Sometimes filmmaking is about just turning a camera on and letting a City speak for itself–Horiwood 2011
Every day I wake up in Hollywood… is always a blessing. I’ve been thinking more about writing a movie. I just can’t seem to get over the freakiness of every day living here, to even rise above it each day and create a script beyond occasional blogging and the surreality of every day life.
Today I was woken up from my dream of maybe making a movie by two Jehovah witnesses knocking on the door. “Who do you think you are, the Jacksons before they started in show biz?,” I said. ‘Poppa Jackson’ did not find me funny, but his daughter, 23, laughed so hard, it was worth making the comment. They feel that Egypt news has made people scared and perhaps people need spiritual guidance in these last days end times.
After shutting the door, I go back to thinking about the dream about making a movie. In the dream, I feel like I live on a film set in a movie called Once Upon a Hollywood Palm Tree. I am surrounded by hookers, hustlers, talented undiscovered hip hop rappers busting rhymes way better than what you hear on the radio. All around me are people who “cant’s stop talkin bout” The Kardashians, trans-gendered ‘artists,’ Orthodox Jews, Persian Muslims, drug dealers, single gay people protesting with placards for an equal slice of wedding cake, a handful of Hollywood Hills dwelling sex addicts daily checking the stock market like a religion, or war veterans holding cups of tea in The Valley and signs that say “jobs not war.” Then there’s the coked out Hollywood industry people speeding their tits off talking their big mouthed trash (some real, some not). I’m surrounded by arrogant wannabe film directors (every sentence they say has the word ’power’ or ‘powerful’ in it), or gorgeous actors doubling as models or go-go dancers while hoping for that break and being put through the mill to get it. It’s not fair to see. In the dream, I am surrounded by control freak muscle culture in that Schwarzenneger kinda way, armies and armies of studio workers or spacey spiritual guru types transcending real issues, or very old Russians walking on canes each day up the street in pairs talking in Russian, or producers who lie and steal your TV show pilots literally too – without delivery on TV show investment funds, as they’d promised as their part of the deal. Such people set you back years. They are thieves of the young and not so-young’s creativity and time. Magically, using your pilot to do it with their new name as ‘producer’ now on it, they get jobs in “London.” Lol! All these reasons is why anyone who knows or lives in Hollywood, loves Los Angeles. It’s just L.A.
The comedic characters are the sweet, ‘normal’ people. Interludes of a sense of home. Like couples just starting families or people with kids. Their normality makes them stars in my dream about making a film. Sweet friends also act as angel heroes, slaying villains lies and false promises of smugness, daily. If you have sweet friends in your L.A dream, you’re a lucky one.
Oh, every now and again, in the dream, you bump into a celebrity. They’re always so thankful to meet a Kiwi. Sanity.
In the middle of all this, a Maori guy, wonders what he’s doing on this film set, wonders what the dream means other than being a walking living tourism billboard of New Zealand culture saying repeatedly like a record on repeat spin “visit paradise… oh and make sure you meet some real Maori-Kiwis while you’re there. We’re the best!” He is a caricature, created for people who want adventure, but sometimes are too scared to travel. It’s much easier to voyeur through someone else’s eyes. That’s the culture in this dream. A meeting with a Kiwi means that they probably will go to New Zealand in the dream on the movie set, of the dream.
Once Upon a Palm Tree‘s script reads like a heartbreak hotel baptism of fire, a fast paced story of fleeting love, dodging death’s sword, or guns (same thing), going with the roller coaster highs and lows along with my fellow recession-obsessed people. The script reveals lusts and twisted passions set against a back drop of George W. Bush outrage, Obama becoming the 1st US President of color in history, the plummeting tragedy of the global economic recession’s ‘introduction to’ American life and culture, the trainwrecks of that event as the wealthy had to get a new I-D, right up to Egypt’s current Mid-East unrest amidst stock market crashes and oil and steel’s value sky rocketing in a single week of political economic altering (or engineering) via Egypt’s billionaire puppet President Hosni Mubarak.
Hosni’s mug does appear briefly on a TV screen cut-a-way in the dream, straight after Anderson Cooper‘s and before Katie Couric‘s mugs. It’s a quick 1.2.3 montaged sequence, over in 10 seconds in the film of the dream. Katie’s mug gets a whole four seconds of silver screen time.
Against a backdrop of that kind of environment, Once Upon A Hollywood Palm Tree could also be the best of 1000 back-to-back 45 second vignettes strung together like a documentary film of meeting 1000 people. (Only the most entertaining one’s would make the cut – but the director’s cut would sell more copies than the actual film). Each vignette is a scene featuring a beginning, middle and end – with a rhetoric of “Hear a Promise, The Promise is revealed to be a Lie, Maori Guy’s French-word peppered, comical reactions to the Lies – often told in tee shirts slogans cut-a-aways” forming these vignette’s 1.2.3 beatnik narrative. The film in the dream has a lot of tee shirts in it helping the pace of the film move Cosmopolitan city-quick.
