Fried brain

If I’m blathering it’s only because I have no idea where to begin.

This movie has had so many new challenges it almost feels like the first movie I made, which has Carolita will tell you, was an experience I wish to never repeat.  Even though I said on the behind the scenes mini-doc on the dvd that we had a blast making ANGORA RANCH, it had multiple hellish moments. What I really meant was, at times I wish I had been blasted.

In my efforts to tackle new challenges with each feature, I entered into a signatory agreement with SAG to hire Steve Callahan.  And I am totally and completely thrilled he’s doing the movie.

Talking to SAG was horrific. This department blamed that department for not doing what the other department should have done and promised to do and promised will never do again and the next day they had no memory who I was and what the previous problems had been.   Stunning.  I’d heard nightmares about working with SAG and this topped nearly all the previous folklore.

At least now I know what to do in the future:  Camp out on their front door.  Pitch Le Chateau Marmot on the office steps.  A week with no shower while they figure things out would be less odorous than the screaming rage I had last week.   I haven’t screamed in nine months, since quitting the train job.  Huh.  Just goes to show how I felt about that.

Simultaneously last week Tracy from the American Humane Society gave me a call as I drove to a seminar in Houston telling me she would be monitoring us on set.   Then she asked what hotels and rental car companies we have production deals with.  I snorted into my cell phone, and then asked her if she understood this is a $17,000 movie, and we don’t have production deals.  I’m driving people around in my Echo. Actors are sleeping on couches.

I guess that’s the production deal: my couch with a nightly visit from at least one cat.   Tracy assured me the Humane Society was paying her expenses.   I told her about the local motel.  Then she asked how far a drive it is to Austin.

I proceeded to explain we’re filming on a dog rescue ranch supervised by the owner of the ranch, and that we’ll only have dogs on set four days.

She asked me how long the whole shoot is.  She told me she’d be here the whole two weeks. If this isn’t a blatant attempt for someone to spend two weeks vacationing in Austin, I don’t know what is.

What kills me about this is the American Humane Society is forking over more cash for their employee to fly from LA, stay in an Austin hotel, rent a car, and eat three meals a day on top of her salary than I’m going to spend feeding and lodging the entire film cast and crew for two weeks.  And for what??  To watch us film dogs?

Wouldn’t it have been better if they’d kicked in a little cash donation to make the movie so that people would get to see a positive movie about dog rescue?

Quote me on this: “Absurd.”

What a waste of other people’s donation money.

Dusty, our faithful cinematographer, got a call on Thursday from LA possibly offering him a great paying gig that may possibly last the next nine months.  They didn’t confirm the job, it was just a possibility.  He let me know he may not be able to shoot the movie.  He recommended a colleague, Jonathan, and we met on Friday.  Okay, fine, Jonathan and I hit it off and I think we’ll work together well.  Then on Saturday the LA deal won’t happen.  Then this morning he gets a call they want him in LA tomorrow.  He’s debating what to do.   So Dusty or Jonathan will be filming the movie, or maybe both.  I’m rolling with it.

The good folks who are loaning us their empty house left me a panicked message Saturday night asking when I was going to be filming in the house.  I know they are moving from their current house into another house and that they may have problems with closing dates.  The phone call Saturday implied they’d need to move into the house we’re using for a couple weeks.


We’ve been decorating the house, hanging pictures, moving furniture, finding things that go with the house colors and creating a living environment for our two main characters.   This morning I got an email from them saying they had solved their housing needs, and won’t be in the house after all.

This week Chris, Ryan, James and I will find the rest of the props.  I have a few more locations to secure, and several dozen costumes to find.   Thursday is my last day to prepare. This is all manageable.

Friday I meet actors at the Austin airport through the day and do a mystery show Friday night.

It will all work out.  It always does.

By the way, here’s the link to donate.

One comment

  1. “…and the darkest hour is just before dawn…” Hang in there, Paul. It will be worth it…for the dogs, too!!

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