Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Drama.... In the Real World!

Yikes! What a fabulous weekend… full of trepidation and satisfaction to match!

On Friday night, having finished the last of my prop and wardrobe shopping, I was now catering in my kitchen, preparing to feed our cast and crew for the weekend… never veering too far from my email, I was astounded by last minute responses to be ‘extras’ and, last, though not least, for PAs. And who would have guessed… the cavalry arrived in the form of Jim Breen. A local filmmaker and one-man lobby band for no/lo budget filmmakers in the Bay area, he was willing to step in (via Bart to Hayward) and act as 1st AD for the weekend… and, trust me, I don’t give up that role easily! Phew! With the added help of two new crew (recruited from Craig’s List, sight unseen), Mario and Miranda (conscientious and keen to work), we pulled off an amazing full Saturday, where blood, death, and retribution were the mis en scene of the day.

Sunday rolled around with not much sleep, thanks to the full-moon 2:00 am revelers and their counterparts, the cheerleaders of San Francisco’s annual marathon, hooting and holler at 7:00 am. When a pillow over my ears and Buddhist chants from my bedroom boombox hadn’t drowned them out, two hours later I arose… to respond to emails and phone calls while packing the food for the day…

And what a day it was… every shot taken with room to breathe… and eat nonetheless!

By the time Gino and I got back into the city, we were both hungry and, perhaps more so, needing to unwind… at my local noodle bar, the Citrus Club. Fed and somewhat relaxed from the grueling schedule, we walked down the street at which point… S**t! I locked myself out.

Luckily, a friendly neighbor was exiting as I arrived at my front door so I gained entrance to my building. No problem, I thought, I’ve broken into my own apartment before with a credit card (actually a library card, even though it took a while). Thirty frustrated minutes later, I called up the French man to see if he’d be gallant enough to rescue me for the night, until I could get to my property management company for a key in the morning. No such luck. Okay… no shining knight to the rescue! What next? I knocked on my neighbors door and asked if I could climb through their window onto the fire escape, just in case I had left the anti-theft snib on my kitchen window undone. No such luck…

Downstairs, I knocked on my building manager’s door. Naturally, he doesn’t have keys to the apartments… What to do? After much discussion and comparison of his kitchen window versus mine, he handed me a small hammer. “You have to break the glass,” he said. “Break the glass?” “That’s what I did when I was locked out,” and he showed me the small empty pane to prove it. Okay! If the building manager said it was the thing to do… Up the stairs I went to again knock on my neighbor’s door. Wielding the hammer, I told them my plan. “Perry told you to do that?” Yep!

So there I was totally exhausted, climbing out their window onto the fire escape to break and enter my own apartment!

I tell you, you don’t have to look far to find true drama☺ But just to show you what goes down on set and you will soon see on the big screen, here's a couple of shots from our Saturday shoot... I'll leave you to fill in the blanks on what really happens in the movie...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Northern Italy in October...

While I'm on the subject of James Dalessandro, I thought I'd mention that he also speaks fluent Italian, is a wine connoisseur, gourmet chef, Italian opera and history buff.

Who, then, to better guide and entertain you as you tour Italy’s stunning landscapes from Cinque Terre on the Ligurian Riviera, to the historic cities of Siena and Florence in Tuscany, and beautiful Lake Maggiore in the north?

The trip is in early October so there's still time to make your reservation and see Italy after the tourons have left and while the weather is still beautiful.

Full details http://www.1906earthquake.com/italy2007/index.html


"James Dalessandro is one of the 4 or 5 best screenwriting teachers in the world."
-- Lew Hunter, 3 time Emmy nominee, Dean, UCLA Grad program.

And it's not only Lew Hunter's opinion, but mine too. James has four books published, 20 feature film and television scripts, optioned and a best selling novel and screenplay 1906 currently in production at Warner Brothers.

Over nine Tuesday evenings, he covers everything from structure to dialogue, character development, scene study, pitching and selling, in the Bay Area's longest running screenwriting class. Alums have won major film festival awards, prestigious contests, and produced successful films.

The class kicks off on July 24th at San Francisco's Fort Mason Center.

It's fun, fast paced and inspiring; and at $345 for nine weeks... affordable. But don't take my word for it, email or call James at RIMBAUD40@aol.com or call 415 699-5561.

You can also read more at www.1906earthquake.com/screenwriting.html

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Happy F**king Fourth!

Though not technically fireworks, it is a light show in the sky... in a place that I will always consider heaven... where I had my own independence day (in a spiritual kinda' way)!