Monday, February 22, 2010

Floor Model

I imagine I could add a few tarantulas lose on the floor and that would be something to watch. Don't we have that mechanical bug somewhere? It's dead. Oh. This might be a good time for a snake. Or something that crawls on the floor. I might just know who to call.

Haha! I had scheduled an hour to shoot a different video we had planned ahead of time. Switcheroo. Do it on the floor. Yeah. Un-rehearsed on the the floor until the camera started rolling. Woops. We are now 2 hours overtime. It doesn't help that I accidentally erased the first good take. Digital mishaps. By Take 9 or 10, the clapboard is broken again and the natural light has drastically changed.

Time to bring in the lamps. We need to hook up the wireless lav for the whisper moments. It's a hassle to rig up the regular mic. Unless we hang it from the ceiling. How 'bout the Edirol. Yeah. Off the floor. And mix it all together in post. You can be the floor model. I'm floored.

Slowing to Still
by Tammy Lin Foreman

Charlie, with your shaking hands
seems like no one understands
silently, we sat and you touched my face
your hands, so still, grazing me with grace


I have felt the will of providence
I have seen the turning of events
and I have burnt myself just ashes to the ground
and I sifted and I found, I found, I found...

that the things that burn slow
they are continuing to glow
and the things that took off fast and bright
well, they're nowhere in sight, nowhere in sight

and I am wondering if they'll ever know
that there is so much beauty in the slow (slow)
it calms your shaking hands so they are still
and I keep praying someday they will

'coz look at how they've numbered all of the days
ticking as they roll by still counting the ways
section all their time but they don't need none to breathe
Charlie, that is way I had to leave

'coz they're all running to meet their maker
running to meet their maker...

And I'm slowing to still, slowing to still,
to still...

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Letter to Tammy

No. I think you need to do this song and not the other one. Why?

Well. I think the song goes better with what I'm doing here, flipping recipe cards. What are you doing? You won't even let me read what you have!

Tammy, I say, I don't want you to read this until you see the video. This is my video Valentine's to you. Okay.

I don't tell Tammy that it's actually based on a letter I wrote her twelve years ago on Valentine's Day. The presentation was elaborate. There were sixteen heart-shaped pages inside a heart-shaped basket filled with pink confetti. What a romantic! *groan* And this museum artifact is just sitting here on my desk right now. It's hard to even believe it myself...

I pick up the basket to examine it while Tammy rehearses one of her songs. I sift through the heart-shaped notes and read through them. Suddenly, it hits me when I get to a page with a scribbled word at the bottom, awkward and out-of-place. It's a message from the past.

Just one word: video. It's a single word non-sequitur scribbled with a seemingly automatic hand at the bottom of the page. What? I have to use this somehow. That's the only way I can interpret it. Hmmm... Valentine's Day is really about writing. So maybe do the first hand-written Instant Video? That's how the brain train went choo choo!

So, instantly, I was there with the Sharpie inking the cards. This reminds me of Bob Dylan in Subterranean Homesick Blues with the cue cards in the alley way. I'm tired but I can do this. And only this. Tammy will score it live. I'll need to pan up to her playing at the end for the reveal. Ready? Let's do it in one take. What are you going to sing? Tammy, please. Just make it up. But not too many words, okay? Let's go!

My Heart
by Tammy Lin Foreman

My heart
is full of love for you
Don't you know
you're everything to me?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Song for Dark Highway

This ain't Hollywood-style Fake. No lipsyncing here. Tammy is live. Either she nails it or she doesn't. Just outside the camera's gaze, her hands are busy working overtime. She's using keyboard, guitar, and looper. And I'm right there with her with my right hand on the tripod and my left hand waving a work light in an arching swoosh over her face. It's Saturday night...Live!

We meet this way, after dinner, upstairs, we dare each other. I have no idea what I'm going to do. But when Tammy asks "What about you?" I say "I'm ready whenever you are." I bide my time. I think. Think. I keep working uncertainty into the process. And we're getting better and better at this all the time. Instant Videos every week: this is like ninja training.

Tammy again surprise attacks me with a new song. And it's in that element of surprise, that's where it happens. The surprise creates a spark; I see something flash by. I set off in the direction of the flash...

Yes. I can shoot this now, I say, but we have to go for a drive afterward. I want to shoot fresh road footage and we have to find a heart. Tammy is tentative. Hmmm. I try again. "C'mon. I'll take you to Country Style, I'll buy you a donut." She winces. I don't have time to explain that bad coffee and sugar is really what makes nighttime 2nd unit shoots so much fun.

The clapboard breaks after Take Five. Whoops. What are we gonna do now? Wait a minute! There was that toy clapboard we got from St. Vinny's that came from a McDonald's Happy Meal. Oh yeah! Still in its original plastic. It says "Makin' Movies - Clapboard with Chalk (Collect all 4 while supplies last)" I stare at the object for an extra minute. And smile.

Yes. After all, we're just Makin' Movies.

We have to go. It's a song for dark highway. It's appropriate to go for a midnight drive to find a heart. There must be one somewhere in Peterborough. Drive there. Wherever. Go. Where do we go? Go for the original Country Style idea. Maybe somewhere near there. We'll find...

There are no hearts in this city - it's heartless! And, we are running out of gas. At the gas station, I get out of the car to draw something on the dirty windshield.

85 mph
by Tammy Lin Foreman

Eight-five miles an hour
Speeding for you
Taking this car on the freeway
turning this wheel towards you
I'm thinkin' I may make it tomorrow
I'm hopin' I will make it today
'Coz all I know is I am on fire
And you are a like a monsoon rain

I'm comin' now
I'm comin' now
I need you

I'm comin' now
I'm comin' now
I need you

and I can see
the Holy Grail