For those of you who know me, you know that's not all that weird. The event was a lecture at the Hennepin County History Museum on the Layman's Cemetery, one of the oldest cemeteries in Minneapolis. I was videotaping the lecture, and while we were there doing preliminary scouting, somehow it came up that a friend of mine has an antique casket. We asked to borrow it, he said yes, it was all good. It was a huge hit, and a few people wanted a look inside (which was pretty boring, as it is being restored and the interior is completely stripped and free of its former occupant). I also brought along a couple of faux gothic tombstones for decoration, which was fun. Several people asked if they were real, and I had a lot of fun with picking them up, because they are made of polystyrene foam and are very light. This tickled some of the blue-hairs a lot. Evidently they don't get out much.
Explanima: Shooting on location is a lot more physical than you may think. We're not talking grab-the-handycam-and-run kinda stuff: we're talking several hundred pounds of ancillary gear, from lighting to grip equipment to monitors and cables. I have about 70 lbs. of extension cords alone, and yes, I have used them all on one shoot, and didn't have enough. Carrying all of that equipment up and down flights of stairs does make for quite a workout, and of course the main library of the HCHM is upstairs. Hey, at least it was only one flight.
To save some weight, I limited the shoot to two lights and only brought three extension cords. Unfortunately, I also managed to forget the tripod, so Barb ran back home to get it. Not your ordinary tripod, mind you, but a heavy-duty highboy with a large fluid head-- the beast weighs something like 35 lbs, but boy, does it make for beautiful shots. Barb wasn't all that happy with me.
And since I had recently re-organized everything, the bag that I normally carry the microphone cables in was completely devoid of said cables. So I had a microphone and no cables. And was shooting from something like 50 feet away. Across a crowded room. With the windows open. Along a bus route. And apparently near a bass-heavy hip-hop car stereo show and a spanish-language version of vilification tennis. Did I mention that Barb wasn't happy with me? This didn't help.
Couple that with some idiot who found that if he managed to tap his foot in just the right rhythm, the light on the twelve-foot extended stand would sway up and down and distract the speaker, apparently not realizing that a fifteen-pound light fixture falling from a twelve-foot height can make a nasty dent in your skull. Luckily he moved before he found that last bit out.
After the shoot, we did some pick-up shooting of various pictures and props, including a display of a famous historical murder investigation which was mentioned in the lecture. I didn't know this in advance, and wasn't exactly prepared for it, but managed to do quite well with only two lights. I'm getting quite good at minimalist lighting.
Then came the packing up. I had to re-pack the gig bag. In doing so, I opened the side-zipper pouch and realized that I had oh-so-intelligently put all of the microphone cables in there the last time I had packed the gig bag.
Have I mentioned that Barb wasn't happy with me? You might guess her reaction to this bit of news.
After a few choice rather imaginative descriptions of the award that I should be getting for my actions, I finished packing and we loaded up the truck.
By this time, I was completely exhausted. Barb was too, as ahe had been painting most of the day before the shoot. I was feeling pretty dunderhead-ish, and just wanted to scavenge some food and go to bed. To my great surprise, she suggested that we treat ourselves to a dinner out, which is an amazing sacrifice considering our total lack of money. Deciding between responsibility and hunger/exhaustion, responsibility lost out and we went to Applebees.
Oh. My. God. I don't know if it was because I've been eating mystery meat for so long, but the steak I had was the best steak I've ever had at Applebees. I had a cowgasm. Oh, it was nice. And Barb softened up and thanked me for doing all the video work for her. It was a really nice evening.
Then home, sleepy-full and exhausted, still to unpack the truck. At this point, we decided to leave all the equipment downstairs because we will be doing more shoots in the near future, and stairs are a bitch in case you missed it above. Stairmaster my ass.
Bonus: rebate check from Qwest for DSL service in the mail. Covers the back bill at Qwest, plus enough left over to cover dinner. Guilt-free eatin's, baby!
Slept the sleep of the sleepy with many wonderful dreams. Including a new movie idea:
A group of seven people charter a plane on a south seas adventure:
The Skipper: An old-salt airline pilot who's been around the block a few times. A little on the dodgy side by reputation. Brian Denehey.
Gilligan: The Skipper's "little buddy", obvious homoerotic overtones, though the skipper always has a boast or two about all the ladies he's conquered, he bunks up with Gilligan. Maybe Ashton Kutcher. Or Topher Grace. Or Steve Buscemi.
