Thursday, September 9, 2010

American IRA

The palm trees look like brachiasaurus necks!

I spent Friday through Tuesday of Labor Day Weekend in LA, shooting a short that I wrote titled "American IRA." The story is about an Irish immigrant who has recently become an American citizen. On his way to the park, he encounters several English immigrants, one of which refuses to sell him a donut when he realizes he's from Dublin. Convinced that he's the victim of racism and that the English are covertly retaking the colonies by infiltrating the population, our "hero" Steven decides to stop them by forming the American branch of the IRA, with the catch that he's the only member.

"Steven" and his Anarchist friend, "Philbert"

This film is a dark comedy, and so was production! Overall, the experience was great and I am happy that I flew out to help in any way that I could. However, the tension on the set was high because our producer/director is Dutch and had communication problems. Next to nothing is ever solved by losing one's temper, yet that's a lesson many young men don't learn until later in life than their twenties. As it was, there was frustration, shouting, substance abuse, and yes, a fistfight on set. Our team reached a pivotal breaking point, yet those of us less "involved" with the disagreements were able to keep the ball rolling and prove to our director that we could finish this.

So I'm happy to say that "American IRA" was completed and is in the can! Despite how uncomfortable I felt around the tension on set before and after the fight, I think the fact that we were all able to work together and pull ourselves up from rock bottom to finish the film to the best of our ability shows true strength of determination, character, and teamwork. None of us were being paid so sticking to the task at hand showed true grit. It also helped that by the end of the tense night and the following day, the fight and tension had become a joke that we could all laugh about. We all wish the camera had been rolling the whole time, for the behind the scenes would've made a better movie than the one we were shooting!

We're all just a little stressed

But with every bit of bad, there is also good, and we had plenty of wonderful moments full of laughter and success, and taken as a whole, the journey was a positive one. Aside from filming and watching my story come to life, I made some wonderful friendships, including the young lady I stayed with who I had never met until I arrived! She is wonderful and beautiful and I am so glad to call her a friend. Te quiero, Kiana!

Kiana and I are going nuts

I got to spend time in LA, Santa Monica, and Malibu, and while having breakfast at a cafe, I watched Cheryl Hines (who plays Larry David's wife in Curb Your Enthusiasm) dine with her daughter. Seeing celebrities going about their daily lives is strange, not because they are "normal," but because you are filled with a sense of recognition with no emotional connection, for you know the face and voice but have no compulsion to say hello because it isn't really someone you know. I find the situation fascinating.

Do these signs actually work?

Anyway, enough babble. On with the pictures and clips!


Sunset in Santa Monica

Fog in Santa Monica

Playground set

Napoleon the Amazing as "Horrible Teeth" (English stereotype). This man is destined for greatness. You can catch him currently on Disney's "The Suite Life on Deck"

Kiana steals a moment for fun

Napoleon's amazing, nefarious laugh = genius


Santa Monica Pier

Before riding the roller coaster on the pier with Kiana and her friend Alexis

Yum at Cafe Dana

So beautiful and quaint. I like Santa Monica.


Apartment set

Donut shop set

Napoleon's Amazing Walk

Prepping to shoot the first donut shop scene

A take of the scene in which our scummy hero, Steven, is refused a donut
(Warning: contains foul language)


Tracie -- Will do, that would be awesome!

the other Amanda -- Yes, she is an adorable savage. ;)

1 comment:

Tracie said...

So I was in the Dog Park last night, which by the way, is my favorite place, and I saw a Teyla dog. So Cute. It came up and jumped on my lap and started whining. Reminded me of your Puppy.

That movie looked like a lot of fun.

When's it coming to Sundance? Do I need to get Robert Redford on the phone? (No, I don't know him, I've seen him though)