Tales From the Bottom of the Film Business

Monday, November 23, 2009

yes, from actual conversations

#1: Why you should never talk with prop people
about dental hygiene, or
Why we're glad that all set conversations must come to an end before too long

Prop guy: You ever use that shit?
Me: What, fluoride rinse?
Prop guy: Yeah.
Me: Sure, sometimes. My dentist says I have a lot of tartar build-up.
Prop guy: You know what's wrong with fluoride don't you? Causes cancer.
Me: No...
Prop guy: Swear to god. You know how they say 4 out 5 dentists recommend it? Well those fifth dentists they know -- that's why there's this huge split in the ADA. It's very controversial.
Me: But you don't swallow it.
Prop guy: Doesn't matter, goes right in under your tongue. And you see all this silver here? (shows me his fillings)
Me: Uh huh.
Prop guy: I'm getting it all taken out because you know what they make that out of? Mercury.
Me: That's not --
First AD: Can we see the hero bottle please!
Prop guy: Excuse me.

#2: Why you should never get into party conversations with certain actors about anything
Actress: I like it here. I was here the other night having a lovely conversation with Noah Wylie --
Writer guy: Oh, why were you here the other night?
Actress: There was this event I was invited to. Well, it wasn't an invitation thing but I was on this list of people who were allowed to come. Anyway, I should spend more time here, it's right around the block from where I live --
Me: I thought you live on the East River. We're on Park Avenue.
Actress: Yes, just a few blocks away. Anyway it's very friendly here, I just said, Oh, there's Noah Wylie, and we had such a nice chat. So, you write screenplays?
Writer guy: I've co-written one, this one I worked on for --
Actress: Oh, do you know that producer, the one who produced, oh what was that movie, the one with Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman, when they get divorced --
Me: Kramer vs. Kramer.
Actress: Yes. Do you know him?
Writer guy: No, I don't know him personally.
Actress: But you know, you know who I'm talking about?
Writer guy: Um, yes.
Actress: Well, his son's a very good friend of mine!
Writer guy: Oh.
Actress: Anyway, I just need a good supporting role, one that I can sink my teeth into. Today I'm so tired because I was shooting a film.
Me: Oh, really? Today?
Actress: No, yesterday, but you know, it's just so exhausting. It was a short film, with just a wonderful script. We were shooting out in Princeton, New Jersey and it was so lovely out there. Although the man who was directing was this history of film teacher who I don't think had ever directed anything, so I was giving him all these ideas. Oh, this is a good story: we were shooting this scene where we were on this date and he shakes my hand and says I had a wonderful time and then after I leave he puts his wedding ring back on. So he dropped his wedding ring and we could not find it.
Me: Who are we talking about the director? He was using his own ring?
Actress: I'm telling the story.
Me: Sorry.
Actress: He was just like, "Oh well, it's gone." So we couldn't shoot. So I called my husband and said what should I do, should I come home? And he said no, you go back and you find that ring. And so I went back and combed every inch of the grass until I found it!
Writer guy: Wow.
Actress: And then shooting the next day was so wonderful because he was so warm and happy and relaxed.
Me: The director.
Actress: The actor.
Me: Who was using his own ring --
Actress: Yes. But he didn't seem very upset that he lost it. I think maybe he's really tired with his marriage, you know he has two kids, I mean we just had this wonderful chemistry, and I was thinking...I don't really want to know of course --
Me: Maybe he was just, you know, acting. Ha ha.
Actress: Anyway, I should give you my card, just in case anything comes up. I just really need a good supporting role…

#3: Why indie film directors should not introduce their films after having had a few drinks
Director: I want to thank you all for coming. You know, yesterday I was trying to come up with some remarks, and I started doodling. And I started doodling my producer's face. And then I started stabbing it. So I said, This isn't going to work, ha ha, so I figured I'd just come up with something on the spot. Anyway, I'm going to apologize because occasionally you're going to see these words on the screen, "This film property of, etc etc, any unauthorized screening of this film will be blah blah blah." I guess they were worried that we would run off and try and steal the film -- which we almost did, ha ha. But we figured we'd have to let everyone know we canceled the screening, that would have been a pain, ha ha…Anyway, we're so glad you could come today to see the film. I'm pretty happy with this version of the film. Although it's not my version. There is a director's cut, which is better than this version. And there are some things that I wanted to get that we were never able to film, because we ran out of money for the re-shoots, or my producer wouldn't let us shoot them because she didn't think they were necessary. But you can't have everything I guess, ha ha…Anyway, I hope you enjoy the film. I'll be outside.


Blogger miconian said...

"I hope you enjoy the film. I'll be outside." That's brilliant.

I saw a Richard Fleischer (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Soylent Green) retrospective about ten years ago, with the director in attendance. They showed Mandingo, which is about master/slave sex in the antebellum South. Fleischer introduced the film, said some nice things about the cast and crew, and then explained that he would not be watching it with us. Apparently, the last time he attended a screening (decades earlier), the audience had been horrified, and he had felt physically threatened. He said goodbye, and then was out of the auditorium before the lights went down, which was impressive for a man of his age. Too bad, because the audience in that case, I think, saw it as more of a quirky relic than something to get worked up about.

1:10 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home