Ginger: the ubiquitous movie star. Casting needs to be opposite Mary-Ann, light to dark. Nicole Kidman, perhaps.
Mary-Ann: Kansas Farm Girl. I'm thinking Marisa Tomei, but she may be too old now. Naomi Watts.
Mr. and Mrs. Howell: Former CEO of an Enron-like business, has buttloads of cash stored away in overseas accounts, while his former employees are eating cockroach surprise. Peter Boyle, and Kristine Sutherland for Mrs. H.
The Professor: ostensibly a college professor, he is actually a CIA/NSA black-ops agent with serious survival skills. Vin Diesel would be fun, but may be over the top. Someone a little more subtle. Tim Roth? Awful short, but could certainly pull it off.
The plane crashes on a deserted island. The seven survive, but the Howells turn out to be such pains in the ass that they are cooked and made into jerky (hey, want some Thurston?). The Professor turns Ginger and Mary-Ann into his love slaves, competing for his attention because he becomes the one who holds the most chance of surviving.
They meet character after character on this deserted island, like the old japanese soldier who still thinks WWII is going on and manages to trap Gilligan in a pit of punji stakes before the Professor manages to off him with a grenade made from coconut husks. Gilligan recovers, but he isn't the same and bleeds profusely from his anus. The Skipper isn't happy.
Both Mary-Ann and Ginger become pregnant, and give birth to mutants because of the radioactive fallout from the post-war nuclear tesing that took place on the island. The professor is enraged by this, and keeps trying to breed with both of them, producing mutant offspring after mutant; he eventually goes insane and kills Ginger and Mary-Ann in a fit of insane rage, believing it to be a plot. Seeing this as a new opportunity, the Skipper starts hitting on the Professor, who kills him with a machete in a brutal sadistic ritual slaying.
The professor continues to try and breed the mutants and Gilligan becomes his Igor-like assistant.
Eventually, the mutants have an uprising and kill the Grofessor. Gilligan becomes their new "father".
They are doomed.
The great mousehunt continues. Another little bastard spotted tonight. And I'm thinking there's at least one more. Dammit, I hate to get traps, but they are so damn destructive.
Re-packed the CD player. The old music was getting... old.
o The Crow score (Graeme Revell)
o Event Horizon score (Michael Kamen & Orbital)
o Dracula 2000 soundtrack (various-- not the score, dammit)
o VR.5 score (John Frizzell)
o Music from the X-files (Mark Snow)
Sensing a theme here?
BTW, does having Michael Easton star in a TV series signal it's untimely demise? I used to love VR.5 and Total Recall 2070 (Karl Pruner! Karl Pruner!), and both shows died prematurely.
Bonus trivia question: Who played Oliver Sampson in VR.5?
Hint: he's british.
And happy-happy: the Total Recall 2070 pilot is available on DVD!
Hey, my birthday is coming up, hint hint.
Also it looks like the VR.5 pilot episode and episode no. 7 are occasionally available on VHS. And I just discovered that the VR.5 sound track is out of print, and considered rare. Huh. Who'da thunk it?
In the weird request department: I'm looking for a doll (i.e. "action figure") that is articulated like a GI Joe, only female. I use them for drawing references for storyboards, and the GI Joe is wonderfully articulated. I haven't found any articulated female dolls, or at least not as poseable as Joe. I nearly bought the Mary Kate and Ashley Olson doll set, but they weren't quite good enough. That and I would hate to have to try to explain to Barb why I had action figures of teenage girls after the fit she threw after she saw my Britney Spears DVD (no, really, it's for storyboards).
Anybody finds a Barbie-sized fully articulated chick-doll, let me know.
Update: apparently there is a "G.I. Joe 82nd Airborne (female)". Gotta find it, baby!
Apparently I missed the boat. After finding the Buffy Musical soundtrack, I noticed Anthony Stewart Head's solo CD on Amazon. Along with samples. I listened to them. Not really my style (and I used to be a proud owner of the Don Johnson Heartbeat album. Live and learn).
And for those late nights when you just can't sleep, Hannibal, the videogame. A little chianti, some fava beans, and thou...
The window in the studio is open, with a fan blowing the cool air in. No bugs, fresh air, it feels mahvelous, dahling.
And now I am off to bed, feeling quite satisfied in many ways. It's a good feeling.