Nut Bucket Films

My short filmmaking BIO…Part 1

In Uncategorized on February 5, 2011 at 11:47 am

 

This headshot has to be from 2006 or earlier...Greg Crowder photography

 

Part 1:  The Inspiration

Sitting in an acting class at the “Kahnstitute” sometime early in 2006 is where this crazy idea came from.  The “Kahnstitute” is what we called the acting studio I studied at.  Lesly Kahn is the creator of the studio and everyone and their mother has studied there at some point in their newbie acting career.  One of my classmates at the time, Kristen Alcala, had her father, Felix, come in and speak to the class one day.  I guess from what I can remember he was coming in as a mentor or someone who had been around the block, come up the tough way, and had to work hard to get where he was at.  He was going to share some trials and tribulations with us.  Teach us something, hopefully.

Felix is a very established Director with a very nice resume.  One that I would like to have someday.  Someday soon.  He had a lot of stories to share with us.  I remember how he said he worked at one of the main studios as some low-end assistant or something, but in his off time and during breaks he would go to the archive department and the “head” over there would let him read scripts and watch old footage.  Or something like that.  I was drinking a lot back then so memory gets foggy from time to time.  The important part of his visit to class or the part that really grabbed me was when he was explaining where film and TV were headed.  How it was so cheap and easy these days to make your own stuff.  How the digital era had arrived and tools to make stuff was so much cheaper and more available.  How we should just go out and shoot our own stuff.  I was like, “Whoa!, BIG IDEA, light turns on!”  I was excited.  Let’s pave our own way as actors.  Let’s show everyone how good we are ourselves.  We don’t need to wait to be cast in a movie or a TV show by some lame-ass casting director who barely calls us “nobodies” into the room anyway.  So that’s when it hit me.  I am going make my own f#$%ing movie.  That was the idea at least.

My father is a writer.  He has had a life.  Lot’s to draw on I guess.  He is a very good writer.  He is a different kind of writer.  He writes kind of f#$%ed-up, or crooked, or dark, or mysterious.  Unique is also a good word.  I have a hard time understanding some of it.  Most of it actually.  Most of what I have read.  I was thinking, “Let me get Dad to write a script and then I can make it into a movie.”  I just wasn’t sure what to do next.  Over the next holiday I spent with him I sort of pleaded my case.  I think it was Thanksgiving in Louisville in 2005.  He agreed to do it, but with no guarantees.  That’s how he is though.  If he said, “Let’s see where it goes,” then that was good enough for me.  I figured once we get him started then it will finish by the power of the universe and everything else.

Over the next week I asked around to some of my fellow classmates, some older acquaintances, some friends, and some co-workers to see if they had any interested in the opportunity to make a movie.  Ya know, be part of something special, something bigger.  Now let me tell you that all these people I approached were all very different and unique.  They had to be.  Guys, girls, big, small, obnoxious, cute, hot, nerdy, all types.  I got my one pal that I knew with some camera experience, Justin Feldman, to come shoot this “idea” that I had.   I got these ten or so people together at the “Kahnsitute”.  Lesly let me use one of the acting studios to shoot it in.  I told everyone I invited to be prepared to tell the whole group their most embarrassing story.  I gave them a heads-up so they could think of something and then when they showed up we taped them telling the story.  One at a time we went through everyone.  Some of it was funny.  Some was painful.  My acting teacher at the time, I think it was Todd Stashwick, said that if someone tells something truly embarrassing, it shows their true character, their true colors.  You will see their mannerisms and their vulnerabilities and weaknesses and even their sense of humor, or lack of.  So everybody got taped telling their stories.  I remember Garrett talking about pissing himself in front of a cop.  I talked about shitting myself.  You get the idea.  it was not all toilet talk, that’s just all I remember.  Then we all went out on the town.  Still on camera being taped.  We tried to go bowling and got kicked out of the alley because of the camera.  We were at Lucky Strike and I guess they don’t like cameras. Freakin’ Hollywood.  We ended up at the Pig & Whistle They were cool and let us kick it on the on the patio for a couple of hours.  We all just talked and told stories and said whatever came to our minds for the next few hours.  All on tape.  All recorded.  I recently watched that footage.  I can’t believe the shit I told people.  I can’t believe some of the stuff my pal Keith said!  None of these people knew each other at the time either.  Crazy.

Lije and Rob at Pig & Whistle

I took all that footage we shot, watched it a bunch of times, and edited it into a nice little “best of the best”.  I was not an editor but I had a MacBook.  And MacBooks have iMovie, an editing program that is pretty easy to learn.  So over the next few days I put together the little movie from our night out.  I sent it to Dad to watch.  He watched it.  I was nervous.  I didn’t know what we were doing yet.  I waited for his call.  I remember he called me.  He told me to keep doing the same thing but just use Garrett, Kasey, Rob, and myself.  Forget about the rest.  Now the four people I just mentioned make a hell of a squad.  All sorts of types and styles and characters.  Great for a movie.  Sorry to the rest.  it was nothing personal.  It just didn’t fit the next plan.  This puts us at February 2006.  This is a good spot to stop.

Next week:

Part 2:  Get She Water

Thanks for reading,

always feel free to email me if you want to know more or if you think I can help you in anyway.

nutbucketfilms@gmail.com

Lije

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