Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The writing on the wall

Captains Log stardate 01.10.2007

I locked the door to my apartment and then tried to be cool and swing my keys around my finger three complete times as I put them in my pocket. In an attempt to complete this difficulty level - 2 freestyle move I stumbled off the top of the steps. I am now falling, stumbling – grasping for life against the dirty white stucco walls of my apartment stairwell while I still try to remain cool because above all else I am director – and image matters.

I have caught the keys, but to do so I have had to extent my left leg and leaned into it to catch those motherfuckers while they were falling (Listen to me – after 30 you’re not really interested in doing calculus and physics to figure out the speed and trajectory of the rotation!)…and I opened up my palm and it was like “yeah baby”…dead smack in the center. So I should really be lookin’ at scoring some cool points cause that difficulty – 2 just became a difficulty – 6..and I fuckin’ nailed it! (who’s the man!)

Then I landed on the 1st landing…hard! My extended left leg threw a majority of the force under my left foot; and that rattled the shit out of my ankle. I felt like I’d just spent 3 quarters in the paint with Bill Walton (“Hey, tell your Dad I’m out there every night, bustin’ my butt, draggin’ Walton up and down the court!”). It tightened up immediately and now I am limpin’ like a bitch (oh Jesus, it’s a figure of fucking speech!)…and I still have a flight to go.

As I reach for the railing (hell fuckin’ yeah I was gonna hold the railing – there’s no shame in it!) my right tricep (who wasn’t even really involved the play) decides to lock up…and I miss the grab on the railing. At this point it is not a matter as much of “if I will go down” as it is “where I will go down”…cause I am goin’ down.

And then I jumped, I took my chances that I could stick the landing (cause wasn’t no way I was making the crazy walk twice in a row)..and I stuck it! Can you fuckin’ believe it? I mean for starters I’ve lost a step… I can admit that. But I’m getting’ fucked up accidentally all the time nowadays. I mean when I was in high school, I used to walk into shit, bounce off of it and keep going and a few steps later I was like “fuck, that hurt”. Now I don’t even survive the collision. I mean what the fuck is that all about?

Last week I was barefoot and bumped into the coffee table, Christ I thought they were going to have to amputate my fucking toe, that’s how bad it hurt. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t scream. All I could say was “fuck!”, and I went down. My roommate thought I caught a stray bullet or something with the speed at which I hit the floor.

Nonetheless, as in previous near fatal accidents I pulled my shit together and made it to my carport. I had a meeting to go to, and my quickly deteriorating body ain’t gonna stop me.

The idea was simple. A group of “accomplished” filmmakers would get together and discuss all the things that felt were wrong with filmmaking and come up with an agenda for change. Yeah, like we’re the fuckin’ UN of creativity; I can’t believe I agreed to do this shit, but I owe the guy that runs this since he caught me fucking his sister in the back of his car (of course I’m joking – it was his roommate’s car). Anyway, so I agreed to go and to not call her anymore (yeah, whatever).

I’m off to Santa Monica to what I am sure is going to be just an awesome night of bullshit unrealistic suggestions about things that I’d wouldn’t consider doing unless I no talent or no Mojo…you know, industry talk.

I crank up the Z and she is not happy. Wanna know why she isn’t happy and why a lot of LA residents have been a tad bit pissy lately? Cause it’s been fucking cold, that’s why. Now when I say cold, I mean cold for LA. I know there’s a grip of people in places where 5 degrees Fahrenheit is considered warm. But here in Los Angeles, the land of $800K row homes and six lanes of traffic that don’t move; nothing under 60 will be tolerated. And today it’s got to be 45 fucking degrees, my nuts are rattling off the inside of my thighs like a bunch of maracas. To make matters worse I used a 40 weight oil instead of a 30 weight (viscosity people) and now she never wants to turn over. So I am sitting here, idling (if you can call it that, my Z sounds like a Gorilla with a nasal congestion) with no heat (I live in LA, why the fuck would I ever need heat?) in my Z.

I let her sit for another few minutes and then I’m off under the guise that an engine that is forced to do work will produce heat faster than one that sits idle. I’m heading into Sammo that means smooth sailing since everybody is going inland, I let the temp gauge get to 6 o’clock and then I opened her up.

I was headed back to my old place of work, that’s right Starbucks. Now I had vowed that the next time I came up in this sorry excuse for culture that is defrauding our youth of its future, I’d be toting a can of gasoline and a butane lighter. But ever since my acquittal I’ve decided to tone it down a bit, so I just bought my theory books.

Now for those of you that are not lucky enough to live near large groups of filmmakers probably are not familiar with the fact that filmmakers love to sit in coffee shops and talk shit…endlessly. They have a tendency to pine on endlessly about aspect ratios, options, 3 pictures deals…yeah as if any of that shit is going on over at the frap counter.

Anyway, I have been asked to attend this filmmaker roundtable and put my two cents in (yeah like they are ready for me) I’ve made a few promises that I’ll be nice and help out…(yeah, whatever.)

