Thursday, April 29, 2010

This is every shade of wrong.

This may or not be late news to the rest of you lucky cunts back in the States but goddammit, I just found out that a Bush interviewed a Clinton (actually, THE Clinton) about a Clinton marrying a Wall Street legacy and no one argued or called each other names or mentioned one fucking thing about how everyone involved in the story was either directly involved with causing the country's economic problems or with leading to the country's economic problems or, at the very least, related to the country's economics problems. No, wait, at the very least they could have mentioned how one party tried to ruin the other party through tenuous character assassination.

No, what happened was that one royal family yapped with anther royal family and nothing got said or dealt with.

As I travel I am more and more annoyed with the USA and more and more certain I'm never moving away. It sucks just enough less than everywhere I've been so I guess I'll stay.

We are all a stain on the existence of mankind and maybe the monkeys or apes should take over.

Either way, tis' fun for now so...

Peace out, bitches!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The weed be lettin' you know... Evil lurks.

Ow. Ow. Ow.

I skated the park for a few hours today. It was fun until I made the mistake of trying to improve myself by relearning frontside rock and rolls (look it up). The fucked up thing is I used to have those on lock and now... I tried for about half an hour, kind of got them back all sketched out and then wham! Slid out and smacked my fucking face on the tranny and damn near put my left hand through the ramp. My shoulder hurts, I saw stars, and now the right side of my face feels raw. Sweet. It even hurts to type.

Fucking skateboarding. I love it- nice ollies over the hip and some buttery 5-0 grinds on the small slant ramp. I hate it- frontside rock to faceplant, pathetic attempts at a pop shuvit over the hip, general lack of skills and bad ollies over the hip.

I almost got backside 5-0s though, so you know, I've got that going for me to.

I think I'll hit the gym now and see if there's anything besides cardio that I can do right now without tearing what's left of my shoulder to bits.

Peace out, bitches!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

They're doing the skateboard shuffle! Frontside grind, anytime!

Uh, useless info first: we shot. It went well for me but we cut two scenes because the art department fucked up. We got out early. I watched dailies and everything looked good and there was only one moment where focus was a, uh how you say, not so good. Ingen bra. We did multiple takes so no big deal. Wrap!

Not at all useless info: I Skyped with my crazed parents and it was nice. They've gone round the bend with their friends and are now hipper than I am in some circles because they're fucking urban farmers. Yeah, they've got herbs and veggies growing in high tech shit and well, there you go.

Totally awesome info: I killed the skatepark. Well, I killed it in the sense that a fat ass 38 year old who hasn't really skated in years can kill a new fangled skatepark. Björn and Crille and I went after dailies and no one else was there! It was perfect. I'm now a member of the Junkyard Skatepark in Trollhättan, Sweden and the last time I had a membership at a skatepark I had a learner's permit. Still have that ID, from the one and only Pipline Skatepark (RIP). Good times. I love skateboarding. It really does keep you young while reminding you of how old you're actually getting. I've decided it's like golf. Yeah, after almost 25 years on a useless wooden toy I've come to the conclusion that I've basically been playing golf. Think about it: Skateboarding is one of the hardest individual sports you can take up. It hurts. It's expensive. The smallest advancement takes ages. Everyone thinks you're an idiot for spending so much time doing it. It makes no sense, really. Like golf and masturbation all you need is you. I could go on but you've probably gotten the point by now. I've been playing golf and I don't care. It's fucking awesome.

I even made a really fast and tricky line up and over this hip/wall ride fucker and into the bowl, out of the bowl, did a Smith grind up a wave like transition, and then ollied the hip with, I'm told, a good deal of height. I did my first frontside 50-50 on transition in over a decade. What the fuck? It was fun.

OK, I'm done. I'm tired and my bruises are starting to hurt. Oh, dumbest thing ever, after skating we went and worked out and did some sort of brutal cross training that Crille's Special Forces brother in law taught him. I think I pulled something, something important.

Damn fine day.

Peace out, bitches!

Monday, April 19, 2010

"I'm going 75 klicks above the Do Lung bridge.""That's Cambodia, Captain.""That's classified."

Started in a mud hut and then moved to a boat. The boat was a nice change of pace: small, cramped, lots to do and no room to do it in. Oh wait, that's every job more or less. Ah well, the river here is nice to look at and the fields alternating with giant Saab factories strikes just the right discordant note with me.

We shot a scene in which Cornelis meets one of his wives, Bim. Yes, they even use the line "Sim Sala Bim." It was nice, though. Very touchy feelie with a decadent 70s party in the background.

