Tuesday, January 01, 2008

You act like you know me...

Opening my eyes and focusing on the ugly walls and the industrial carpet I realized that my memories weren’t just a dream… I was still in London and I had just had a killer night. I needed to top it. I had another three days in this place and I had to make more shit happen.

All I really wanted to do was find some weed and sit on my ass and blaze before the screening but that’s probably not going to happen because I’ve never been able to allow myself to relax long enough to just chill and I still didn’t have a weed hook up. Personally I think that’s bullshit, when you are as cool as me people should be walking up to you and giving you weed every fucking place you go…but maybe that kind of shit will start to happen when I shoot the feature.

I wandered out of the building and decided that I needed to find some grub. This is always a dicey proposition because these motherfuckers cannot cook. I’ve literally been eating once a day because I can’t deal with the fucking strangeness of the shit that I order. Now I know that you have no idea what the fuck it is that I am talking about….here, let me explain. In a certain town that I will leave nameless I wandered into a small shop (eatery) because my stomach was beginning to growl like I was one of the Ethiopian motherfuckers on TV with the fly’s all over his face (ok.. maybe that’s a little drastic, but you get my point). I have learned in my few days here that if you are careful about what you order that the chances of you having a plate of fish heads and cow balls delivered to you are quite slim.

I decided to play it safe and get a chicken sandwich. I mean how badly can you fuck up a chicken sandwich? Its chicken and bread…that’s simple right? Well when the motherfucker came it was more like chicken salad…only the mayo wasn’t mayo… I mean it looked like mayo…but it tasted like cum and toothpaste with a little bit of bleach for flavor. I actually took a bite and almost spit the shit out on to the plate. I vowed after that incident that I’d only eat every 15 hours and I’d stay with fast food…I mean grease is grease. So I’m now on a grease hunt.. how bad can that be?

Well I took a few steps down the street and saw this eatery that I’d passed a couple of times. It’s a small little place with some outdoor tables, basically a roach coach in a fixed place if you know what the fuck a roach coach is. I get a really strange feeling every time I walked by this place.. and I never know why. I had the distinct urge to burn the motherfucker to the ground though I’d never eaten there, never known anyone who has eaten there… I wasn’t sure what my problem was.. then I actually read the name of the eatery …”Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. No, I’m not making that up; no…that’s not a joke. I’m standing in like the middle of the street with this fucked up look on my face because that’s a fucked up name for your shitty restaurant and no one here seems to understand why it’s fucked up. Ok, so now I’m in kind of a foul mood. I’m walking with east coast attitude and hoping some motherfucker says some shit to me. And then I see this other wonderful sight. A sign warning me that a lot of motherfuckers got jacked for their IPods on this very street and that I should beware. I should beware? Or skinny British motherfuckers should beware…cause there ain’t a lot of guns over here… that means it’s good old fashioned fisticuffs and I think I can go a few rounds with a motherfucker.

As I continued to stamp around being pissed I remember that I’m probably being sensitive because I don’t have any weed and I haven’t been fucked. Well I’m going out tonight so maybe I’ll be able to remedy both of those problems and if I’m really going to have any shot at that happening I probably need to get some shoes….but I’m still fucking hungry. I wandered to this little eatery thing and took a seat. This place was a little upscale and pricey, but the bargain basement shit was killing me so I thought I needed to change it up a little. Well lemme tell you my waitress was this sexy eastern European chick. I mean she was like smokin’ hot and had a killer accent. I’d have given her all my money and my Z if she’d have smiled at me. I ordered some lamb chops and a salad and man was it tasty. I was seriously contemplating asking her out…but how do I swing that? I’m not even going to be here till the end of the week…maybe I should tell her she has a great ass and ask her if she wants to fuck (I mean it could work). I opt not to do that and to just enjoy the beautiful site that is her firm breasts under the apron.

I beat it out of there and asked a few locals where to find some thrift stores. I received a really complicated set of directions that I was sure was really going to get me lost, but I’ve learned to use my Blackcherry and I wrote a note every time I crossed a major street – I wasn’t getting’ lost for nobody. Before I knew it I was on a bustling street with busy shoppers and I was really in heaven (not that I believe in old white man and pearly gates in the sky). The problem was I couldn’t find a single pair of shoes that wasn’t totally fucking ugly. I mean what the fuck??? Europe is cool but you cats can wear some wac shit. I’m a dude, I’m a Westside livin’, east coast representin’, weed smokin’, Z-car driving cat and there’s a lot of shit I can’t wear.

