Monday, August 21, 2006

I came here to get retarded

This place is deserted. The festival doesn’t start for 2 hours. I park my Z in the structure and blaze like Johnny for the next 40 min’s….this is gonna be awesome.

I was flying higher than an SR-71 spy plane when I got to the lobby. I know I reeked of cush…whatever. I don’t see people complaining about all the Ben-Gay and Icy-Hot and what not I can smell (is this the Grampa section?)

Yoda and Det. Budd won’t be here for another 3 hrs so I need to scope shit out. Yeah well that kind of didn’t happen because I feel asleep when I went back to the Z to get some screeners. So what did I do when I woke up.. I blazed again..I mean they call us Big Hit productions for a reason.

Yoda hits me up on the blackcherry and tells me to meet her at registration.


YODA
You look like shit

COOPRDOG
No, tell me how you really feel.

YODA
You need to trim your nose hair

COOPRDOG
Yeah I’ll get right on that.

YODA
I’m serious Cooprdog, you look like some homeless Playstation addict..that’s not going to fly…go clean yourself up.

I decide to listen to Yoda and not argue.. and I make my way to the bathroom… yeah.. I look a little bummy… but I ain’t here for the chicks (ok that’s not entirely true)… I am here to screen. I tidy myself up and make a little small talk in the bathroom with a filmmaker that I hate. I mean he’s a nice guy..but I don’t like his approach.. and I really don’t want to be his friend..but we exchange postcards anyway.

His is monochrome with handwritten screening info on the back. Mine is 4 color process with labels and web addresses. It’s an awkward moment when he says something to the effect of “so I guess you had a little money”. You know what, fuck you dude! You think presentation and marketing don’t matter…you think it’s worth saving $50 and having monochrome cards. How about respecting your cast and your crew and your film….well that’s what I was thinking. I told him that I live to screen and spare no expense. He says he’ll only do that when he know it’s going to be a really good screening. I told him that every screening can be a really good screening….if you give a shit.

I tidy my shit up and rip out the nose hair (man that fuckin’ hurts). I get back to Yoda and Det. Budd. is there.

DET. BUDD
Wanna kill some trees

COOPRDOG
Totally dude!

YODA
Hey..you two don’t get too fucked up…this is a screening day

I love Yoda but does she realize that marijuana is the only reason we haven’t become serial killers at these festivals. I mean you have to be faded when your print comes on…it’s a fuckin’ rule! She seems unaware that without the assistance of recreational pharmaceuticals that we’d be making drastically less friends (not that we are trying to make a lot)

We find a staircase to no where and smoke several bowls. Det. Budd asks me if I am good…I request another bowl…. “if you are going to be a bear…be a grizzly” (I have a free screener for anyone who knows what movie that quote is from).

We are pie-eyed..stumbling. Det. Budd is yelling at sexy women telling them to come to our screening…only with the way we are dressed and the way the sound is echoing out here…we seem like crazy people…which is fine with me… ‘cause I am fuckin’ crazy!

We spend the next 4 hours looking at the competition, sizing them up. We are nominated for an award and we want to see what the competition is. The other filmmakers are suspicious of us.. because we are obviously high and aren’t’ participating in the Q&A’s. I mean do you really want us to comment? We aren’t here to rip you apart…but we aren’t here to suck your cock either… we are just observing. But if you want some feedback here goes a few questions I’d like to have answered

“did you suck this bad when you first started…or did you have to practice it”

“are you really an asshole or do you just play one on the set”

“are you as surprised as we are that this film is playing festivals?”

“are you aware that you ideas suck cock on an international level?”

but we were nice… and we threw a few bones to the genuine filmmakers to try and make their Q & A’s go over more smoothly (because we were losing our high and the PSP batteries died).

Det. Budd wants to go see this film that got into the ICG festival since we got rejected. I mean rumor has it that….they wanted 35mm shorts. I mean Jesus I shot on film…now it has to be 35? Tell me this whole industry is not a racquet!

I opt to check out this doc because the director is cute…go ahead and hate..but it’s been slim pickens for two days now…and I have had to modify my selection process.

We reconvene and compare notes. Det. Budd is hatin’ on the ICG film, Yoda wants to get some food.

DET. BUDD
Let’s get some brews…

COOPRDOG
But there are a few films I want to see

DET. BUDD
Oh boo…hoo.. my producing partner is making me drink and have a good time.

