Shooting

It’s  4 a.m. and I just got home about 20 minutes ago. I left for work at 8:45 this morning. This is all in the nature of the business I’m in. In fact, it isn’t even unusual.

I started the day shooting camera on two scenes for Ben. The first was a young girl who’d done very few scenes who was sweet, but as boring as boring can be. The second girl was doing her first scene ever and, really, performed like a champ.

Afterwards, I went to shoot on Punk Rock Schoolgirls for Joanna Angel and James Deen. Joanna writes rally cute, funny scripts for her movies, but sometimes they’re a bit… overambitious. As the oldest warhorse on the set (I’ve got five years on the next oldest person, and 11 years more experience in porn), I had the unenviable task of pulling James & Joanna aside and suggesting that they weren’t going to make their day.

In the past, Joanna has always gotten lucky and pulled off the impossible. This time it just wasn’t going to happen. So, the plug got pulled with one incredibly intricate dialogue scene to be picked up at some later date.

For all that the populace at large things porn is an enormous fuck-off job, I often think there are no harder working people in the world than porn shooters.

Tomorrow I’m going to run errands and spend the evening with Mischief and some of her friends. It’s good because I’ve been feeling incredibly anti-social lately, I think as a reaction to being so overwhelmed by work and debt (strange combination). She forces me to get out in the world.

For my birthday she took me to a big cat preserve, ironically located right next door to the Tropic Desert Mine where we shot The 8th Day, so I was already aware of the place. It was a great day out, spent mostly in the company of animals (whom I largely prefer to people).

Rape of the Aboriginal Americans day and most of this coming weekend will be spent at the computer, working. Indulging my misanthropic nature.

My fingers are stiff from too many long days in a row, so for now let me just say eat some dead turkey in honor of a dead Indian and enjoy your Thanksgiving.

I think my body just told me to get off of its lawn.

As I mentioned, James Deen and Joanna Angel hired me to light and shoot their June feature, Doppelgänger (last I heard), a horror comedy in which Joanna’s fantastically un-lifelke blow-up doll comes to life and tries to kill her. It would be completely incorrect to say they shoot features like I do. Their approach is very different, but their passion and commitment are the same, a rare occurrence in porn, so I was happy to give it my all.

Any time you’re trying to make something good with the tiny amount of money the business affords to features, it means long, hard shoot days. It’s one of the reasons so few mainstream people can truly hack it in porn. This business is broke, and having a work ethic that means you start phoning it in at hour 13 unless someone is offering overtime just doesn’t cut it. Anyone in the business who does features will tell you that looking at the wrong side of an 18-hour day just ain’t that uncommon.

After we wrapped late last night, J&J bought us all dinner which was a great gesture. They really are good people, and I like them both a lot. We’re talking about how to make their July movie possible on the budget they have. I’m prefectly happy to take that ride with them again next month.

My body had other ideas, though. On Thursday, I shot Naughty America with Ben all day. Thursday night, Mischief & I went on an actual “date” in Hollywood; cruised Amoeba; saw Micmacs (I have a love/lethargy relationshipwith Jeunet — this one I loved); had Thai food; hit Borders; fucked like beasts. Really nice.

Friday was a 16-hour day for Burning Angel, and even though the Goth Biscuit was planning on sleeping at her place, we both decided is was a “wiser” idea for her to sleep at the Shelter so I could wake her up briefly when I got home. Yesterday was another long day of shooting, planning and humping gear. When I’m tired during a shoot, I tend to apply Newton’s laws of motion to myself: An object in motion tends to remain in motion, an object at rest tends to remain at rest.  I think during all of the production on Friday & Saturday I sat down maybe four times.

