Monday, December 12, 2011

The Orgin of a Gag on Facebook

I had the good fortune this weekend to be cast in a short independent film. Actually, I had the good forture to be cast in it last year, but it took a while to get the shoot together. It's a few scenes from a proposed full length feature about a college student struggling with brain disorder, and I play his callous guidance counselor who is trying to convince him to go on medication. Presumably if the short cuts together good enough to entice investors, I'm cast in the feature as well. Either way, I'm thrilled that they stuck with me this long.

Can't say the name of the feature. Frankly, it would get a few people in trouble. For example, we were shooting in the conference room of a condo in a Beverly Hills-adjacent area, and we were delayed for half an hour while we waited for the producer to let us in. He couldn't open the door until his wife left, because she wasn't supposed to know we were there. This kind of thing is common with independents - I took a producing course at Hollywood Film School where they specifically said don't bother with permits, just be ready to stall when the cops ask you what you're doing. Tell them the permit is back at the office and you'll send someone to get it. How long will it take? A little longer than it takes to get the shot.

So the Facebook gag: this conference room is in the lobby of the condo, and was doubling as a guidance  counselor's office. Looked a little ritzy to me but I dunno, maybe the kid's going to a private school where the staff has french doors and marble flooring. Anyway, one of the cameramen kept getting forced farther his left as they were framing a shot, until he was half standing in a potted fern in the corner of the room. "It's like I'm shooting in Vietnam here!" he quipped. Hence my gag:

Independent film production is like Vietnam: you start out with the best intentions but pretty soon you've lost half your crew and you can't remember why you started in the first place.

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