Friday, March 09, 2007

Riddle me this

Riddle me this Batman, when did VIP become a half-ass attempt at sectioning off part of the club to charge people additional prices for entry? When did all this shit start? And correct me if I am wrong, but you have to have like an upscale place with some type of separate room or balcony to actually call it a VIP area, don’t you?. If it doesn’t have it’s own bar and its own wait staff then how the fuck can you call it VIP? And when did they start offering you VIP admission for a certain price – uh, the whole purpose of VIP is that they are guests of the club and hence don’t pay for shit…but who the fuck am I?

Needless to say, I was less than impressed with VIP set-up. It’s not how I generally like to roll anyway; I’m a low-key guy who prefers to smoke blunts in the parking lot with my boys and yell at the chick with the big-big titties (‘Hey, how much for my friend?”). But I ran like hella game to get up in this piece and I do have to meet This Fast Eddie Dude at some point so I should probably not get too fucked up (famous last words).

Now I should probably point out that there are two types of people who go to these things, those looking to get laid and those looking to get financed. Now I’m fortunate – I’ve fucked enough LA hotties and Midwest cuties that I’m not really phased by the eye candy. Besides if you’re really trying to live-out your Snoop Doggie Dog Pimp Fantasy then you might want to concentrate on working on your career cause that will get you a little power and respect and then you can have your pick of the eye candy (if that’s what you’re into).

I’m sippin' on my Guinness as I wade through the assembled crowd. What do we have here screenwriters, producers and of course a ton of actors. Man do they kill me with that shit. I mean there is always a actor up in the mix frontin’ like he’s got some shit going on or pretending to be completely enthralled with the fake movie project that the wanna-be director is spittin’ game about. It’s really a funny situation. A film student gets into a party, lies like he’s an up and coming director and spends most of the night talking to an actor who pretending that he’s a producer so he can learn more about the film students fake project. You thought I was joking when I said it was a liar’s convention? Now I’m really adept at negotiating this scenario because I am a drug addict and none of the poseurs can fake being a blunt smoker (Puff, puff ..give Motherfucker! Damn!).

You see I really don’t give a fuck. I’m not here to make friends I’m here to make movies…cool ones. I mean let’s cut to the chase shall we? If I commandeered the mic from the DJ and asked how many people in here have their own website/URL that they maintain…(no, MySpace doesn’t count)… I bet you less than 10 percent of the motherfuckers in here will answer in the positive. But let’s delve further shall we? So let’s say I ask another question…so I ask to see a show of hands for the number of people that have a project that is in principal photography, post-Production or a finished piece that they are shopping around? I’d see less than ten hands; you want to know why? Cause finishing a script, and getting it produced is pretty rare in artform (as an aggregate economy – look it up Skippy). I don’t really walk around and act like I’m the shit (I mean I am the shit) but I do have a certain swagger. But that is because I made the plan, raised the funds, shot the motherfucker and then screened the hell out of it. It doesn’t really happen that often…and that my friend is why I am a total and complete asshole (you heard it here first).

Ok so I’m in the roped off area looking for Fast Eddie. And low and behold I hear his cackle from the other side of the room (well sectioned-off area). He’s got chick pinned up against the wall as he tortures her with his halitosis and bad jokes. You see that’s the funny thing about money it makes you cute and makes your breath smell good (wow, who knew?). To be completely honest I don’t know if Fast Eddie has any money. Shit, his name might not even be Eddie for all I know…but I’m not James Lipton up in this motherfucker so really don’t care what his deal is.

I say hello and am introduced to Barbie or Jessica or Chloe or whateverthefuck she goes by and now we are all one big happy family.

FAST EDDIE
“Hey Coop the beer wench is coming over can I get you anything?’

It’s Cooprdog ok, that “Coop” shit is not happenin’. Why do people try to shorten your name? You have to be like a judge or a drill sergeant to do that type of shit. I mean I let my boys do it; but when Brothers give you a nickname it’s somethin’ cool, somethin’ you’re gonna like… like Money, or “G”, or “Holmes” or “Cousin” or “Sweets”…that’s like cool and mysterious and can actually get you some pussy.

But here I am with Fast Eddie and this model-looking chick trying to make some contacts, I am sure I am going to regret this. And before I can finish my statement the waitress has approached.

FAST EDDIE
“Well Goddamn chickie…my glass is empty. Is this VIP or what?”