Oh, they eat crawdads here as a tradition when they're on boats in the summer. It's sort of cool: a crawdad broil on a riverboat with beers, wine, and champagne in a relatively bucolic landscape. We staged the party and the whole boat smelled like delicious crawdads and I had none. I ate sand. You ate what? I ate sand and pulled focus and was generally cramped and slightly annoyed until we got off the boat. Not a bad day of work but could have been easier if everyone else would have gotten the fuck out of the way. So it goes.

Post-boat trip we packed up our shit, dropped it off, and made a beeline for the Junkyard Skatepark, again. This time I actually skated pretty well and managed to fall from about four feet up a wall and miss the live saving transition and hit the bruise creating flats. Good times. The next kid that tried my line made it look like he was walking down the street. Damn ripping Swede kids. Skateboarding rules the barren earth.

Tomorrow we're in a tiny house that smells of rot and will probably fall to pieces around us. After the house we've decided to skate again and then lift weights. It's so funny, when my friend was here with the same director, DP, and second all he did was drink and run around like a lunatic. Same guys but now everyone wants to exercise and skate. I'm fucking stoked since I need to loose weight anyway. Drinks on Friday? Why not.

What was I going to tell you? Oh yeah, I keep spotting deer on the edges of the fields around town and everyone thinks I've got some sort of magical "hunter's eye." Here's to it working when I get back to Cali for summer bow hunting.

OK, I'm done and doner and tired as hell and the bruise on my hip is telling me to lie the fuck down or it'll punch me in the dick.

Peace out, bitches!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

And, if my current state of much-justified petulance permits me to press the point, you are likeways demonstratably bereft of a working understanding of the perimeters of our beforementioned mission at hand.

This has been a most intriguing and fairly painless week of film making, even by Swedish standards.

We are in the country, more or less, and there are fields and wild woods and marshes all around. I've seen more deer, geese, ducks, and what looks like grouse, then I've ever seen in one place. Well, maybe not the ducks as I've seen some pretty good flocks come in to good ol' San Jacinto. Anywhy, the hunting around here must be fucking insane during the season and, best of all, everything is huge around here. Geese- biggest I've ever seen and loud and gorgeous and amazing. Ducks- I was a drake mallard that looked to be about the size of medium sized dog. He was massive. If the water hadn't been freezing I might have tried to jump in and grab him although he could probably have eaten me. Big duck is what I'm saying. Deer- Big! They're like fucking horses and they're not even showing racks yet. I really want to go hunting in Sweden.

We went out on Friday and that was pretty much a wrap on Saturday. I ended up staying out all night with Björn (2nd AC) and Spike (video) and good lord Vikings can drink. We had Indian food and beers then went bowling with beers and then went to see a metal show with beers. I won the bowling... match? What the hell do you call a round of bowling? It's not really a game is it? Whatever, I was victorious and I don't even bowl so maybe Crom is looking out for me this time.

Today has been far more productive: yoga, laundry with the worst washer/dryer set up ever, skateboarding at the Junkyard Skate Park, and and hour at the gym for free because we said we were "testing" it out. Not my fault if these fools are going to give us two weeks of gym time for free. We just had some good Thai food and I think it's now time to fold laundry and read for a bit. Easy livin' here in Trollywood.

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

And when there was no crawdad to be found, we ate sand. You ate what? We ate sand.

Today was our first day of shooting the film Cornelis. It is a film about a Dutch immigrant to Sweden who ends up becoming a folk music hero and living a rock and roll lifestyle and eventually crashing and burning professionally as an old man but not before he makes things right with his boy. It's apparently touching and moving and very important to Swedes and other assorted European types who loved the man's music. I am going to listen to some of his music if I can find it on iTunes.

Ah, well, it would seem Cornelis is Swedish for Bob Dylan if he Dylan never plugged in his guitar. Lots of blues and bluegrass and what I can only surmise are traditional Swedish and Dutch influences. Not bad but I think the life was bigger than the music.

All in all, we kicked ass today and they only worked us for nine hours. When they called wrap I seriously thought she said lunch even though we'd already eaten (passable meatballs on sticks(?) but I made them promise to get some hot sauce for tomorrow).

Basically, after yesterday's and the day before sucking things seemed to have turned around. I suspect my calm and collected "Hell no" response to several things worked as I received my per diem and a promise of a direct deposit of my paycheck and incidentals to my account by the end of the week. Sometimes it's good to be a skate punk from LA in Sweden.

I ate well tonight: little restaurant in the hotel with amazing rack of lamb with potatoes and asparagus and started off with perfectly done little scallops in an avocado creme with arugula followed by a peach tart with creme. Heaven.

Here are some photos from today. Enjoy!

Peace out, bitches!