I wandered into this store that looked kind of hip and began to look around. The store had mostly female employees and most of them were hot. This is what I call “not a good situation” because anyone who knows me will tell you it’s only a matter of time before I say something. I decided to follow the “when in Rome” rules and not start acting like I’m blowin’ tree’s in the 90034. I walked by ugly shirts and even uglier pants and became sure of only one thing…I am definitely getting’ older. I mean who the fuck pays this much for a pair of jeans…they’re fucking jeans man! You wear jeans when you work on your Z and when you go drinking…they should be able to absorb few substances wiped on the thighs and they should last a good long time. The next thing I knew…I was approached by a woman who was cute…but she was young.

RETAIL CHICK
Are you being served?

COOPRDOG
Uh…I didn’t know we were playing tennis

RETAIL CHICK
No silly, have you been helped. We call it served here, you’re from the states aren’t you?

COOPRDOG
How can you tell?

RETAIL CHICK
Cause you smell like French fries and you dress like you are 10

COOPRDOG
First of all it’s not my fault that you cats still recycle the fry grease from the ‘70’s…and I don’t dress like I’m 10, I am 10…I have a growth disorder.

RETAIL CHICK
Does this little number get the slutty American girls all hot and bothered?

COOPRDOG
It’s virtually impossible to be female and talk to me and not be hot and bothered and I don’t think of American girls as slutty…they’re just very forward thinking.

RETAIL CHICK
Yeah as long as forward means over a desk biting a dictionary.

COOPRDOG
So I take it you’ve studied abroad.

RETAIL CHICK
Did you need some help Mate? You look like you need help.

COOPRDOG
Oh, what makes you say that?

RETAIL CHICK
Because this is the woman’s section.

COOPRDOG
I could be looking for a gift

RETAIL CHICK
You could be. But we both know that you’re not the type of man that keeps a girlfriend.

Ok…this is what a secret agent looks like. In a matter of hours I’ll be drinking Margaritas and flirting her right out of the skirt. And then just as I’m about punish her for white cotton panties and the prettiest eyes I’ve ever seen…the KGB will bust in. I am sure that that is what is going to happen. Sure, I’m paranoid…whatever. I’ve met a lot of women in my life and they are never this cool. This has to be a trap.

COOPRDOG
Girlfriend is a subjective term and my ability to acquire and maintain said designation is not always a function of my actions.

RETAIL CHICK
(Chuckles): Does it get more believable each time you say it

COOPRDOG
Anyway…

RETAIL CHICK
Anyway…the shoes are over here.

I didn’t ask how it was she knew I was looking for shoes. I didn’t ask if her hair was always this long. I followed her to the back of the store and merely enjoyed her female figure as it led me. There was laughing and joking and then I gave her a copy of my film…and then she was impressed, but I told her not to be impressed. I told her that thousands of people shoot films, and most of us suck…I might suck… so…

I flirted a little more and then acted like I had to go and get some money. Yeah, I know…seems like a weird thing to do when a woman is feeling you, but hear me out. I like to make sure that the woman I’m about to fall madly in love with and give half of all my shit too actually likes me. I do this by giving her an out. I leave abruptly and say that I’ll return in about 25 minutes. She has that amount of time to make herself scarce or to completely ignore me when I return. Maybe I’m just a pussy, but whatever.

I take a little walk down the crowded street and basically scope a few pubs before I return. She’s still there and still enthusiastic. I buy a pair of boots tell a joke, get her digits and a promise to hook up later…James Bond ain’t got shit on me.

I check the time and it’s gettin’ late…time to get back to the “hotel” and get ready to rumble. As I’m making the walk back and making scattered eye contact with random Brit’s I really start to come into my own film identity. I already have unique looks with these massive dreads on my head and my affinity for 420 T-Shirts but I’ve begun to chuckle at myself when I get looks. You see in my mind I’m an international superstar. They will each remember where they were when they say the crazy film cat, hell… I’m going to make a lot of dive bars famous…

Anyway so as I’m coming out of my own delusion (I mean what’s the point of shooting a hideously expensive short film and flying to another country if you don’t’ compliment it with a good delusion?) as I get to the door of the hotel. I’m sweaty, kind of stinky and I don’t have a lot of time. I love this part.

