We've taken to calling the Okanagan portion of the shoot 'K-Town' which is a bit of a misnomer. We are shooting in Kelowna — which has a store called 'K-Town Souvenirs', so I suppose Kelowna is K-Town. But in fact we are shooting more in Summerland (home of the late — and arguably first great — Canadian playwright, George Ryga) than anywhere else.
Craig has left for K-Town this evening. I am left here. My 'to-do' list is by now very short and can be summed up by the single word 'pack.' Saying that all I have left to do is 'pack' is a bit specious though. What I have to do is pack a fully ordinanced army and get them to K-Town by Saturday.
Sleep? Whatever. I remember what sleep tastes like. It IS something that you taste… right?
I soldier on.
I don't know who it was who first said something to the effect of ‘commit to your shooting date and all the problems will solve themselves.' I should point out that anyone who can't make that claim is a failed independent film-maker and has no credibility to take seriously. So far we've had a lot of luck in the 'problems will solve themselves' department. Especially in the past three days. A lot of ulcer-makers have in fact solved themselves.
For example, 45 minutes after our third (yes, THIRD) special props builder who was building the 'Ness-Sled' called to bail on me, my upstairs neighbour — entirely unaware of my plight — knocked on my door to tell me about a friend of his who he works with who… do I even have to finish this sentence?
The list goes on. And I think a lot of that has to do with the act of soldiering on, not caring about the crap that comes your way.
Late last week I was on the phone with Craig — we must talk more than he and his wife have this month — and was in the middle of explaining some situation or another to him (it's truly irrelevant what). As I was talking, a squirrel was walking along the fence in front of the office (oh, how I long for the day when I can call it an 'apartment'… 'MY apartment' again) when suddenly out of the blue, swooped a bird. And the damned thing shit-bombed the squirrel! Dead on, too! The squirrel kept on walking.
Whatever sentence I was in the middle of saying was immediately high-jacked by the exclamation "A bird just shit on a squirrel!"
How unlikely is it that a bird would try that, let alone actually hit? And the squirrel just kept on going along the fence.
Craig suggested that that should be our motto: "A bird shit on a squirrel." No matter how bizarre or unlikely the mishap, keep soldiering on, just like that squirrel.
And it seems as though there is nothing left that can stop us.
Well, there IS the union thing again.
"Again?", you ask, "What ‘Union thing’?"
Well, we didn't talk about it before for any number of political reasons. But it's now too late for it to be an issue. Last Summer when we postponed, it wasn't quite as our official story has been, that “the forest fires in the US blew too much smoke into the Okanagan”; which they did, but we COULD have shot through that, as unpleasant as it would have been. It was the actors’ union. OUR union. They refused to let us make the movie. I'm not going to get into it in detail. Suffice to say that with less than two weeks to go, they disallowed our low-budget waiver. Our waiver which clearly met all the stated stipulations of the low-budget program.
Over the past months they provided us a new option - a new option which we are the pilot project for. The MIP - Member Initiated Production. We've done our best to help them identify the issues with it, and again we've met the requirements… which was not easy, as they several times told us one thing, then turned around and told us that they had made a mistake and that the 'other thing' was the case. One of these cost us nearly two weeks… ending only earlier this week! The other was solved in a day… ALSO this week.
I may elaborate later, but I've got an army to move.
For the record, the union requires that you submit TWO weeks in advance. We submitted in advance three weeks to the day.
We shoot on Monday. Five days away from my writing this. They still haven't said 'yes.' And when they do, we still have to make offers to our cast's agents… uh, WHEN am I doing THAT? Remember I have to muster the army?! Craig is already in K-Town with David.
The fact is, we've committed far too many resources to this project already; resources we can't get back. And by now, all our Union actors are producers of the project. If the Union happened to say 'no' right now, do you think there is a labour court in the country that would agree with them and say "You can't be in this film THAT YOU ARE PRODUCING"?! I doubt it.
But let's say that anywhere between tomorrow morning and Monday when cameras roll and no-one is here in 'Provost Pictures’ Office' to take the call, that the Union calls and says "Sorry!" Not that this is how they did it last time; last time they left voice mail just as they closed their office for a long-weekend, the cowards!
It just doesn't matter what kind of shit bomb they dump on us, we're going to keep walking along that fence.
In any case, it's fucking asinine that we've now TWO business days before the shoot and we haven't heard from them.