Monday, April 12, 2010

My name is Ash and I am a slave. As far as I can figure, the year is thirteen hundred A.D and I'm being dragged to my death. It wasn't always like this, I had a real life, once. A job.

Today, well yesterday now, was not a very good day.

I woke up nice and early after sleeping through the night for the first time since leaving LA. It was lovely. I had breakfast, stretched a bit, and took a cab to the Swedish Film Institute, which is where the Swedish rental house we're abusing, I mean using, is located. Lovely building, eastern edge of Stockholm, very moderne and cool looking. I got in with all my luggage and expected to find Bjorn in the midst of all of the new to him Panavision gear. What I found was that our delivery was late and we would have to busy ourselves with busy work: making labels for gear, organizing our truck, building carts, and some arts and crafts with fluorescent colored tape. All fun and games for two hours and then we started worrying. Where is the gear? Forty-five minutes away. An hour later, where is the gear? Forty-five minutes away. This went on for six fucking hours.

There is no more boring place than a film set if you're not busy except a prep house.

When we finally got out gear we ran through it as fast as possible and then loaded everything onto our camera truck. Apparently we have the best truck in Sweden. It sucks. It's a good sized box mounted on a lawnmower and it is dangerously overloaded and underpowered and threatens to tip over while at stop lights. If it makes it through this job I will be very surprised.

Best addition to camera truck: 5 million pound ramp with a crappy transition that the DP had his grip make. I'd like to find that sonofabitch and kick him in the balls. This is one of the worst ramps I've ever had the displeasure of wedging into a camera truck. Ever!


After driving in the Death Box, as we've affectionately named it, all damn night we arrived in Trollhattan. Which is to say, we took off hours late and drove from LA to SF along the coast and showed up well after everyone else had gone to bed. We did get a note with our keys saying that because of insurance reasons we had to unload the truck. By hand. One case at a time as the elevator is too small for carts.

This shall not stand.

It took us an hour. We're not doing it again. Hire a guy to watch the truck. Cover it in cow shit. Put land mines around it. Block it in with other trucks. Or, alternately, unload it your damn selves!

It's 4am. I'm going to try to Skype my lady and tell her I love her and then I'm done. Out. Gone.

I may finally quit a show in the middle of it. It'll be a first but...

Peace out, bitches!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A man should never lose his hand at hunting.

I have been up since 4pm yesterday. I have had dinner with my friend Bjorn, watched several movies and tons of BBC news, read the last of my Nation magazines, walked around Slussen as the sun rose, eaten a kick ass breakfast, worked out, swam a few laps, wandered around Slussen some more to buy a plug adapter and some cool gloves, and now I am sitting and typing and waiting to Skype my lady love. I have been up for 25 hours and I am now officially scared of the impending crash.

I have got to get this shit under control. I have work to do very very soon. Our first shoot day is Tuesday and I need to be game tight so as to set the tone: pay this niggah and do not fuck with him. If you don't instill the proper perfect mix of fear and respect these people will eat you alive. What do you mean "these people"? I mean muthafuckin' movie types, dawg! It's vicious out here. One wrong step and people start wondering aloud, in English, why you're here as opposed to their buddy from down in Sudermalm. You mustn't loose your footing, as it were, in terrain such as this.

I have been eating well, at least. A donner kabab here, a  trundsbrullen there, and last night some almost right tapas. I think the problem is that the ingredients just aren't quite fresh enough up here in the frozen north. This time the preparation was right, the presentation off, and the overall taste just not quite there. I wonder what would happen if you got a really good purveyor and did tapas like the Spaniards do? I wonder if you'd be a millionaire in one year because it would be so vastly different and better than anyone else in town. I think we're going to go for Thai tonight at the weirdo joint I went to two years ago. It's a restaurant designed to look like a beach with beach hut restaurant on the beach in Thailand. What? Yeah, it's hilarious but the food is damn good.

So I am going to try to talk to my fiance via Skype. I miss her. I miss the Midget. Sigh. The first step is always the hardest but honestly, they all kind of suck until you get to the last one.

Peace out, bitches!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

If I say it's safe to surf this beach, it's safe to surf this beach!

It's 6:30 in the morning here in the wonderful outskirts of London and "Appalachin Spring" just woke me up. Lovely. I looked at Facebook to see what everyone else was up to and found that my pal had posted this so I decided to share this before breakfast (modified Full English if possible). Enjoy!

Skateboardanimation from Tilles Singer on Vimeo.

Peace out, bithces!

Sometimes I wonder what we're doing here... grown men making mud pies to sell to the great unwashed.

Panavision London is a actual movie making rental house. Old school, nahmean? Probably not but hey, not everyone can be dumb enough to work in the film business.

