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Confessions of a Working Director - 10/22/2008

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On October 15th, my production company began shooting a new feature.  I'm the director, the cinematographer, a producer, and I co-wrote the screenplay.  Jeremy Wallace is producing, as is Jason Christ, who wrote the screenplay with me.  I can't say much about the project right now, but it is a rather drastic change of pace from my last feature, DEADWOOD PARK, and I'm enjoying the 180 degree change very much!

We started shooting at one of the primary locations of this movie, an ancient boiler room in a huge, old abandoned high school.  The boiler room looks amazing through the lens, and our primary contact at this location, Adam, is a very cool guy.  We are paying by the day to shoot at this location, and it is worth every dime.  Unfortunately, the owner of this property, Gary, found out what we are renting the space for - and as soon as he knew it was for a movie, Gary wanted to "get involved" in the project.  Not good.

Like many people, Gary hears "independent film" and he visualizes us winning an Oscar and enjoying a Tarantino-esque rocket ride to fame and fortune.  So, not only is this guy trying to alter our deal to get his "piece of the back end," he is also a colossal asshole.  He's been telling me how to do my job and being quite arrogant and snotty about it.  (By the way - Gary has zero experience in the motion picture industry.  He owns a school building and he yaps his mouth off a lot, but that's it.) 

I can tell that Gary thinks this movie is going to make millions of dollars.  There is an insistence/desperation in his voice.  He smells blood and he wants to go in for the kill.  He thinks we will soon have a very big pie and this guy is already salivating over the biggest piece in the pan.  Worse, he thinks by talking down to me and being demanding, he's going to get everything he wants out of me.

If we hadn't already started shooting there, I'd tell him to cram his high school up his ass, but unfortunately, we are stuck with him until we wrap.  I'll just have to do my best to dodge him until we finish shooting there. 

I am a very non-violent person.  I hate drama and fighting and bullshit like that.  But this guy makes me want to knock his teeth in.  The whole crew hates him and I was, at first, worried about this loser impacting the morale of my team.  So far, the team is staying cool and positive, so that's a good thing.

I talked to Adam about The Gary Situation.  I explained that I will continue to pay the rate we agreed upon, that I will continue to shoot there, and that I don't feel obligated to expand our arrangement into any additional areas that Gary is insisting on.  Adam agreed with me completely and he said he'd do all that he can to keep Gary out of my hair.

It's amazing.  It never fails.  A large group of people band together as a team to do something positive and productive like make an indie movie for, primarily, the love of the craft and the life experience the endeavor offers… and then one self-absorbed prick has to enter the picture and threaten to undo the whole thing.  If YOU are one of these self-absorbed pricks who acts like this, STOP IT.  People like me don't respect you or admire you for acting that way.  We just want to punch you.

Well, I guess no shoot is gonna go perfectly.

We've completed five days of shooting and some of the supporting actors are already wrapped for this production.  One of these talented people is Amanda Pemberton, who some of you may know as alt-model Apnea. 

She was one of the most popular models on Suicide Girls when the website was new.  She has been seen on Playboy.com and she recently completed shooting a program for Playboy TV.  Amanda has modeled for numerous magazines and has appeared on the cover of many of them, including Gothic Beauty.  Now Mandy is in the early stages of her budding acting career.  She joined the cast of this movie, and I am very happy she did - her performance is outstanding.

Go here to get to know Amanda "Apnea" Pemberton a bit better: 

http://www.apneatic.com/index3.php

To find out who else is in the cast of this new movie, to learn what this movie is about, and to eventually learn the title of this new project, keep checking out these entries here at FEARnet.com!

Thanks for reading.

Eric Stanze

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