Not long ago, in a horrible lapse of judgment, I was charged with being director for a series of "high profile" movies, or at least that's what I tell all the waitresses at Starbucks. Haha, just kidding; obviously Big Time directors like myself and Martin Scorsese (or "Marty the Scorz" as I chummily call him) send interns or "runners" to Starbucks with messages to tell waitresses that we're doing Big Time high profile movies in their area so they can fawn over us appropriately.
I was approached, rather awkwardly, by a superior who was gauging my ability to do the task.
"You've directed before," she said in a way that wasn't really posed as a question, so I didn't know if I was being asked or this was some Total Recall situation where I was about to be implanted with memories.
"Of course," I replied, tentatively. "Plenty. Ummostly smaller films to build up my cred in the biz."
Note: using words like "cred" and "biz" usually lets people know you're Big Time using them both in the same sentence and people automatically assume you've won several Oscars.
I mean, sure, it was a total lie and everything, but I was taught you always say, "Yes, and" when asked a question. Now that I think about it, that may have been an improv class.
Internally, I took offense to the implication I hadn't directed before, but shrugged it off; obviously she thought of me more as a leading man than director and, really, it's tough to blame her for that. Plus, I've been in the presence of a great director the last several years my wife who has directed me in many classic productions, such as:
"Proper Dishwasher Loading"
"Why Don't You Pull Down The Bed Covers At Night For Me It's Because You Don't Love Me"
"No, The Ramekins Go On The Bottom Now"
"Don't Talk To Me Right Now"
"Did You Just Tell My Grandmother You Hunt Zombies?"
"You Fold Things Weird"
"Just Step Away, I'll Load The Dishwasher"
I arrived on set and immediately found out I wasn't provided a luxury trailer, or a trailer of any kind. Apparently it was going to be "One Of Those" shoots as we say in the 'Biz. Probably an Indie flick, I thought, which is totally a 'Biz term. I'm pretty sure it has something to do with Indian people. Or Indiana Jones. Either way I was going to wear a fedora, so it didn't really matter.
I quickly discovered that craft services are not "Kraft services" and that the snacks for everyone aren't simply an assortment of Kraft singles cut into the shapes of famous Hollywood actors.
I also learned that people don't just do what you think they need to do without specific instructions.
Thank God I picked up that megaphone.
Some kids on skateboards came over.
"What are you doing?" one asked.
"Have you ever heard of Jurassic Park?" I asked.
Their eyes widened.
"I've said too much," I replied, before walking off, leaving them to wonder when the special effects truck would arrive with the giant T-rex.
I decided to establish myself early and began making squares and rectangles with my hands a lot so people understood how adept a filmmaker I was. Lots of quick hand movements, which is pretty much the exact opposite of what you want to do when cornered by a crime fighting dog that doesn't care about the rules. "Barking Out Justice" is my next project, a film starring Adam Sandler and a border collie.
I mean, sure, the shoot was a product video but I wanted to add a creative flair to it.
"What are you doing?" the stage manager asked while I was on one knee totally squaring the heck out of some trees.
"Directoring," I replied without looking up.
"OK, but we're shooting over there," he said, pointing in the opposite direction.
"Obviously," I replied. "I was just checkingumthe light. There's good light over here, because of the position of those clouds, you know, in relation to the sun?"
He stared at me, obviously marveling at my knowledge.
"Because the sun is what makes the light."
I quickly made my way over to the snack table. There I met one of the producers. I decided what better way to bring up some of my good ideas.
"What if the extras holding up the product were DEAD THE ENTIRE TIME?!" I proposed before introducing myself.
"Umwho are you?" he asked.
I dashed to my car and pulled out the director chair I purchased, sat down then put on my hat that said "Director."
"Oh God," he said, walking away in awe.
This was going great.
Kelly Van De Walle is the senior creative & marketing writer for Briscoe14 Communications (www.briscoe14.com). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via note left on his star on the Walk of Fame (likely to be added next month). Follow Kelly on Twitter @pancake_bunny for movie tips!