COOPRDOG
Fuck you Budd…

DET. BUDD
Man you take this shit too seriously. Does anyone one care…it’s like you and somebody’s mom sweatin’ out these screenings. Look the projector might implode and create a black hole and suck us all in to the abyss….do you want to be sober when that happens?….fuck… It’s a festival man..lighten up!

Budd has a point. Why be sober…why be coherent…I mean when I am glass eyed and non-communicative…they think I am really talented (“he’s such a deep thinker”)….we adjourn to the bar.

2 pints later we are getting’ loud. Budd says something to the effect of “I wanna see someone get their ass kicked”. I try to steer him away from this line of thought but he persists. “I mean c’mon…this is a Karate expo..is it that much to ask to see I guy get his nose broken…I mean fuck!”

I burst out laughing at his comment as parents look over with disgust. I point out to Budd that we are being disrespectful…and he answers “look what type of a self-respecting parent is drinking in a bar at 11am when there kid is about to compete”. I literally spit my Guinness out with that one. “I mean we are supposed to be here” (getting louder) “I MEAN WHY DO YOU THLINK THE FUCKIN’ BAR IS OPEN IF THEY DON’T WANT US TO DRINK???”

Well we didn’t get cut off after that comment but let’s just say it was really hard to get another pint. Yoda is egging us on and we are beginning to make fun of the people around us (is it any wonder why we don’t make friends at a festivals).

We stumble back into the screening rooms after we roasted another bowl. The three of us stagger up to the screening floor.. and it’s kind of dead.

DET. BUDD
See..what did we miss…absolutely nothing.

Yoda cracks up and I realize that I really enjoy this lifestyle.. sure I look like I am homeless and I am paying $3 for stale brownies…but at least I am trying to do something with my film (you mean you can screen the film after you shoot it….no way!).

We go to the screening of this guy who has a hot feature because there is supposed to be money people in there. Not that I need to be asking for $2.5MM in my state I mean I’ll probably be too honest. I have an honesty problem. Like when we met with our insurance guy before we shot the film. Now keep in mind that this is not my side of the company…I am in charge of money and actors. Anyway… so we are in this guy’s office and he’s not happy… he don’t like the stunts and he wants to get rid of them.

Though I am feigning to pay attention I am really trying to figure out where I will hide the body after he says no and I leap across the desk and rip out his trachea (“look at me…I’m the one that did this to you!”).

INSURANCE GUY
I don’t know guys…this is risky”

DET. BUDD
We are using working grips who are in the union and know their shit.

INSURANCE GUY
Listen, I like you guys. But I don’t know. I mean my concern is what if one of the cameras flies off the car during a stunt. I mean if you were shooting a million dollar film, I wouldn’t care.. cause I’d just take the film till you got me my money. (he said it so matter-of-factly that it was scary)..but this is a short…there is nothing to sell here gentleman. I don’t know if this is worth the underwriting risk.

Are you fuckin’ kidding me? Dude you act like we are trying to jump over snake canyon or some shit..it’s two fuckin’ turns and a burnout!

Det. Budd’s celli rings and he exits the room to take the call. That was mistake number one. Now I am alone with this guy who is going to say no…and then I am going to cry. He swivels in his chair and looks directly at me.

INSURANCE GUY
Tell me something Cooprdog..is it going to be cool?

COOPRDOG
Are you fuckin’ kidding me…man we are gonna be smokin’ tires and brining the ass out all day… it’s going to be totally fuckin’ awesome!

Det. Budd returns from the lobby.

INSURANCE GUY
Ok, so then your deductible is more like $7500 and I really want you to lose the slides and just do the burnout.

Det. Budd loses it as soon as we leave the guys office. But I refuse to apologize. He asked me if my film as cool and I said yes. That’s what they pay me for (yeah…like I got paid)

Needlessly to say I am not allowed to be alone with insurance people anymore….but whatever…I’m the director… I am supposed to get excited.

I promised him that I wouldn’t do any shit like that again (till the next movie). And we went to see this guy’s film. This dude is a riot. I mean he’s a producer’s producer. He’s dressed funny, has an inability to speak in complete sentences and is shameless promoting his film and his cast. Jesus it was like a religious moment.

He was stalling his start time because he was expecting more money people. He was completely unconcerned that he personally was completely fuckin’ up the festival screening schedule…..I gotta be more like this guy. He snaps at a few volunteers before allowing them to start the film. He is prepared to go down with the ship….it was nice to meet someone so into their own shit.

