Daily Archives: May 22, 2012

So I’m back from Alabama.

For those who are fuzzy on the details, I have spent the last month working on a faith-based family film in Mobile, Alabama. Our two locations were a bible camp & a church, and no, I did not burst into flames at either place. I take this, alongside the very existence of this film, as final and lasting proof that there is no god.

The script for the film was… words fail… “awful,” “terrible,” “a pile of shit,” … none of them really convey the bland, flavorless tedium, the effortless mediocrity, that went into this screenplay. This film, Yellow Day, is a movie about… nothing. It presents itself as a kind of Christian romance with a young accountant becoming a stalker and hunting down an attractive, fucked-up girl he’s only met once, who is, inexplicably, glad to see him when he discovers that reports of her death have been greatly exaggerated (this happy ending is an event which was added in one of the multitudinous rewrites and is never explained; therefore miraculous, I presume).

In actuality, the film is little more than a 90-minute promotional film for Camp Grace, the aforementioned bible camp, owned by the film’s primary financier. We spent day after tedious day shooting people touring the camp during its fictional, non-denominational Yellow Day festival, stopping at each “attraction” in the camp to explain to the tourists, and we few, we happy few, filming it, what the appeal was of each stop.

Shooting a truly bad film isn’t new to me. Hell, I do it almost every month. But shooting one which was being so badly made, and wasting so much money doing it, just goes against the grain. The “writer” and executive producer who collected the money for the film is a spoiled little rich shit who’s never had to work a day in his life. The director of photography is a well-known Steadicam operator who hasn’t really been the head honcho on a movie, and he shoots… well… like a Steadicam operator. His lighting made no sense, his shots were always loose and sloppy, and the look of the film is very flat overall. The director is an extremely nice man who has done tons of television sitcoms and awards shows, productions which have absolutely no bearing whatsoever on the way a film is shot.

When the original, extremely optimistic schedule was set, it was based on the director’s assertion her could shoot 10 pages a day with no trouble. No one realized until day one that he was completely out of his depth. It surprised him, for example, that we had to move lights for every shot. It didn’t help that his nephew, the writer, was there trying to direct every shot and scene for him. When the producers told the writer and director that there wasn’t enough money to shoot everything they had planned for the church and cuts would have to be made, it was the writer, not the director, who threw a tantrum, literally jumping up and down like a 5-year-old.

And so we ground on, day after day, shooting 21 days instead of the original 15. Every day was something new, ridiculous, absurd, or insulting. The constant exasperation was exhausting, and it was just a matter of time before we all started phoning it in. By the end of the schedule, we were all desperate to get out, bitterly congratulating those who were getting away before us. I had a countdown clock on my phone set to tick away the seconds until my plane left for home.

Now that I’m back, mired in my own struggles and drama and low-level unhappiness, I’m surprised I’m not more relieved. Things here are certainly disappointing, and on many levels, emotionally exhausting, but they beat the hell out of Yellow Day.

One thing I will take away is my amusement at the writer’s total lack of education regarding his own faith. It wasn’t just the way he kept crossing himself in the church when we shot there, despite the fact he isn’t a Catholic; it was a collection of subtle elements strewn throughout the script. I didn’t think anything would top his enduring metaphor that appears over and over again that Jesus is just like the banana spider (I’m not making this up), at which point I though, hmmm… a heartless predator that ensnares its prey in a web and drains the life out of them while they live? Not far off…

If I believed any of that ever occurred to him, I would have had more respect. It didn’t. My favorite moment, however, was the irony of having his mystical girl-child version of the fucked-up adult girl dancing around a cross as if it were a Maypole, singing “Ring Around the Rosie…”

That just still hurts my head on so many levels, I could spend an entire blog on all the ways it was wrong.

Just like my life. And the banana spider. And Jesus.

  • @AdriannaNicole ride the crazy, just protect your pet rabbit. #
  • @JamesDeen @GOOD Well done, sir. I had a feeling you were thinking about a few of us you know when writing your first answer… #
  • @Penny_Pax because you're hawt. Duh. #
  • I think I fixed it… #
  • Was just given a privilege I very much plan to abuse…;) #
  • @ArabelleRaphael @Princess_DonnaD yeah… you have to watch out for the ones who show up with pitons and clawhammers… #
  • @Princess_DonnaD @arabelleraphael Of course, the sane, vanilla ones all run screaming from me, anyway… and they're probably right to… #
  • @Amber_Raynexxx So. Boring. Vanilla BDSM. Where's the pissing? The fisting? The anal? How about just choking or face-fucking for chrissakes? #
  • Romantic thought for the day: http://t.co/jK8nlCRn #
  • @Amber_Raynexxx and you know horse crap! #
  • Ladies, if you masturbated to "50 Shades of Grey," you have NEVER had good sex. Men, well… you're gay. Accept it and we'll all be happier. #
  • @lexiswallow I shot an entire (mainstream) movie in a church and survived, if you can imagine such a thing… #
  • @JoannaAngel Masturnap? #
  • @lexiswallow It was a close call. I just kept myself occupied by thinking filth the entire time. #
  • @brooklynleexxx @TanyaTate Brooklyn, are you being adopted? #
  • @ventue @remylacroixxx Now, if you actually get the reference, I think I just fell in love with you… #
  • @lexiswallow Really? You should text me some of it. I could use the distraction… #
  • @remylacroixxx Okay, you are officially even more awesome. Had a lovely conversation about you today with the former owner of AVN, BTW. #
  • @remylacroixxx Yup. Not for public disclosure, but we agreed we're both very enamored. Sometime I'll tell ya in private. #
  • I turned down dinner with one of my favorite people in the world to write, and now I'm tweeting like a maniac to avoid writing? #retarded #
  • @BrandyAniston I forgot about that! I wanna get my frenum put back in if I can convince @BarryScott_xxx to handle my junk! #
  • @BrandyAniston @BarryScott_xxx We'll have to set that up! #
  • @thezoeyholloway Lemme just put it this way; I jerk off WAY MORE to avoid writing than I ever do for entertainment. #SadInAWayReally #
  • Girls, I realize fisting your ass is an unusual way for me to express my affection, but at least you know it's heartfelt. #
  • @BurnettRM Worst. Simile. Ever. #
  • @JamesDeen If? Yeah, no, I'm pretty sure you're Arthur. Or maybe Penfold from "Dangermouse." #
  • @TaraLynnFoxx @davenaz I'm excited to see 'em. I like to think I'm a connoisseur of kinky… #
  • @JamesDeen aha. Good call. #
  • @OforOdile They're fantastic memories, believe me. But, of course, I'm a total sucker for painslut redheads. #
  • @Penny_Pax @sarahshevon My first thought was, "that sounds like a DP with Justin Beiber and Jake Gyllenhaal." #
  • @davenaz Now I'm INCREDIBLY curious… #
  • @BurnettRM at first I found the fan-made one by mistake, and dread filled me… thank bob I rectified that. #
  • I'm starting to re-think this whole "I don't need to buy cookies" decision… #
  • @Princess_DonnaD I feel like I've been living one for a while. Just not sure whose it is… #
  • @Skin_Diamond I did the exact same thing, although I'm sure I was thinking about someone else… #
  • Okay, that was one of the stranger little mental digressions I've ever had. #
  • Oh good. Apparently, I have another stalker… At least this one is cute… *sigh* #
  • @JoannaAngel I'm in the same boat. And this boat suck ass. #
  • Okay, thanks, ya'all, but NO, the stalker is NOT a good thing. #
  • Based on that drunk misdial I know Puma Swede & Diana Doll are somewhere out there, and they are GONNA FIND the motherfuckin' after party! #

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