Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Mission Marijuana:

Ok so I don’t leave the ATL for another 29 hours, and I need to find some weed.

I hit up my man over at the take-out barn but he’s got no info for me. I can’t sweat him like that so I sail on. I’m a resourceful guy…so I am not worried… well not yet anyway.

I wake up at about 10am… which is because I went to bed straight…which is why I don’t go to be straight…cause that just makes you wake up early and do shit…and who wants to do that?

So I spent the next five hours eavesdropping on the hotel staff and making weed jokes trying to sniff out a weed dealer…cause I know somebody up in this piece is dealin’. No dice…and I don’t look like indigenous populace so…I can’t hate. My last resort is to hit of CH the Chef and find out if she knows what the deal is. She says she might know somebody.

My blackcherry rings moments later. It’s a woman’s voice, but man is it husky. She says she has what I am lookin’ for and that I should be downstairs in 5 min’s.

I hang up the phone and I am a bit terrified. What the fuck have I gotten myself into? Am I going to end up as one of the homies in the back of the car during the well televised police chase?

As I am walking out of the lobby my blackcherry sounds again. I answer it and am told to cross the street and get into the white crown vic. Now you must realize that it’s pretty tough to get a black guy to even stand next to a crown Victoria if he’s even been pulled over…but to get in ….fuck!

I open the door with the tinted windows and the p-funk blaring and I am greeted by a large woman. “C’mon suga and get in the car….we got places to go”… I close the door and we chirp off down the street.

I am blowing down the street (well coasting – this is the south) with a woman I don’t know in a white on white Crown Vic listening to P- Funk “we love you Dr. Funkenstien, your funk is the best” and she rolls a fat one when we are in transit.

I try to make conversation but all she will surrender is that her name is Shelly. I try to do the “when in Rome thing” and tell her that I need to stop and get some cash. She tells me ok and get on the highway.

Next thing I know we are pulling up at this dudes house and I’m like “hey man…I ain’t go no cash”.. so Shelly tells me that I don’t really need to buy any since I am leaving in 20 hours and that I can have some of her. Meanwhile there are these two pit bulls tied up and they are barking like crazy as we park in this guys driveway. As I pull up this dude looks me dead in my eye and says what’s up. Ok so now shit is getting tense, I need to be cool and not do any dumb shit.

So Shelly is still talking to me as she gets out of the car, so I get out and continue the conversation. This makes the pit bulls go nuts and Shelly looks me in the eyes and says “don’t get out of the car”….great, I am now in danger of being shot for buying weed in another state….this is not a wise PR move….or is it?

So I am back in the car…and I am trippin’. Man fuck all this splif shit…I want to roll a blunt…so I need some shit.

And out comes the blackcherry. I text-ed her a whole book about what I needed her to get me….then dude comes down and invites me in.

And now I am blazing in this cats house as they do the deal and watching the UFC on the TV (how do you people watch this shit? I think he just broke this guy’s arm….ouch!)

And now it’s time to eat, they say they have a treat for me.

Next thing I know I am in line at a Mongolian grill place. They give us circular menus and these miniature spatulas. Now realize that I have smoked plenty-o-weed by this point. I’m lucky if I can piss in a straight line…and you want me to write my name…I should have gotten a 2 minute warning.

So this waitress chick is talking and I can’t hear her because the music is really fucking loud in here (yes..I think I am getting old). Anyway so all I hear is “blah…blah…blah…vegetables” and then “blah…blah…blah…protein bowl”. Then she asks does anyone have any questions?

I respond “yes…what the fuck did you just say?” She laughs and tells me I’m funny and she walks off. So Shelly and the Weed Man (hey we couldn’t just leave him, that would be rude) start laughin’ at me, but I am fuckin’ trippin’. I am convinced that I am going to starve to death. I mean how is this fun.. is this what you people do in the south, get high and do math and shit….you need to come to Cali…we’ll show you how to get the most of your high.

But it turns out to be just a big stir fry thing and better still.. it’s all you can eat. So I utterly and completely stuffed my face and then passed out in the car on the way home.

Not a bad night…and I did find some weed after all. So I retired to my room and got faded listening to Madlib and MF Doom….

14 hours later I was back in LA….not a bad trip except for the flying part.


It’s about to go down

Ok so all I have to do today is screen the film. All I have to do is get there and show the fucking thing. Seems like an easy thing to do, but things always get fucked up before you screen ….so I was ready for it.