I’m the first person to appear. I seriously haven’t stepped foot in the ‘buckey in several years and let’s just say the applicant pool of baristas isn’t exactly burgeoning with talent. I mean I surprised these guys can figure out how to ring up the orders, but hey.. maybe this is just a bad day (yeah… sure it is)

I opt not to support Starbucks aggressive tactics and shitty products (can you tell I’m a little bitter) and I smuggled in a bottle of water (fuck ‘em).

The ring leader shows up, let’s call him Bobby. Bobby is all smiles, he thinks that this is going to be a great meeting with a lot of insight (sure buddy, whatever you say). We grab a table in the corner and begin to make small talk. He’s got a memo with letter head on it and he’s written out an agenda of what we are going to discuss. This guy loves guerilla filmmaking and digital films (no, I have no idea how we became friends – oh yeah.. I was trying to fuck his sister)

Are you kidding me? Is there also going to be a test? I know I am going to regret this. Filmmakers begin to start streaming in I mean before I knew it we were surrounded by about 10 people, none of which I know (cause I gave up Dungeons & Dragons when I started buying my own underwear). I knew I should’ve smoked up before I rolled up in this piece.

Bobby Digital calls the meeting to order (let’s see who gets that reference) and thanks us all for are attendance (you can thank me by texting you sister and telling her to meet me in the parking structure in five minutes and tell her to bring me a Guinness) and begins by opening with his first point.

BOBBY DIGITAL

Ok, let’s get down to business. What do you think is the biggest obstacle to getting your feature shot?

Is he for real? This is the first question? Well the D&D crowd is so eager to answer that they are raising their hands to answer. What are we in fucking school? Am I going to have to ask permission to go take a piss? Man this was a bad idea. Oh and here come the answers from the Geek Squad (Fuck BestBuy), I can’t wait to hear these.

“Economies of scale”

“Lack of funding”

“the cost of permits”

“a lack of filmable locations”

I was just sitting there chuckling to myself. These guys must of just got out of a 3 day filmmaking class and are trying to prove what they learned. I mean do I really need to be here. I decide to ignore the first question and roll a blunt for the ride home. Of course that freaks everyone out and I reply “the law says you can’t smoke indoors” – yeah, that didn’t go over to well (maybe sobriety is your problem boys).

Bobby Digital looks right at me “do you have any insight Cooprdog”. I stop from licking the blunt to seal it and manage to utter a few words. “you mean other than the criminalization of Marijuana?”…not a chuckle in the whole place…talk about a tough crowd.

I put my fresh blunt in the brim of my hat and rattle off the first thing that comes to mind.

COOPRDOG

“The explosion of the number of people shooting and submitting to festivals as a result of the advent of digital technologies coupled with saturation of the DVD market and direct to DVD market has made the risk-return equation less than desirable for those who normally speculate and fund the independent arena at the negative cost levels afforded to first-time filmmakers. This is exasperated by a homogenization of narratives and intellectual property that Hollywood is willing to develop and produce.”

You would have thought I had just explained the origins of the universe with the perplexed look of the rest of the group. Yeah well fuck you, I was invited.

BOBBY DIGITAL

“Gee Cooprdog, it appears that you have thought about this for some time”

Yes Bobby, I have. It’s called “trying to fucking make it”

What do you guys think…that’s it’s some kind of funny hat lottery??? (speaking of which I’m the only one in a funny hat)…now why don’t you do me a favor and shut the fuck up!

The D&D delegates are taking notes (notes…no wonder you guys never get laid) and Bobby Digital is on to his next question.

BOBBY DIGITAL

“Ok, on to our next question. What is the one thing you can do to insure that you have a successful career?”

…are you kidding me? A successful career, how about a career, how about a shot in the chair? I mean did he spin the wheel to come up with this shit. And as per usual here comes society of pocket protectors

“To have a plan”

“To create an LLC”

“To network”

“To know someone already in the business”

Ok first of all, you motherfuckers couldn’t network your way around whore house, so what the fuck are you talkin’ about? And “in the business”…what are we in the filmmaking mafia? Are we gonna cut the heads off of one of the giant Oscar statuettes and leave it in someone producer’s bed as a warning? Who are you fucking people?

Then the weirdest thing happened. Everyone stopped talking and looked over at me like it was my time to boogie down the Soul Train Dance line (and don’t get it twisted, I can shake my ass harder than an epileptic who forgot to check his blood sugar (c’mon that’s funny…rude, but funny)…and now I see it. I’m not here to participate, I am here to inform. I guess I’m the special fucking guest here at Casa de Caffeine…yeah well I can’t disappoint my fans.

COOPRDOG

“The single one thing you can do to insure the success of your film and hence your career is to have a piece of intellectual property that you are really passionate about”

SKIPPY #1

Define passionate

…great, I’m 45 seconds into my first moment when people are really appreciating what I bring to the art form…and I got a fuckin’ Jagoff (it’s a Pittsburgh thing you wouldn’t understand) sittin’ in the first row…hatin’!

COOPRDOG

“by passionate I mean it is the single cause for your existence”….good luck with that return Skippy.

