Friday, October 24, 2008


"Coffee is for closers!"

In that case, I'll have a mocha frappacino. With whip cream.

I know its incredibly un-manly but its the only form of coffee I find tolerable. (I like to spin it as a chocolate shake w/ coffee flavoring.....whatever: they're delicious.) But I have earned myself some coffee because I am indeed a closer. But before I spill the beans on the locale, here's the previously mentioned series of events....

As mentioned earlier, we make 2 (count 'em: 2) films this semester. So as my partner spent time on sound and getting the final product to show today (went over very well, by the way), I have busied myself in the details of pre-production. Namely, casting, script revisions, and locations.

The "logline" for my film is "an employee at a Wal-Mart type store, who is constantly berated by his perfectionist boss, gets in a fight with a customer who tries to mess up a cleaner display." It's called "Sunshine on Sale".

It's a comedy, and without sounding too Barack Obama-ish (ie: arrogant), it is pretty damn funny. However, one of the biggest issues, the issue that EVERYONE told me was going to be difficult, the issue that I knew would be tough but failed to fully grasp, was that no store that is anything like Wal-Mart would allow me to film on their location. The reason is that any store that looks like a big, corporate chain store IS a big, corporate chain store and that means there's enough red tape to allow a film student to hang himself with.

So I was faced with a dilemma: how could a make a film that attempts to satirize big box stores without being able to film in a big box store?

It started with me trying to find a Wal-Mart type store that would let me film in it, but the corporate hierarchy proved too challenging a foe . Ever step of the way was like in "Office Space": IS THIS GOOD FOR THE COMPANY?

As I got increasingly frustrated with the locations game, I was slowly entertaining the idea of attempting to build an aisle on a set and film there. That would allow me total control and allow me to have exactly what I wanted. I heard that some classmates were going to try and go in on a stage space where we could each build our own sets and I hopped on board with the whole "building a aisle" idea.

We attempted to find space to build and shoot in all around L.A., but the best option turned out to be a warehouse, owned by a very shady fellow named "Chester". Apparently, this guy owns this giant, rather decrepit, warehouse and rents it out to "rave parties" and the occasional film students.

Well, long story short, I decided the whole "Chester-warehouse" deal wasn't right for me (oh really? what a surprise!) and was forced to hit the locations trail again, this time harder than ever. Success came by the middle of this week when I found a Mexican supermarket with a really cool manager named Hector. By Thursday, we came to an agreement and I now have the paperwork to prove it ("Cause only one thing counts in this life: GET THEM TO SIGN ON THE LINE THAT IS DOTTED!"). Closed it, muthaf*****!

So luckily, I was able to breathe a bit easier this weekend and turn my attention to more important matters of planning, like having my production designer create a fake logo and sign for my fake store: "Cost-Mart".

Get it? Ha ha ha ...ehhh.

Whatever. We got to watch all the movies on the big screen at USC today and it was a blast. There was drinking and all the filmmakers gave little speeches and everyone got to see their film play to a large audience. It was really cool and only re-energized me to make sure I've got a damn good movie up their when my time comes.

Speaking of "my time", I will have my movie on the big screen at USC on December 14th, so if any of y'all have been maybe thinking about a trip to L.A., why not make a weekend out of it?

C'mon, I'll even take you to all the shady dive bars I go to that remind me of Chicago....

Well, mull it over. Would make a nice mid-Dec getaway.

On the weather, I have to say one thing (and I know my whining will fall on deaf ears, as it has in the past, and always will) but this weather is really boring and annoying. Sunny and 77. Sunny and 76. Sunny and 71. Early clouds, then sunny and 77......I cannot wait to be back in a town with some real weather: windy, rainy, snowy, unseasonable warm, windy, sleety, snowy, windy Chicago.


Markese said...


nick said...

Your Closing line, "I cannot wait to be back in a town with some real weather: windy, rainy, snowy, unseasonable warm, windy, sleety, snowy, windy Chicago. "

My question is, what do you want for the second day in town?