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Whatcha Doin' Here? [21 Jun 2010|12:53am]
My blog has moved over here:

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New Address [29 Feb 2004|08:44pm]
I have little faith that anyone will be checking this journal. It's been months since I last posted. The film stalled out a bit. I take most of the blame. The biggest problem was one of geography. It was hard to make much sense of the post-production process with me living in Fort Worth and Pete down in San Antonio. Hopefully things will begin to move along as I have, just this month (February), moved to San Antonio. I'm spending more on rent that I really should be--seeing as I'm basically unemployed--but it's a cool apartment in the King William neighborhood. The River Walk is four blocks away. The Missions Trail is a bike ride away. Tito's Tacos has some damn fine Chilaquiles. The unfortunate thing is that the Handy Andy Supermarket on S. Presa, which lived up to its name by being conveniently close, is closing in a matter of days. In my search to avoid the evil, ubiquitous HEB supermarkets (which have a near monopoly in this city), I have found a La Fiesta market not too far away on S. Flores (not to be confused with Fiesta, which seem to exist only in Waco, Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth).

I've had the opportunity lately to explore my new neighborhood on bike as my truck is in the shop suffering a very expensive transmission-related malady.

Now that I've got my computer set up and cable modem installed I'm trying to fall into a routine of movie editing and listing stuff on Ebay (to supplement my meager income). Broadband is great. There seem to be no end to web radio as well as conventional radio with streaming signals. I'm used to listening on-line to the Pacifica stations (especially KPFA out of Berkeley)--in fact I was tuning into live coverage of the coup in Haiti this afternoon--but just skimming through the "net radio" listings in the links section of The Wire (British music magazine) web site, I've found dozens of archived or streaming radio. At the moment I'm listening to WFMU. Good stuff.

Slowly I'm logging clips from the movie. There's over 15 hours of the stuff. We already know we need to re-shoot two major scenes, shot early on when we hadn't quite got our rhythm. But it's encouraging to see so much good stuff.
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Day Twenty-One [25 Sep 2003|05:35am]
Yesterday (Wednesday) was our last day of shooting. One might think this would be an exciting, giddy announcement. Well, it’s nice to say. But the fact is that we still need some second unit stuff. And we might even decide to reshoot a scene or two. So it doesn’t really FEEL like the last day…. Anyway, I guess we’ve officially moved to the post production stage. It seems a bit weird not to have any more days scheduled with our friends (i.e., actors and crew).

Yesterday was a pick up from the previous week when we were rained out of shooting two scenes on the side of the road with the Cadillac. We drove back to the area around Texas Pride Barbecue and set up equipment and caddy on the shoulder near a couple of trees. A small herd of cows watched us with that sort of abject boredom common to their bovine tribe.

We pretty much got all the work done at lunch time, took our meal break at Texas Pride, and called it a day.

During our break, Tim received a phone call informing him of a family tragedy. He headed back to Austin. It was a sobering note to end things on, reminding us how a project like this can swallow up everyone involved and shut them off from the concerns of the real world. Our hearts go out to Tim and we wish him and his family the best.
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Day Twenty [25 Sep 2003|05:26am]
Tuesday morning me, Pete, and Alston drove up to Austin and met up with Tim. Pete duded up in the Caballero Jones outfit and we shot him getting on and off a bus. It was an Austin metro bus that had stopped for a few minutes at a shopping mall on the south side of town. The bus driver is a friend of Pete’s. But otherwise we did things pretty much guerrilla style. Before the mall security guard could muster the courage to walk across the street and hassle us, we were done and back on the road to San Antonio. I guess we looked quite intimidating. Probably it was Pete wearing that fearsome black and silver spangled sombrero.

We took the scenic route back home and shot footage out both of Alston’s back windows for our green screen background.
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Day Nineteen [25 Sep 2003|04:30am]
Sunday night was the dreaded green screen shoot. Over fifteen pages of dialogue between Brother Augie and Virgil in the Cadillac as they drive down the highway. One of our new friends and tech gurus AJ Garcez suggested we use a green screen background and shoot the actors in the Cadillac while it’s parked. This solved some problems and created new problems, the greatest being that I’ve never used green screen before. I wasn’t sure if Sunday night would be a nightmare or relatively quick and straightforward.

