Wednesday, September 12, 2012

bella vita, director's log #1

umm... what's the fastest way to...

Fly to Charles de Gual Int. France via Alitalia operated by Air France - 1 large pelican for Film Gear, 1 large Patagonia Duffle for living, 1 Tripod in Case, 1 Large camera bag for carry-on, 1 small patagonia backpack for additional carry--on-laptop, travel needs, etc.   One 9’ 8” Tyler Pig, prototype model.  24hrs. before the next swell is to arrive, must fly asap - just bought the ticket.

my producer, greg, drops me off at Tom Bradley 2:30pm for 4p flight (a bit late / which is funny since i live about 7min. from LAX) not funny since i was working a job the day before and packed 3months of gear in about 5 hrs - approach Air France Check-in, told to go to Alitalia Check-in / at Terminal 2 (about 400yds away!).  

begin walking with gear on cart - cart falls off curb, spills EVERYWHERE, someone asks to help - greg  pulls back up, jumps out - we load gear into his car, strap board back on top and drive airport loop.  Arrive T2 - i jump out and find Alitalia, we parked 50yds shy.  We hump gear to counter - i try to check in, the lady tells me i need to be at Air France Gate !!!   she says, sprint or you’ll be late.  i say “I WAS JUST THERE.”  she says nothing she can do.  greg is gone.  I grab an empty cart.  load it with bags, grab 35lb tyler and sprint down curb - 80degrees, August - i’m soaking wet with sweat.  wondering why i'd ever want to make another independent film when commercials feed you so well.

I trudge back to Air France Counter - run up - they tell me i’ve missed the flight and i can only do standby.  Standby!!!  i say, I WAS HERE.  finally, the manager nicely looks through my itinerary - after 15min - she comes back, she says i can confirm you on the 9pm flight.  You are good to go (which means i will make the swell, so i’m happy) but then she says, “you’ll have to check in at Alitalia - it is an Alitalia operated flight.”

At this point, I can only laugh.  I schlep cart - slowly this time, back to T2 and check - now really soaking wet.  I ask for a free up-grade, she says no - but she does nicely give me an Air France Lounge pass and a food cupon - her name was Layla - good song.  she dings me $300 for board and gear - that's a $100 discount, for my troubles, she says.

I call greg - he comes back to pick me up (great producer, better friend) - i go home, take a shower, wash my clothes - head to a nearby tiki bar and throw back 3 Mai-Tais, not the lame, pink, grenadine-ridden kind, but the real deal, dark-ass rum, Tiki Mug toting kind.  good stuff. now happy.  

Back to airport - pass security easily, enjoy free Martini at Air France Lounge (as a "sorry we made you hike all over LAX with 300lbs of gear) - get on plane, take Ambien (don't try this at home, i'm a professional) - sleep 10hrs.  wake up near France.  Next flight delayed, do email.  have some bad food - fly to Pisa.  

and the journey begins.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Dark Sequel

my good friend, JJ, forwarded along this interesting article on "the dark side" of the 2nd film in the Indiana Jones series, "Temple of Doom."  if you are a film fan or more importantly, an Indy fan - it's a fun read.

In response to this article - i replied to john, seemed kinda fun to share:

ah, yes, the dark sequel - many see the Empire Strikes Back as the darkest of star wars films as well.  and arguably one of the best in the series.

i went to a fairly dark place making One California Day - maybe it has to do with the pressures of living up to the first success- or just the difficulty of shooting California for 4 years.  luckily, OCD was made with my friend, mark jeremias,  so perhaps his stoke balanced what  could-have-been myself derailing into despair and portraying california surfers as delusional druggies - like those guys from venice in Point Break.

who knows, maybe dark is good.  it's definitely better than fluff.  

as i embark on Number Three - i do feel the pressure, that line in the "Temple of Doom" article about not disappointing the audience with what they "expect".  As a filmmaker, you want to do something different, you want to challenge yourself- but you also want people to enjoy watching it.  i guess it, as my yogi wife would say, is all about balance.

or as yoda would say,  "trust your instincts and use the force"

ciao from Marina di Pisa, italy.

making a film is like carrying all the pressures of a falling - or slightly leaning building. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Bella Vita

we are truly living the "beautiful life."  production has officially begun on our new feature documentary,  "Bella Vita".  This film will take an intimate look at a rarely publicized surf culture, until now, underground from mainstream media.  we hope to combine eclectic characters, inspiring stories, adventure and beautiful imagery - more info to come.