Friday, November 10, 2006

"It's Harder Than It Looks"

Ok… so we kind of missed the opening screening but you can blame that shit on the Waffle house. Now if you haven’t ever been to a waffle house…here is one thing you should know. You can get whatever the fuck you want….as long as you get hash browns. I was unaware of this and I’m not quite sure what culinary arts program feels that cheese burgers and hash browns make a good entrée, but your are mistaken Sir! Sadly, sadly mistaken Sir!

So, I order the burger and she inquires about the hash browns. And I must say that I am perplexed; I mean when she asked me how I wanted my hash browns it seemed at the time to be the most absurd question some has ever asked me and I replied “on a plate”. Det. Budd cracks up and I’m like “what?...am I an asshole? Is that a strange request?” I am then informed by Virginia (again, not here real name) that they can be prepared 7 different ways. I was totally blown away. I mean we are talking about hash browns are we not? Fucking slices of potato’s and some onions – how the fuck did it become an entire food genre? I don’t get 7 options when I buy tires, and that’s someone’s life your dealing with (when you drive a race car like me). Where was I??? ...oh yeah Bertha and the hash browns. I get my “designer” hash browns with cheese (which I am quite sure is going to be foul, but how foul? How foul can they make it – I gotta know, I gotta know man, I gotta know)

So the food comes and we are all busy clogging our arteries, (well except for Dr. M who has half a bran muffin and a carrot stick – yumee!) when I realize that at some point we should probably make an appearance at the festival before the sun goes down and after staging an attempted assassination to get Martha to bring us the check, we get back on the highway. Two eighty-fucking-five, which I think is the number of minutes you’ll waste on this highway every day because it goes everywhere and nowhere and doesn’t do it fast. I mean let me tell you a little bit about the highway system around Atlanta. It’s highways connecting to highways connecting to highways and the surface streets change names every two miles. I mean if you are worried about us being invaded by a foreign power, then move to Atlanta – cause there ain’t no way someone who ain’t from Atlanta is zipping around this motherfucker.

Anyway, we finally find the Americas Mart convention center (which is like hidden. I mean you would think a Convention center would be easy to find, but nooooo) and hustle our way in. It’s me and Det. Budd and Dr. M bounding our way to the registration table. Now this is a great opportunity because not only are we screening, we are also teaching a case study about our film. Though Atlanta has a very motivated indie film scene, it’s quite small when compared to a places that are more established. Nonetheless, I had a pretty cool screening last time (I mean after the “God in the movies” debate) and I thought this would be cool. We got an automatic bid for this festival so I was also feeling that we are becoming more of a participant in the national film scene, and that felt cool.

So here is the tricky part. Most festivals only grant credentials to the director even though most films are made by a team. So there is always this brokering of credentials when you check in. Since all festivals have volunteer staff who do not specialize in customer service you can sweet talk your way into tons of free shit, if you play buy the rules. Now since I know the director of this festival and have screened for her before (CH the Chef) this is more diplomatic than anything else. We need to get Dr. M. in and give her complete access. Now we could probably give her on of our credentials since Det. Budd and I are so conspicuous since we see so many films and get drunk and loud (and high…yes we are known to get high)..we are rarely asked for credentials – and we are presenters. We could get away with a lot here. But I take the high road, and I buy an all access pass for Dr. M. Yeah I know it’s kind of a conflict of interest since I am trying to launch my mirror site “boguscredentials.com” but sometimes you have to give back.

So we get the pass and now they have to call upstairs for something (it always amazes me how the check-in desk is more serious than NORAD)..and next thing I know CH the Chef shows up and its all hugs and kisses. She tells the desk to just hook us up with the additional credential for Det. Budd since I had purchased one for Dr. M. – see… you got to give a little to get a little.

During this whole time I begin to make small talk with Dr. M. We are chatting about denotation and mimesis. She’s seen Sex-Love like 4 times already and she is promising to give me a good read. Her initial reaction to the film was just ok, she had definite things to hold me to task for. But after some careful explanation of visual motifs and the use of camera set-ups to convey feeling – she comes around to my manner of thinking (man, I could do this PR shit all day!) Dr. M. is really eager to see what kinds of films are in competition. I have tried to warn her that it’s very hit or miss at a festival, I mean you can find some winners, and you can find some losers, some just awful films that get played a lot. Now I personally believe that this is done to indicate that you can be better than somebody. I mean that must be the only real reason that bad films get played. Det. Budd theorizes that it’s all the festivals fault because they will program a really bad film, he thinks it a conspiracy (and a racket, I bet they’re boys with the TSA…see it’s all related).