The first hurdle with green screen is the lighting. (Well, sure, first you need the screen; however, I had already prepared an eight by four sheet of particle board with three coats of chroma key green paint weeks ago.) The theory is to generate smooth, even light. A homogenous, undifferentiated level of luminosity is the secret. Alston proved to be a natural with this sort of tediously pesky lighting issue. She is indispensable. Our Jane of all trades.

We used eight lights on the green screen. And an additional four lights on the caddy and our two actors. The studio was a large two car-sized storage unit. I knew the electrical situation might prove problematic, but I thought we’d deal with that in good time. Basically, I guess I thought by ignoring the problem it’d go away. I was of course wrong. Twelve lamps sucking up more juice then I care to calculate kept throwing the breaker switch. Lucky, the band using an adjacent space to practice in showed us where to find the breaker box.

The first two hours were the worst. Every fifteen minutes or so, the breaker would trip and one of us would have to run or drive across the storage yard to throw the switch. Eventually we learned to let the lights cool before the power shut off.

Thankfully we decided against running the two fans to simulate wind on our actors. They weren’t wearing particularly loose-fitting cloths and their hair was too short to blow in the wind. We also ditched the coffee maker -- quite a sacrifice, indeed.

Pete kept a constant jostle on the car to give it the appearance of highway driving. For sound, we jammed the boom pole between the seats so that the shotgun mike came up near the dashboard between our actors. And other than the initial power outages, we ran through all 15 pages pretty quickly. That was from the driver’s side window. But we also needed all the dialogue and action from a reverse shot. So Pete fired up the caddy and coaxed it out of the storage space, turned it around, and inched it back in. Amazing feat considering there was only a couple of inches to spare on each side of the opening. The second half of the night moved smoother, and we got our last shot off around two, as I recall. Six hours in all. Not bad. Far from the nightmare I feared. Of course, it doesn’t hurt having two fantastic actors.
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Day Eighteen [23 Sep 2003|11:53pm]
There’s a great BBQ place down in Adkins, Texas. That’s near St. Hedwig. On the south east curve of the Anderson Loop, five miles south of I-10. It’s called Texas Pride Barbecue, and the owner, Tony, was kind enough to let us shoot there on Thursday. There’s a party room off to the side with walls covered by posters and LP covers of Doug Sahm, Augie Meyers, Flaco Jimenez, and Freddy Fender, even before they pooled their talents together as the Texas Tornados. Clearly Tony has excellent taste in music. The food’s pretty good, too.

We finally got to work with Lewis Sarkozi. He was one of the great actors Nikki Young lined up for us. When he auditioned it was clear to me and Pete that we’d be absolute imbeciles not to cast Lewis. He was wonderful to work with and, even though his character will get very little screen time, his performance will add considerably to the movie.

Venus, our incensed mother, was outstanding. She spat out the word “filth-monger” with pure conviction.

One of the locals in Adkins, a cream-colored three-legged dog (never did catch his name), added a hint of casual pathos. I’m glad Tim decided to get a minute or so of the critter. Never hurts to have some footage of a three-legged dog licking himself. If it doesn’t find a place in this film we’ll put it somewhere.

And I can’t forget Liz Keith who came all the way from Houston to help out as crew. We strapped a field mixer on her and handed over the boom pole. Not only was she great running sound, but she has this high-energy positive attitude that’s pure infectious. We need Liz around all the time. With her sparkle lip gloss and circle-a clodhoppers. Girl, you rock!
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Day Seventeen [23 Sep 2003|11:44pm]
As we were getting the final shot of the first dream sequence Wednesday night, Roy came up to me and asked, “So, why are you filming two drag queens and two boys dancing around a fake fire wearing loincloths?” A fair enough question, but it took me a bit off guard. I smiled indulgently and pretended to be busy doing something important. Actually, what I should have pointed out to Roy is that we contacted him as an ACTOR and not for his cross-dressing skills (which I have no doubt are considerable). As for the boys, well, they were available, and not to mention, quite willing to do what many adults would find foolish, embarrassing even. To wit, putting on a loincloth and dancing around a fake fire.