I bounced back into the bar/dinner/thing… and got a steak this time…you know.. because I am paying for all of this shit anyway so might as well enjoy it from time to time. And who do I see coming on for his shift, my man from yesterday. He says what’s up and tell me he has something for me. I have absolutely no idea what he’s talkin’ about..then he slips me a blunt. Now that’s what I call southern hospitality.

So now I am on a mission. I a little somethin’ to sip on…and I mosey back to my room..and burn one right before I leave for the screening…this is going to be sweet.

…so if I high in Atlanta traffic trying to find this place.. and this shit looks less than urban. And I am starting to trip, so I pull over and reach for my directions…the one’s I got from Map quest…the ones that are completely wrong! Great, so much for appearing professional…now I will be lucky to make it by the time they actual start the print.

Now I am a resourceful guy…but not when I am on the road. I have a horrible sense of direction (unless I am being chased by a monster…then I am like Lewis & fucking Clark up in this piece) esp. when it’s a rural setting (since I had driven out of the city and was now in a suburb of some sort). So I make the call and get guided in…so much for the power player from LA. Or should I spin the “small town…small signs” – story…who knows.

So I get there and the people from Urban Media are really nice…and they are cooking like mad amounts of food. Everything is all peachy… till I look at the projection screen. They have the projector set to wide screen format..and it is stretching the image on the DVD start page. I have to decide if it’s worth complaining over. I mean don’t get me wrong I am very particular about how the film is screened, but I have come to understand that you kind of have to meet people halfway when you screen. I always want a traditional screening in a theater with opening comments and plenty of advertising. And while those make you feel really good as a filmmaker; then tend to me a lot less than a well attended grass roots screening.

I think that we have a propensity to want to make everything, uh….high brow. But I community based screening is second to know because you are screening to real people and receiving real reactions.

Urban Media maintains a quarterly meeting of those who work in the industry and those who are attempting to enter the industry. It is initially a networking event, but it allows the people I a local filmmaking community to see their counterparts and learn what it is they do.

I must admit that I was caught off guard that we were the main attraction. A lot of persons assumed that we were well on our way, which far from the truth, but I thanked them for the compliment and tried not to freak out.

The screening went without a hitch other than some issues with finding the start button (where they asked me how to do it….excuse me? I’m the fucking director…what the fuck do I know?) Now I should point out that these are fairly religious people, not like crazy bible thumpers…but it is definitely a larger part of everyday life than in Los Angeles and a number of the questions being posed to the panel of speakers before the screening are concerning “Christian intellectual property”. I state this because the is a lot of talk about God and getting him back into the movies now dominating the discussion. So normally I couldn’t care fucking less, be we are about to screen my film. A film that is full of “colorful” language and simulated drug use. So I am motioning over to CH the Chef and she’s all smile she nods in agreement but gives me a “welcome to showbiz, kid” look and goes to address the crowd.

Being a director is work…I don’t give a fuck what you say.

So I get up there to do my opening comments and have long since decide against any R Kelly Jokes or bestiality references. I thank Urban Media and I briefly mention the power of the media, and that although films are entertaining that they do a great deal to form our perceptions of our life, our culture and other peoples cultures. The crowd is stunned by my comment. I can tell by the quizzical looks that I have struck a never with them. I tell them that very complicated things are being done to them and to their children by some rather sophisticated media companies who have a great deal more experience selling goods to you, than you have resisting temptation from them. I tell them that the film they are about to watch is very entertaining, but that it has a rather serious purpose. I close by telling them that Big Hit Productions as a company is charged with giving generation X visibility in contemporary film industry. And then I beat it the fuck off the mic before I fuck up that speech…man I still got it.

We offended about 6 people with the film but the rest stayed put. It was really received and I had a great Q & A afterwards. For all my bitchin’ and complainin’…I wouldn’t have missed this for the world. It is truly magical when you touch your audience and give them something to take home with them.

I felt that I had done my duty as a director and as a partner…now it’s time to party!


The screening environment:

For those of you that are not filmmakers you may be unaware that the environment in which you screen you film has a great influence on how your film is received. This is especially important if you have a strange and idiosyncratic film like Sex, Love & Z-Parts. Filmmakers that screen often have certain basic requirements to be happy (“I said no wire hangers!”) and things that must be completely avoided. I hate screening off of low resolution formats. I drives me absolutely fuckin’ crazy. I think a lot of the misunderstanding comes from the fact that a large number of my peers are just happy to have their films shown and either haven’t thought about, or don’t care about the format selection. You can imagine how much it matters when you have an epic short with a fair amount of post-production work.