We started off in a documentary that I am not going to name because I can remember the name of it. I mean I guess I could find dude’s postcard and act like I care, but I don’t care, and I didn’t care when I watched his film. And this guy wasn’t even at this screening. He sent one of his associates (read lackey) to hand out a few postcards and screen the film.

Ok so I really am not a doc guy. I mean I know doc’s are great and really illuminate the “real narrative”, yeah well just cause it’s a real narrative, that doesn’t mean it’s a good narrative. And I am beginning to suspect that a lot of doc shooters are really fictional narrative cats like me, but are just doing it cause it’s really easy to get a doc funded (I mean you can get production funds, new tires on your whip and a dedicated booty call on Friday nights in some of these doc funding programs). Which I think is bullshit. I am going to be a great source of GDP when I get the whole world caught up in Sex-Love and push mad units….can you help a brother out?

So this doc is the follow up to a doc about African college students and African-American college students feelings on a variety of different topics. Ok, I’ll buy that. Of course the topics happen to be wealth, education, manhood, racism, terrorism, Sept. 11 (no I am not kidding). I mean it started very grass roots with lots of beats and rhyming and shit…and then bam! I am watching the towers come down. What the fuck is that dude? You can’t just interject 9-11 footage for “spice” (and I’d like to point out that he showed the plane crashing into the towers not once, but twice (and slowed down the footage – nice touch asshole!)). That really killed it for me. I mean none of us is really ready to discuss what actually went down on that day…let alone are you being a responsible interviewer (I.E. during a hot debate about racism and stereotypes one of the most vocal critics of white racism utters a racist and xenophobic statement about “crazy middle easterners”…it turned the film into something other than a doc. It did not win any votes with us.

As we adjourn out of the screening I feel the need to warn Det. Budd. that there is a very high probability that I am going to run into an individual that had initially backed Sex-Love, but then mysteriously wanted nothing to do with the film, and wouldn’t even support it. There might be drama and I needed to warn everyone in case I did something that was classically Cooprdog.

- serious note: This is piece of advice to all of your aspiring producers and filmmakers out there. Do not offer to put anyone’s name on your film if they have not either given you money or directly aided in the promotion and creation of your film. Trust me on this. The names on your film REALLY matter. Save it for those who are willing to go to the mat for you.

Now the person in question has orphaned me, and one of his associates has even openly criticized the film. This is the shitty part of filmmaking, the politics. Now as a shooter I can just ignore all of this shit, and call a spade a spade. But not so if you also produce, because you tend to be judged on how your resolve situations, not how you got into them. So above all else, I really don’t want this to get nasty.

15 feet outside of the screening room and I run into the aforementioned individual. This guy hugs me like he was running for office. We have a short conversation where he congratulates me and seems surprised that I am here at the festival. Now I know that is a lie. I mean if you are screening or presenting at a festival, you crawl over the list of films and attendees. That’s how I found out that he’d be here. I am unimpressed with his disingenuousness. He introduces me to a few people and describes me as his protégé. Really???? …I mean, last I checked to be someone’s protégé you have to actually have some fucking physical fucking contact with them. Maybe I am looking at the wrong definition. It’s then more small talk and discussion of how much money I need to make my feature. This is about the best way to become a filmmaker’s friend – talking about getting them money. But it only works when I believe you. I don’t believe this man. And further more, in less than a year I have gone from apprentice to peer. We are presenting a film at this festival. He is presenting at this festival. And apparently his associates have been screening a lot in Los Angeles with a collection of films. I had though that putting someone’s name on your film would at least guarantee that you would be made aware of a call for entries ( I mean the phrase “automatic-bid” comes to mind)…if one of the “power brokers” is your mentor …but that’s not what I am mad about. I am mad that even inside small organizations that are dedicated to film, that there are politics in play. I don’t care what your discipline is, or what type of films you like to make…politics decide who gets the nod and who doesn’t. This whole thing started as a political play in my favor, and now look at this motherfucker….LA, you gotta love it.