I break in the room and see just how much disarray I had left it in. Piles of dirty clothes, stacks of screeners, posters, stickers, EPK’s…it’s like a fucking command center! I move methodically and pack 15 screeners, 20 posters and a few EPK’s. I decided to wear my super-huge “Westside” T-Shirt and let these motherfuckers know from jump who brings the pain!

I’m lugging two bags as I walk out of the hotel. I give shout to the Serb cats (What up, Sun?) and they tell me they’re chillin’ (I don’t know…maybe they watch a lot of rap city) and ask me if I want a taxi. I answer in the affirmative and they place the call. It takes the taxi about 40 min’s to arrive and that really makes me start to trip. I’m a director Goddammit! The cabbie shows up in he’s this 75 yr old African dude and he’s funny as shit. I mean don’t get me wrong he’s the slowest fucking driver in the world and he can’t get the GPS to work. But he tells me this amusing story about this woman who wanted him to drop her in a bus lane and he refused. Stating that it’s a 50 quid fine and that she’d probably survive the accident at these speeds. He told her that if she was willing to pay first, he’d drop her some place where the buses would be moving fast enough to kill her on impact so she wouldn’t have to bleed to death in the ambulance.

Next thing I know I’m there. I pay the guy and tip him cause he’s totally money and bounce out of the cab. I’m screening for Dime Novel Screen. It’s a monthly screening of shorts where the audience picks their favorite film of the night. Sex-Love has really no chance of winning this distinction because shorter, enclosed narratives will always win out over something long-form and discontinuous. There’s a bar called BarStory and behind it is this little tent looking thing that’s really a huge room (I’m being a Yankee dick) there’s a DVD projector in the rear of the room and a huge screen on the other side bookended by two huge speakers. I introduced myself (which always is kind of weird) and I kind of catch people by surprise. They’re struggling with their sound check and trying to be professional about it…so I leave them be and return to the bar. The bar is mobbed and three of the hottest, slowest bartenders in the English speaking world are working. Apparently it’s Mojito night and the hot chicks don’t like to muddle so the line is massive. It’s a good 25 minutes before I can get a Grolsch (you think I’m gonna let the Barbie patrol try their hand at pulling a Pint…please!). I return to the screening room and they got films playing but the sound is still crackling and popping. They’ve copied all the films onto a laptop and play them sequentially through the projection system. It’s a popular thing nowadays and I understand why. I understand that no one really wants to deal with Amary cases and scratching DVD’s when you are going to screen 10 or 15 films, but I fucking hate the Laptop system. I can’t deal with my film being copied in any form without Det. Budd and I personally overseeing the operation. I know that that kind of thing is not going to happen but fuck, I can dream can’t I? So Sex-love is trapped on the Hard drive with a dozen other films and apparently there wasn’t a software update or the wrong version was installed or whatever…but the sound is very choppy and not dynamic (meaning the volume doesn’t increase and decrease like it should). They finally got the sound to be dynamic and not choppy…but it’s hella loud. No, I mean…Hella loud! The Dime Novel crew screens my film nonetheless and gives me a great presentation. The Q & A is lively and I really have nothing to complain about. They segue to the next film and that film is really loud…no, really loud…unwatchable type loud. They decide to go to intermission.

Patrick comes up to me and apologizes for the poor sound and I told him that it was cool. I mean yeah, I would have liked to have perfect sound; but compared to the blood bath the ArcLight did to my film, compared to screening my film on a trash bag in Manhattan, compared to the numerous times the contrast has been dark, the screen dimensions strange or any other number of things I can think of. It was really obvious to me that Dime Novel takes a lot of pride in screening films and takes short films very seriously. They had just come off of a sabbatical and the sound problem just kind of landed on them. I had nothing but praise for their screening me…and this is why I booked multiple screenings.

I got back to the bar and it was pandemonium. The Brit’s were drinking hard and I wanted to be part of it. I met a ton of people and handed out all my screeners and a bunch of posters. Then I met these two dude.. Matt and Jody. We talked smack all night and they asked me if I wanted to drink some pints and chase some Birds tomm… and I said fuck yeah… Then the lights came on and everybody got up and left (no bullshit). I mean say what you want about us Americans…but we don’t just leave the bar when the lights come on, we keep drinking till the bouncers threaten you. But hey…this ain’t my country.

COOPRDOG

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