Sunday, February 10, 2008

What A Week! from Tristan

Well, it's been what I can only describe as a pretty hell-acious week. Filming kicked off last Friday, and went very smoothly. We shot at a studio where I have worked before, and all the performers showed up and gave me great scenes. Saturday was a super long day. It was a workshop day where we shoot with extras, a script, a teleprompter, demonstrations, etc. and no matter how I try to be uber-efficient, it ends up being a long day. We shot at an absolutely spectacular house in Bel Air. It's on the market for $4.7 million. Sunday was no shooting, but I was working frantically to finish the rest of my scripts.

Monday we arrived at a new house in Encino where the owner left the door open and a note. I love those houses! We brought Jordan with us and our friend and production assistant Emily was going to take her to her radiation appointment. My camera guys arrived and we were headed upstairs to look at a couch I wanted moved. I bent down and picked up Jordan to bring her with us, and I felt my back go out. I have chronic lower back problems, so it wasn't a surprise. But as the hours went by, the pain got worse and worse. I literally could not stand up or walk. I could lay flat on my back or sit propped up in a chair. It made my day twice as hard because usually I am flying around the set, talking to my crew, moving pillows, showing my cast what I want, etc. I couldn't lift my binder or move. I took half a Vicoden and it did nothing. Absolutely nothing. Luckily, I had amazing performers that day (several of whom are friends, too) and they all rocked it out. After eight hours on set, we wrapped and I went straight to a clinic in the Valley where all the porn stars go. The nurse was extremely rude and was convinced that I was there to score pain pills. But the doctor was nice, gave me a shot of a heavy-duty anti-inflammatory and a prescription for a muscle relaxer. I went home, got in bed at 7:30 with the heating pad and fell asleep.

I woke up the next morning and actually could walk. That's improvement. Although I did not want to be sleepy or loopy on set, I had to take another muscle relaxer because I was still in a lot of pain. We shot at the same house where we shot Chemistry #1, a house owned by cool swingers. The first scene was awesome. There was some drama after the second scene, but I made it through the day. Monday, I shot Derrick Pierce and he gave me the number of his acupuncturist, so I made an appointment for Wednesday. I was there for two hours, and afterwards felt a lot better.

Thursday was supposed to be a short day, like 4 hours, all we had to do was shoot me talking to the camera. As we drove to the location, a house in Eagle Rock, it became clear that we should have scouted this one before we booked it. We drove up several steep hills and a curvy dirt road and I knew immediately: my lighting guy is not going to be able to get his truck here. He had to park the truck down the hill, and my D.P. drove his (smaller truck) down, loaded it up, and drove up to the house. Then the choice was to schlep all the heavy equipment down 45 steep stairs or up 40 steep stairs on the other side of the house. What a nightmare! As soon as we got there, I heard lots of noise. A bunch of different dogs in the neighborhood barking their brains out. Chainsaws buzzing at multiple locations. Good times! Inside, the house was so tiny it was cramped. The owner left her brother in charge. He walked up to me and said, "Hey, the last time I was on a movie set, there was an amazing spread of food. When does the catering truck get here?" Um, right. We had a box of coffee and a bag of bagels. And not enough for him.

We set up the lights and attempted to begin filming. I could only get through like 90 seconds of script before the pack of dogs began barking, the chainsaws buzzed, or a helicopter -- yes, a helicopter -- hovered right over the house. Seriously. This is not a piece that can have lots of cuts, it is meant to be one long cut. So I have no idea how I/my editor is going to fix it. We managed to wrap by 3 pm, and I called my location guy and demanded a refund since I had paid for 10 hours (usually there is a minimum no matter how early you leave) and the location SUCKED. We then drove more than an hour to pick up Jordan at the vet. We scooped her up and got back in the car for another hour drive home to Pasadena. I reclined the front seat with the baby in my lap and promptly fell asleep. About ten minutes before we got home, Colten's phone rang and his voice sounded weird. I sat up as he was hanging up. His grandmother had a stroke. Yikes. We got home, he got into his mom's car and off they drove to Orange County. I crashed with Jordan.

Jordan enjoys some sun Saturday morning.

I woke up Friday morning and took Jordan in for her treatment. I was supposed to finish editing The Expert Guide to the G-spot a week ago, so I brought the disk with the rough cut on it so I could work on it while I waited. I slid the disk into my laptop and the DVD/CD drive started making this really, really loud horrible sound. Great. Just great! It couldn't read the disk. I worked on some other stuff until Jordan came out. Then I got lost trying to find the entrance to the 10 West. I finally got on the 405, which was its usual parking lot and headed for Universal City. I had to go to the Vivid office in order to record voiceovers for the G-spot movie. Since Colten was still in Orange County, I had Jordan with me and couldn't take her home first. I put her in her airplane bag and snuck her into the offices (the head honcho does not allow dogs in the office). I went upstairs to record my VOs and explain to the head editor why I had not finished my final cut. He set me up on a computer and I watched the rest and made some notes. My back was hurting since I had to carry the pup around all day, which I should not have been doing. Oh, and I didn't even tell you about the dog poop on my shirt!

It's Saturday and Jordan is officially wearing diapers since her butt has been leaking these past few days (see photo...of the diapers). Probably from daily anesthesia. Of course, she manages to make them look ultra cute.

We're headed to Orange County for the weekend. Grandma has bounced back quite a bit from her stroke and is coming home from the hospital!


Betty said...

Oy vey! Sounds like a crazy, hellacious couple of days.

Jordan looks crazy cute in her diapers. I know weird. But hey, I'm weird.

Hope your back feels better and that Colten's grandma will be okay.

Kate said...

Betty beat me to it: OY VEY! What a week! Is your back better? I hope Colten's grandmother is okay. My love to you both- I am pulling for you.


drgnfleye said...

What an astonishing week. All of you went through intense trials and KEPT ON GOING! Incredible.

Lin said...

What an absolutely horrible time. Someone should have shot that Murphy character before he finished his postulates. I'm glad she's bouncing back from the stroke so quickly.