We’ll I have had enough of the hugging and kissing and I want to be gone. Six months ago I was struggling to get anyone to even look at the film, let alone program it…that was when I needed this type of shit. We’ve screened 7 times since then, in several states. We’ve got reviews on the web (what, I didn’t tell you I managed to get the film reviewed…well read on …in-house review, critical review, regular review) and have just learned that we’ve been added to an international tour of films (yeah baby!). And now you want to embrace me? You’ve got to be kidding me, right?

I’m polite as I tell him that we want to get to another screening. This film shit is getting way outta hand.

We next watch a block of “socially responsible films” that all have messages when you ignore the rabid evidence of materialism and consumerism. I am always amazed at the desire of filmmakers to only capture stories about affluent characters; as if the characters struggle is more monumental because they have wealth. I mean c’mon. I not a fan of the ‘hood films either, but where the fuck is the middle? We need to talk people.

Seconds later I run into a filmmaker that I screened against a few months ago. I hated this dude’s film, and man am I pretending to like it. I sang the praises of slow pacing and bad dialogue like a street walker trying to get a warning from the vice squad. I mean this is what you do. You can’t just cut a motherfucker (ok, that’s not true…but you can’t do it all the time…unless their film is like really, really bad). I mean this guy really believes in the cinema, and he is a nice guy. I just hate his film. It’s kind of like when you meet this really hot chick and then you find out she’s a lesbian, that’s no reason to kill her (come on its funny, homophobic, but funny).

Dr. M. is really enjoying this. Apparently she did not believe me when I said that I festival is a liars convention (“step right up, step right up…lies for sale”). She is amazed at the politics of it all, the backstabbing, the ass-kissing. She comments to me “I thought academia was bad”…aw c’mon Dr. M. At least it’s easier to get laid at a festival than at a university (or is it?...more research is needed). There is more hugging and kissing as we move on. And then you’ll never guess what happened. I bump into another person I know. This is screenwriter from LA, what is she doing here? I invite her to my screening and she say “if I can make it, I’ll see”. What? I’m sorry. This is a rock-and roll party….attendance is mandatory. Does anyone read my fucking memos?

We take a break and go across to the Hard Rock and start drinking. Det. Budd and I start with some beers…and Dr. M. get a vodka tonic. I just about fell on my ass. I mean we have had a few conversations and she’s really not the “hey, you talkin’ to me”-type and she’s admitted that “she gets high on life”…whatever the fuck that is supposed to mean – so needlessly to say I was pleased that she chose to partake..

I had to excuse myself and call Yoda as promised. I mean contrary to popular belief the first person you call is your publicist when shit goes down...unless it involves a dead body…then defiantly call your attorney.

YODA
“Hello”

COOPRDOG
“It’s Cooprdog”

YODA
“How’s it going?”

COOPRDOG
“Well I just ran into your buddy”

YODA
“Oh, who was that?”

COOPRDOG
“Mr. I’m-supposed-to-be-Cooprdog’s -mentor-but-actually-he-means-shit-to-me”

YODA
“Oh really???...and what the fuck did he have to say!”

COOPRDOG
“Oh he’s all puppy dogs and ice cream…he’s really happy to see me, hugged me like 50 times, introduced me as his protégé…before you know it we’ll be double stuffing one of the festival staffers at the rate this is going.”

YODA
“Hold on…hold on… I’m sorry. Did I just hear you correctly? I’ve been shopping this short like a stolen watch all of the fucking Westside, on my fucking own - mind you, and he’s gonna pretend like everything is all peachy? Has he gone mad? I mean does he have any fucking idea how many cocks I’ve had to suck and balls I’ve had to lick just to get a fucking meeting because he can’t keep a fuckin’ promise and now he’s acting like nothings happened?!! Oh he’s got some big fucking balls that one does!”

COOPRDOG
“What can I tell you… Hash browns make strange bedfellows, but get this. He wants to get us financed”

YODA
“Financed?!! …he can’t fuckin’ spell finance…or RSVP email or how about integrity…can he spell fuckin’ integrity?...why don’t you fucking ask him and tell him Yoda wants him to fucking spell fucking integrity!”

See, when Yoda’s pissed you just have to sit back and enjoy it. I mean this is the woman who threatens the life of meter maids and has no qualms about “knocking that bitch right the fuck out” when she has an altercation with another female.

COOPRDOG
“But it gets better”

YODA
“Oh, really, what else did he say?

