Relationships

In a sense, there can be a real benefit to being a day player. Today through Wednesday, I’m shooting second camera on a Wicked feature.  Unlike other projects where I’m the writer or DP, I didn’t have any discussions with the director, I didn’t scout, I didn’t prep. When the shoot is over, I go home and (assuming what I shot doesn’t suck) never hear about it again.

With everything going on in my life, everything I’m involved in, I find this very attractive. I have a strong impulse lately to sharpen my focus on what’s really important personally and professionally, and not sweat the rest.

This is a huge change for me. Normally, I take everything way too seriously. The trick is judging correctly what is and isn’t important. That’s why I make lists.

LL makes lists as well. She has her list of reasons we won’t work, I have mine. She has her list of guys she distracts herself (some more serious than others), I have my hookers, (far fewer than normal, none of whom are serious at all). And all of it is simply the two of us dancing as fast as we can to avoid the issue of “us.”

Because it is an issue. And where it’s concerned, LL & I are… confused… she is terrified of investing in me because I’m a bitter, dissolute, emotionally fucked up disaster. And who could blame her?

For my part, I vacillate between continued belief that we’re incompatible in the long run, and absolute certainty that we’re perfect for each other.

So, yeah. It’s a mess.

To complicate matters, we’ve had a shake-up in the Cowboys & Engines casting, and LL is now my female lead. So no matter what happens, we’re stuck with each other for a while. I imagine she’ll fall madly in love with one of her boy toys just when I decide I really want to get her. Such is my life.

Poduction on C&E has been pushed back to late February. This lets us end the Kickstarter campaign in late January when James Deen will be in Park City doing press for The Canyons at Sundance. I feel a lot better about this than ending the campaign near Christmas.

Overall, I’m thrilled. It’s just more prep time, and I’ll take all of that I can get.

I’m learning that it’s a dangerous thing to have a blog people actually read. You begin editing your comments based on who might stop by to see what you’ve said about them. It’s inevitable. Of course, then you run the risk of posting something so bland and vague no one will want to read it… which, granted, eliminates the problem.

LL is a perfect example; she’s living with me temporarily until she can get a place with her friend Amanda. It’s been about six weeks now, and there’s a lot I’d like to say about her, but she reads my blog (hi!). By writing about her, I run the risk of revealing something she considers private, saying something unintentionally hurtful, or, worst of all, posting something that reads as if I’m trying to manipulate her in a passive-aggressive fashion knowing she’ll read it.

Oy. Lemme just say it’s been interesting. We get along great, and despite the fact that we spend a fair amount of time discussing why we could never work as a couple, it kinda feels like dating. Well, dating with a lot less sex (we’ve fooled around three times since she moved in, which is about %7 or what I would expect from a relationship). Except for the times when it makes me feel infinitely more alone (because when I pierce the illusion and analyze what we’re really doing, I am), it’s been nice. It felt all warm and fuzzy to come home from Moscow knowing I wasn’t sleeping alone.

Speaking of, I know I still haven’t posted my Moscow pix, but I’ve been working almost non-stop since I got back. I’ve done re-shoots for the horror film I’m not yet allowed to name (I’m calling it REDACTED, not to be confused with the shitty Brian DePalma movie of the same name), done callbacks for Cowboys & Engines (that will be it’s own blog post to announce the Kickstarter campaign going up), I’ve plotted two scripts for Axel, shot for x3sixty and worked as the DP on Paul Thomas’ reboot of Behind the Green Door for Vivid.

The latter was enough to keep me occupied all on its own. PT likes to “deconstruct,” as he calls it, which amounts to not deciding anything until we’re on set, and then almost certainly doing anything other than what’s on the page. Having been down that road on his New Sensations movie, I was actually the calmest person on the production, but there were moments when Shylar and/or K (who was doing production design) wanted to kill him. I think if John Cassavetes had directed porn, this is very much what it would have been like.

A few days ago, against my better judgement, I went to see Vega. I would like to say it was motivated by something more than a need for butt sex and the desire to beat the crap out of someone… but I would be lying. If we had any chemistry outside the bedroom (or bathroom in this case), it would be a different story. But we don’t.