I was here to screen Sex, Love & Z-Parts for Urban Media Makers in Atlanta. They are a grassroots organization that makes films and opportunities accessible to local film and television people. I was pretty excited, but also very fucking worried. There is a severe urban feel to this film and the short conversation I had with the director (C.H. the Chef) did more to indicate to me that they favored films with a local feel and local talent. This is a precarious position for a filmmaker, I mean how much can you lie about a film that they are about to watch? Can you assume that your narrative and shots are pretty enough to carry you through? Talk about a fuckin’ dilemma!

Well I come clean and she is ok with it. See mom was right, the truth will set you free…as long as the truth does refer to drugs, pregnancy or underage sex…then you betta lie like two for one night.

But that screening isn’t till tomm (Friday)… I got hours to kill. And that was when I decided to go across the street and get a bite to eat at this bar/building/barn thing across the street. It’s like a Fridays without the hot waitresses (not that there weren’t hot waitresses there….well not that I was looking at the uh…. Fuck!) and I walk up to the bar and take a seat.

After a funny discussion about how the house Porter is better than Guinness I get conned into drinking this fruity mixture. It is at this time that the bartender comments on my 420 T-shirt. We have a little chuckle and I say “so you know if you know anybody” ..and he of course has no idea what I am talkin’ about…so I respond “well if you happen to be in the bathroom and some dude has a dub burning a hole in his pocket….holla at your boy!”

More laughing and I back to my room. No weed, no alcohol and it’s costing me $12 a day to park. This is why I hate being on the road…but hey…they got Fox news..whopee!

I spend the remainder of the night putting stickers on the back of postcards and trying to pretend like my posters didn’t get horribly wrinkled by baggage claim (fuck the airlines!). I am screening in less than 24 hours…I really hope I don’t fuck this up.



Ok so if you have a weight problem…fly to Atlanta and walk to baggage claim. I guarantee that you lose 50 fucking pounds. I realize that they did this for the Olympics, but does that mean that to get around the airport your have to be as fit as a motherfucker in the Olympics? I should have stayed in the west.

Rule number #1 don’t laugh - this is how people talk down here. I mean I thought I was trapped in an episode of Heat of the Night (and fuck Archie Bunkers racist ass). But I stopped making Bubba and NASCAR jokes when I realized how outnumbered I was (# of homies from the Westside – 1, # of country motherfuckers – a billion). So I get my rental car and I’m outta here…

Rule #2 motherfuckers drive hella slow – no I mean hella slow. I am talkin’ 50 MPH to pass. Are you fuckin’ kidding me? This is a highway…that means you get high and you go on your way..fast as you can. Well that is not how they do it here so…when in Rome…

Rule #3 Not the fastest moving motherfuckers I have ever met. I mean I hope I don’t have a fucking heart attack because the ambulance will be here sometime between tomorrow and never. It’s like beyond frustrating. Do they even have fast food down here?

Rule #4
Country motherfuckers love to eat. I mean they throw down. This ain’t tofu-starve yourself to death-Los Angeles…these people know how to get it done.

Rule #5 Scary lights on the police cars. The only way I can describe it is Xmas lights that have been dropping Ecstasy and listening to Prodigy. If you had these in west Hollywood, every traffic stop would turn into a rave.

Rule #6
It’s fucking hot…so stay the fuck inside.

Checking in was cool but what is the deal with having to pay to park when you rent a room nowadays? When the fuck did that become a common practice? So I do my hi and hellos and I am off to my room. I am screening in 26 hrs so I need to get my head right.


Death or coach, your choice.

