Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Santa motherfuckin’ Monica

Yes that is how it is actually pronounced. And why do I feel this way? Well I’ll tell you why. So I had to move the screening from the Nu Wilshire to the AMC 4 on the Santa Monica Promenade for a number of reasons but mainly because Yoda sat me down and told me that I was being “overly optimistic” about the turn out for the screening. Now realize that the whole reason I became a director is because I always want to get my fuckin’ way. And now I am not getting my way…so I am fuckin’ pissed. You see in my head…this thing is massive…like the largest short film screening in the history of North America….but the reality is that people don’t exactly clamor to see a short and they make jokes like “shorter is better…no really I’m being serious”. So we decided to prepare for the worse and choose a smaller venue. So that’s when we decided to move the thing to Santa Monica. I should have known better.

You see I worked in Santa Monica. At third & Wilshire on the Promenade (die Starbucks die). The Promenade is like a prison for customer service employees. And in the retail penitentiary I was a lifer. Needless to say I have nothing but foul memories of working every fuckin’ holiday for three years and getting parking tickets at 1:55AM (no that’s not bullshit…Santa Monica is a bunch of money-hungry mother fuckers and I hope their natural gas vehicles explode and fry their fat asses)….where was I… Oh yeah…fuckin’ Santa Monica. Well we are at Gotham for the after party…also known as the “watch the director fight a cop” expo…and it should be all peachy. We made nice with the AMC (yeah…they don’t read the blog) and got a good price. Even the popcorn is somewhat reasonable…though you have to buy it in 20 lbs increments or some shit like that.

So what is the last piece….the Z’s. Ok so this film stars a 1976 Datsun 280Z. My car…and yes that’s my car doin’ donuts and shit in the film…so shut the fuck up all you haters! But I wanted a fleet of Z’s. I wanted 240’s, 280’s and a few 350’s. So then I had the epiphany (which is normally me realizing that I need more gummy bears...but this time is was some real shit)...let’s get classic Z’s and put them on the Promenade.

Cool. All we need is to get the permit. All of my phone calls were not returned, neither was Yoda’s. It was clear that one of us needed to go down there. It was at this point that I went into my “black guys and government offices don’t mix bit”, but Yoda trumped me with the “I almost killed two meters maids in the UK and I don’t think it would be wise for me to be near their home base”…needless to say Yoda won that round.

But she has a point. City hall is home base for the bloodsucking meter readers. So I hang up the phone and start the Z….we’re off to Santa Monica. I roast a bowl and load up some MF DOOM on my CD player (yes I still have a CD player…and I know you have an I-God that allows you to lick Steve Jobs balls on a nightly...but the Z is ol’ skool and so is the music delivery system). So I merged at like 200 mph and then I took her straight up to MACH 3…you gotta love the straight six, it’s a fuckin’ beast with the four-speed tranny (see.. Tranny’s and Santa Monica do go together…it’s not just you).

Ok so…here I am rumbling and stumbling down the 10W. I mean my twice pipes are cracklin’ and MF DOOM is breakin’ on these fools…and what do I see in my rearview…and Audi A4. Oh, it’s about to be on! Now for those of you who don’t drive sports cars and use the public highways as your own personal video game this is what is know as a challenge ( pronounced: shall-lenge). If a guy (or a chick cause I knew some dope ass females that can represent while wear heels) is a true sport scar driver… and you zip up to their bumper at speed…expect them to get on the throttle.

Now that is a given for most people. Where it gets interesting is that as a sports car driver, there are certain cars that I have to brawl with. Like the BMW roadsters – I ain’t havin’ it yo! That goes for Miata’s, Tiburon’s (dude it’s a Hyundai – stop it!), eclipses (especially green ones…suck on my twice pipes bitch), and of course the 240SX. You are not a sport scar, you are a sports coupe….I will never respect you.

Ok a word here. Back in the day it meant something to work your engine. But nowadays, almost everything on the street has 200bhp, not to mention traction control, and variable assist and active this and self correcting that…fuckin’ please. My Z is a true sport scar, you misread the turn and you are going for an amusement ride.

So these Audi guys… with their turbo charged 1.8 liters are a pain in the ass. I always have some valley livin’, in bed by eight dude, who wants to tangle. Like Mr. Personality here in my rear-view…that is even closer to my bumper than before. So I drop the hammer. The Z runs up to 115 and here he is going for the pass. I know that I can out accelerate him and close his gap, because I am lighter and I am driving a four speed, which means I have no overdrive…just torque on demand. As I move to close the gap (yeah it’s a dirty move…but MC’s act like they don’t know) and he guns it. (MC=Master of Ceremonies=lyricist=one who can bus’). Ok so we are gatin’ now (to run at a good gait (speed).. and in an automotive context also tailgating meaning the cars are in a close proximity to each other) I have to be approaching 130 MPH…not a wise move just to beat a I back off. We hit a little traffic on the approach to Cloverfield…and I look’s someone’s mom on a Bluetooth….can you believe that shit?

Ok so…I’m at city hall now…and I am trippin’. You see I am a bit of a scofflaw. It’s an Us vs. Them mentality for me. I am wanted in several states for parking offenses. None in southern California…but they know I am the type. I convince myself to go undercover and to be nice.

So I walk in and I am struck by and odd realization. There are like 5 flat screen monitors in the lobby, and three more down the hall. What the fuck is up with that? Is this where all the parking fines go…you motherfuckers with your 2am parking meters. So I hide my animosity and approach the help counter. The woman seems a little confused when I ask for the city planning office. I think she was expecting me to ask for the “my-baby-daddy” foundation, or “the national organization of blunt smokin’, bitch slappin’ pimps”. But no, I need to see a man about a permit. She directs me down the hall to the next waiting area. Now keep in mind that I have called these people twice and Yoda called them three times. If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience the Santa Monica municipality voice mail system with it’s automated attendant (some automated hooker that seems unable to understand phrases like “I need to speak to a fucking human”) then you really haven’t lived. Ok so now I am talkin’ to this guy and explaining that we are a non-profit and need some special use permits.