Today (if United ever stops cancelling our flights) I’m off to San Francisco to finish up Green Door. I even managed to set up a really interesting date for Saturday night with a hot redhead (can’t say I go for a type…).

I’ve got two more days of x3sixty when I get back, then it’s all C&E all the time. Which is how it should be.

Today, I feel like a badly-cooked steak; hard, tasteless & unappetizing on the outside, cold and raw in the middle.”

I promise, there’s a proper blog coming with pictures, and an update on the events of last week. Very quickly, though, as I begin my first full day in Moscow, these two thoughts:

1: I am very much the world traveler K taught me to be, and I still follow her tips; Always unpack. You’ll feel more at home; Make the time, because you might never come back; when they give you fixings for tea in your room, make the tea; and most of all, It’s All Part of the Adventure.

2: I just had this awesome discussion with Viktoria, the steely blonde desk clerk downstairs…

“You are here making movie?”

“Yes. We’re here shooting a documentary.”

“Ah. This is why you don’t bring wife.”

“No, I didn’t bring the wife because I don’t have one.”

“You don’t have wife?”

“I don’t have wife.”

“Why you don’t have wife?”

“Because I’m bitter, angry, hateful and impossible to live with and no woman will have me.”

“I see. So, you are Russian.”

Irony is a funny thing. I don’t know if someone forwarded them my blog, or if it was just random chance, but apparently Backstage West posted our casting notice anyway. Ha…?

I spent Thursday night with LL. We had Thai food, snarked our way around Amoeba and went to see Ruby Sparks, which was not as good as Little Miss Sunshine, but still pretty terrific. At the end of the night, we made out like teenagers, which was pretty awesome.

Friday, we had our second production meeting for Cowboys & Engines. This is where things actually begin to happen. Your first meeting is just to rally the troops, and convince people your serious. The second meeting and onward is where things actually begin to happen. The casting process is proving to be very interesting. We’ve been approached by the agents and managers for quite a few people of the “oh, that’s that guy from that thing” character actor camp, and one or two whose names you might not know, but I guarantee you know the character they played.

We might end up with some “names” in this thing after all. Ha.

It also appears I might be going to Moscow (Russia, not Idaho) for two weeks to shoot art. I’ll clarify when I know if it’s happening. And when I actually understand exactly what the hell it is we’re doing.

In unrelated news, it appears I will be directing one or two movies for Wicked, and two for Vivid before the end of the year, and probably something… interesting… for Hot Video as well.

So, the weekend. On the one hand, I shouldn’t complain because I’ve gotten a lot done. On the other hand, it has turned into a massive, spastic clusterfuck of epic and expensive proportions. Let me explain;

Dude (let’s call him Z) from a particular production company (let’s call it XA) has been struggling to get a new line off the ground. Part of the struggle has been money, and part of the struggle has been fighting through his own incredibly disorganized inability to get his shit together. He’s booked me to shoot for him before, but I knew nothing would come of it.

After a long meeting recently, he booked me to work this weekend. Naturally, at 2/3 my rate, but I took it. It was supposed to be cash, and an easy day. I knew the last part would be bullshit, but I took the gig anyway. I like Z, and wanted to help him out.

On Saturday of last week, I got offered a gig this weekend at my full rate. I called Z to ensure he was actually shooting, and when he promised he was, I turned the gig down. He confirmed again on Wednesday and Friday morning that we were still shooting.

Naturally, at 1 am Saturday, he canceled the day. Sunday followed suit. SO I lost a lot of money this weekend, and won’t be taking dates from Z unless it’s either A: pay-or-play, or B: I bump him if anything else comes along. Which means I won’t be shooting for him. Someday I’ll learn.

For now, I’m heading over to Vega’s house to do terrible things to her and not spend the night.

Tomorrow, I’m shooting camera for Stormy, who has a pickup scene for a Wicked movie. Tuesday & Wednesday, casting begins. And god wept, I believe is the next verse.

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You can’t fix crazy by sticking your dick in it, but you can get it to shut up. — Bryn Pryor