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Friday, July 28, 2006

Work, Work, Work Hello Boys!

Whoof. What a busy day. Worked and worked and got so much done on Hot Baby. Jeff comes into town tomorrow, and trying to find a production coordinator and a line producer and finish SAG paperwork (which is frighteningly late) and insurance paperwork and bank paperwork and a zillion other things while still existing in the craziness that is the Studio. And then, as they do in the Studio from time to time, the phones go down. Just gone. Ugh. And so its just that much harder.

Had, after this long day, a ride upto a Chinese restaurant on the east side to have dinner with my partner John and Nick. Nick Brooks, Mel’s son and a talented writer in his own right who is forming his own shingle. Looks like hes a big fan of one of our projects, one I feel like I pulled out of the the back of the closet last spring, dusted off and now it seems to be a leader in getting people interested in us and Angel Baby Entertainment and I think, is likely the next movie Johnny G. is gonna direct (though we shall see). Nick is partners with special effects guru Bob Kurtzman, in their new company, and he loves the zaniness of the project, affectionately known as “Mother.”

Got home around an hour ago, sitting in the A/C, too much Peking Duck at dinner. And think, hmm, who can I call. E, nah. Though Friday nights, to me, that’s when I like being in a relationship because while I could go out on a Friday nite, after a business dinner, I would much rather head home and relax with a girlfriend, watch a movie, drink a little wine, play “That’s not my bellybutton,” the whole schmear (not the best word choice, sorry). But, I think with E, my mind is made up.

All who would like to apply, please comment below.

And Im shooting the next three weeks or so, so don’t expect immediate attention.






Thursday, July 27, 2006

Its Hot, Hot Hot

Hot Baby is shooting next Saturday. Starting for reel (hehe).


Two kick ass producers. Check.
A DP who I very much believe in and who is about to get to show his stuff a bit – albeit on a low budget level. Check.
Hip, hot young cast of actors like Noah Fleiss, Emily Grace and Brian Vincent. Check.


Two leads – the dirty Dr. Sid (Out to Teddy Raimi, maybe for one more day) and Tex (Reaching out to David Thornton). Uncheck.
A Line Producer. Our line producer, Jim, took ill this morning and has left the shoot (he’s in the hospital so he has a damn good reason). When we were discussing what to do, I very much felt like one of those Everest climbers that leave their compadres fallen in the snow, because they know that they cannot carry them and still survive themselves, as callous a decision as that may seen. In any event, we hope Jimmy will be well. Any line producers in the audience? Uncheck.

But despite these big gaping holes, I feel pretty good about where we are. We are eight days out, budget is looking decent, we have some fallbacks on cast in case things don’t
come together with the semi-names we’re pursuing, and the crew, AD, etc. look pretty good. And Le Tigre is on board and I love those shirts, man. Too bad I just bought five polos.

But I love making movies, which gave me my next idea. We are shooting (or intending to) shoot a documentary on the making of this low budget masterpiece-to-be.

Now when I was a kid, in junior high school, I wanted to be a director. In my junior high year book, I listed “to be a director” as my future occupation. I ended up being a producer in this round-about way because of my legal background. But I never really totally gave up my idea of directing, and have played with the thought recently of directing a short film, or a documentary (having had thoughts about doing a poker documentary or a swing dance competition documentary).

Well, falling into my lap, here is my chance. I can direct this documentary about the making of a movie that I am producing. Is it a little wacky? Yeah, maybe. But I think, maybe, just maybe, I want to do it.

Grumpy (used to be greg)





Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Back To Reality

Well, after a long lapse, I am back. Just way too busy away at the film festival (I worked prolly like 16 hours a day on average) to properly blog, not to mention the technology issues that I have in the Miami apt.

So anyway, Ive kind been outed. By my sis. She told people in her blog, Iendedupherehow, that I won the ABFF with my movie, My Brother. Which is true, and now you know. Just a brief bit about that before I proceed – I am totally uncertain about publicly blogging, giving the industry I work in and the nature of the personal reflections that I tend to include in my blog. I would like to hear from y’all about whether the blog should be put back in the dark (those who know, know, and maybe even a few of them give a shit). With respect to people I work with, well, I can do my best to keep you ambiguous, and I think I can do that, but undeniably that is part of the equation.

So about the festival. WE FUCKIN WON. Grand Jury prize, Best Picture. As in take the stage in from of 600 people at an awards brunch and give a speech to Eric LaSalle and Magic Johnson, and Robert Townsend and John Singleton and bunches of others and thank everyone who made this possible. The last award of this televised awards show – meaning, yeah, the top prize. Tony and I went up there, he did his thing I did mine, we brought up Nashawn Kearse from Desperate Housewives, who is our charismatic lead, and Chris Scott, who is the first African American actor with Downs Syndrome to play a lead in a movie – and we all just glowed. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life thus far. I’ve worked so hard on this movie, making it everything it could be, dealing with the limitations of working on it under very tough conditions, and it payed off on Sunday. Article hits variety Gotham tomorrow and was online today. Hopefully we’ll be posting a bunch of it at very soon. (PS Anyone wanna send me the syntax for putting links in this blog, would be very much appreciated).

