Saturday, June 28, 2008

A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.

If ever you get a hankering to work on a low budget movie just remember this one thing: No matter who's in it, the experience is going to suck balls. Seriously, it won't be fun. I am going to go and surf in the morning and then I'm going to go work in an office building in Century City at 10:30am on a Sunday. Sounds fun, no? It probably won't be but I need to get paid so off I go to spin the wheel and hope for the best.

This weekend was interesting. We got off work at 6am on Friday and went to the Drawing Room, which just happens to open at 6am. The entire camera department made it out and some of the electrics and some of the PAs, minus their shit throwing ability. The crack-up part came when Kevin Spacey walked up and said "Hi." He actually came out for a drink with us! I got fucking hammered with Kevin Spacey Friday morning and I had fun doing it! Who'd have thought Spacey was that cool, I mean, a dive bar at 6am? Too cool. He also bought everything once he showed up so it was Patron for all my friends. Needless to say, Friday was a bit of a wash.

Well, that's all for now. I'm sure that as soon as I got to work it'll all go to hell and I'll get right back on line to start bitching all over again.

Peace out, bitches!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Is this something you can share with the rest of us, Amazing Larry?

Oh it has been an interesting couple of weeks! I haven't posted in awhile because I've been sleepwalking through my real life so as to save up energy for my fake life as an AC on "Shrink," the little movie that couldn't. I said goddamn! I am tired and broken and both emotionally and spiritually broken and on top of that I have to got to the local Starfucks to get a wi-fi signal. My trusty home modem aboard the Pearl fried itself in a spasm of self-loathing and disgust with my rampant online porn addiction. What? You heard me.

This movie is going to kill me very slowly and painfully in a way that the Swedes could never have pulled off, much less dreamed of in a thousand and one frozen Swedish nights. Every decision to save money or "increase productivity" has exploded in production's face and then been thrown at the crew like shit thrown by a psychotic pack of monkeys, aka the assistant directors and PAs. I am going to explode soon and heave a lens into someones cranium. I am going to explode and burn one of our overpriced trendy locations to the ground. I am going to explode and then consume the explosion and watch it turn into an ulcer and an even more severe reliance on alcohol. Good lord, I am a small cog in a vicious machine that spits out crap while consuming all that is good and pretty in the world. "Shrink," a movie about people who make movies written by a thirty year old boy who can't tuck his shirts in but still ties a double Windsor every day. What. The. Fuck.

In happier news I went surfing before our night shoots twice and even slept on the beach for two hours and woke up with the sun. I also successfully completed a really nice late drop into a head high wave and then smacked the shit out of the lip. I think I finally kinda sorta know how to surf. God is in the little moments of joy that mean nothing to anyone but you.

Peace out, bitches!

Monday, June 16, 2008

The next guy who says "Badda-boom badda-bing" to me is getting kicked right in the fucking nuts.

Oh my god, making movies is fucking bullshit! I spent all day cooped up in a goddamn Venice "mansion" apartment baking in the heat and lights and attitude. You'd think it could be good times and whatnot, I mean, it's only the second day so no one hates each other just yet. Production is freaking out because we're running three, count 'em, three cameras with a thousand feet of film going through each one every take. That is a lot of film, my friends. That's the kind of film consumption that led Major Bitterness to comment, "What, are we making Indian Jones 5 and 6?" Ha! Anyway, production freaked out and started hiding film so my loader had to deal with the bitchy production manager, loading, and she had to keep doing staircase laps to get between the darkroom and the set. She was beat down by lunch, poor kid. Following that things got even worse and I was forced to let the other AC know that despite being on A cam I was still the head of the department. It didn't go very well. (Emily Abbott says this is fucking bullshit and she's a fucking minor!) End of the story is that I'm in charge and fuck everyone else! 

Anyway, short post tonight. I'm tired and want to get up early and do yoga cuz I'm old. What?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

If you were... if you were me, wouldn't you do the same thing for your children?

It's Father's Day here in Los Angeles even though it's 10:40pm. Still counts! Sit back down and wait till the bell sounds, goddammit! Anyway, I just wanted to stop and reflect on my father and let him know (I'm told he's an avid fan of this blog) that I love him, respect him, and want him to have a happy Father's Day in what ever third world shit hole he happens to be in at this time. Ha! Just kidding, Pops, you know I'd be right there with you if only someone would pay me a duffel bag full of Euros to go.

