Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Whole "Pink" Thing Becomes Official

I'm not sure how much sense this will make to everyone, dear readers, but I'm happy to report that this past weekend's filming of "Pink" really made the whole thing feel official. Now, of course we've already done a lot of great scenes and worked with a lot of great people - I've enjoyed every bit of the process thus far. It's just that this past weekend was the first time we've shot scenes featuring our narrator, Monica. And, given that she's the glue that holds the entire movie together, the whole thing really feels like it's beginning to take shape now. (Put another way, all of our beautiful little pieces of wood are really coming together to make one hell of a birdhouse.)

On Friday, Kelly and I drove up to the Wolfchase Galleria in Memphis to pick out Monica's wardrobe once and for all. Now, for the record, I knew this would be a challenge before I even agreed to go, seeing as how Kelly and I have bickered back and forth for the past month or so as to what exactly Monica should wear. Naturally, as Monica's creator, I feel I have some understanding of how the character should dress and behave, whereas Kelly argues that she's a girl and therefore more fashion-conscious than I am. (Apparently everything I like to see on girls is either out-of-style or "stuff no girl would wear".) So, we shopped and shopped and shopped some more, and in the end we decided on a black business jacket and skirt with a pink button-up shirt underneath. We agreed on the shirt. Kelly picked the skirt. I picked the jacket, and Kelly said she'd go along with it as long as she got to pick Monica's jewelry and shoes. Deal. I think the whole thing turned out nicely. The jacket/skirt combination suggests a mixing of male and female traits, which is something Monica undoubtedly does. We're all very happy with how she looks onscreen.

As for Christie Jackson - the actress playing Monica - she was everything she needed to be on Saturday when we all got ready to film: difficult, bossy, and definitely diva-ish. Before we even got the lights set up, she'd already requested water, wine, petroleum jelly (for her teeth), and something else I don't remember. It was great. And with her hair dyed jet black (a requirement for the role), she looked like the evil flipside of the typical Ole Miss sorority girl. It was beautiful. I could have cried.

The house where we filmed her scenes belongs to a Mr.Winston Roberts, a VERY Southern architect who not only lives there but whom designed it as well. I hadn't actually seen the place before the day we started shooting, but Kelly and Gregg were right: it was perfect. High ceilings. Big windows. Grandiose fireplaces. Automatic curtains. Big jacuzzi. Arched doorways. Long hallways...We really couldn't have asked for more. (A very special thanks to Keith and Rusty for the hook-up.) It's definitely the kind of place I'll shoot for if I decide to go the wife-and-kids route. And what made it even better was the unexpected humor of Mr.Roberts and his wife. See, when I saw the Bush/Cheney sign in the front yard and the crosses on the walls and heard the Southern accents coming out of their mouths, I got a little nervous, thinking they wouldn't appreciate the vulgarities and crass comments that so effortlessly come spewing out of our narrator. Much to our surprise, though, they laughed and chuckled through all of Monica's monologues, commenting on how true they were. So, I guess Conservative doesn't have to mean Square.

The following afternoon (this is Sunday), we finally filmed the Jennifer Anne/Tony scene - and yes, I managed to get Karlous there this time. (I bought lunch for him at noon and kept him with me for two and a half hours.) Lots of unexpected twists and turns worked their way into this particular scene, most of them involving a pink teddy bear, which became our ultimate tool for setting Tony up as the lamest character in the movie. The actor who plays him, Eric Sampson, was a real team player and seemed to understand that the lamer he was, the better. (Sidenote: I'd written a line into the script about Tony driving a Buick Park Avenue, not realizing how funny some of the people in our crew would find it. It became a major laugh line, which is kind of sad...I was driving a Buick Park Avenue when I first got to Ole Miss.*embarrassed look*) Rounding out Sunday's cast were
Brenden Nasisnceno, a guy named K.B. (didn't catch the last name), and Karlous "F*ck Disney World!!" Miller, who played Sonny, Kurt, and Orlando respectively. They did a great job crashing Tony's party with Jennifer Anne, played to perfection by improv queen Kallie Rolison. They were quite possibly the most enthusiastic group of people we've filmed yet, which came in handy, seeing as we managed to burn up (according to Dr.Shollenberger) four and a half hours of battery power trying to get the scene the way we wanted it...I tell you, my friends, the patience I have for this is all the proof I need that this is what I'm supposed to be doing. My thanks to everyone involved in making this another great weekend of filming.

Okay, on to other things...

Garage Days Revisited

Those of you who met me in college are no doubt familiar with the writing/filmmaking aspect of my creative life. What you may NOT be aware of, however, is the time I spent in the mid-to-late 1990s as the lead singer and guitarist of the Brass Tacks - self-proclaimed greatest garage band west of the Potomac. In 2003, I went to visit my friend/drummer Mike Lujan out in Virginia, where we decided it would be fun to re-record some of our garage-rock classics. And now, for the first time ever, those songs are available for your listening pleasure online. Just go to:
and you'll find everything you're looking for. (56k versions of all the songs are available for those of you with slow Net connections.) My singing voice, for the uninitiated, veers somewhere between sarcastic bantering and intentional Billy Corgan-esque whining. So, go ahead and laugh. That's kind of the point.
Those of you familiar with the band may be disappointed to find such band staples as "Darling, I Love You, But...", "Anti-Pisces League", and "Gaudy Christmas Decorations" missing, but there's a good reason for that. One, we didn't have time to get around to "Anti-Pisces League." And two, neither Mike nor myself felt it was possible to record versions of "Gaudy Christmas Decorations" or "Darling, I Love You, But..." that would top the original garage recordings. So, if it's not broke don't fix it, right?
Also, one last thing...this is another thing addressed to those of you familiar with the band. I was in a sort of stagnant emotional place when some of these songs were recorded, which is why, in my opinion, a couple of them (specifically "I H8 Nebraska" and "B.Enigma") lack the intensity of the originals. Yes, I'm admitting here and now that I don't rip through those solos with quite the same angst-filled youthful passion that I did when I was 17. But, I'll get it right next time. These are still great versions of the songs ("Pig Fetus" is my personal fave.) So, take a listen and have a little fun...Let me know if you want to hear more and I'll give you a password that will allow you to access the songs you can't get to without registering.

I think that's all for now. Much love to everyone, especially those of you who've taken time to read this whole damn thing. Oh, and P.S. Jennifer Love Hewitt is on the cover of this month's Maxim. YES!! Sometimes it's good to be alive.


Blogger BECKY said...

Oh so NOW Pink seems official? Hmm..well, maybe I should tell that to the doctor who pumped my stomach clear of 6 year old amoxicillin.I guess we should tell that to poor Joey whose anus is forever burned into the retinas of his costar Sarah.
Oh, and by the way, Jennifer Love Hewitt is a douche. If you want to ogle a woman, try the December 2002 cover with Dita Von Teese. she could make you wet your pants...
oh yea, thanks for the valentine.

8:43 AM  

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