Chris also took home the founder’s award from the festival, which they award for outstanding achievement in Independent Film. No one thought he could do it (other than Tony, who absolutely believed) because he had downs syndrome and when he got up there and accepted his award and made a speech and got a standing ovation…. He was so proud. His parents and sisters, I cant imagine what they were feeling. Imagine the journey of his parents from having him born with Downs Syndrome and wondering and worrying for all those years to that time on Sunday when he was being honored by Hollywood’s elite black folks. And when he thanked his lawyer in his speech, that was priceless as well. And what a laugh he got. Im only mad cuz his speech was so much better than mine.

The rest of the week was a ton of work, meeting bunches of people, dealing with our leading suitor/distributor and getting Nashawn and Chris as much press exposure as possible. DB was a mess, self centered. Scott took off and went to Greece, unfortunate timing cause he didn’t get to come tot see the movie. But all in all, despite everything that was aggravating all week long about having little help accomplishing things and juggling a million tasks and trying to deal with preproduction on Hot Baby at the same time, hearing the buzz on the movie, how much audiences loved it and cried and thanked us for making it, made it very much worth it.

Course, when I came back to NYC to find that the Studio is in grave financial trouble (I knew it was, maybe not quite so imminent) and none of the financial supporters willing to help in the least (news to me), the elation of the festival is gone and it is back to the grind stone. Dealing with interested from a few mini-majors and one major now, but we have to find a way to keep the lights on in the mean time.

Oh and we’re ten days out from shooting.





Thursday, July 13, 2006


The text messages were fast and furious yesterday, with insults well punctuated by entreatments (e.g. “Shall I kill myself now”) which were planned to get a reaction. My bad, they did.

We spoke at length, in a long winding conversation that proceeded from complete denial to semi-apology to recognition that she wasn’t ready to be involved in a relationship. I mostly talked calmly and did some listening. I tried not to be too forgiving, but I said that while I didn’t like the way things were, that didn’t make her wrong, make it her fault or make me angry (long-term at least).

And no, I am not hurt (despite having been upset).

She wants to be friends? Still don’t know what that means. I told her I needed some time to think it over. She asked if we could see each other before I leave for the Festival I am going to. I said, probably not. I don’t know that I want to see her at all, much less that soon.

I feel like I’ve already walked down this road, and there isn’t much point walking back up if I am just going to have to walk back down it in another few months. And I am pretty sure that’s what would happen.





Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Friends and Lovers

So got a text today. We didn’t talk yesterday, and now, I get a text from, yeah, the one and only E.

Basically says that I got angry and it would be nice to stay friends. Something about not shaming her, but there’s a language issue there.

Friends. Hmm. Who would that be nice for? And what exactly does that entail? Is that what we are now? If not, what are we? Or is that so she can stay in contact with me so as to help her pursuits in the film biz.

I got lotsa friends. Not sure I really need more, and I definitely don’t need friends with history like this. Not that its gotten so bitter for me, but there is always that thing with staying friends with someone who you’d fucked in the past. Plus the whole weird thing in the entertainment biz with people getting involved to further their careers (no really, it happens) , which I avoided with E. by telling her from the outset that while I was interested in dating her, that was, in my mind, mutually exclusive with working together. That said, I did find her an unpaid position on a film (her first feature) and perhaps …, I don’t know, seems like a lot of baggage.

I do think, though that I am somewhat ambivalent myself about breaking it off totally. I do like some things about her. However, I almost absolutely don’t see us together for the long haul, and at four months, perhaps this is a good time to let it have been a casual thing. She just doesn’t seem to want it to drift away.

If you’re guessing its because I am good in the sack, don’t be crass.

But I’m incredible.






Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Bad Math or missing toes

Oh. And I forgot to mention. E let slip last nite that she happens to be 31, not 26. Now she certainly looks 26, but whats with the lie. Said she says 26 so often for modelling, it became mechanical. And that I shoulda figured it out, from her multiple degrees, etc. I guess I gotta be a little sharper.





The End of an “E”-rror

After the mishigosh (sp?) of the weekend, the rainwater continued to pile up in the gutters on Monday. Message from E. in the morning – Hello.

Retort- Hello there?

Reply- You don’t want to talk to me anymore?

Hmm. Feel guilty about something, much?

Then forthcoming were accusations about my sensitivity, apologies, you know, the regular contradictory mix of statements, mixed with a certain eastern European flair that made for great theatre, though not for me.

I’d moved on.

Until I called her, figured that she deserved a less compressed way to express her feelings on the subject, even if she is the texter of choice. She couldn’t talk, but called me back late last evening.

And confirmed my earlier feelings. She spoke for a while about how she’d been spending her time. Then apologized again, not for the communications issues, but for referring to me in texts as angel, and other nicknames. When I told her I had no issue with the nicknames, she then told me not to call her sweetie, sunshine, or whatever else I may have put into a message over the past four months. She doesn’t like it now.

Then she said she was tired and wanted to take a shower. Have a good nite.