It's cavernous and maze-like and the staff is unfailingly polite and helpful. So wonderfully British in a sense and still very old-school Hollywood. Yeah, they have all the digital crap you could need but all anyone wanted to talk about was film gear, the death of the apprenticeship system, the tragedy of the "Suits" having taken over the studios, and on and on. I felt right at home.

It's that longing you hear in certain places for what was and is no longer. Sometimes it's an absurd longing like Russian pensioners pinning away for COMMUNISM when really they just need the kleptocracy to quit. Sometimes it's a mean longing like old and decaying Senators waxing poetic about dead racists. Rarely it's the longing of someone who has taken the time to truly learn a trade that is now falling by the wayside. I admire the technicians and artists and wheelers and dealers who made Hollywood what it was, good and bad, and who then made that little locale into a worldwide concept. They may not have all been good people but then again, who is?

I prepped and met some nice people with great accents, took a two mile walk roundtrip, and ate some really good Indian food at a local joint here in Greenford, Middlesex, UK. Not a bad way to make a buck.

Tomorrow I walk back to Panavision and dot the i's and cross the t's and get on a plane for Stockholm. So it goes.

Peace out, bitches!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

As soon as I get to the bottom of this, I'll get the next plane.

So, um, yeah. London. Londonnnnnnn! Wow. Yeah. No, not so really. I'm in Greenford, Middlesex which really just sounds like one of those towns in which nothing happens until aliens or zombies or a murder occur. There's a highway or whatever the chaps call it, right next to the hotel. Everything is wet and overcast but the pub is fucking tops. I actually had a real order of fish and chips: full slab of one actual fish, perfectly done chips, and really good tartar sauce. I washed it all down with a two pints of York's Bitters and bam, I'm in a much better place both spiritually and physically. Funny how well food works when it's done right.

So, um, yeah. London. Gonna go find Panavision tomorrow bright and early and I'll start knocking out a camera and some lenses. After that I'll probably... right, nothing to do around here. I'll probably come back to the hotel and watch BBC News and see what's actually going on in the world. It'll be a wonderful change from watching the news in the States, there might be news!

OK, I'm out and I'm going to start reading Pynchon's "Against The Day" for the third time. I'm hoping the isolation and oddness of Sweden will allow me time to actually get this damn book read. We'll see. Or read. What the fuck ever, you get it, ya?

Peace out, bitches!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery!

I'm packed. I've got a skateboard and a back up deck in case the one I'm riding now breaks. I've got rain gear and cold weather gear. I've got my trusty Port-A-Brace full of tools and what what.

I've eaten a pastrami sandwich at Canter's, a pizza at Domianos, shrimp and crawfish etouffe at Harold and Belle's, a gigantor burrito at El Chabelita, chili and a lamb sandwich at Philipe's, and shrimp tacos at this little joint by my mechanic's. I've eaten like a champ all over LA and I'm now ready to go to Sweden for two months and eat... salmon. Lots of salmon.

The food will probably be mostly bad but at least I know what to expect this time around. I'm bringing my bow with me too. No sense in not practicing while out and about with the Vikings. Train and make a movie and eventually come back and go deer hunting, then get married, then go elk hunting in Arizona. This might end up being the perfect year.

Peace out, bitches!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

And maybe there's no peace in this world, for us or for anyone else, I don't know. But I do know that, as long as we live, we must remain true to ourselves.

On a lighter and more positive note, here are some photos of my hot wife-to-be (and one of me) from our recent unsuccessful turkey hunt. Oh, and a couple from Big Bear. Enjoy!

Viddy well, little brother. Viddy well.

Ha ha! I'm in Big Bear and I'm the big asshole! Ha ha! Tis always that one drink too many and the tongue begins to yammer whilst the brain lags behind and then lo and behold, you're a dick and no one likes you!

It would hurt had I not been here oh so many damn times but what can I say? I warn 'em every time but they all think I'm some sort of nice person. But I'm not. I'm an asshole. I knows it. You should knows it. Everyone that's known me for a while knows it so...

I digress. I made a funny. It flopped. I apologized but not enough even though no one had the nuts to tell me so. What am I to do? Epic fail as always I guess. Tis a wrap for me, I'm done. No more from upon these cruel lips shall pass. I is mute for the trip.

I shall see my people once again come Friday and mayhaps I'll speak again but I think not. I. Am. Not. Acceptable.

Fuck yous.

No, really, I'm done and it's fine. I am not ready for prime time. I will retire myself and you can all get on with it in proper fashion and I'll come back from Sweden one day and we'll all see if I've matured enough to welcomed into proper society. Till then, have fun. I'll think of you all often. Adieu.