Vega

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.

The Romans believed that Fortuna, the goddess of chance and destiny, moved your life slowly on a wheel so that you were always either on the way up, or on the way down. In between these parabola, events could describe mini-orbits that made the trip seem unstable, but on a long enough timeline, you were always somewhere on the big wheel.

I’ve spent the last four years or so making the downward trip, and it hasn’t been fun. The wheel is massive enough that it seems as if you’re wallowing around the bottom transit forever, but finally (I hesitate to say), I feel like I’m back on the rising circuit. While it’s true that I’m still broke ($14.73 in the bank at this writing), and still buried under projects that are about as creatively satisfying as frying apple pies at McDognuts, all of that seems likely to change.

Cowboys & Engines is going really well. We haven’t even set dates yet, but that’s because a lot is happening behind the scenes. A lot I can’t talk about — yet. Some people are going to be working on this project that I can’t wait to announce, and every day more doors open to make it bigger and bigger. To say that the scope and potential of this short have grown by a factor of ten since it was first conceived isn’t hyperbole at all. This movie is now becoming something that could transform the lives of everyone working on it. Well, maybe with the exception of James Deen, ‘cuz he’s on his way to being a star in his own right, so fuck him… ;)

Another thing I can’t really talk about yet is the low-budget thriller I was the DP on last November. As so often happens with films, there have been several snags on the path to delivery and distribution, but that mostly seems to have been solved. Once we finish a few days of re-shoots & pickups, it’s on its way to AFM screenings, festivals, and a theatrical release in both the US and the UK. I cannot tell you how excited I am to go sit in a movie theater and watch a movie that I shot. It may not be the greatest film ever, but for that 90 minutes, it will be to me.

Then there’s Russia. Assuming our visa’s come through as planned, on the 8th I’ll be heading to Moscow for two weeks to shoot the sculpture of an artist named Grisha for an art collective in Dallas. Not only do I get to travel to a country I’ve never been to on someone else’s dime, I’m getting paid pretty well for the privilege. When I get back, there’s work waiting on the internet series I was cast in (I’m their version of Walter White,) Behind the Green Door with Paul Thomas (which I’m also very excited about), a couple of parodies with il Douché, the completion of Rob Black’s Snow White (maybe… we’ll see…), the Nightmoves Show and shooting for Stormy in Tampa, etc., etc.

Plus I’ll be building a new editing system as soon as I get home, cramming in a lot of work for x3sixty (Paul Fishbein’s television channel), and holding callbacks for Cowboys & Engines. I’ll also finally be able to spill some of the rather large beans I’ve been keeping to myself about this thing.

On the home front, LL has moved in with me for a few months (much to Vega’s dismay) after leaving her boyfriend. We aren’t dating, and actually haven’t even banged (yet) since she’s been here, but we get along so well I have to admit it’s nice. In a very subtle way, it has reminded me what’s it’s like to be in a relationship with a real person. The only issue has been her dog’s fascination with my cats, and the cats’ irresistible desire to whack said dog when she isn’t looking.

I also want to mention that last week, I went to the live theatrical broadcast of the Rifftrax guys mocking Manos: The Hands of Fate, and it was awesome. If you don’t know Rifftrax, it’s basically the modern iteration of Mystery Science Theater 3000. If you don’t know Manos, it is (unlike merely foul movies such as Plan 9 From Outer Space) truly one of the worst films ever made, and it was one of the most popular episodes of MST3K (An exhaustive history of Manos is available here). If you don’t know Mystery Science Theater 3000, well… abandon all hope and kill yourself.

I’m assuming they have some form of internet in Moscow (coal-powered, I imagine) so I’ll try to blog from there if I don’t get the chance to post again before I go. In the meantime, I leave you with this small reminder of Clint Eastwood’s amazing performance at the RNC last night:

Well, when an adult male is chasing a female with intent to commit rape, I shoot the bastard. That’s my policy.”

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.

Your Thought For the Day

It’s been a strange week. Last weekend I had a small epiphany regarding someone I had thought I was very close to. In reality, they don’t think of me as a close friend at all. At best, we’re work friends or strong acquaintances. I had the actual realization last Thursday, but over the weekend it began to sink in that I was down another friend (even if that friendship existed only in my head). In taking stock, I became aware that I have a total of two people in my life with whom I ever do or discuss anything other than specific work, or the business in general.

Why do I bottle shit up, or rant about it here? Apparently I do it because I don’t have a helluva lot of other options.

Yeesh. That’s gotta change.

Tuesday I had a long-delayed dinner with a girl I’m gonna call XJN, for reasons that will become readily apparent if she becomes a fixture on this blog. Which I hope she does. We’ve known each other for years, but we’d never gone on a date before. Hell, I wasn’t even sure it was a date until we spent a couple hours after dinner just walking around talking. It was easy and fun, and we have a loose plan to hang out on my couch, watch movies and… whatever… the next time I’m free. Sadly, at the moment, that looks to be 2018, but I’ll see if I can’t make room.

Afterwards, I met up with LL and a couple of her friends at a bar in Noho so we could flirt, drive each other crazy, and talk about her relationship, which isn’t going too swimmingly at the moment. She’s working on Cowboys & Engines with me, so I’ll be seeing a lot of her as that goes forward. We’ll have plenty of opportunities to frustrate the hell out of ourselves, which is fine because I love spending time with her.

I spent Wednesday cutting together the re-enactment of a grisly murder from 2006 in which a girl ends up dead in a wheelbarrow, her corpse burned almost beyond recognition. It’s all part of a mainstream project about a private detective in Palm Desert that Hollywood is directing.

Yesterday, I shot a bunch of promo spots for Vivid’s new camgirls site. Today I was focused on getting the audition breakdowns for C&E out, and getting the very basic website with the casting info up. If you’re looking for that, you’re in the wrong place, BTW. Try looking here.

See? Weird week.

My incredibly hot friend JJ is supposed to be in town this weekend, and we’re scheduled to hook up. Haven’t seen her since January, so that would be good.

Things have been quiet with Vega, because she’s been out of town. Way out of town. Since she’s been back, I’ve gotten hints, prods and outright threats regarding getting together. She’s supposed to come over Sunday, but I took a gig doing a Lingerie Football League spot in Vegas Sunday night, so that has to wait. Sorry, hon (god, I’m a dick).

After this weekend, chaos ensues. Work for C&E,  work for other people, work in general. I have one or two more screen tests to shoot for Green Door, a day covering the auditions for Jeff Mullen’s Wizard of Oz XXX (that oughtta be surreal), a prospective date with Ink, and the Sleeping Beauty XXX shoot with Rob Black. And that’s just up till next Sunday.

“Free time” is about to become a foreign concept, but that’s good because that means things are happening. That’s what movies feel like, and I’ve missed it. I used to wake up every morning thinking about a particular girl. Since I made a concerted effort to get over her, I usually wake up thinking about C&E, which is a marked improvement. I’ll take being fixated on this film to being fixated on someone who doesn’t want me any day.

I was about to close with the sentence, “a movie can’t break your heart,” but anybody who’s ever made one knows that is completely untrue. If I had a heart to break, a movie I’m directing would be one of the few things able to do it.

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