me off, but then other times when the creative juices are flowing, is a Godsend, just due to the fact, that she plays until two in the morning, leaving me extra hours of productivity.

Of course, that night I was cool with it. I went back to work, cutting the film. I had inadvertently planned my next four months and it didnt involve a porno. It was going to do real productions. Films--- This one, then Meter, then a film entitled Two Wrongs, that Rick had written that was excellent and all took place in a hotel room. That was it. Sunday was just as positive as Saturday was. I almost couldnt stand to leave the house. I still hadnt taken a shower, but what the hell. I was back and it didnt matter anyway. Mandi playing bingo until the wee morning hours really dampened any plans of me getting a little shagging time.

Dammit it felt good. I was off to see the fucking wizard, bitches!!!!

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