We can’t stay though… we are screening in 30 min’s and I have to be in the room.

We enter our screening room and see the other filmmakers in our section. In two days we have developed quite the reputation. I think most are here to see if we are completely full of shit…whatever, all asses in the seats count…including playa-haters.

The volunteer is really nice and gives all the film a nice introduction and the section begins. My heart is racing.. and it always is when I screen…because anything can happen. We sit through some ok.. films. I did kind of like that stuff in our section but I was eager to gauge their reaction to SLZ.

The Big Hit logo comes up and we are off to the races. Oh but wait.. the volume is too low. You motherfuckers….where is the intern/lackey at…hey… this is an emergency. Two minutes later they find someone to turn up the sound. I would have done it myself…but it’s not good to do those things when it’s your piece…you have to let the staff do its job (unless you are prepared to kill every-fucking body in the place).

I want to start the film over… I mean isn’t that a do-over (or did that legislation not pass?) They aren’t laughing at the jokes…they aren’t laughing at the jokes. Laugh you motherfuckers or I kill your family..you hear me! Hey dude stop talkin’ or I’ll cut your fuckin’ tongue out. Why is the image crooked? I need more sound….where is Yoda, who is in charge I want a refund goddamnit!

The film goes over ok (I guess)….and when the lights come up there is complete silence (do you see why I am high all the time?). Now that either means that they were really moved… or so annoyed that they just want to leave. They seem to have a million questions but don’t know how to phrase them. So we get up there and do little song and dance (do a little dance…make a little love) and we get them talking about inverting images and meaning. I tell a few stories about bribing people in principal and how I have no common sense when I am shooting.. and they think we are a riot. Now more questions are coming.

AUDIENCE MEMBER
Did you have permits?

…did I have permits. No, we were just fortunate to be able to do donoughts in the same intersection for 9 hours with no cops showing up….except for the ones I was paying $35/hr to eat my craft services….next question!

AUDIENCE MEMBER
If you could change one thing about your film what would it be?

..hmm other than more money and hotter women on my set (I’m kidding everyone knows hot chicks don’t like to PA) I’d have made the stunts more amazing and maybe have blown up a few buildings… everyone laughs but I am being serious.

AUDIENCE MEMBER
Did it get tense between you two when you were shooting?

…well if you ignore the part where Det. Budd. said me to “why don’t you shut the fuck and let me make your movie”… uh no. They think I am joking and erupt in laughter. Det. Budd and I look at each other…amazed…the truth really does set your free (unless the truth contains child pornography).

AUDIENCE MEMBER
How did you get permission to shoot at the newsstand.. .it looks expensive.

..well it was when we kidnapped the owners wife and poisoned his dog…then he was all to happy to work with us.

They erupt in laughter again. Yoda and Det. Budd are crackin’ up at the absurdity of the whole thing. Our Q&A is quickly becoming a stand up routine.

AUDIENCE MEMBER
How tough was it to schedule all those locations and characters

About as tough as trying to beat your cock while wearing mittens..

Yoda is egging us on from the back row… the volunteer who is busting a gut is motioning between fits of laughter that we need to end it. People are clapping and want to more about us. It’s turns out to be a fun screening.

From that moment on we are like no-name festival celebrities… why because we said raunchy shit on the mic and spoke from the heart….man I love this shit!

The award show is in a few hours and I am kind of excited…not that I will win…but maybe I’ll get to tell more lies and get some funding in the process.

So what to do till then.. I know…let’s get fucked up.

Me & Det. Budd. and Yoda find another bar (it’s really best to keep moving when you have a substance abuse problem….well not that I have a problem… I can quit anytime…so fuck you!) We’re holed up in another local establishment…trying to figure out exactly when we will lose and to whom and just how fucked up we want to be. Now this comes from a years worth of getting’ snubbed at award shows. I mean I always less upset when I’m barely able to get my face out of the onion soup (mmmm….cheese!)

So we roll into the awards ceremony drunk and high. We are stopped at the door and asked for ID. Det. Budd informs them that as the chair of the Dermatology association that this is completely outrageous and that he has been embarrassed in front of his colleagues. The dude gets confused and starts to stammer when I burst out laughing. We show our film bracelets and they let us in.

DET. BUDD
Man.. if you can’t keep a straight face I’m not gonna kick it with you any more.

COOPRDOG
Ok, my bad. But the chair of the dermatology association….that’s classic.