COOPRDOG
“His associates have a festival coming up, he wants us to play it”

YODA
“Wait a fucking minute! We can’t even get a “hey, hiya doin’ ” in the past 10 months…and now he’s hosting “deal …or no deal”

COOPRDOG
“I know...I know”

YODA
“Oh he’s a cheeky fucker isn’t he? Did you hit him?

COOPRDOG
“Yoda, this is the states, you can’t just slug a guy”

YODA
“Oh, oh no you can’t slug a guy….you can kill your wife and cut her up in little pieces and sprinkle them across the fucking pacific coast….but you can’t slug a guy”

COOPRDOG
“Hey, Peterson got convicted.”

YODA
“I was talkin’ about your boy Bereta”

COOPRDOG
“Ok...he didn’t cut his wife up, he hired someone to shoot her”

YODA
“See, guns are your problem, guns are your problem. That’s how that freaky little girl Joan Benet Ramsey got shot.”

COOPRDOG
“Actually she was bludgeoned in the head and strangled”

YODA
“Christ you’re all fuckin’ mental! I thought she was shot with a shotgun?”

COOPRDOG
“No, no…you are confusing her with the Menendez brothers who shot mom and dad point blank with a shottie”

YODA
“I’m telling you. You Americans are a bunch of pussies, fearful, gun toting pussies. And you know why don’t you??? ….it’s because of that piss beer you drink”

COOPRDOG
“Oh here we fucking go…”

YODA
“It’s shit and you need to just fuckin’ admit it. They should give you a packet of Kool-aid with each pint so it will taste better.”

COOPRDOG
“Ok...I have to go”

YODA
“Hey...hey…How is the reporter?”

COOPRDOG
“Who Dr. M? Oh we are taking care of her...don’t you worry your pretty little head”

YODA
“Cooprdog…do not fuck this up, ok. She is not certified to go on one of your delusional secret agent missions”

COOPRDOG
“It’s all good baby.

YODA
“All good. Listen Cooprlicious…You are going to be all good when I put my foot all the way up your fucking ass if you blow this”

COOPRDOG
“See I often forget why I love you and why I pay you”

YODA
“First of all….You haven’t paid me in months you cheap bastard….and you can’t even afford to insure my love, let alone lease it.”

COOPRDOG
“Are we done?”

YODA
“It’s funny how the subject of money gets you off the phone”

COOPRDOG
“What can I tell you, it’s a filmmaker reflex…I call you soon”


I get back to the table and there is a small debate raging about a film that I feel asleep in (hey I was up all night beating my cock…what do you want?) as we are getting to the good parts that I don’t remember the first round of drinks appears.

Dr. M. is loosening up (well not in that manner… I promised to be good...but it’s early) and has order a drink. Well then the second round came and she ordered another.

Well let me tell you… I’d have paid money to see Dr. M. knock back the vodka and get a little “high on Stoli” and it looks like my dream is coming true…she says that she needs to stop drinking… and me and Det. Budd simultaneously say “C’moooonnnnnnn! We just got here”. I make my case about this genre I want to launch and why I think my film is the bomb over more drinks and loud conversation. We get another two rounds and I begin to realize that not only can I not hold my liquor anymore, but that I don’t know one artist being shown on the flat screen. Am I that fuckin’ old? When the fuck did Blink-187 (Blink 185- I mean I know you listen to the motherfuckers, don’t lie)… become classic rock and hence eligible to be played in The Hard Rock? I mean what’s next a Britney Spears tribute band? I need to stay medicated.

We go back to the festival and screen more movies. Movies about crack, movies about killing your spouse, comments on God. I would kill for a blunt right now.

I’m in the hallway and bam, I bump into the associate of the guy who’s name is on my film. This cat doesn’t like the film. I know that. I mean he wrote me an email, so I know I am not making this shit up. He’s a little bit colder than luke warm in our greeting. He commends me on my promotion of my film and my ability to get it seen. I know he doesn’t mean it. He thinks my film is too complicated, why not just express your animosity and disbelief that I continue to screen…I’d respect you more.

We skate out of there like a Starbucks employee that just knocked over the tip jar. There is more drinking and talking about people asses to do at the first festival party. Only we are the only people (from the festival) that show up. So what did we do? We got a round of drinks. Dr. M. is past her depth and making loud pronouncements about film. It’s a classic scene. She’s been imbedded with us for less than 12 hours and she’s already getting’ smashed and tell people to “Shut the fuck up! – I teach this shit!”. Tell’em Dr. M.