Funny story about my dad: When I first was introduced to guns and hunting and shooting and everything else cool about being a black redneck, my dad had the best lesson I've ever seen. I can't really remember how old I was but I do remember that I still had a chin and a well defined jawline and my stomach didn't hang over my belt. It was actually rather concave as opposed to the "bulbous" shape it now possesses but I digress. I also remember it being very hot so we were probably in the Angeles Crest in the summer. My father took a .12 gauge Mossberg (his preferred killin' stick) and loaded it with a deer slug which is a rather large hunk of lead roughly the same size as a .12 gauge. Think bigger than you'd really want anything to be especially when said item is approaching any part of you at around 1,300fps. He then proceeded to fire this deer slug into a large engine block and out the other side thus scaring the shit out of me and leading me to believe that what is best in life is not the lamentations of their women but not getting shot. Ever. I've since found myself on the wrong end of several different projectile weapons and the lesson has been reinforced. Once, Moose shot me in the chest in what had, up to that exact moment, been a perfect Norman Rockwell moment of fathers and sons happily chasing pheasant around in the hinterlands of North America. Good thing I was far away and Moose tends to aim low.

Back to the original point: Pops does lessons well. Straight to the point, no bullshit but still flashy and interesting. So today I say Happy Fathers Day, Pops! Let's chase down the cow what fucked you up and give him a taste of his own medicine! Or, more realistically, lets go to South Dakota and git some phez!

Post Script: It was once pointed out to me that the above story may have been more myth than reality but I stand by it nonetheless. Even if it never happened I'm still a good marksman and have never shot anything I didn't mean to hit and then later skin, gut, grill, and eat. Thanks again, Pops. And thanks to all the other Pops before you.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Well, all I see is squalor and dirt. And unpleasantly swarthy people.

Ha ha! I ran across the title of this post completely at random but it sort of fits with the last couple of days I've had in my neck of the woods and Hollywood. Boy oh boy, do I not want to do this stupid little movie or live in my stupid little neighborhood! I think I should finish the movie and bail out of featurettes and Atwater for good. Maybe move to the beach. We'll see. Either way there are going to have to be big changes in the future.

Friday, June 13, 2008

If she liked me any more, she'd sic the dogs on me.

So it's the last day of prep before I start a low-budget bit of weirdness for five weeks. I always get a little queasy before the start of a long show. It's like the beginning of a new relationship: unsure, uncomfortable, and no one really knows how to please anyone. Not really, anyway. It always feels like a mistake at the beginning, and on this one it probably is, but by the end I'm usually not only happy it's all over but I also happy that I was on the picture. Confusing, yes? Oui.

So far so good. No one is communicating well and we're already hearing rumors about the producers being super shady and possibly not paying people. Even the union has heard about these guys and let my loader know to watch her back. Swimming with sharks, indeed. I can't wait to get into it with someone over paychecks and grievances and overtime and meal penalties and who knows what all else. See? I'm already getting excited about my new love, my new flame, my new movie.

It's so very contrived, this script we're about to shoot. Hollywood shrink has a producer, a failed writer, an aging starlet, and a "magical" black girl as clients. Of course they all end up meeting and working each others' problems out. Oh, and they make a movie about it all. Yeah, a movie within a movie, how original. The whole movie is one stereotype after another followed by a couple of really bad scenes of people smoking pot. Pot is so cool. Pot is like the thing all the kids are into nowadays. Pot is so cool. Oh wait, did I say that already? Dude.

Ah fuck me, Freddy. This is going to be a long five weeks.

Funny story: Last night I tried to go home only to find all of the streets around my humble abode closed to traffic. Twelve cop cars and three animal control cars and a pack of horse riding cops. Couldn't even walk into the neighborhood.  Apparently the Toonerville locals got shot up or shot someone else up or some shooting of delinquents occurred.  Did I tell you I couldn't go home for awhile? I ended up falling asleep in my car for a bit and then awoke to find my previously marshal lawed neighborhood eerily quiet and completely empty. The only thing hinting at the good times that had just been had were several piles of ashes from warning flairs. No little yellow cones or chalk outlines or anything odd to show you what had happened. I was happy just to get home and walk the dog for a bit. The end result though, is that I have a migraine and I'm exhausted and I'm still in Panavision. Oh why oh why? I thought I'd be out of here this time! 


Peace out, bitches!

Monday, June 9, 2008

My god is stronger. He is the everlasting sky! Your god lives underneath him.