DET. BUDD
Well if you’d of kept your game face on…we’d be sittin’ in the front row….but noooooo… somebody just has to tell the truth! I wonder if Spike is looking for a new DP. I pretend like I didn’t hear the comment.

Yoda chuckles as we all find three seats together.

It’s a cool set up. All the filmmakers and all the karate mothefuckers are together. Only the karate cats are all dressed up and all the filmmakers are wearing jeans. I guess no one told team-karate chop that there is a fairly good chance that someone is going to puke…or someone is going to get into a fight…or that someone is going to puke on someone and start a fight. I mean c’mon…this is an award ceremony…you gotta make it last.

So… I see that they have a bar on each side of the room (two lines no waiting – must be their first award show) and wait it gets better… the bar stays open during the award show. Well that was about all the incentive we needed (“hey man it’s free beer – drink up!) to get loaded.

So they have gone out of their way to give us a nice presentation. And to play clips of the nominated films.. and there are karate demonstrations between each category. And all of this probably seemed like a good idea when they planned it.

Of course they didn’t realize that people like us were coming. First it starts with the loud comments. Det. Budd is saying things like “I heard you can kill a guy if you hit him right here in his palm”. People look over..some smiling, some are not (they must know that it’s only gonna get worse).

Yoda is having a good old time. She is content to watch us get drunk and make asses our of ourselves.

25 min’s later

DET. BUDD
You need another

COOPRDOG
Uh.. I’m OK

DET. BUDD
Hey why don’t you take the fuckin’ apron off and match me beer for beer and stop being such a fag!

The section we are sitting in becomes totally silent before Det. Budd adds this comment

DET. BUDD
I mean if you want to….I don’t want to pressure you. I mean there got to be two of three men near us with a real set of balls that’s down for some drinkin’ (he looks around)…c’mon guys what do you say.

There is a mixture of fear and envy coming from the men around us (the men with dates). We make another two trips to the bar and come back with two beers each on each trip. Yoda shoots Det. Budd a look.

DET. BUDD
What….it’s a buy one get one free promotion.. I’m just trying to help out.

So now we’re double fisted and watching the kiddies go at it on the stage. I mean you really could make a killing if this was on pay-per-view. I mean a 5 year old throwing a round house to take out a 4 yr old…somebody has to film that shit. All was going well till Det. Budd started to cheer

DET. BUDD
“Put him in a body bag!” – the infamous Karate Kid quote that no one but me is getting.

The crowd is uneasy as we have an ever-increasing collection of empty Corona bottles under our chairs. I personally don’t care.. I mean I lookin’ for a little excitement and the house security is the largest group of men I’ve ever seen.

We tone it down a little except for the comments that we have to make because we are filmmakers who are getting drunk. Now if you are unfamiliar with these comments I have created a little guide for your understanding:

Phrases that filmmakers are likely to utter when intoxicated:

“How much for the women!...how much for the little girl!”

“Czechoslovakia… it’s like Wisconsin. We Zip in, we zip out”

“Nothing is fucked man”

“And good day to you too Mr. Motherfucker”

“We’re puttin’ the band back together”

“I’ll turn cartwheels all day for that type of money”

“I said no hookers”

“I’m not sayin’ that all women are ball-busters…just that a vast majority have the potential”

“How would you like a big steaming cup of shut-the-fuck-up”

“Dickey Mo!....Dickey Mo!!!”


ok.. so it’s like midnight. I’ve got a good 6-8 beers in me. We have two categories left and we are the last one… well.. now you see why we have been drinking. I mean if I’m going to drive across the country to see if I got the job…I definitely gonna enjoy the trip.

MASTER OF CEREMONIES
“ and the winner for best actor…is not you drunk motherfuckers in the back”

….ok maybe that isn’t exactly what he said… but that’s what it sounded like. We stumble to our feet, and high five several people who were laying money that neither one of us would be able to stand.. and we walked out under our own power.

So in closing, I guess it was a fun festival.. I mean I have been this continually fucked up since I thought I got some chick pregnant last summer. I met a few cool peeps and had a nice screening. I mean I can admit that I wasn’t exactly the poster child for this fest when it began. But I did see like 30 films and I was there for the whole thing (minus trips to the stairwell to smoke weed).

So what’s the moral of the story….get loaded because pretty soon we won’t be able to raise production funding and then you’ll wished you partied a little (when your back at Costco – stacking bottles of water and getting’ written up for going 2 min’s over on your 10 min break.



COOPRDOG

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