So this scene gets even more out of hand as the night drags on. Det. Budd. is in classic form “Your chest looks really nice in that sweater” and “I hear blondes are really fun once you climb on top of them”…which I am sure is going to bring security over here. But he continues “hey…. I like you guys, you’re my kind of people, ‘cause you like to get fucked up! You’re way better than those fags in Canada”. Dr. M. does not appreciate the comment as she glares at Det. Budd.

DET. BUDD
“Oh was that wrong. I mean fairy, I mean pansy, no I‘m sorry hockey player”

Dr
“I know a lot of big hockey players”

DET. BUDD
“and I know a lot of big inmates, who also take it in the ass, what’s your point”…and then Det. Budd bursts out laughing. Dr. M. realizes that she has been the butt of a joke and cracks a smile. It’s such a touching scene that I almost want to take a picture (but I have warrants so no fucking pics, no get that camera phone the fuck away from me!)

And then these two women approach the bar. Now, nothing spells trouble like sexy women with empty glasses and a wait at the bar. And under normal circumstances I’d swing at this. But I promised Yoda that I’d be good...well better than I normally am. These two women are kind of looking around and kind of touching each other. Now I have never had a threesome (applicants are encouraged to apply) and I have no faith in having one (and if you’d like to prove me wrong…just email me) so I’m not going to bite on this….I mean wouldn’t real lesbians prefer a nice quite night of carpet munching as opposed to being in a bar with heterosexual men leering at them and trying to decide exactly how many drinks it will take before she’ll take it in the ass.. I turn to the bar and the blonde makes eye contact. She’s so loaded you could do an infomercial for GHB also know as the “have it your way” – drug. Her voice is throaty, her chest is ample. She’s taking long deep breaths as she speaks to me. I am pitching my film to her trying to ignore this woman's overt sexuality, this is not going to go down like I think, I know this…I have been in the game for a minute.

She asks me what I am drinking and I say a Corona, she gives me a look “You seem a little more daring to me” (fuck you.. they only have Guinness in a bottle – yuck!) ….hmmm, what to do, what to do? I laugh at her comment and continue to pitch the film. She asks me if I have ever been to the roof?

COOPRDOG
“The roof”

HOT BLONDE
“Yes, the roof.”

COOPRDOG
“And what’s going on on the roof?”

HOT BLONDE
“A lot of things…whatever you think you can handle” …at that point the other woman reaches over and touches her. I can’t see where because the brunette is seated behind the blonde who is standing. But by the sound she uttered and how she bit her lip…I am assuming it was a little south.

COOPRDOG
“Well.. maybe I’ll check that out”

HOT BLONDE
“You definitely should. I man like you would do well”

She can barely focus and is kind of trying to touch my arm. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for banging the shit of a semi-conscious hottie with a substance abuse problem (just ask my ex-GF) but I am getting a bad vibe from this. And no way am I going to wind up fuckin’ one of these chicks while she goes down on her friend (I think white guys have that all locked up)…knowing my luck I’ll wind up like Emmett Till (look it up). So as I turn around to talk to Dr. M. I see this big white guy flanked by this skinny white approaching me. The big guy walks right up to me and says “my wife’s pussy is about 4 feet wide so if you want to fuck her, you better make sure I don’t fall into that gapping hole”….wholly insensitive comment about my wife, Batman! I mean what is that all about? So I’m caught way off guard by the comment that I just kind of stare at the guy. I mean how do you respond to that? The guy then bursts out laughing and introduces himself and his assistant (associate, book maker, hit man – take your pick). He owns a trucking company and he wants to make a movie (and yes I did wonder if I was gonna get his money and his wife’s ass in this deal). He buys me a drink and goes on to tell me that he was joking and that he’s a bit of a comedian (yeah whatever...and they say black people are strange). We drink we laugh and we tell each other lies. Well maybe not, he seems sincere….Dr. M. is chatting up his boy...everyone is happy. We exchange business cards and he and his assistant adjourn upstairs (I don’t know what happened to his wife…and I don’t want to know).

Dr. M. seems disappointed that I was attracted to such a woman. I inform her that I did nothing but promote my film (I’m not saying that I didn’t think about it). But c’mon on, this is Penthouse letter-type shit; you got to at least entertain the idea.

Well since the bartender can’t find his weed hook-up and no other filmmakers decided to show up…we decided to bounce. We pay the tab and walk back to the parking garage. We have been informed by one of Det. Budd’s friends (who is in Atlanta screening a film as well) that the gate is down at the parking garage and we are all fucked because are cars are locked inside.