I should add that the fake fire, which was my creation, turned out fantastic. Though certainly not near as fantastic as Michelle’s costumes for our dancers.

As for the drag queens and the boys -- a winning combination by anyone’s standards! Well done lads…lasses…?

Bill did fine work portraying God. The wig and ascot gave him an air of distinction if not divinity. Director Chadd Green (one of the core members of PrimaDonna Productions) played Jesus for us. We thank him not only for his excellent performance, but also for some helpful advice.

And thanks and double thanks go out to Taffy and her family for allowing us into their home to shoot. The boys are immortalized in the movies now.

Oh, and I do hope Roy’s rash has cleared up. From the body paint, I hasten to add.
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Day Sixteen [16 Sep 2003|11:33am]
Nothing terribly involved today. JT arrived a bit before noon, and he, Pete, and I shot a couple scenes in Pete’s garage. Next we drove out to the flea market on Eisenhauer and shot a few exteriors of Brother Augie walking and hitchhiking. Then we broke for lunch at the Thai House on Rittiman. Excellent food. (I just hope Lisa doesn’t find out we visited one of her favorite restaurants without her.) I asked our waiter if it would be okay if, after we ate, we could shoot a scene behind the restaurant. There was something of a language problem, and I’m not sure if anyone there actually understood what we wanted to do; however, no one tried to stop us. We went out back to their dumpster and set up for JT’s last scene of the day. Alston caught up with us, increasing our crew to a full three people. We were all ready to shoot brother Augie trying to fix his hair after years of prison life where he was cut off from a dependable supply of hair care products. He stands at the dumpster and goes through can after can of Sexy Mama brand hairspray, yet he just can’t manage to build his hair up to the height of his proud pompadour years. He shakes his head and walks off in disgust.

I believe we were all glad that the dumpster was empty. I half expected to throw back the lid and confront a pile of discarded squid carcasses or expired wanton skins.

We have Lyn Belisle to thank for our Sexy Mama brand hairspray. She provided us with several mocked up labels. She also made those extraordinary Caballero Jones lobby cards.
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Day Fifteen [16 Sep 2003|01:54am]
After a weekend’s break, we dusted off the c-stands, liberated the batteries from their chargers, and got back in the game. Tonight was one short scene. Matthew, our pizza boy, confronts Caballero Jones, the masked mariachi. The action took place in front of Pete and Lisa’s house. Pretty straight-forward stuff. Needless to say, Matthew was great. I just hope he didn’t feel a need to get too deep into the character--because now his work for us is all done. The pizza boy is in the can, so to speak. And, in all candor, that character is pretty much dead to us. We’ve moved on to planning the next two days of shooting. I just hope Matthew didn’t climb down too far into the character. Perhaps at this moment he’s having a tough time getting back from the pizza boy zone. I can almost see him now, sitting at home alone, staring into space and mumbling “I fought like a tiger, but he got me in a honey of a sleeper hold.” For all I know, he created a complete back story on the pizza boy with a full genealogy and a break-down of the lad’s SAT scores. Although, I can understand. There’s a rational desire to try and answer the question: Just who is this pizza boy--what makes him tick? How does he brush his teeth? What’s his middle name? Paper or plastic?

Then we have Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday. That should end principle photography. There are still a few miscellaneous shots we’ll be needing, but the work with actors should be over by then.

Tomorrow, just a small crew and J.T.
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Day Fourteen [12 Sep 2003|01:05am]
Personally, I’ve never been much of a stickler for the rule of three. You know how it goes in stories, like the three little pigs. The big bad wolf blows on the house of hay. It falls. He blows on the house of wood. It falls. Hey, this is easy! He blows on the house of bricks. Oops! Two similar actions, with similar results seem to establish a pattern. The third similar action fails to achieve the expected result. We, the audience, are expected to be surprised by the subversion of our expectations. But can’t we usually see it coming for miles? And of course there’s the old thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. Hell, in my heart of hearts I don’t even buy into that three act structure nonsense. How restrictive. And don’t even get me started on the holy trinity. What’s up with that? Take it all back to that Pan-Hellenic pre-Socratic esthetic. Blame it all on Pythagoras, and why not?

