Saturday, April 21, 2007

Baldwin / Basinger & Baby

Okay, Ireland is NOT a baby. She's nearly a teenager.

My take - from what little I know - is as follows, and it seems to me that it ought to be reasonably apparent to anyone who has ever lived in a split family, and probably many others with the wit to think about it.

Did Alec Baldwin verbally abuse his daughter?

Yes. And she probably deserved it.

Does this make him a bad guy? Nope.

Is Kim Basinger turning her daughter against Baldwin? Probably.

Does this mean she's a bad person? Again no.

Is it any of our business? Not in the least.

Let's deal with these questions in order... except for the last one which I'll deal with first...

It's not our business. I shouldn't even be writing about it, but sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. Sorry Alec. Sorry Kim. Ireland, I am VERY sorry. The biggest issue in this whole thing is that you are put in a position where you have to deal with a normal part of growing up in a very public way. The tapes of your father should never have been made public. Whoever did that is the real criminal in all of this - I'm going to blame your Mother's lawyer, Neal Hersh. It was a tactic which deserves to blow up in the face of the perpetrator.

Did Alec Baldwin verbally abuse his daughter? Did she Deserve it? Does this make him a bad guy?
Yes. He did. Hands up everyone whose parents never said a hurtful thing to them...
If there are any hands up, it's either toddlers, people who never met their parents, or in a rare case a newly minted adult who grew up in the era where we treated children too well for their own good.
I'm not in favour of corporal punishment, but there has been a trend over the past few decades towards treating kids like fabrege eggs. Fuck, stop it! We aren't helping them any.
Yes, my parents said some things that hurt my tiny little feelings. I'm 37 years old now. I still love them both and have loved them since any specific incident where they might have said something unkind to me - or at least from thirty minutes after such things were said. Some of those things were more than I deserved at the time. Let's face it, children are willful little egomaniacs and if they aren't shown that actions have consequences and that other people's feelings are just as capable of being hurt as theirs they are being fostered into becoming a generation-army of sociopaths. In otherwords, an occassional heated verbal dressing-down is for their own good!
Whatever she did to hurt Alec's feelings is only nominally relevant. I know I tried my parent's patience. Kids do things - often just to see if they can get away with it. In this case the answer was 'no' and he gave her than message. Should he have waited to give her that message 'til he had cooled his jets a bit? Definitely. But no-one - not anybody - not Dr. Phil - not Gandhi - is flawless on that count. It's human nature. We get steamed and we speak sooner than we should. I've got a wheelbarrow full of stones here for anyone who still has the qualifications to make the inaugural toss.

Is Kim Basinger turning her daughter against Baldwin? Does this mean she's a bad person?
She probably is. That doesn't mean she knows she's doing it. It's ultimately doomed to fail too.
My parents both said things about the other when they separated that weren't very flattering - heck, they still do on occassion, but it's become less and less the case as time has passed. Was it a deliberate attempt to turn me against the other? No - they were just speaking out of pain. Did it work - not really. There were truisms spoken in each case. Things that I would have eventually put together on my own about each of my parent's personal short-comings. But ultimately I began to look upon those comments as being a greater personal liability than the things that they were speaking about were. And here's the thing - even armed with that knowledge, do you think I can (even three years after the split) keep myself from making the same mistake when speaking about Mia? No. I can't. Thank god we didn't have kids. I'd hate to have them be used as a tool in a pointless, but unstoppable, war of nearly dead emotions.

As usual, this comment on current events has become more about myself thant he event - and so it should be. Let these people be. Let Ireland be. Using a child as a pawn, while somewhat inevitable, is elevated to egregious when it becomes a public battle. Trying to vilify Alec Baldwin for acting as any average joe would when pressed hard enough is ridiculous. No doubt he didn't feel good about himself even before the infamous voicemail was heard by Ireland, let alone the public at large.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A LONG long weekend.

I'm still recovering from the past five days.

On Sunday night I drove up to Penticton with David, the producer of Beast of Bottomless Lake. We arrived at the Ranch after 11pm, and pretty much went to sleep.

The morning provided the sole lie-in of the weekend.
When we got up I got to have a bit of a boo around the ranch. It is our location production office in the Okanagan. Nice place. Though once we cram a dozen people in dorm-style, it's going to be a good thing that we have plenty of exterior room to escape each other in. Not that we'll be doing much more than sleep there, but still.

Over the day David and I prepped for the arrival of the others. I also got to watch the world men's curling final - Canada kicked ass.

We bought food (which I prepped for minimum maintenance over the next four days) and did a bit of organizing of space - both for accomodation and shooting.