I walked in the door at around 1:30 a.m., talked to the Ex-Box, the Souvenir and the Photographer in the Attic who were all buzzing over some industry gossip in the kitchen, and then went upstairs. I sat down on the edge of the futon in my office to make some notes annnnnnd…

Yeah. Woke up five hours later, still in my clothes, a ferocious kink in my neck. Needless to say, Uncle Joe is movin’ mighty slow in the Junction today. I’m doing some organizing, maybe some editing, and then going to Allison’s place in Long Beach for the evening, where I will hopefully not be required to move anything heavy or blister my fingers. We’re still finding our way through the minefield of her past relationships, but it’s good. We click.

Tomorrow, I’m chained to the desk again, trying to make headway up the river of Kiss of the Strangler and possibly pulling an all-nighter if I can hack it. Hanging out with all these kids is great until you become an object at rest.

I grew up white trash. In fact, I come from a long, distinguished line of white trash. My childhood and teen years were surrounded with desert, a house that was built onto a double-wide (with the wheels left on under the house, that way property taxes were dirt cheap), and lots and lots of rusting cars in various states of disrepair.

I worked in my grandfather’s garage on and off for years. Working on cars isn’t fun for me; it’s a chore. I never aspired to own more than one vehicle.

When I got my directing contract after Corruption won its awards, I thought I had finally achieved one of my long-standing goals. I wouldn’t have to haul gear to set anymore. I bought a 350z, partly as a reward, and partly because it has a tiny, tiny trunk.

“Hey, Bryn, can you take the cameras home with you?”

“No,” I would say honestly, indicating the little convertible. “I can’t.”

And then I would drive home, beaming.

Then the contract fell apart, and my primary workload shifted to shooting camera and lighting. MY cameras and MY lights. All I do now is haul gear.

About a month ago, I decided I need a permanent vehicle for this purpose. I found a great Chevy step van (think FedEX truck) for $2k, and bought it. It ran great, has space, racks, etc. A perfect mini grip & electric truck. Almost immediately, my friend Hollywood asked if her could rent it for a low-budget horror movie he was gaffing.

I agreed, at first thinking I would get a little cash out of it. Then, I asked him instead to simply get some repairs done and we would call it even. Fix the broken turn signals. Replace the missing gas pedal. Niggly shit that I just didn’t want to deal with.

I should have known better. Hollywood is my people. We don’t “fix” anything. We just get it working. Half-assed isn’t our slogan, it’s our religion. This is one of the reasons why I’m so frigging OCD; my constant battle against my white trash urge to make do.

Long story short, as I write this I’m sitting at a location in North Hollywood, waiting to have the truck towed because the “mechanic” Hollywood describes as the “Redneck MacGuyver” fucked up the electrical system when he put in the supplemental turn signal unit, and now, the truck won’t start.

Hollywood had a different mechanic come to my place to fix this problem last week. The truck started no problem this morning. Of course, that was then. Whichever wire or harness I cannot find from the starter has now once again vibrated loose, and here I sit.

The tow should be about $250. Getting the problem actually repaired, oh, $350? So I’ve nearly worked for free today.

I’m angry. At myself. I know better than to let certain people do certain things. I cannot seem to absorb the parable of the frog and the scorpion, no matter how hard I try. You do not ask a leopard to change his spots. You do not believe a scorpion will not sting. And you do not allow a redneck to repair something and expect it to stay fixed.

Unlike Woody Allen in What’s Up, Tiger Lily?, death and danger are not my various breads and various butters. I primarily spend work days shooting camera for Hank Hoffman when he directs for Naughty America.

Today we’re shooting the very sweet, nubile, elongated 21-year-old Phoenix Askani, who I’m pre-disposed to like since her stage name is an intentional amalgamation of X-Men characters.

Phoenix is pretty new. Today, she’s also bleeding. This is very common in porn, and most girls quickly learn the proper application of makeup sponges to get through the scene.

Phoenix has never done this.

I’ve been in porn for two decades, so when I volunteered to get the sponge in the right place — and fish it out afterwards (most girls can’t reach them once they’re tucked up in, so I’ve done this often) — she was relieved.

So, in a passing way, I got to become acquainted with Phoenix’s tiny pussy before the scene.

It’s an odd business, this.

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