(The Last Blunder is a humorous weekly serial detailing the making of a true independent filmmaking catastrophe. I hope all of you who read along find it entertaining and can relate to it to some degree. The names of the participants have been changed. Any comments, suggestions, compliments, or criticisms can be sent to damianATkaverasfilmDOTcom. Enjoy!)
The Last Blunder: Chapter 16 by Damian K. Lahey
We kicked off our last week of shooting out in the mountains for some tree house scene. Karen Hall I have to admit, did a real good job with it. I got us two free golf carts for the day from a place that supplied them for the golf course up the road. Carl and his son John Boy owned it. They were good, generous people. Since we were half way up a mountain and we had to park the equipment trucks at the bottom, I felt they would come in handy. They were going to be dropped off and waiting for the crew at call.
I spent the first half of the day at the office, listening to music and waiting on some film to be dropped off. Then I had to drive it out to set. It was nice getting caught up on e-mail correspondence as well as some accounting.
When I got to set, Biff was in a good mood. Why? Because one of the golf carts had broken down. Biff hated it whenever something I did worked for the production. So this made him feel good. He made fun of me, the golf cart, and John Boy all up and down the mountain. He wouldn’t let it go. The fact that one of the golf carts was working fine didn’t matter. There wasn’t one crew member he didn’t walk up to and joke around with about how one of the golf carts I got us for FREE didn’t work. This went on for three hours. Then, lunch arrived.
Lunch had been steadily going downhill for quite some time. Our overworked crew dreaded it. What they dreaded worse was Biff’s wrath if they bitched about it. Biff would loudly proclaim every meal’s culinary excellence and then dare anyone to complain about it. He would then be seconded by Balthazar Spankenstein, who was friends of the Greek caterers. It was sickening. On this particular day, they showed up with a number of trays of what their delivery lackey called “creamy chicken stew”. It looked disgusting and was exactly what everyone thought about their meals all along – it was put together from food that was going to be thrown out at the end of the day.
As Biff ceremoniously praised the meal, Sergio Savanti found a chicken bone in his food and refused to eat any more of it. Biff became incensed and asked every other crew member sitting around individually if they had found a bone. Everyone said no. Biff said it must’ve been a mistake and told Sergio to keep eating. He refused. Then, Curley Blonde’s locations assistant found a bone. Then, gaffer Terence Heart stood up and coughed up what he was eating onto the ground. Patricia Salami found an entire drum stick in her food. I announced I was going to make the call sheets and left and grabbed some Burger King. Things were deteriorating at a rapid pace. I knew I had to let the crew members know what was going on as soon as possible. The guilt was beginning to tear me apart.
When I got back to set, John Boy was there to pick up the golf carts. He was standing by Biff who was laughing at him and re-enacting how it had broke down. I could tell John Boy wanted to punch him in the face, but he said nothing. He put the broken wheel in the back and proceeded to hoist the cart up on one shoulder and slowly walk it down the mountain. Biff followed him all the way down, making fun of the golf cart, how I thought I’d done something great for the production, and how funny it was that it broke down and made me look stupid. Finally, John Boy had enough. He dropped the golf cart and turned to Biff, who backed up. He reminded Biff he was doing us a favor and that he and his ‘daddy’ would never do us a favor again. He told Biff he should be ashamed of himself for being a grown man and acting so inconsiderate and ungrateful. Then, he continued taking the golf cart down the mountain. Biff couldn’t believe it. He shook his head and walked back up the mountain to talk shit about John Boy. He was also pissed that he was picking up the golf carts before we finished shooting. Not only were they free and supposed to be in perfect condition, but Biff wanted them picked up at 3:00am when we were leaving. Biff told me to ask John Boy if he could leave the cart that worked and pick that one up at 3:00am or 4:00am as that would save us quite a bit of time carrying all the equipment back to the trucks. I told him I thought that was inappropriate after what had just happened. Biff shook his head and reminded me that I would never be a real producer. The way Biff saw it, John Boy owed US for the golf cart that had broken down. I just didn’t see the big picture. Biff told me he’d show me how it was done and stomped off down the mountain.
While Biff was working his magic, Morrison and my jack leg day playing roommate Phil Lately showed up to work with the girl he was sleeping with, Laura, and her four year old son. Laura was married, but would sneak out of her house early in the mornings with her son to bang Lately. She was real loud too. She would tell her son sternly not to say a word and wait in the kitchen while she and Lately noisily sucked and fucked. It was disgusting. But Lately, as long as he was successful with the ladies, felt it was okay for him to not work or pay rent on time. As I was thinking about what a piece of shit Lately was, Biff came storming up the mountain. He told me to take John Boy and his dad off our contact list and that in the future I needed to check with him before I made arrangements like that. What happened that day was an example of what happens when Biff Frank does not get final approval. Right…
(I want to thank everybody for reading and hope you continue to read as the misadventures of The Last Blunder continue next week...)