But three. We’ve fallen afoul to threes in our movie. Two examples: we have three motels in our list of locations; and, we have three restaurants in our list of locations. The motels are supposed to be three clearly different sites. We, however, managed (successfully, it seems) to make one motel (the Aloha Inn) appear to be three different motels. We did this purely in the interest of expediency. We didn’t have time to break down the production and move to another site. The restaurants were less difficult. We planned, early on, on using a single place. It would easier, we knew, logistically speaking. We went so far as to turn it into a gag. Polynesian, Chinese, and Mexican restaurants which clearly are the same place, only marginally redressed. Only Brother Augie seems to notice. In fact, he is served by an identical waitress at each restaurant.

I think we succeeded as well turning Chapala Taco House into three restaurants as masterfully as we faked the Aloha.

The original shooting schedule had allowed us two days for the restaurant scenes. We plunged ahead and got all done on Tuesday.

I’d forgotten all the problems inherent in shooting in restaurants. Audio issues everywhere. Refrigerators, freezers, fluorescent lights, air conditioning, ice makers, automatic coffee makers, et al. Most of this stuff needs constant attending. You can’t really leave refrigerators and freezers unplugged for too long, certainly not if the owner is on premises. And of course under the hot lights, the lack of AC becomes a comfort (and by that I mean a discomfort) issue pretty fast. Someone’s always needed to run and plug stuff back in or turn switches back on.

Our waitress, Louisette, was wonderful. (We liked her so much as our sexy lady in the motel scene, that we brought her back as our cynical waitress.) Louisette proved to be quite the quick change artist. After several camera set-ups where we had her sighing and rolling her eyes at customers in her Mexican peasant dress, we began dressing the restaurant for the Polynesian themed eatery. I looked up as I was moving a light and saw her sitting patiently in her south sea island waitress outfit. Same for the Chinese version of El Dante’s Diner. I turned around for just a second, it seemed, and she was wearing something like a kimono and had chopsticks in her hair.

JT and Chad were in top form, as usual. When it came time for Chad to pop a cooked, unshelled shrimp into his mouth and crunch away on it with a satisfied smile, he did so without a second thought. Halfway through the bit, I noticed Tim over at the camera shaking his head. “His face went out of frame just as he started chewing.” We prepared for another take. Someone held out a napkin for Chad to spit into. “Naw,” Chad said with his famous lop-sided smile, his mouth now empty. “I’m hardcore.” And he slung shrimp take two into his mouth and crunched it noisily and with apparent gusto.

Mr. Garcia, the owner of Chapala, popped in every so often. I assumed that he couldn’t take what we were doing to his taqueria. Manhandling the tables, chairs, display coolers, dirtying his dish with prop food. I just knew we were breaking his heart. We told him we’re be done by eight or eight-thirty. And I was amazed that we got out of there at nine o’clock. Not bad, seeing as we didn’t get our first shot off until about four in the afternoon.

We moved fast clearing out equipment and rearranging the place back to its original state, because, in all candor, we made quite a mess. I did a final walk-through, to make sure we hadn’t forgotten anything. To make sure we hadn’t left a freezer unplugged. To make sure we hadn’t broken an oven or a plate. All the while I’m avoiding Mr. Garcia’s eyes. I wasn’t sure how he was taking all this. And at the last stop, the restrooms.... Well, shit. And I mean that literally. One of us (cast or crew)—I’m not sure who, but I have my suspicions—clogged up the toilet with his...well, I’ll spare the gentle reader the details. Suffice to say I spent ten minutes pushing a toilet plunger to its very limits. Eventually, success. When I walked back into the restaurant, all the crew people were lounging around the parking lot. I assumed they knew what I had been up to, and wanted no part of it. I thanked Mr. Garcia and apologized for anything awful we might have done. He shrugged it off with a smile. “I was watching some of what you were doing. It’s really boring.” He was right, of course. But what makes it fun is getting swallowed up by the process. You get so deep inside all the minute details that you never get a chance to pull back and notice how mind-numbingly dull it all is. “How much did you get done?” he asked. “Um, about seven minutes,” I said, suddenly feeling inexplicably guilty. He smiled and shook his head incredulously. He thought we were crazy. Hell, maybe he’s right.

