Monday, February 28, 2005

I Got Those Jealous Catholic Schoolgirl Blues

Okay, my fellow children of the early 90s, let's start this off with a point to ponder: Who would have guessed that an actor who started his career playing a cross-eyed ugly girl that repeatedly said "I'll rock your world" would one day walk away with an Academy Award? (Only in America.) - Yes, as expected, I watched the Academy Awards last night and for the most part I was happy with the results. I just wish "The Aviator" had won for Best Picture. It was a great movie, and Martin Scorsese deserves recognition for it. But anyway...Here I am in Oxford once again.

I can honestly say that I couldn't have asked for a better weekend of filming than the one I just got done with, though of course it started with a bit of a silly mishap. I left Biloxi at 4 a.m. on Saturday morning, thinking I had to be in Oxford for a 9:00 shoot. Once I got north of Jackson, I totally floored it, making the 5-hour drive in just 4 hours and 30 minutes - only to find out that the shoot was at 10. That means I could have slept in for at least another 45 minutes or so. But oh well. It's good to be punctual.

Our first scene featured my new friend J.P. playing the part of the Jealous Girl's Ex-Boyfriend. Basically, the scene was set up like a man-on-the-street interview and he was telling our camera crew about his jealous ex-girlfriend. A truly fine moment of improv, there was a line in the script where J.P. had to say "she always had a big production going on." Once he was on camera, though, he turned it into "She always had to have some Young and the Restless type-shit going on." Total perfection. Those are my favorite moments in comedy and filmmaking. It was a great way to start the day.

On Saturday night we finally got around to filming what I call our "naughty little Catholic twins" scene - a personal fave of all the male crew members. First of all, we decorated the set with every piece of Catholic memorabilia we could possibly find: statues of saints, prayer cards, candles, a portrait of the Blessed Virgin...even a picture of the Pope. Then we had the character of Bruce (played with a certain understandable glee by Matt Privett) get a little freaky with our twins Claudia and Candy before the moment was cut short by an "uninvited" guest. The twins were played by real-life twins Jessi and Abby Cantrell from New Orleans (represent!) They said they'd never acted before, but you never would have guessed it from their performance. They really jumped right in there - midriff-baring plaid skirts and all - and made the scene great along with Jessica Rosa, who plays Courtney the Drama Queen (one of my very favorite "Pink" characters.) It's amazing how much intensity that girl can get out of just a few lines. hehe Everyone left the shoot in a good mood, I'd say. There wasn't one weak link in the entire chain. (Like I've said before, we've got a really jam-up cast.)

Sunday morning: went to 8:30 Mass and then to our 10:00 shoot. It's really kind of funny what happens when you do things in that order. I go to church and I see all these families sitting there with their kids, all dressed up and feeling good. It's so all-American, so wholesome...and I say to myself, "Gee, I'd like to have a wife and family to bring to church someday." Then I go to the shoots, watch all of my previous relationships re-enacted, and say to myself, "Um, no I don't." :)

Our 10:00 shoot featured two characters named Megan and Dusty. A very simple scene, Megan basically goes on a jealous tirade about everything Dusty does. These characters were played to perfection by Emily Wesley and Sam Jacobs. We REALLY couldn't have asked for better casting on this one. They were both very intense and let the scene build as it went along. (I've always thought there was something very sexual about jealousy.) A great moment in irony: Emily wore a shirt that said "Don't Be Jealous" as part of her wardrobe...Now that's just funny. And once we wrapped for the day, Gregg, Sam, and I drove out to Batesville for lunch at the Cracker Barrel - I always feel that's worth mentioning. (2 points for me, by the way. I told the hostess that our last name was Manson, which gave us the juvenile thrill of hearing ourselves paged: "Manson Family, party of 3." Just one more crazy high school thing I've never outgrown.)

Now it's Monday and we don't have our next shoot until tomorrow afternoon. So, I got up early this morning and drove on over to Clarksdale for a trip around the Delta Blues Museum, which I've been meaning to do for a couple of months now. I never would have expected this in my young, angry metalhead years, but I'm really beginning to develop a fondness for blues music. In a way - if I can say this without waxing too faux-poetic - I kind of feel that "Pink" has a common thread with the blues. Both of them, after all, take painful moments in life (and specifically heartache) and turn them into something that other people can (hopefully) enjoy and relate to. There's honesty in it, and in my humble opinion that's beautiful. I picked up a Howlin' Wolf CD in the gift shop and I've been listening to it all day.

Went to lunch with Keith and Jon and now I'm waiting for Kelly to get off of work so we can shop around for a few things we need for tomorrow's shoot with our leading lady. She should be in town sometime tonight, and as always we're looking forward to seeing her. This is all coming together nicely, everyone. I hope all of you are similarly happy with whatever you're involved with right now. Please let me know.

Now then, before I sign off, how about a little quiz to see who can spot the inside jokes?

1) One of the characters in the abovementioned "naughty little Catholic twins" scene is named Claudia. Who knows why I gave one of the sexiest characters in the film this particular name?

2) In the "naughty little Catholic twins" scene, Courtney the Drama Queen pathetically collapses onto a couch in a fit of tears. What inspired this? (Garrett and Mac, I'll be very disappointed if you don't get this one.)

3) The characters in the scene we shot on Sunday morning are named Megan and Dusty. Who recognizes these names?

4) Last one...Five points. One of the many things that Megan ends up bitching at Dusty about is his friendship with a girl named Jude. In response, Dusty says (quote), "Oh, so you're saying I can't have friends now, huh?" What was the inspiration for this particular exchange?

Have fun, kids. Much love to all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howlin' Wolf. I can honestly say that I'm quite proud of your purchase. Your devlopment is coming along nicely since the days of "Hey, aren't the White Stripes blues?"

8:57 PM  

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