..yeah the guy is a total cock. I mean he has negative game meaning just standing next to him will fuck your game up. And I’m not even running game…that’s the fucked up thing. Anyway as he continues to belittle the waitress and molest the woman that is standing next to him, I am really beginning to hope that a fire breaks out so I can get the fuck out of here; I mean how bad do I want t make this film – that is a real question. He’s already 3 sheets to the wind and it’s not even midnight, I’ll be lucky if I don’t wind up going 6 rounds with security at the rate this is going.

FAST EDDIE
“So Coop, tell me about this film you think you want to make”

COOPRDOG
“It’s a coming of age story about a golden retriever that’s a rescue that’s forced to become a seeing-eye dog when his owner loses possession of him during a poker game…kind of like Rounders meets Air-Bud”.

FAST EDDIE
“Wow really, that sounds like a great script. (Beat) Wait I thought your film was about a Toyota truck or something”

COOPRDOG
“Well that was the first version. But I realized that people don’t need to be bothered with things like reality.”

The woman with him spits out her drink she’s laughing so hard. Fast Eddie begins to laugh and now it’s a stand-up routine ( “I said I was doin’ a hundred easy…”).

FAST EDDIE
“You really had me going there. I mean I though you had sold out”

Now that’s fuckin’ comedy. A guy who’s got industry dick so far down his throat that he has push testicles out of the way every time he tries to inhale is calling me a potential sell-out. This is what I mean when I tell you that you just have to come out and watch some of this shit, it’s utterly and completely amazing how they can say it with a straight face.

FAST EDDIE
“Man I need some pussy!” (yeah, hey said it just like that in front of this other woman)… “We might need to make an appointment” – that’s code for “let’s go to the Tittie Bar”

COOPRDOG
“It’s called Sex, Love & Z-Parts and it’s going to change the world”

Before I can even respond to this new information he has turned his head to follow the ass of some woman that is passing by. (Hey Eddie, I need you to focus! We’re talking about my fucking career here!) Now pay attention kids, this is why fundraising is hard – you can never get these guys to pay attention. Life to them is like an amusement park and anything that distorts that illusion will be promptly ignored.

I was in danger of drifting into amusement Parkland and never being able to have a real conversation about gettin’ this money. So I decided to go on the offensive. I took a nice hard sip of my pint and watched Fast Eddie do the same with his tropical umbrella fantasy thing he’s drinking (I am so not making this up) and right when he got a mouthful of the islander delight I took my first shot.

COOPRDOG
“So I’ve got this feature script that starts five years after my short ends..”

His eyes widen as he finishes his sip and begins to swallow. The pause between when you ask and when he answers gives the question weight and believability…yes, it’s a bullshit high school debate tactic…and I’m totally using on this guy.

FAST EDDIE
“Tell me about your movie”….. see kids, sometimes even bullshit works.

COOPRDOG
“Two guys fix a baseball game, rip off the mob and get run out of town. They suddenly show up five years later…”

FAST EDDIE
“…and there’s a score to settle…I get cha. How you gonna shoot it?”

COOPRDOG
“35…plenty of wides with hella visual style”

FAST EDDIE
“You got a DP”

COOPRDOG
“My partner Det. Budd is my DP”

FAST EDDIE
“…what’s the budget”

COOPRDOG
“3.7…and we can be in the can in 25 days”

FAST EDDIE
“And you want to shoot this in Los Angeles

COOPRDOG
“Of course, the rest of the country is fuckin’ bush-league”

Fast Eddie bursts out laughin’ and so does Cutie McSweety standing next to him. Say what you want about my weed problem, but I can still rip a one-liner like nobody’s business.

FAST EDDIE
“So what do you need from me?”

What do I need from you? Uh, hellooooo? I’m trying to make a fucking movie! You’re the might be-could have been-used to be-thought of as rich or at least knew some rich motherfuckers and you said you would put me down, you fucking alcoholic!

COOPRDOG
“Look I know you know the people. I need to get this money. My project is ready to go.”

FAST EDDIE
“I’ll tell you what. I talk to my partner and see what he says. That’s about as much as I can promise”

There it is, the most ambiguous statement you’ll ever hear. The conference with the mysterious partner that you’ve never met or heard of. He could be telling the truth but more than likely it’s a blow off. I think this guy just wants people to hang out and get drunk with him.

During this entire conversation woman with him has been looking right at me (hey, I’m workin’ here!) and she’s got this look in her eye. And then she touches Fast Eddie’s arm and says “Hey, I’ve gotta go check my make up”.. she looks right at me and then slips away.