Me and Pete stopped by Chapala’s the next morning for breakfast and to make sure we hadn’t unknowingly done something awful. Everything seemed fine. Mr. Garcia joked with us. Great. Pete noticed that the bench on his side of the table was rather loose. No problem. I had become an old hand at reattaching the bench seats on Chapala’s tables. I dove underneath like a mechanic scooting beneath a car. A couple of well-placed blows with the heel of my hand, and, perfection.
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Day Thirteen [09 Sep 2003|01:05am]
Monday I was up at dawn and caught sight of a sunrise done up spectacular in a deep electric mauve. Tim was also up and strolling around the parking lot. He commented that it would serve well as a sunset into which Caballero Jones could be riding. We gave thought to waking Alston so she could photograph the sunrise over the scrub oaks and low-laying mist. But we thought better of it.

We returned to the barber shop and ran through a couple more scenes before breaking for lunch. We’d like to thank Bennett (happy birthday) for providing lunch to the cast and crew. You are too kind.

Marcos had already arrived and we had fitted him with a significant mustache. Somehow he managed to eat a few ribs with that huge brush of what I do believe was advertised to be real human hairs perched on his upper lip. And so, after our break, we took care of the scenes involving Marcos. He arrived at just the right time. We were all drifting into a dull torpor, but Marcos is pure energy and let’s-go-to-it. He got us back to speed. Soon we were shooting him and JT charging up and down Main Street in what passes for our chase scene.

Thanks to all the people of Pleasanton. Especially those who we wrangled in as extras. The folks from KBUC radio. The kind women at Sisters Gift Shop. Maru at Fabri-Tech. And the others whose names I’m forgetting. And of course, a huge thank you to Jesse Ortiz. You will get to see him as the man in the barber chair getting a “haircut” from Brother Augie. We’ll excuse him if he wasn’t always able to keep a straight face while characters were spouting such ludicrous lines such as: “Regard the supermastoid crest;” and, “A barber must follow the, well, the topography of the skull.”
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Day Twelve [08 Sep 2003|11:23pm]
Sunday we were on the road by 7:30 in the morning. A caravan of cast and crew down to Pleasanton, a town about an hour south of San Antonio. Me, Pete, Alston, Tim, Harlan, and AJ were the crew; Valerie and JT, the cast. It was a two day affair, with us staying over at the Encino Motel.

I was afraid Sunday would turn ugly. We had scheduled six scenes which came out to be 11 pages. That’s significantly more than we’d done before.

We stopped at the motel to check in, and then it was off to Jesse’s Barbershop to start setting up equipment. Jesse was already there to let us in, and he didn’t bat an eye as we muscled equipment and cables all over his place. Jesse Ortiz is a patient, tolerant man. We all but turned his barber shop upside-down and he maintained a good-natured smile.

After a break for lunch, we moved the camera outside to shoot the scene where Brother Augie canvases the town in search of his elusive prey, Caballero Jones. I think all of us were looking forward to Brother Augie getting slapped by a woman on the street. Now, I have nothing against actor JT Trevino. We’ve already put him through so much. But when Alston said that her grandmother would gladly play the feisty slap-happy senior citizen, I just had to meet this woman who would travel an hour outside of San Antonio to slap a man who she doesn’t even know. On camera. For free! Well, I met Gloria, and she’s very sweet. In fact, she never really slapped anyone. Just gave Brother Augie a dismissive swat with her handbag. Well-played, Gloria.

AL Alonzo and his wife, Lisa, arrived in time for lunch. They waited patiently until we were able to set up for AL’s scene as Mr. Lopez. In a perfect world AL Alonzo would be a household name. Sitcoms, feature films, action figures, the entire arsenal of fame’s assault. In our decidedly imperfect world, he should at least be a successful character actor in high demand. I’d sit enraptured watching the man read the periodic table.

