Full time in a 31' RV.
Almost There Preproduction
Jacqueline, a Swiss writer/director, and Nikolai, her German cameraman, arrived at Slab City in January of 2013 doing research for a documentary on people who retire and follow a dream or take risks or something like that. I was never quite sure. They were looking for three people, one in the US, one in Spain and one in some other country. Her last documentary played at the Cannes Film Festival and better yet sold. I figured she knew what she was doing.
They invited me to dinner in their rented RV. Being Europeans we ate well. It was the best food I’d had since leaving Seattle. I thought they were thinking of me for crew if they returned to shoot the documentary. From the questions they were asking I realized I was being auditioned for the US guy in the documentary. Now I wasn't so sure she knew what she was doing. "You flew all the way from Europe to the US then rented an RV for thousands of dollars and I'm the best you can do?" She laughed, “Yes”. Next evening we had dinner again. Actors call that a callback. Actors love to get a callback.
We spent several days recording interviews and shooting video, what we call B roll, to play over the interviews. All this for a promo/trailer they will use as part of a pitch to get funding for the actual documentary.
Being on the wrong side of the camera isn’t that much fun. You often don’t know what’s going on or why you are doing things. It’s just “hit this mark, then hit that mark then look right.” I don’t even like having my photo taken. If you check the Links page you’ll find a link to my Hollywood years which was mainly editing and shooting. Postproduction, editing, etc, is the best part of making a movie. That’s where the movie is made. I tell people that production, shooting the movie, without postproduction is like foreplay without the sex.
She got the funding based partly on the trailer featuring just me. The first shoot date, January 2014, was canceled. A second shoot date was set for April 2014 starting in Seattle. We headed North to meet the crew. When we were almost there an email said that date was also canceled. I had spend a few thousand dollars making an unnecessary trip. Now we’re scheduled for a three week shoot begining around February 23, 2015. We will have to wait and see if the third date is the charm date.
If she pulls this off and I'm in it I could wind up with a movie at a major film festival. Only instead of shooter or editor I'd be on the big screen. And afterword people would come up to me in the lobby and say, "hey I saw you on the big screen … you suck." And I would say, "thank you for noticing, please tell your friends to come tomorrow night."
Here’s the 2:40 trailer.
A few photos taken by Nikolai.
A crew of four actually showed up in Seattle for a three week shoot. Click Here for the production page.