Saturday February 11, 2012
Texts flew back and forth during the night and into the day regarding the location
(now in La Cañada Flintridge),
and Michael set up to retrieve me.
It was planned Michael would arrive around 6-6:15pm, halfway through
this date's edition
The Paranormal View,
and I warned him as much, so I wouldn't come across too obnoxious
(e.g., I printed out directions, but most likely I would be unable to assist him in navigating).
Meanwhile, Josh emailed us links to a few YouTube videos,
(the set-up to which I felt easily could have been streamlined),
another being more of an
Then with one of the videos he unsettlingly declared such
"was his vision."
Considering its "production value"
(that is, extreme lack thereof),
I replied my presumption
that Josh's project's photography would be more visually pleasing, and the audio based in reality, "jokingly" adding,
"Why is the home owner sleeping with open helium tanks...?"
I also pointed out, "And giving the guy Wonder Bread? He must really hate his neighbour..."
(When Michael picked me up he related that Josh had clarified the video links were done as jokes.)
As to my radio show that night, things went swimmingly.
was an excellent guest, we held discourse on his book
Behind The Cosmic Veil.
Having found the Mute button on my Not-Smart phone, when Michael arrived, I'd later learn the others on the show were unaware I was in a car, as I'd gotten in with my Mute button on, made sure we knew to where we were headed, and then went back to listening to Tom and my asking clarifying questions, etc.
Two things I neglected to take into account was regarding La Cañada: for one thing being north of Altadena, and even a higher altitude
(throughout 2010 I'd stayed with a friend at his Altadena home),
and too late I realized we were suddenly driving through a Dead Zone and I got dropped from the call, with no way to call back as it originated from Skype
(the second aspect being that La Cañada could be even more bitterly cold at night in February than Altadena).
I was not prepared for this level of cold; at least I was already prepared for such for the upcoming Utah project.
Michael navigated the labrynthal neighbourhood streets and we came across our destination by about 6:45pm for our 7pm calltime, to find the film makers just having arrived as well, considering nothing yet was set up, albeit exotic food
(too exotic for me),
was available in the kitchen of the ornate house.
Josh told us how his Huntington Beach "friends" got cold feet and/or were just being complete jerks about lending their place for the shoot.
This turned out to be serendipitous as his La Cañada friend's place was pretty much perfect, not only for shooting but the family being rather Extremely Christian: countless icons, statuary, antiques and such were everywhere to the point we quasi-joked that the home owner should be credited as Set Dresser.
Having done over a hundred student films, and having an eye for film making from my youth, this shoot easily should have taken from 7pm to no later than 11pm or midnight.
We left the place at about 6am, though I was officially Picture Wrapped at about 5:20am, and Michael had another shot or two to do.
Instead of shooting Michael and my together stuff first, my bedroom scenes were shot first, which was a slight miscalculations on two fronts.
One was Michael could have been wrapped super early, and it would not have been as cold by the time we were finished with the exterior scenes as it was by the time we started filming them: the other was as Michael had a place to which he could go apart from Straight Home, his being released early would have been substantially considerate
(Josh drove me home, and understandably I had to wait for he and the crew to get the equipment packed away).
The project's Director of Photography was
as grip and lighting gaffer spent much of the night outside making sure the lights were in the right place for the right shots.
ran sound most of the night, having to leave "early" around 2am or so, after which Josh took over sound.
Despite Yevgeni Lazarev having "suggested" to Josh that he let his actors do their work, Josh still leaned towards being a bit micro-managerial with his directing.
He also had new revisions; with no one to play my in-bed sleeping wife, suddenly I was a widower and that had to make it into the dialogue.
Instead of comically bringing a baseball bat to the door after threatening over the phone my visitor with violence mostly just to scare him off, now I was to bring a rifle to the door.
While aghast at this latest nasty turn of my character, I was Directed so I did so.
Josh came close to hinting wanting to change my specific Cravings Reference but I stuck to my position on retaining at least the Fish Fingers and Custard line
(though by the end of the shoot there was a take or two in which I accidently said fish sticks and custard...).
Michael and I were understandably were rather frayed by the end of the night.
He was so disappointed in the experience he seriously considered never doing another student film
(this was his first).
I assured him that this was not a typical shoot; that normally we would have easily been done hours earlier.
Thankfully, Michael made a powerful choice as we improv'ed the scene to include reference to my wife's death: offering to share the brownies with me at their home for Christmas.
I was able to take this and as Josh had fettered my character choices to such an extent I couldn't simply Instantly Accept, I chose to reply I would think about it, hopefully in such a way to be clear that I would most likely show up at their house for breakfast.
Later as Josh drove me home he conveyed various recent synchronities that had recently come up for him.
At home when I would later wake up from crashing from the all nigher, I emailed Josh my
paranormal experiences page
to give him an idea of my background on the paranormal
(as he seemed to think I was more fixated on UFOs).
The project's deadline date was a bit sketchy, but should be well before the end of March.