We managed to get all the scenes scheduled shot before nine. Everyone was fantastic. The only hitch was the last scene. A night exterior. Beatriz is explaining to Brother Augie about her ill father. One of the few serious, heart-felt bits in the whole movie. Valerie and JT were perfect as usual, but there was no way to gather useable sound. Sunday night in the small town of Pleasanton turned out not to be so slow-paced and sleepy as we’d hoped. It just happened that we were a block from the movie theater. The traffic just didn’t let up. We eventually gave up. We’d shoot the scene the following day, or else we’d use what we got and add the dialogue later.

Back at the motel I tossed a piece of foam rubber on the floor and had no trouble sleeping.
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Day Eleven [03 Sep 2003|11:20pm]
Another day shooting at the third floor empty room the Calliope Talent Agency keeps on reserve. We did the Pepito sequences. A series of clips without sound where we see the plush toy parrot as he rockets to fame (leastwise, in Virgil’s imagination). Pepito in the Jeans ad; Pepito on the movie set; Pepito attending the premiere; Pepito winning the best actor award; Pepito Pepito Pepito!!! All the while, Virgil is horning into the shot, cheering on his bird and fondling an ever-growing roll of cash.

Michelle brought the wardrobe. We even talked her into being the model wearing the jeans. Pepito ogled the model lasciviously. And Alston played the role as the fashion photographer. She crouched in the foreground with an old Polaroid Land camera, and snapped away -- “work with me baby, work with me!”

We pulled Pryce away from his duties at Calliope to be the movie director. He gave us a double helping of ham. We definitely need more of him in our next project. Nikki finally made it through the storm, and I don’t think she ever quite got dried off. She played the starlet who only had eyes for that sexy bird, Pepito. Nikki went though two more costume changes as she played the same starlet walking down the receiving line with the bird star and Virgil, and then, as the starlet reading from the envelope at the awards ceremony: “And the winner is…Pepito!” I’m glad she was able to fight her way through the torrential weather, because she was great. Thank you Nikki!

Chad, our Virgil, was as flawless as usual. He’s such a natural, we often take him for granted. How he manages to keep on top of his lines is a mystery to me. He has more dialogue than all the other characters put together. Besides, who else could pull off an ensemble of cargo pants and a red sequined cummerbund with such elan? Brava, I say Brava!

Oh, and I almost forgot the scene of Pepito’s appearance on the game show: Celebrity Dodge Ball. “Doug, I’ll take Pepito to dodge, and Larry Storch to throw.”
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Day Ten [01 Sep 2003|03:41am]
We shot the police interrogation scenes today. Again, we used the building where Calliope Talent Agency has their office. Scarlett Flinn, Angela Bennett, Robert Ketterer, and JT Trevino ran through their lines smoothly. They were hilarious. Later, Matthew Worthey arrived. We stuck him in a neck brace, an arm sling, and bandaged his finger. He was great as the pizza delivery kid who had survived an encounter with the notorious Caballero Jones. “That’s it, son. Take your time.” “It was number three, I tells you. Number three!”
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Day Nine [29 Aug 2003|11:13am]
The long miserable day in the toilet. Yes, we shot outside during one of the hottest days so far this year. A muggy day, at that. We set up at Pavilion 2 in McAllister Park. The action took place outside and inside the public restrooms. A ripe odor prevailed that the occasional breeze could not dislodge.

John Outtrim amazed me with his patience. We didn’t get any of his scenes until the hottest part of the day, yet he maintained his good nature. Either he’s the sweetest guy ever, or even a better actor than we already know him to be.

Adam Green amazed me in The Renaissance Guild’s production of Riff Raff where he portrayed a tormented young man, gut-shot from a drug deal gone horribly wrong. I was a bit embarrassed casting him as our “kid in restroom.” But perhaps Adam has more of a right to be embarrassed…as we instructed him to hunker down on the toilet as the camera was running. All in the name of art, is the mantra some of us have to mutter to ourselves during those long sleepless nights as we try and rationalize having placed actors in such situations. But Adam, bless his soul, was ready for more. Ah, youth….