Ok so what is the fuckin’ deal with the line to get on the plane. Everyone is staking out the best route to get into the line; as if it’s festival seating on the flight (ok.. I know like southwest does that but I wasn’t flyin’ southwest….so shut the fuck up!). So according to the international homey rules I am playin’ mad beats and nodding my head as I shout out key phrases like “Shaolin!”….or “one point five million!” which makes most non-hip-hop listeners think you are crazy, or ghetto as hell. This is preferably for the black man in flight, because you never know when you are gonna need to do some Wesley Snipes type shit – so this really helps your “crazy black man” image. I used to wish I got to sit next to a really hot chick on the flight…but I am not a fan of hot chicks next to me and I would urge all of you men to stop wishing for it; because nobody wants to hear 3000 miles of weak game (no, my game is money-asshole I just have a GF, that PSA was for you bush leaguers). So there is more pushing and shoving till we get on the jet way…and look it’s another line, and then we get on the plane…and look there is another line – got the point, stop all the fucking pushing! Are you really in that much of a hurry to watch kiddie cinema and pay $7 for a shitty sandwich (hell yeah they raised the price…but the economy is doing fine…if you don’t own a car). So I’m killin’ like hella zombies on Infected, I mean I just killed so many motherfuckers on this train platform that the game told me that it was “unfucking believable”…and then comes the announcement “please turn off all electronic devices”……bitch, this is a high score…are you high? Luckily for me, I have drugs in my system..so I passed out as soon as we left the ground…man I love drugs!

What is all the fuckin’ racket? What the fuck is that sound? And who the fuck is kicking my seat? Children…oh hell no! How the fuck is that allowed? I fuckin’ hate kids on planes, they should be banned till they are old enough to buy their own tickets. I mean what the fuck? Is this kid gonna cry the whole time? Isn’t there a gag-a-motherfucker rule in effect for flights that are longer than three hours? See this is why I am fucked up all the time, crying children!

Question….I am 6ft 200lbs+…is it possible to get more than 3 ounces of water at a time? I am quite sure that I can be trusted with the bottle (well…bottle of water). Ok no more Coach, I am gonna blow up just so I can fly first class and get away from you people…and dude…put your fucking socks on…are you fucking kidding me with that shit?


Fuck LAX:

Ok first of all when did the guys with the German shepards become standard issue? What the fuck is going on in this country? How is making a bunch of stoners like myself self-conscious, because they think they the bomb sniffing dogs are drug sniffing dogs, good for national security?

Ok so I was totally fucking faded when I got to LAX; which in my opinion is the only way to fly. The line is like mad long and I have hella luggage with me. Yeah I know I am only going for four days, but what if a film festival breaks out, I need to be prepared. And being prepared means bringing my PSP and every CD that I own.

So I am attempting to check in through the automated e-ticket system which really should be renamed “we have so much disdain for our customers, we don’t even like to speak to them”; and the guy in front of me can’t figure it out. He can’t figure it out! I just smoked a pound of weed and beat my dick to illegal porn and I’m ok to fly, what-the-fuck is his problem? Oh now he’s asking questions “does the strip face to the right?”…gee I don’t know, why don’t you look at the fucking diagram on the machine! Ok so where do they grow theses people – you know the people in So-cal, the ones who never shop for themselves so they don’t know how to operate an ATM or to enter a Ralph’s card number. I think they should be lined up and shot. Right after we shoot the people who do 50MPH on the I-10 (exactly what part of 6-lanes and no cops do you not understand?).

So he’s harshing my mellow and I switch lines. Apparently that identifies my as a suspicious threat, because now I have eyes on me. I navigate the e-ticket check-in like I’m playing golden Tee (I’ll take your fuckin’ lunch money) and it begins to print my tickets. The queen of polyester comes over and asks to see my ID – like any rational person would want to impersonate me; the parking fines alone are enough to insure my identity is never stolen – but whatever.

Anyway we do the whole bag check thing; and to be honest with you I have absolutely no faith in the baggage tracking system. I mean I have seen more interest and attention to detail from the toll booth attendants (what a happy group of people working in that industry) than these motherfuckers (yeah I know, my cursing is way below my average – well fuck you for noticing). I mean all it is is a SKU number tagged on your bags and that’s it. I mean I would wager to guess that it’s not a six-pack of Rhode Scholars working the other end of the belt…but whatever.

So we do the whole “where are you traveling to today” thing; I guess they have tripped up a few terrorists who must have blurted out “to see some Allah” or something. So I try to be funny since Yoda got me in the spirit… “I’m going to the dirty” (pronounced “dur-deh”

excuse me sir

The dirty-dirty. The ATL….you know “me and you…your momma and your cousin too”

She has no reaction (man, I sang it too). Apparently Gertrude is not an OUTKAST fan, but she wishes me well and I’m off to my gate.

