Monday, December 18, 2006

DAY FIVE

There’s been a minor tempest brewing over my Blog.

Apparently there have been phone calls and vaguely threatening faxes delivered to our producers regarding my “insulting” and “abusive” words. There was even a comment posted by "A Mother" calling me "evil"!!! (Perhaps she inadvertently left out the second half of her name?)

I of course am THRILLED! I feel like Truman Capote after his fall from New York High Society!! Who knew I would develop an actual READERSHIP in such a short space of time!?

But I guess I should’ve expected this. Having lived in the US for the past twenty years, one gets used to the idea of Free Speech. And since this is MY blog, it really only works if I am completely honest and say exactly what I think and how I feel.

And so far, it’s all been true. Trust me, you can’t make this crap up!

The weather has changed again, so we move back outside and try to shoot more of stupid scene 90. With the constantly shifting weather patterns and the sun moving in and out of clouds during every shot, the “big bike race” is going to look like it’s lasted for eight weeks across six different climate zones.

I have been watching Kim, my trusted cinematographer, struggle with everything from mutinous crew members to hopelessly inadequate equipment, and still he remains a calm, zen-like presence in the eye of this hurricane.


I, on the other hand, am ready to go postal.

On the way to set, I stopped my Third Assistant Director and asked for some “sides”, miniature script pages of the day’s scenes. He looked at me as if I’d sprouted a second head and said “Sides?”, clearly having no idea what I was talking about. Since one of the Third AD’s traditional jobs is to hand out said “sides”, it was once again apparent to me that this guy had absolutely no idea what he was doing.

I’d have fired him on the spot, except of course here in the cinematic equivalent of Goodfellas which is the Montreal Film Industry, he got the job because he’s a friend of the producers AND the First AD. I am afraid that if I so much as raise my voice to this ninny I’m going to end up with a horse’s head in my bed.

Which, given the hideous décor of my hotel room, might be an improvement.

We still don’t have Robert Wagner yet. The movie he’s finishing has been delayed by a day, so I am forced to stage my scenes in a piecemeal style, shoving the actors into one corner of the room and shooting just their parts of the dialog. This is tricky at best, and in with our time and budgetary constraints it’s even more of a challenge.

But once in awhile, magic happens.

We were doing a rehearsal of a scene where our Dennis awakes on Christmas morning and finds that indeed Santa Claus HAS brought him the bike he’s been dreaming of. It’s a simple little moment technically, and the crew is standing around watching it with vague disinterest…until Max, our Dennis, enters. He trots across the living room, touches the bike with awe, turns around to us all and with his angelic face glowing in the warm light says “He IS real! Santa IS real! He brought my bike!”

Just typing this chokes me up a bit...



Even though it was a FAKE moment, with a FAKE bike and a FAKE tree, there was a truth and honesty to Max that overwhelmed us all.

The whole crew stopped dead in their tracks, silent for a moment, as this little boy reminded us all of exactly why we’re making this movie. There was a hush around the room, and we all just looked at each other and grinned, and I know I saw more than a few damp eyes…

Of course the moment was shattered instantly by the bark of my First AD – “alright, let’s get to work!”

But I don’t think I will ever forget the look on that kid’s face.

18 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the mother was upset because you didn't book her kid. LOL. Great reading I look forward to it.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the mother was upset because he DID book her kid...

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey - we have free speech in Canada, too, thankyouverymuch (although, maybe it's not capitalized here).

6:38 PM  
Anonymous kim said...

I would certainly be very upset if he did book my child.....My question is What is this fool trying to prove? My guess is he is so full of himself he craves attention.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Susan Jones said...

Merry Christmas.

9:25 PM  
Blogger ron oliver said...

hey susan, thanks for the merry christmas. as for the "lady" before you, um...you asked "what is this fool trying to prove?"...well, nothing really. this is my online diary of the making of a low budget movie in montreal canada. if you don't like what I'm saying then DON'T READ IT, BITCH!!

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can certainly post whatever you want on your own blog spot, but producers like me can also read it and decide to NEVER use you again!

10:33 AM  
Blogger ron oliver said...

you're a canadian producer? Isn't that an oxymoron?

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

an anonymous canadian producer. hmm. how would telefilm make that check out, i wonder...

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shame on the insipid people and their negative comments to your blog. They remind me of aging prom queens who make snide remarks about how someone is dressed, while they themselves drag about toilet paper stuck on the bottom of their shoe.

My hat is off to you, Ron. You have my support and best wishes.

6:44 PM  
Anonymous Blainedrick said...

Hey Daddy,

It snowed in Maple Ridge before Christmas.

Does Prada make Goretex loafers?

- Cheers -

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous...dont worry about the negative comments, you probably are Ron"s friend or maybe Ron trying to fight all these bad comments. But its a reality that Ron had to adjust with for his future; now he realizes that the reason so many people are writing bad instead of good in his blog, is that he REALLY is the problem, awful in communication and INSULTS everybody he works with his twisted demonic jokes. If Ron with spend as much time talking to the problem as he does criticizing and laughing at it, he might actually become a B director. Go for it Ron you could do it

4:17 PM  
Blogger ron oliver said...

Actually I don't plan to adjust anything for my future; it's all gone along quite nicely until this bit of silliness. And although it would have been all very nice and good to "talk" to the problem, the truth is I left that up to the people who are supposed to take care of those things - that's not my job, baby. My job is to make the movie,

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes make the move and do your job is right...then we agree that you had no business shiting on people with your twisted jokes, communication vs destruction. Or like you say just put the movie in the can, you have no business trying to hurt people, at all. and you did plenty of that. As for your future, us Montreal people, as you pointed out know people, and even the people that worked with you in the past feel the same way. Your not a bad person but you have a bad habit that needs care, only at that point will you become what you want to really become; a solid director.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well said.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Sandra Montgomery said...

OMG. Ron, Ron, Ron. Do I have to be with you at all times to keep you in line? What on EARTH did you d0 to these people to get them so riled up? Could it be you played your iPod too loudly with music other than accordian polkas? Did you wear those dreadful lepoard slippers to set every day? How many times exactly DID the props department have to move that behemoth of a chair??? I mean, it must have been SOMETHING.

It can't have been your charm and wit. Otherwise it would mean that Montrealers [or whatever they are called] have no sense of humour or ability to laugh at themselves. What a sorry state indeed.

I LOVE you to bits and have been on the receiving end of much of your sarcastic, droll, rapier sharp wit. I would work with you again any time, anywhere. Well, except Montreal.

Big Hug!!

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please note the above person doesn't exist. Ron created her to try to salvage the mess he has made of this film. Ron when Montreal finishes with you, a better person and human being you will become.

12:07 PM  
Blogger ron oliver said...

nah, i'll always be a jerk. btw, we finished the movie two months ago, i'm just catching up on the blogging. the movie turned out great, everybodys loves it. almost as much as i loved montreal. And p.s., if Sandra finds out you don't think you exist, she will tear you a fresh butthole. I've seen it happen!

1:54 PM  

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