You would have thought I asked him to blow bubbles with his ass…they way he is looking at me. After another fifteen seconds of utter and complete silence…he hands me a number and tells me to have a seat and look for my number on the big ass plasma screen. Are you fuckin’ kidding. You got a flat screen to show the numbers in queue – city government is wac!

So Santa Monica city hall is like the DMV only it’s not crowded. I mean you still have to bring a lunch because you ain’t goin’ nowhere for a minute but (minute = an indeterminate amount of ghetto time. I.E. “when was the last time you saw your brother?, it’s been a minute”) there just isn’t a gaggle of motherfuckers sittin’ next to you.

Finally they call me. Well not really because my number is on the screen for half a nanosecond before they try to skip me (and for who the old lady in the walker? What the fuck does she have to do today – I mean really, I’m tryin’ to make a fuckin’ movie! So I am explaining to this very nice woman that I need a special use permit. Again I see the perplexed face. But to her credit, she looked up some shit and announced…”you have to speak to Frank”.

“Frank”…..”Frank”….who is this fuckin’ guy. Knowin’ my luck it’s probably a genetic engineered 8ft Oscar-Myer wiener that only takes checks. So that led to this exchange:



A Tall black man with dreadlocks stands in front of a counter. His dread is tied back in a thick bunch, he wears cargo pants and a Rage Against The Machine T-shirt. He is Cooprdog.

So when is Frank coming back?

City Clerk
Well it says he will be back at 3 PM.

What time is it now?

City Clerk
It’s 2:52, do you want to wait?

(beat) Yes

City Clerk
You really should have called.

I did. Five times.

City Clerk
(beat) Really?

Yes. Really.

City Clerk
Well he should be here shortly, have a seat

Twenty minutes pass.

Well where is Frank?

City Clerk
I have no idea. Do you want to leave a message?

Well isn’t there another person that can help me?

City Clerk
Well that’s Frank’s department…so no.

(beat) You mean there is one person who does this
function for the entire city of Santa Monica?

City Clerk

(beat) And what if he were to die in a horrible z-car
related accident? Then what would happen?

City Clerk
I’m sorry I don’t understand.

It wasn’t that funny anyway….can I still leave a message?

…now when they miss the blatant sarcastic humor…it tends not to be a good sign. So I beat it out of there. So I’m sittin’ in my Z texting a certain woman in Arizona when the phone rings. Low and behold it’s the nice woman from the city planners office and if she is calling me on my cell, that means that she has already called the Big Hit line and copied my celli number down and dialed. That’s like…good customer service.

Ok so now I feel like a dick…but not completely because they still got those fuckin’ flat screens. So she says she has a number for me and a contact name. Yeah baby! we are fuckin’ producing! So I kill the engine on the Z and ask her who it is. She said Bay Cities is the department you need to call. I swear it sent a chill down my spine.

So I hang up with her and call this other lady. She has a distinct and husky voice, like a T-Rex with smokers cough. She’s layin’ in to me with the bureaucracy. I need insurance, the Z’s need to be secured and immobilized...oh yeah and the fee is $2500. Yeah, I about shit. “C’mon now… are you for real”…I blurt out. She says that’s the price. So now I am going into my “but we are a non-profit” spiel; and she counters with “so are we and this is how we make money”.

I thanked her and got off the phone. Fuck Santa Monica; you just made the fuckin’ list motherfucker.

Ok so I am eight days out and the shit is still outta hand.

Ok so I have eight days. Eight days to put this killer party together. Eight days to get like three hundred motherfuckers to a short film screening. Eight days to convince the kinda-sorta-famous-but-not-really-busy-on-a-Thursday-night local talent to show up. I am putting on a show here. Yoda has hired the model chick’s that wear wings to show up and hand out popcorn. I got my man Dave Portal to open up the whole fuckin’ shebang (the Roxanne cover is no joke dog!). Man I got an open bar (ok it’s like a 45 min well-drink fest so you better get there early); and I got DJ’s… lots of fucking DJ’s.

Ok so I know I have kept you in the dark; here is the deal. The film is called Sex, Love & Z-Parts. That link will take you to a temporary home page, and yes it is an invite.

That means if you are reading this then you can consider yourself invited. Please RSVP so I can tell how many of you motherfuckers are coming. Bring your peep’s, bring your fam’, bring your girl….whoever. We are going to represent like the cool motherfuckers we are.

Seriously though if you are an indie filmmaker or just a lover of the cinema, or a Z car phanatic, or just a cool motherfucker….then follow the links to Sex, Love & Z-Parts and you will be in the mix.

Now I know that you enjoy the blog, but this is seriously what I have been doing to make my shit come together. If you come out, you can be part of something (and that is something you can’t really do from your keyboard…so get off your ass and show up!).

Also, thanks for all the love people….I was just tryin’ to tell people what this shit is really like…and you guys seem to enjoy my daily encounters here in Los Angeles.

Therefore I’d like to ask a question….I am thinking about hosting a Q&A session in cyberspace, since I have received so many inquisitive and quirky emails about this blog. Are you interested? Somebody tell me something...a PM on yahoo chat or an email… all the links are active…

Ok…I am supposed to be rounding up some classic Z’s…lest Yoda gets upset

Latah gator

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