Sorry that I’ve been so lousy about updating the blog… work in India has gone from regular to quite mad. However, expect a couple of good updates coming soon!
In the meantime, I did have time for my first PechaKucha talk, on a lifetime dream that turned out to be more of a nightmare. (PechaKucha: 20 slides for 20 seconds each. Like TEDtalk gone spazzo.) It’s a fun short story… Watch, and let me know what you think!
(The audio guy f’ed up the recording, so I re-recorded most of it on my laptop.)
I’m not a great filmmaker. Or a famous one. If I was, I wouldn’t have ended up drenched in a 3AM rainstorm of the roof of a dilapidated McDonalds, bailing out the small lake of water forming around my sneakers. I definitely wouldn’t have started my filmmaking career in the slums of Buffalo, or have been risking my life for trash cinema.
I felt the wet tar give under my foot.
“Watch out! That’s a weak spot!”
Weak spot. Right. Did I mention this roof was collapsing in slow motion?
We needed squibs. I didn’t exactly know what they were, or how they worked, but they’re little charges that explode under an actor’s shirt, so it looks like they’ve just been shot. Just like in Die Hard or Bad Boys II. But in Poultrygeist, it wasn’t Hans Gruber who’d be shot—it was the horde of bloodthirsty chicken-zombies, exploding with green slime. (Everyone knows zombie blood is green.) Old Arbie shoots them, while wearing his short skirt and sash.
The only problem was that the cheapest guy we could find wanted ten thousand dollars for squibs. And we didn’t have ten thousand dollars.
So I called Tony.
I’d first met Tony Franco a few weeks earlier. He drove me around in his long Cadillac sedan, showing me Buffalo’s fast food restaurants. He intrigued me. He was short, prematurely balding, and walked with a cheap plastic orthopedic cane like my grandfather used. I don’t know where his limp came from, but it added to his mystery, along with his stylish suits and copious gold. He also ran an Italian restaurant. He seemed like a character from a cheesy mafia film. And yet he was just another one of Buffalo’s hundreds of volunteers for the film, who’d shown up at the church out of the blue, offering to help.
“What’s this for?” I’d asked him that first day, when I found a short, splintered baseball bat within easy reach of the driver’s seat.
“That? That belongs to the family,” he said with a menacing wink, pausing for a beat before adding, “I mean, it’s my kid’s. Can you grab the map for me? It’s in the glove compartment.” In the glove compartment, on top of the map, sat a heavy handgun. I don’t know guns, but it was big.