Oh woe is me! I'm too old, at 36, to hang out all night with the knuckleheads and not wake up hungover. I'm more or less fine but a step or two behind the rest of the world. Insult to injury: I'm stuck at my local Starbucks doing traffic school on-line because my modem fried itself and so I have no Intraweb access at home. Jeez, the music they play in here is torture! Jack Johnson, people, Jack Johnson! What crap. Anyway, I had a nice chat with my mother after I got a little drunk and she seems certain that I'm not a total prick. Here's to Mom being right.

Damn, I really do hate Starbucks.

I originally posted at 12:30 or so. It's now quarter to two with no end in sight. I've already seen the shifts change and there's one other guy on a laptop who's been here as long as me. I think he's looking at porn. I've read the entire paper, including the business section. Help. Me.

Time check: 4pm. I live here now. At least John Lee Hooker is playing on the sound system.

Peace out, bitches!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Last time I saw a mouth like that, it had a hook in it.

Ha ha! It's Sunday morning and I'm not doing shit. Read the paper already, played with the dog, tried to teach a kid basic hand-eye coordination (didn't stick), and now I'm getting ready to not go to a Dodger game. Que lastima. All in all, not a bad weekend and it ain't even over yet! Think I'll go hatch plans of proletariat revolt down at the World Famous Bigfoot Lodge. Yeah, it's Rock and Roll Bingo night and I'd really like to slide as far into a nice cold beer as possible while talking shit with the rest of the locals. Anyone ever heard the X song "The Have Nots"? There's a great line "How does it feel to have your own bottle of booze/behind the bar, how does it feel/to play cards with the barmaids while they work." I can tell you: it feels really comfy and nice and you forget that the country is going to hell in a hand basket and the guy you're going to vote for probably can't do anything about it but hey, at least you're a true local at a punk bar. It ain't much but in these uncertain times I sort of like the cozy.

Almost forgot: I had a dream in which I went to a giant buffet style restaurant, you know, multiple stations, gobs of over-cooked crap and tons of fat people mashing away. Mom, both bros and sis were there. I couldn't get served and everything was taking too long and they wouldn't give me a salad or a beer and then everyone around me was wearing horrible suits and talking like Dante in "Clerks" and I snapped. I bit into an overcooked drumstick that I'd been waiting for forever and left. I told Tarik I was leaving and then I got trapped in the freight elevator and then I was walking along a deserted country road trying to figure out how I was going to get home. Then someone asked me to volunteer at the old folks home and bring my dog. I woke up cussing and wishing that I was at AOC eating really good salami and cheese. This is why I hate sleeping.

Peace out, bitches!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Surely, you people must be aware... that the brothers are here because they cannot afford an ed-u-cation.

If perchance any of you in the blogospheroid ever have the displeasure of meeting a member of the WGA please let it know that it and its kind are on track to cost the Great State of California $2.5 billion. Yeah, two and a half billion fucking dollars so these mostly untalented hacks could whine and pretend they're somehow holier than the rest of the working stiffs in La La Land. Good God. They scorched the earth and fucked everyone and for what? What did they get? Bigger crumbs than the other mice on the wheel? In case anyone is wondering, even though the strike has been over for a bit the fallout is still coming down nice and heavy. Not too many jobs but tons of talented survivors willing to work and, in most cases, forced to work for less. Good job writers, way to fuck everyone over for a couple more shekels a word. Truth is that most of the people in the WGA either never work because they're terrible at their jobs or work as writer-directors and make millions. What do you think happens in a Guild where most of the people make peanuts while a couple of old bastards make tons? The poor get jealous and irrational and the next thing you know the whole industry takes it on the nose. The studios think this is all very funny and awesome and economically great for them. Ha! Dumb writers, they just helped the bean counters and suits gut their budgets on the backs of the working class. Maybe someone should write about that.

The point of all of this is that I now find myself presented with the enviable choice between unemployment and a five week low-budget movie. Half my day rate and twenty days of dull conversation coverage. Yeah, a movie about a shrink who services Hollywood-types shot all over LA. Sounds like a blast... Gawd, I hope the Europeans keep coming over here and spending money in the brand new Third World. Thanks to Bush and the writers we're now less expensive than going to South America or South Africa or Canada. Good times for all of us with depressed wages and rising costs of living. Help me, Obama! Help me!

Peace out, bitches!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

There's always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser, or a Corillian Death Ray, or an intergalactic plague

I spend an inordinate amount of time bobbing in the Pacific Ocean and I think it may be affecting me professionally. I also think, nay, know, that I don't care. That said I must confess that when the back lot of Universal caught on fire the other day I sort of laughed. Every time I'm on a back lot I am constantly struck by how lousy the safety systems are. I feel that way on almost every set I've ever been on, back lot or practical. Why is it that I can get fired for being unable to pull off the impossible while some jack-ass gets promoted as his set blows up? What gives? You should have heard the bitching recently about getting the correct street permit so that the crew didn't have to work in the middle of a fully opened road. Yeah, set the camera up but don't get hit by that truck barreling straight at you. Idiots.

