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Right On Time

Antoher look at the underworld of filmmaking.

On the way home from filling up my girlfriend’s gas tank, I found that one of the tires was impaled with a bolt of some kind.  This seemed fittingly ironic, since the entire production of the film we’d been working on had been wrought with unexpected pitfalls, constant obstacles that we, mere novices in filmmaking, had no choice but to triumph.


Now this latest impediment; we had only a couple hours to get Bob Freville (the film’s director/writer/producer) and Professor Tom Walsh (cameraman) to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in order to catch their flight back to Long Island, New York.  My car was suffering from a bunk water pump and a busted radiator hose, and simply could not make the trek from Kent to Cleveland...but it could make it to my father’s house, whereas the bolt in my girlfriend’s car could pop out at any time, destroying all hope of making the flight.  So, we unpacked her car, loaded everything into mine, and dashed over to Brady Lake, where we then transferred everything to my father’s Jeep and took off.


We now had less than two hours before their plane took off.  Reasonably, it takes about an hour to reach the airport, assuming you hit no traffic or stops on the way.  And then there’s all the checking in, security, etc. one has to go through in order to board the plane, and they usually start boarding at least 30 minutes before takeoff.


In other words, there was no reasonable way to make it.  But I refused to accept this, for not only would it tarnish my record of never missing a plane, but in light of all we had gone through filming this epic of ours, I simply was not willing to be easily defeated.


The film is called Of Bitches & Hounds.  Freville’s magnificent vision of domestic dependence, independence, turmoil, and overall take on relationships sounded great on paper, and after reading his script I agreed to be a part of it, despite my reluctance to act.  I would share the limelight with Melissa King, and the majority of the film would be shot in our apartment on East Summit Street.


We started filming in May, 2004, but after 10 days of constant shooting and deterioration of nerves all around, we all began to realize the true extent of our inexperience.  Nevertheless, we decided to reconvene, and in August Freville returned to Ohio, along with Walsh, and a determination to finish what we had begun.


Chances are, this will be a short film, and therefore it might seem ludicrous to spend all the time, money, and energy that we did.  After all, the most cash we can expect in return is a couple hundred dollars, should someone like the Independent Film Channel (IFC) buy the film to air.  Other than that, this will amount to little more than a calling card- but truth be told, that is what we’re aiming for.  Both Freville and I harbor strong passions to make a living in the world of Cinema, and short films are a great start.  People like George Lucas, David Lynch, and John Carpenter got their launch this way, making a short film, which then was somehow viewed by the Powers That Be, who in turn invited the artists to work on bigger projects.


As of now, though, only time will tell the result of our labor.  We finished shooting everything in August, and now Freville is back in New York, getting the movie edited together, in hopes that we’ll have it finished before the Fall of 2005 sets in.


All these things were on our minds as we shot out of my father’s garage in his Jeep.  The sky had begun to drop rain, but I didn’t let that get in the way of my determination.  The Jeep handles remarkably in weather like this, and thus I made no hesitation to push it to the limit.  As Freville and Walsh braced themselves, eyes wide, I laughed as I realized how truly fitting this was.  Not just because it was another hurdle for us to jump, but also because it mirrored a scene from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a movie dear to all three of us.  I was piloting a cherry red vehicle with master precision, at top speed, on our way to the airport, and trying to reassure them that “I’ve never missed a plane yet.”


And we made it, right on time.


©Jake McGee

Wednesday, February 16, 2005





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