{Like Spinning Leaves: February 2007

Like Spinning Leaves

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Exit Wounds

quick update from the Albuquerque airport. On my way to Nashville for the final week of filming for Tennessee. Kind of ready to get this all over with and get back to all things New York.

I saw a bagel out here that made me want to cry.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Flying Hoagie = ...Success?

When (sorry, if) you think about how the wealthy must live, you (or at least, I) tend to imagine something along the lines of Dean Martin in that movie where he has a circular mechanical bed that rolls him towards the opposite side of his room, tilts up, and gently tips him into a giant swimming pool full of bubbles.

In the back of your mind, you know scenarios such as these aren't that far off the mark but it doesn't actually register until you witness it firsthand and say to yourself, "wow, people really do do that."

Yesterday, a very large box (actually, several boxes taped together) from The Higher Ups in Philadelphia arrived addressed to a Higher Up (also from Philly, originally) on set. I know the title of this post, much like the working title of The Usual Suspects ("Keyser Spacey"), kind of gave away the ending but the package was filled with all the trashy (read: delicious) comfort foods the City of Brotherly Love could muster.

As the box was being torn open like a nintendo 64 on christmas, there was some speculation as to what the gift had in store. Sure enough there were sodas and snack foods synonymous with the region like Frank's Black Cherry Wishniak and TastyKakes, respectively (click here for more) but none of that was particularly impressive.

It wasn't until he pulled out a soft, vaguely roll shaped hunk of plastic that things took a turn for the absurd. Not only did it contain a giant, fresh, and picture perfect italian hoagie, but a little vial of oil as well. They even went the extra mile by wrapping the bread in a different piece of vacuum sealed plastic so the meat wouldn't make it soggy on the flight from Pennsylvania to New Mexico.

And yes, there was a cheesesteak too. No word on whether it was Pat's or Gino's but I can only assume it was the former since the rest of the package didn't seem hell bent on offending the decent average joe's culinary sensibilities (like everything from Gino's does)...I'm kidding of course, I could care less about that ridiculous rivalry.

So it's true. Rich people really do fly food across the country for other rich people.

Also, speaking of flying, rich, and this movie: I have no idea if this is true, but I feel like we would have heard about it if this had actually happened.

Off to set.

Also, Ent3rtainment Tonight sucks. More on this later.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


not much has been happening over the last two weeks (hence the lack of updates). Shooting has been pretty straightforward and there aren't any major events of which I can speak. We passed the 15-hour-day mark yesterday...today looks to be more of the same since no other day has more scenes scheduled...

I'll probably have something more to say when it comes time to shoot the car chase scene...something about exploding dirt...?

I did get a chance to see some of the dailies though and aside from the great photography, this looks like it's shaping up to be a pretty decent film. I'll withhold my final judgment till something is actually cut together but there's some good acting afoot.

Starting to get homesick.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Just Shake The Stripper'sHand

Then leave. Right away.

There isn't much I can say about Moriarity, New Mexico. Most of it was blanketed by a fresh snowfall but I get the feeling the average passerby wouldn't have even noticed the placed existed if it hadn't been, if that makes any sense.

The location of yesterday's shoot was located just off Exit 203 on 40 East. It consisted of three things: A Diner, A Seedy Motel, and A Topless Bar. That's it. Oh, there were the fun, family themed camp grounds on the opposite side of I-40 but other than that, snow just stretched on towards the horizon in all directions.

I want to recount some crazy story from the set but the truth is, this crew is so organized that we're having a pretty tough time as far as the documentary goes. Anytime a problem crops up, it gets resolved so quickly and so efficiently that the dramatic tension just falls flat on its face.

Still, this first week has been pretty basic so I shouldn't expect too much. There's still a car chase, stowing away on a freight train, a fight scene or two, and the two main characters stretched out on the runway as airplanes pass directly overhead (Wayne's World?) to look forward to. Speaking of car chases, I am sad to announce that B. Mac is no longer part of the cast. They're still working on alternatives (they have until next week till his character begins shooting) so I won't say who for now. But where was I...

Ah yeah, the topless bar. I didn't bother to look up the name (foolish, because it would have been hilarious, I'm sure) but the inside was everything you could possibly hope for in strip club in The Middle Of Nowhere, New Mexico. The decor (if you can call it that with a straight face), the patrons, the scantily clad girls from the local community college...all of it smacked of Hollywood artificiality - I really thought I was on some sort of carefully studied (perhaps even overly so) film set...but no, these people were the real deal. There was even a crude hand drawn sign over the front door that read "No Prostitution" in thin green marker.

I know what you're thinking, what business did I have in there (the woman in charge of catering certainly had some raised eyebrows and "What Would Your Mother Say?" type queries for us later)? But understand that it was the only place large enough to accommodate the crew for meals throughout the day. So that morning, while I was eating a vegetable omelette 10 yards away from a dance pole while listening to AC/DC's "Hell's Bells," I didn't think it could get any more surreal.

It was topped only by the director leading "me" (read: the camera) away from the set in the diner, through the kitchen, and beyond a back door that opened up directly into the back of the topless bar where a hefty woman in a fluorescent pink (black lights and all) g string was gyrating to Rammstein's "Du Hast." Not that anyone in there realized it was completely inappropriate to pair attempts at arousal with a rejection of traditional German wedding vows (thanks, Internet!) but whatever allows for the most pelvic thrusts I guess...?

Even weirder was after we had wrapped for the day and Owens and I stopped in for a quick sip before embarking on an hour long trip through a snowfall so thick and fast that it was just enough to be a serious hindrance without becoming downright dangerous. Sorry that wasn't really a sentence. But yeah, we were in there for all of 10 minutes when MC's "Heartbreaker" came on. If only it had happened an hour or two earlier when she (undoubtedly) poked her head in for a laugh.

As for the stripper? I didn't catch her name but she approached the table where Owens and I were seated (Space Balls 2: The Search For More Money) and we introduced ourselves. A word of advice to my friend Jason if you're reading this: Steer clear of titty bars in Moriarty. You're only going to remind that poor freshman girl of the two guys who booked it about two seconds after she smiled and said, "I'll be right back."