Shari arrived around 4:30ish with her Grip, Thomas.

Last time Shari and I were up in the Okanagan we were doing some pretty unabashed flirting. We are now each variously attached. Or rather, she is. I am merely feeling overwhelmed by the time pressure of the project to the point of not being able to find the time for romance... though I feel good about a prospect who knows full well I'm heading her way as soon as the film is in the can.
We lightly addressed that and all was well. Though our friendly adversarial relationship continued through this week, just without the innuendo.

Craig arrived abound six-ish with Rob our camera op and Patrick (Location sound).

Between the early work David and I did, and Shari and Thomas did after they arrived, the set (the garage) was practically ready.

We sat down for dinner (I made pasta) and the Craig and Shari started planning the evening shoot. Gabe - an old friend of mine from university who lives in the Okanagan - was our actor for the evening. When he arrived we got him in costume and got to work. It took about three hours to shoot his scene.
It was fun and silly. It's one of two bits that are supposed to be poorly done re-creations. Such an odd thing deliberately making something badly. The trick is to not do anything to consciously make it bad. The trick is to stop yourself from doing the things that would make it good.

After a late night de-brief/production-meeting we went to bed.

Craig and I were sharing a room. We were both too excited to sleep. Add in a few well timed farts (oh the puerile humour) and we were up until dawn. Craig figured he got about 2 hours sleep. I figure I got less than one.

Easter Monday morning we were off to CATO to meet with students and to do some final auditions for the 'Young Paul'.

The turn out of student volunteers was disappointing. (Though we got a number of emails over the next few days.) The auditions were pretty clear cut. Twenty young men, only two really worked for us and even then, one of the two was clearly better suited than the other.

We then went and did a tech-scout of the boat we will be using for the shoot - it went really well. The skipper seems a great guy and seemed to like us. The boat itself is just the right level of functionality, space and just enough things that look like they need repair to give it real character.

We followed up with our biggest location - the Summerland Yacht Club. I was very impressed. It is totally as much as we could expect from a gratis locale.

Back home to the ranch for Barbecue. Mmmmm. Barbecue.

After another evening meeting it was time for an earlier bed.

An even earlier morning followed. We rushed to Kelowna to shoot a few scenes at Shelter Bay marina. It was great. Our 'Buck Rogers' arrived and we shot his main interview scene. Next we moved down to the docks to shoot some play-back footage of a reporter. Our actor, Dorothy Dalba was a bit nervous. Craig and I did what we could to loosen her up. Gradually we made our way towards what we needed. Before take 5 I told her that she was charming and delightful and that the news-item she was presenting was totally silly, and that when she was laughing at it it was sexy.
I got a lot of razzing for flirting with her, but she nailed the next take with a big smile on her face. In the last bit we had her do (which integrated 'Buck') I joked around about the flirting before take three - again she nailed it. I'm thinking it's a tactic that's going to be valuable, even if I do take some flak for it.

Clare & Lainie came down and watched some of the shooting. A few of us stopped at their place on the way back to the ranch and visited for a bit and collected the map that Clare painted for us and their investment in the film.

After a quick lunch we shot Chief Bigsky. Perry Williams nailed it in two takes. Craig was moved to tears. The shots look great.

That night we went out to a Mexican dinner and had another pow-wow including a longer meeting between Craig, David and I. We ran numbers about and looked at everything and despite being cranky as all hell, came out the other end with the promising outlook that we are within spitting distance of being able to pull this sucker off.

Wednesday morning Shari and Thomas (who I might add was awesome - too bad he's not going to be around for principal) headed out really early. Craig and Patrick and I headed back to Kelowna for a number of meetings and David and Rob hung back at the Ranch to clean up before heading back to Vancouver.

Craig and Patrick and I met with a caterer - a very nice lady named Lynn. We hope she comes through for us. We stopped by CATO again to say thanks. We nixed a connection with Rodney... who has been a bit hard to nail down anyhow.
We ran out to Bertram Park for a tech-scout. That was excellent. We met with the guy who will be custodian to us there and got really specific about where we're shooting each of our scenes there.

A few minor stops including lunch and we hit the road home.

I was really wiped out. My plan was to get home, relax and watch Game one of the Canucks playoffs and get to be early. I got in just after the game had started - only missed a little bit of the first period. Well, so much for my relax and go to bed early plan - the game became the sixth longest in NHL history. The Canucks won in the end, thank God. And Roberto Luongo not only won his first playoff game ever, but simultaneously got the record for the most shots a goalie has ever faced in a game ever - at 75.