Yeah, you too. See ya.

Havent blogged much on the movie biz recently, though its been busyness as usual. We are three weeks out on our co-production on the horror film, out trying to cast names and semi-names for no money. Its going pretty well. Im happy with the cast thus far, and if we can throw a name or two in there, maybe we’ll get somewhere casting-wise. But I know we have actors in our cast that can do the job.

Fox took a look at the family movie. Senior VP of this and that. Was told by Tom Rothman (yeah, the head of fox, silly) to have a look. And he liked it a bunch, asked if he could show it to the rest of the team. Um. Yeah. Go ahead. Be my guest, and lemme know where to fed-ex the popcorn.

Hopefully, he really did like it a lot, and its not just being put through the motions because it came from TR. I have a deal on the table with this other company, and though I vastly prefer the distributor of Sideways and Napoleon Dynamite, a bird in the hand and all that.





Sunday, July 09, 2006

Hot and Cold, Part Duh?

So of course, after not meeting up with E last nite, coulda told you from scratch, from memory, and of course, from experience, where Sunday was going. Went down to the pool this morning, nice and early , got a good lounge chair when they finally opened the door, and I lounged. Teach snuck in the side entrance, got sandwiches, and chilled.

And then, get two calls back to back, from E, neither of which I heard ring. She calls once, then ten minutes later tried me again. Left a message.

When I saw the calls, not so surprised (sounds like Bitter-speak). Then a text. Please come meet her if I want (yeah, obviously, thanks for letting me (and you off the hook) at Anthology Film Archives at seven.

I considered not calling back today but it simply isn’t courteous and isn’t my style. So I called back and got voicemail. Left her a message that I was tired (I was when I left it) and probably would stay in tonite (we shall see).

Took a great Sunday post-swim and sun nap, woke up and got a text back, hmm, not a call, saying OK. Have a good rest.

I will.





Saturday, July 08, 2006

Hot and Cold Running Water

What the hell is up with E. Stayed over at her place on Tuesday nite. Last time I saw her. Didn’t call her this week, I feel like I am always calling her, never vice versa, and I don’t like that out of balance feeling. So I didn’t call her. She texted me a bunch of times, and I texted her back, but she didn’t call me either. Finally, last nite, I called her before I left the office, maybe around eight, to see what she was upto, if anything.

No callback.

By about eight, I texted her to see what was up (Never know with some women, maybe more than some). Why no callback?

No reply, and I am sitting home, bored and now, somewhat irritated by this casual attitude. Should I be? I don’t know, but I was, and am. So I call her and she picks up the phone (and yes, I have a public number).

She says Hi. Sorry she didn’t call yesterday, really tired when she got home from work, long week. (Thinking to myself, and what about today, all day). She was out with some friend, a Japanese guy she mentioned at some point or other. Started a conversation about her week and mine, but I basically didn’t feel like having the conversation while she was hanging out with her friend. I think she was sort of inviting me too, telling me where she was, etc. the way she does when she wants me to ask if I can come meet her. Irritated as I was, and am, I just told her that I didn’t wanna keep her on the phone while she was with a friend, and we could talk some other time.

Is this normal behaviour. Maybe I am bringing it on myself? I don’t want to chase her, or anyone around, and I won’t. So if its too fuckin difficult to return a phone call, all day on a Saturday (or a text for that matter), I guess the whole deal couldn’t be so important. Or maybe she is just protecting herself again, or is that some catch-all perfect defense for bad behavior.

I don’t normally solicit responses, but any of my female readers, feel free to chime in.





Sunday, July 02, 2006

As requested (and tagged) Bitter

Some events on my birthday

▪ 1807 - A grand jury indicts former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr on a charge of treason.
▪ 1906 - Wright brothers are granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their "Flying-Machine".
▪ 1967 - Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, the longest-running children's series on U.S. television, airs its first episode.
▪ 1992 - After 30 years, 66-year-old Johnny Carson hosts The Tonight Show for the last time.
▪ 1997 - Kelly Flinn, US Air Force's first female bomber pilot certified for combat, accepts a general discharge in order to avoid a court martial.
▪ 2002 - American civil rights movement: A jury in Birmingham, Alabama, convicts former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.
▪ 2003 - In Fort Worth, Texas, Annika Sörenstam becomes the first woman to play the PGA Tour in 58 years.

Some birthdays in common
▪ 1907 - Sir Laurence Olivier, English actor and director (d. 1989)
▪ 1938 - Susan Strasberg, American actress (d. 1999)
▪ 1943 - Tommy John, father of pitching surgery
▪ 1959 - Morrissey, English complainer and Smith’s lead singer
▪ 1970 - Naomi Campbell, Hellion
▪ 1972 - Annabel Chong, Singapore porn actress

A death or three
▪ 337 - Constantine the Great, Roman Emperor (b. 272)
▪ 1885 - Victor Hugo, French author (b. 1802)
▪ 1990 - Rocky Graziano, American boxer (b. 1922)

and whatever the hell this is

▪ World Biodiversity Day.

Never could follow directions.