Det. Budd becomes a man possessed, he says we will find a way in. Little did I know that finding a way in meant ripping open the gate and stepping through. Well right when we did that a voice chimed in on the intercom. She sounds angry. She wants to know how we gained entry into the parking structure. This is not good. I am sure the cops on there way. Det. Budd is now being a producer, he’s apologizing and playing tourist…which I am not sure will work, I mean this is private property we are vandalizing it.

Dr. M. is lit-up like a Christmas tree. She tells me to calm down and that if the cops come she’ll handle it (now Dr. M. doesn’t have any idea how bad this might get). She tells me that she talks her way out of tickets all the time. I guess I should inform her that when “drunk Yankees” do it in the ATL it’s a bit of a different story. She thinks we are over reacting and it is then that I realize that she’s going to lose the foot race when the sirens appear since she’s wearing heels. Ok Dr. M….sounds like a plan.

Well, diplomacy worked and we got our car back…so we could get completely fucking lost on the way home. I mean what is the deal with 285? It goes north, south, east and west. It is an utter and complete waste of time. Not to mention the really great highway design where the two right-most lanes peel off onto another highway. Oh and don’t try to just get off and get back on when you are going the wrong direction. You are looking at a good 4 miles between exits…and no, there no on-ramp/off-ramp couplings in this state. You got to love the festival circuit.

Det. Budd is loaded and cuing up some Led Zep on his Ipod. Dr. M. is basically passed out in the backseat and we can hear her body sloshing around as I change lanes. We get back to her hotel and have to perform a “raise the dead” ceremony to get her out of the car. She’s totally loaded, ok well not totally – but let’s just say you don’t want her manning the controls on the flight in the event the whole flight crew gets food poisoning (“The Pilots was freakin’; but bro was on!). I get her in the lobby and point her towards the elevators….I give her a dap (that’s how cool people ( black people) say hi and goodbye) and send her on her way. We have to be back at the festival in 6 hrs. I don’t think she’s going to make it.

Now it’s just me and Det. Budd lookin’ for trouble on half a tank of gas (Impalas are fucking guzzlers) and $40 between the two of us. So where else would we go at 3AM…the waffle house where else. It’s a sad scene when we arrive at one of the 5 billion Waffle Houses that populate Atlanta (would it kill you to build a burrito spot, fuckin’ aye I’m from Cali) all conveniently located just off of every highway (so you stay completely confused as to where the fuck you are when you get lost). These waffle house’s aren’t the most spacious eateries I have ever been in, I mean if I stretch out my arm I’ll probably be able to touch the chef (ha…chef.. that’s funny). So we’ve had too much to drink, and there is a line to wait for a booth (because there are only 5 of them – I guess the Waffle house corporation is going for an “intimate” feel…you know like prison) but there are open seats at the counter. Det. Budd motions for the counter and I refuse. Unless I am protesting segregation, I ain’t sitting at no fuckin’ lunch counter. After overhearing some heated debate about tire malfunctions and the correct way to connect a hitch (no, that’s really what these motherfuckers talk about at 3:30AM) we get a table. Gee, what to get. Should I see just how strong my immune system is and get the chik beef (you better have health insurance if you take this option on the road)...or maybe some meatloaf, do they have meat loaf or is it like possum loaf or some shit like that? Being the pussy that I am when I am in a strange place with strange customs I play it safe, cheeseburger please…and you can surprise me with the hash browns. Det. Budd is mulling over the single page menu like he’s taking a chemistry final. He says that he has to choose wisely (“6 million ways to die – choose one”) lest he make a mistake.

I made a mistake when I thought shooting a $50K was my ticket in…in to serious debt is more like it. So as we sit idly and wait for the world’s fastest wait service, we begin to talk about our first full day of screening and festivals in general. I do have to say that I am having a bit of fun at this festival. I mean for starters all the screenings are free to the general public (there’s a novel concept)…and to the festivals credit…the first day was reasonably well attended. I mean don’t get me wrong… we sat through a few screenings that had…maybe 6 people in the…but that kind of shit always happens (cause every festival has a few “how the fuck did this get in” films in it. But as I go over the pluses and minuses of the festival as we see them the true nature of this festival comes out.