Now keep in mind that I fly a lot, like once every three weeks (and do you have any idea how tough it is to get weed on the road?) and I probably am in the running for worst food choices in an international airport, but that’s another story (bad Chinese and a long flight…do the math). Oh but wait, I have to go through security. I love the hard stares from people who are about as qualified to be in security as they are to be astronauts…but whatever. I get the hard stare and the 5 second look at my drivers license and a scribble on my boarding pass. Now I know that there is a code in the scribble, because sometimes the scribble means “he’s mad cool”, and sometimes it means “bust his fuckin’ nuts”…I haven’t figured it out, but I am on to them.

Why is it that I am always behind the most uncoordinated motherfuckers on the planet. This guy in front of me cannot keep all his trays together (because he’s Mr. carry-on-no-it’s gonna fit guy and he has a grip of shit) and have his boarding pass ready and keep up with the line. I am contemplating killing him, but where will I hide the body?

Ok it’s my turn and I have already been yelled at for not taking off my shoes (I could kill that shoe bomber guy, nice work asshole!). I do a little dance like I’m KC as I walk through the metal detector (and let me point out that it does not go over well – even if you sing) and they think I am up to something. Like the next terrorist will wear a pro-marijuana T-shirt and sing and dance through security calling as much attention to himself as possible. But then I remember what started all this… I said what’s up to a Sikh cat as I was entering security (he was going through as well), that’s when I got the special attention. I look over at his line and he’s already through and lacing up his kicks (uh.. that means shoes – white people)… I swear to god he said “sucker!” before he ran off. See the whole fuckin’ place is a shake down.


On your feet, camper!

The sound of my blackcherry vibrating on the desk was ominous. Even when it’s on vibrate I can’t get any fucking sleep. I’ve just come off of a three day bender because that’s how I stay creative. Anyway ever since I got this thing I can’t put it the fuck down, I’m thumb scrollin’ like it’s an Olympic event…but what I really need to do is find this fucking thing, because the vibration is really keeping me from entering my coma.

No glasses on, stumbling around a room that is cluttered (and by cluttered I mean shit everywhere). I can’t find the fuckin’ thing! Maybe I left it in stealth mode, or even better I hid it from the Russian spies during one of my drug induced delusions (I am a spy, and they are out to get me!). Ok, that was the fifth ring (fifth!)…the bitch is about to go to voicemail, and we all know how much fun voicemail is.

I mean what better way to confirm your inability to hold a real job and your dependency on recreational pharmaceuticals that to listen to all of your saved voice massages and hear your stoner friends leave messages that start out with “Dude the chick at Ralph’s has the nicest ass”. Of course for my friends there is only one Ralph’s supermarket and only one chick that works there, but hey they are my people so what are you gonna do…anyway back to the story.

So I find the $399 piece of cell phone equipment with a full qwerty keyboard (I eat Treo’s for lunch) and I’m accessing the voicemail. It’s Yoda and man is she pissed. Apparently I am supposed to be discussing my trip to Georgia. Yeah, I know she’s fuckin’ trippin’. There ain’t no fuckin’ way I going down south, to the Red states…have you lost your fuckin’ mind? So I make the call and say hello.


Hey it’s me..

Well it’s nice to know you take your cock out of your hand every once in a while.

Be nice to me it’s still morning

Ya, in the fucking UK…it’s 4pm.

Yeah but I am still on east coast time

Yeah well it’s 1pm there….is it really a surprise the US is falling behind the rest of the civilized world?

Did you have a reason for the phone call, or do you just need to work on a few more jokes for the next premiere.

You know I’m fuckin’ funny…so you need to give me my props.

Great, now thanks to my stoner friends my publicist knows how talk shit to me in ghetto slang.

Ok…you’re as funny as G.W.’s diploma from the Ivy league. So what’s up?

Alanta, Sun!.... The ATL, …..your are getting’ on a plane in 36 hrs.

What the fuck are you talkin’ about?

What the fuck am I talkin’ about? I’m talkin’ about this director who whines like a little kid if his film don’t get shown, yet only wants to screen in Los Angeles on a Friday night between 7pm and midnight near a bar when he gets discount prices.

I have the feeling I haven’t been paying Yoda like I should.

So what’s your point?

My point is this film ain’t gonna defend itself, so you are gonna go to Atlanta and you betta be drinking crunk juice and repping the dirty-dirty by the time you leave…got it!

Ok so Yoda is fucking on one. I don’t want to go to the south, it’s hot and I know I can’t get a good pint of Guinness. Yoda has a point though, we need to show this film to as diverse of a group of people as possible; so I started packing. Maybe it’ll be dope with blunts and big bootie whoe’s like in the videos.

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