That's it for today, just a random blob of useless information for anyone who might stumble upon this crappy excuse for a blog. I have saltwater on the brain and I think I'm going to spend the rest of the day shooting photos and playing with my self, I mean, my dog. But not like that.

Oh, this just in, got offered another low-budget movie and for some strange reason I'm thinking about taking the job. Did I learn nothing in Stockholm! Is not my new favorite scar not a constant reminder to avoid these things like the plague?! What is wrong with me? I think it's because I've had the whole week off and it's driving me insane. Every night I stay home, Charlie gets stronger. What? No really, surfing everyday and reading and trying to shoot photos is cool. For a day or two. The problem is that none of those things makes me any money and until I'm out of debt or dead I think I need to be earning some cash. Ah freelance life, what a bitch.

Peace out, bitches!

Monday, June 2, 2008

You're in a desert, walking along in the sand when all of a sudden you look down...

So I haven't posted in ages because I've been both busy with helping to ruin the future generation of American leaders and losers AND I've been busy not giving myself enough time to sit still and get all depressed again. First things first, though, and let me tell ya about goofy Hollywood shit.

Last time I took time to post I think I was babbling about the Disney music video but following that job came some more fun stuff. I did a commercial for an Italian lozenge and it was very weird and somewhat racist, thus cementing in my mind that you can never really recover from being a fascist state (stay tuned USA). The premise: couple bumps into a guy coming out of a Chinese restaurant and they know him. The guy only speaks to them in "Chinese" until they hand him the lozenge and suddenly he speaks English. Doesn't sound too bad, right? Uh, yeah. The characters were all Jewish stereotypes and the whole Chinese restaurant was absurdly caricatured. Fucking ad guys, always resorting to cheap tricks and stereotypes. I was actually waiting for someone to say, "Can you make it more. . . I dunno, hebbe-ish?" The other great part about all of this was that it happened at night in fake rain and real cold. Good times. I was thankfully wrong, and it didn't go too bad with the gear but my boots suddenly leaked and my supposedly water-proof rain coat turned out to be incapable of withstanding the monsoon conditions the effects guys insisted on creating. Oh, best part, I went to the restroom and when I came back I left my fly open and got soaked. Ha! There's a first time for everything including accidental cock soaking in a midnight monsoon at the CBS back lot for a pack of racist Italian ad guys. 

The second day was even better as we were up at the crack of dawn and on the road to nowhere good aka Sylmar. We shot this seriously stoned hippy in front of a house and when he eats a lozenge fruit falls from the sky and it snows and his dog turns into a fake penguin controlled by fishing line. Oh, just to keep up with the semi-racist theme, his gardener was Mexican and totally superfluous to the commercial. Why was he in the frame? He didn't get to do anything. Was he there for verisimilitude, as if all gardeners are Mexican? What the fuck Italian ad guys? Make me a pizza, bitches! Odd day, that's for sure but the work went pretty painlessly and the DP (another rock and roll Swede) was really cool and seemed to like me and the rest of the crew. Yee-haw! More Swedes! I hooked him with my vast knowledge of Stockholm and it's drinking environs. He invited me to do a movie later this summer. Should I stay or should I go?

In personal news, I've been surfing non-stop for three days and even got to surf with Melah for two of those days and Moosetafari came out for one and tried a long board. Ha! Hilarious times. Mooseskaphales, you rock for trying to surf! Try posting more often! Why am I shouting?!

My shrink just told me I need to find something to get into for when I'm not working. Well, something beyond going to the gym and surfing and yoga and soon skateboarding (yeah, my leg is almost in skateboarding condition!). I think I need to take some time and really push myself to do a show-length photo project. I'm going to shoot some signs and storefronts along Central tomorrow post-surf and see what happens. Truth be told, I always feel like any photo I shoot is bullshit and has probably been shot already by someone a thousand times better than me. It suddenly starts to seem pointless to even pick up a camera but I know I need to power through and just shoot. It makes me happy and even if all the photos suck I end up liking one or two even though I'm fucking loathe to admit that to anyone. Except you, you special guy/girl, you!

Time to walk dawg and do some yoga and maybe, just maybe, meditate for the first time in ages. I love you all.

Peace out, bitches!