Free screenings is a big plus, it’s a huge plus because I spend most of my time (when promoting a screening that is - cause when I ain’t screening I am smokin’ weed) lying to people that it costs money to get into the screening (“you know…I’m not sure, there may be a nominal admission fee”). That is by far the shittiest thing about going to festivals. I mean dollar for dollar, it is cheaper to buy tickets and give them away then trying to promote and get people to come out of their pockets (even your mom is going to scoff at paying $10 to see your film). So since this was the first time this has happened (unless you count the porno festival that my roommate held in my apartment) I was impressed.

They have real credentials. Ok that’s a lie…they have these massive (6X3) badges that make you look like a 10 yr old that’s on a field trip and has lost his class; but it still goes around your neck. I have been to 6 other festivals this year. Only 3 of them had real badges so this is also a plus 1 for them.

All of the screenings are in close proximity. Now let me start off by saying that we are at a convention center, which normally I fuckin’ hate cause you are getting hassled by minimum wagers and rent-a-cops all day. Well luckily, the Americas Mart security staff is the laziest bunch of motherfuckers on the planet…so they really didn’t cause a problem (unless you count the incident where I had to talk down a security guard in the bathroom – “Motherfucker, don’t you know I will cut you”). What I am getting at is, we were in a rather secluded and portioned portion of the convention center. It made it feel like we were the only thing happening (well this is downtown Atlanta…so that comment probably isn’t far off base)..but it was nice execution.

Ok, this next point may not seem like a compliment, but it is. The festival staff doesn’t pay too much attention to what you are doing. Which is really great when you are doing illegal shit like buying weed in a hallway or following a woman into the bathroom to get her number (well...I didn’t actually realize I was following her into the bathroom…but why does the women’s bathroom have so much more space? Do today’s pussies come with telescoping lips or some shit I don’t know about...man I’ve got to fuck more young girls. Anyway, with a ‘lax festival staff and a nonexistent security staff…it’s open season in this motherfucker…and that’s my kind of festival.

Oh…look who it is, our waitress. Alma saunters over and gives us a “hi y’all” as she wipes the table top with the nastiest rang I’ve seen since my college roommate tried to fashion a tourniquet out of a dirty sweat sock (you really don’t want to know the events that led up to it). I order the cheeseburger deluxe and Det. Budd orders some Asian enlightenment. Bethesda is completely perplexed. I mean I doubt she gets the Swingers reference be she has a look in her eye like she’s about to call Homeland security (yeah cause the two drunk guys are going to blow up a federal building with the secret hash brown recipe in their quest to dominate the world via the Sony Playstation…is it any wonder this place is going down the tubes?) Det. Budd laughs, I laugh.. she is still very quiet when she asks him to point out which entrée he is trying to order. Now you know when a joke bombs that badly, it’s time to get the fuck outta dodge. So Budd changes the order to what I believe is a grill cheese sandwich (has anyone ever died of a grill cheese?). Gertrude adjourns from the table and we make jokes about how we are going to most likely get arrested for cracking a joke.

Next thing we know, Florence is back. She drops off our drinks (if I were you, I wouldn’t fuck with anything but the lemonade –the coca-cola looks hella scary) and a piece of folded paper. Now I’m not sure if I am totally fucked up, but it appears that this 70 yr old woman just gave Det. Budd her phone number. It just got really fuckin’ weird in here. I am beggin him not to open it. He says he has to know what it says and I grab his hand. “dude…if it’s some raunchy description of how she’s going to remove her girdle and her teeth before she puts it on you with a gray-haired pussy…we both maybe scarred for life. Then I realized that by just dreaming up that scenario and speaking it, that the damage was already done.

DET. BUDD
“Dude...why the fuck would you say that to me?

COOPRDOG
“I don’t know…I’m a writer, I’m fucked up”

Det. Budd opens the note and bursts out laughing. I have to know what it is. He slides it to me and I read it. The note says something to the effect of “all of your worldly pain will cease if you accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior”…

No, I am not making that up….that shit is true. See this is what happens when jokes go to far (“Good people, Bad Jokes” – this fall on Fox). We have to remember that these are deeply religious people and we could accidentally offend someone (yeah…it was an accident, I swear)..


So the food comes and it’s horrible (no, seriously I thought I was pledging). And we stagger out of there and back to the hotel to get 4 hours of sleep before we screen….oh that’s right we are screening tomm. I better start acting like a director.


COOPRDOG

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