SKIPPY #1

“Can you elaborate?”

and the room, the entire fucking room including the baristas behind the bar, looks at me. Are you fuckin’ kidding me? This motherfuckin’-no script writin’’-no plan havin’-always talkin’-never shootin’-claimin’ to be indie, yet swing off the industry’s nuts-college graduate-who fancies himself a filmmaker…wants to run with the big dogs. Well today’s your lucky day – Skippy. First course is now served.

COOPRDOG

“Yeah I can elaborate. Say I was to find out where you mom lives. And kill her. And then hang out in your home town during the wake and funeral and wait for you to finally bury her. And then dig her up and kill her again while I smack her in the face and say “look at me, I’m the one that did this to you!”…that would be considered passionate.

Yeah…Skippy, come and get some of this. We’re servin’ it up all night…tell all your friends.

And then it’s question after question as these cats pick my brain. I becoming a smart ass (no really) beginning to say absurd things because when you get right down to it, all the knowledge in the world ain’t gonna make a difference. You either got the cojones to make it happen or you don’t. It’s that simple.

But still here they come with the questions, I am realizing that I need an out. I need evac, ASAP. Oh and here comes Bob Didgie (that’s a nick name for Bobby digital (we got white people readin’ holmes…chill))..he’s got somethin’ on his mind.

BOBBY DIGITAL

“So Cooprdog, you’re really knowledgeable”

COOPRDOG

“That what the prosecution said at trial”

BOBBY DIGITAL

“Seriously though, you should be helping people. You should be ministering to these boys”

…yeah, he said it just like that…fucked me up to! Homosexuality, religion and guilt in one sentence.

BOBBY DIGITAL

“We need people like you, the world needs people like you”

COOPRDOG

“Well then tell the cops to stop lockin’ me and my dogs up every time we choke a few cocktail waitresses”

BOBBY DIGITAL

“Cooprdog, can I ask you a personal question”

It was at this point that the little Cooprdog in my head began to freak the fuck out (Dive! Ha-oooga!-Dive!)

“Sure Bobby, go right ahead” No his real name is not Bobby. Yes I called him Bobby. I mean, I have to hear the pitch. I gotta see how he tries to sell me.

BOBBY DIGITAL

“Did you ever wonder why it felt so strange? Why it felt so hard?” Why each day runs into the other and you never seem to get anywhere.

Oh, this motherfucker could write propaganda. He’s on some bible thumper- Opie Cunningham type shit…and I got to get the fuck outta here.

BOBBY DIGITAL

“Look, I know why the things are happening to you, we all know why.

I’m sorry “we”…like the royal “we”? And then I glance at the other “Filmmakers” and I see that I’ve been duped. Hustled by the deeply religious brother of a chick I was fuckin’ (ok, used to fuck…but “used to fuck” don’t make good copy – ya dig!). Now I really got to get the fuck out of here, this is fuckin’bullshit.

I pretend to be thinking about what they are saying to me as I covertly reach for my Blackcherry…only my Black Cherry is not in my pocket. NOW HOW THE FUCK IS THAT POSSIBLE!! Ok, I have really got to quit smokin’ weed, because this is just unacceptable.. I’m off the grid, do you know what that means? Well in Los Angeles it means you are legally dead. People can break into your apartment and take your shit. These are not jokes people, this life in the jungle (“Jungle…welcome to the Jungle..”)

So here I am, off the grid and facing conversion. So I begin to debate him under the guise that Marijuna use is a religion. At first the laugh, but soon they hesitate at my answers. I hit them with the “enlightment” aspect and the medicinal effects of as a back up. They are flustered at my ability to maintain entirely fabricated positon yet curious to see if they can out think me (even bible boys like to mix it up).

This is a futile exercise, I know this. I know that they will eventually wear me down…I think I’m just going to make a run for it and see if they chase me. It was at that moment that a woman approach me and asked “Are you Cooprdog?”

…that’s what I ‘m talkin’ about. (“the fans Dave, the Fans won’t leave me alone.”).

COOPRDOG

“Why yes I am. What can I do for you”

RANDOM WOMAN

“Do you still work here, ‘cause I never see you anymore. Anyway I was wondering if you could answer a few questions about this grinder on the wall”

…no, I’m not makin’ that shit up. That’s what she said to me, with a straight fuckin’ face…I mean you have to practice that shit.

But, she is my ticket out. I mean on one hand I can’t fuckin’ believe that this bitch asked me about a fuckin’ grinder. I could be a fuckin’ brain surgeon over here, and she’s comin’ at me with that shit? But if I go with her, then I’m out; because they dare not follow. Because she has a pussy.

I sold her $275 of plasti-coated bullshit and I don’t even work there. But I had to wait out team conversion and she just had so much that she wanted to buy (where do they grow these people). I wound up leaving about an hour later, not a undercover filmmaker to be found.

LA….you got to fuckin’ love it.

COOPRDOG

PS – this blog is dedicated to My Anonymous. Your point is noted; Sorry for the delay

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