My apologies go out to all the frustrated perverts who were kept from enjoying their anonymous trysts in the men’s room as we slaved away trying to make Vaya Con Dios, Asshole a reality. Your sacrifice does not go unappreciated, I can assure you.
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Day Eight [29 Aug 2003|01:39am]
We've decided to get sneaky with camera angles and turn room 103 of the Aloha Motel into all three of the motels needed. First we picked up a scene we missed from yesterday. Then we launched right into the scene where Virgil saves Brother Augie from his crippling despondency. Actor Shailendra Chopra, our motel manager, popped by in the afternoon and we shot his two scenes. He is amazing. Michelle stopped by to loan us the prop crossbow. And when Louisette arrived, Michelle helped with some impromptu wardrobe work to gussy up the Lust scenario. Louisette was quite toothsome wearing an outfit which she was quick to point out her mother would not let her leave the house in. Alston, magnificent as usual, slipped on the wrestling mask and black wig to portray our Sexy Lady's playmate.

My friend Laura and her brother visited the set while vacationing from the DFW area. They arrived bearing food to pile on our craft services table. Laura also gave some fine-tuning to JT's pompadour wig. It was getting a bit bedraggled from yesterday, when the poor man had to deal with comparisons to Phyllis Diller and Judy Garland.
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Day Seven [28 Aug 2003|12:01am]
We managed to get some work done on our two days off. Monday and Tuesday we were able to secure two locations. I believe our last locations. We have the Aloha Motel. Also, we have Texas Pride Barbecue. And it looks like we have our crossbow prop. Thanks again, Michelle!

Today was a rather short day of shooting. We crammed our cast and crew into room 103 of the Aloha Motel. Michelle’s mariachi costumes were pretty swank. Both AL and Pete duded up as Caballero Jones. JT donned the pompadour wig.

Tomorrow, more work at the motels. We’re working on a possible new direction of the Lust scene. More later.
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Day Six [24 Aug 2003|11:15am]
A very short shooting day. The scenes involved Brother Augie visiting the storage facility where he gets the Cadillac. One actor: JT. And a crew of four. Myself, Pete, Alston, and Tim. Bob showed up with food just as we finished with our final scene. We were taping MOS, which helped us move a bit faster than usual.

JT amazed us all with his superb driving skills as he inched the Cadillac into the storage bay with little more than an inch of clearance on each side.

Me and Tim climbed up onto the metal roof and got off a couple of high angle shots of the caddy backing out of the space and driving off.

After wrapping for the day, we headed off to Pete’s to watch dailies.

No shooting scheduled for the next two days.
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Day Five [23 Aug 2003|11:53pm]
Pete managed to clear the way for us to shoot our prison sequences in the old Atascosa County jail down the road in Jourdanton. He even finagled access to the third floor cell. We were up under the rafters listening to the pigeons scratching about. AJ jammed himself up into a crawl-space to give us some intense overhead lighting. Alston took over for the day as DP and managed to get some very beautiful shots.

JT, Michael, and Kevin were spot-on as our Brother Augie, condemned man, and prison guard, respectively. Michael plays psychopathic quite well. His take on the character was a sort of subdued Frank Gorshin playing Hannibal Lector. Kevin kept disappearing into the shadows and making subtle rats noises.

A fun-filled day for all.
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Day Four [21 Aug 2003|11:28pm]
Success. We managed to shoot the scene we missed yesterday. This morning, at about seven o’clock, Kay peeked around the door into the room where I was sleeping on the couch. She was distraught, having been up for sometime, having realized herself that we have forgotten scene 72. Things worked out well. Chad showed up at nine this morning and we took the scene into a whole new direction. We were able to work Kay’s Frederick’s of Hollywood pumps into the movie.

We have teeth! James Townsend came into town last night and fitted me and Pete with our prosthetic teeth. Mine a “gold” incisor; Pete, a full set of frighteningly messed up dentation.

James came back this morning and put in a full day running sound for us. Very helpful!

The card sharp scene came off quite well. We had fun shooting extreme close-ups of seriously insane gamblers. Peter and Bob were especially inspired.

Tonight me and Pete watched two days worth of dailies. It’s looking pretty good. Our actors are doing amazing work for us. I find out that the best way to appreciate JT’s acting is on a TV monitor. Watching his reactions, his facial expressions, is incredible. He is extraordinary.

Tomorrow we have no shooting scheduled. Time to get prepared for the next two or three days shooting.
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