Fast Eddie is talking about some-yacht/beach/rich guy shit and I’m not even remotely paying attention cause I’m stuck on what goin’ down with Little-Miss-Thing-here. Just my luck (don’t get it twisted, it just sounds good – luck is for suckers) here comes the waitress to distract the Fast Man. He’s 8 seconds into his “you have the prettiest eyes” – bit when I just slip into the crowd. This ship is sinking fast and all I did was practice my pitch. This is bullshit, I’ve got to have something to show for it (and my killer parking space…it’s all about priorities people).

I approach the bar which isn’t crowded but is kind of well populated. I pull out a twenty and begin my “please pick me” shit with the bartender when I look over and see the aforementioned female. I don’t even hesitate I just walk over to that part of the bar and wait to be served.

She turns and looks right at me…

FAST EDDIE’S ARM-PIECE
“You’re workin’ him pretty good. I’m a week in and I still haven’t got the specifics on how this is going to help my modeling career.

COOPRDOG
“So you’re not fucking Fast Eddie”

FAST EDDIE’S ARM-PIECE
“Oh, God no! I might let him touch my ass, but (motioning with her hand) you’ve got to be this tall to ride this ride, and he knows it. He just uses me to make other chicks think they stole him from his girl….he’s an illusionist.

COOPRDOG
“You can say that again”.

FAST EDDIE’S ARM-PIECE
“So you’re a producer”

COOPRDOG
“Writer/director/producer actually”

FAST EDDIE’S ARM-PIECE
“Nice. You think he can get you the money?”

COOPRDOG
“Who fuckin’ knows…I just tryin’ to cover all my bases”

FAST EDDIE’S ARM-PIECE
“Yeah, I know. Hey, I do really have to take a piss, will you get me a Cosmo?” and she touches my arm as she walks off.

It was at this precise moment that the instrumental for “Should I Stay or Should I Go” began to play in my head as I watched her ass walk away from me. She knew I was watching. But C’mon, I’m really not trying to bite on this – I’ve got to stay focused.

Next thing I know this other woman bumps into me and makes me spill my Guinness (“C’mon man, I’ve got a beverage here!”). She’s abrasive and short and impatient. Her name is Judie, she’s a short film consultant (you mean snake-oil salesman). This ought to be good.

Two minutes later she’s giving me advice, telling me about the industry. She is a Sundancer. A Sundancer is an industry person who believes that the top tier or Sundance model is really the only way to make films. It’s contentious from jump.

SUNDANCER
“So have you played any nominating festivals?”

COOPRDOG
“You mean Academy Award..

SUNDANCER
“Festivals that can nominate for the Academy Awards”

COOPRDOG
“We played LA shorts fest”

SUNDANCER
“Yeah, but the take everybody don’t they?”

COOPRDOG
“I have no idea. I got accepted and I tore the shit up”

SUNDANCER
“Where else have you played?”

COOPRDOG
“I don’t have any top tier plays but I did screen 6 times in 2006. With a 28 minute film and averaging a screening once every 4 weeks, I think that’s quite impressive.

She doesn’t even acknowledge the comment.

SUNDANCER
“Do you have a feature to go with this?”

COOPRDOG
“yes it’s an entirely different script. Begins five years after the short ends”

SUNDANCER
“Have you gotten any coverage?”

COOPRDOG
“I had some done when I first tried to produce it.”

SUNDANCER
“You know I’d send it out for coverage and get some notes and give it a really good edit you know, remove some of the fat and clarify the characters…cause they almost always need clarification”

I felt my veins constrict, and my pulse quicken. I was in the presence of my mortal enemy. I should just leap forward and sever her head and end the darkness that plagues humanity.

I nodded and sipped my Guinness as she explained to me that coverage and notes are always a good idea. Please! Say what you will about films that go to Sundance, but the “success” stories aren’t great scripts. I really thought “The 40yr old Virgin” was funny, but it wasn’t a great script. None of the shit they are selling us are great scripts. So gimme a fucking break with your script workshoping…it’s a load of shit.

This little impromptu meeting ends with her informing me that for the low-low price of $175/hr with a three hour minimum she could get the process started. Bunch of fucking parasites who espouse industry trends on true independents, you got to love it!

She disappears slowly into the crowd and I shake my head as I turn back to the task of getting’ these drinks.

Fast Eddie’s armpiece never returns, imagine that (see, it pays to stay focused). And Fast Eddie has been on his Bluetooth for the duration of the evening since I jumped ship.

I drank another pint staggered out of the bar shaking my head at the fact that less than 40 min’s ago I was pitching my and had a shot at fuckin’ his girl (ok not really, but it makes a better story when I tell it this way – so shut up). They call it the jungle for a reason.

COOPRDOG

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