As the best vignettes of the film in the dream would make up 45 minutes of footage, creating work for 1000 ‘new face’ actors, I’d probably win a Robert Altman Award for creating more jobs than many politicians promises to create employment (or purpose) with that one film. The rest of the 45 minutes of the film in the dream would thread together ‘my’ real Hollywood story, between all of the bull sh*t I’ve heard from losers.
Already the movie is looking R rated, not remotely like a Flight of the Concords funny-lite TV series, or hobbit-similar movie at all. In the dream, I cast a 17 year-old to play ‘me.’ I want them to be Jewish with a yamulke on their head, but Maori actors are so few in Hollywood, where Jewish actors are hegemonically dominant within the Hollywood actors system, so in the dream it feels right to cast a Maori teen in the lead.
In the dream, I ponder if perhaps Once Upon A Hollywood Palm Tree can go straight into the trash can, or not, as I keep sub-consciously thinking about Kaitiaki – A trilogy, that introduces Maori action super heroes with special powers into the Hollywood movie landscape, as um, actually created and envisaged and imagined by real Maoris. That’s um, not Maori people, painted blue, projected in 3D. Lol!
In the dream, Once Upon a Hollywood Palm Tree would be my Clerks film like Kevin Smith‘s humble beginnings as a film director, with talent a little bit more apparent as a filmmaker than Ben Affleck‘s and Matt Damon‘s original Oscar winning start, for example. It would be my Bad Taste low budget film, in that Sir Peter Jackson humble beginnings, zero-budget filmmaking way. I see an ear falling off an old ladies head into some custard for a second, in my dream. At that moment, I decide…
Once Upon a Hollywood Palm Tree would rock! In the dream I imagine that it would have a cult following of edgy, tattoed, facially pierced people the world over. Because it would just be too freaking real! In the dream I ponder if there’s more noble things in the world to be told than wanting to be the next Q. Tarantino of this generation. One of a hundred. I do like the idea of the gritty back drop of such a film to tell some powerful truths. Just in the dream, the truths aren’t vividly clear as to what ones should shine against this backdrop. There are so many, but in the dream, five are chosen to reveal, wrapped in the life of the central character’s talent. The dream feels creative and good, so I just might think about it some more.
Top Photo caption – Palm tree of the week, Genesse & Waring. Here’s ten posts we’re sharing via social media in Hollywood as culture in this second. Woot!
1. Alecia Moore Humor – some times stars have to take their own darn pics!
2. Waitangi Day News as Hollywood Pop Culture – 2011. That’s a 1st!
3. Written in True Blood – Anna Paquin & friends for Rolling Stone
4. Burning poppies and Muslim actors via The UK!
5. How her fairy tale began… Nicole Kidman‘s Coming to America romance story
6. Dorothy Height‘s All-American legacy is fierce
7. Hone Tuwhare‘s No Ordinary Sun poem
8. LeBron James is kinda different
9. Walt Disney, Shirley Temple & filmmaker Taika Cohen
10. Megan Fox & Brian Austin Green – Golden Globes 2011
Taking a koro kip (Kiwi language for a ‘grandpa nap’), the dream continues. Once upon a Hollywood Palm Tree would have to be shot (that’s as in filmed, not as in Arizona tragedies with idiots and guns) in the spirit of Maori filmmaker Merata Mita, one of my mentors and the way she fashioned cinema verite art in a manner that only Maori people can with cameras, film footage and especially a talent with weaving sound layering for psychological, socio-political effect. She was quite a gem of cinema arthouse films that mattered with human rights awareness in the world. Merata was gifted and clever. Loved the world over by tribal-minded indigenous thinkers.
In the dream, Merata would have loved Once Upon a Hollywood Palm Tree and Kaitiaki – The Trilogy as well. She would have perhaps loved to have produced both of them. Both would have reflected different aspects of her own sense of humor and life story as a Maori who lived with Hollywood people as well. “We’re allowed to dream!” This was her gift to me, when she stepped out of my film student text book dreams and actually into my first student film.
She gave me that gift to believe that crazy moments can become real for aspiring Maori filmmakers. She told me, our stories are vitally important for the world, on my camera. I believed her. That was not in a dream. It happened because she made it happen, along with other caring people who made that film happen too. Making dreams come true on film is what Hollywood is all about as a creative filmmaking town. It’s about a dream and turning these into visible reality.
One thing’s for sure. There’s one Maori, who has more than paid their dues in Hollywood to make a film. Once Upon A Hollywood Palm Tree is that unique story about leveling with Hollywood. In the dream, I think that perhaps it’s time!
In the dream, when I think about Once Upon a Hollywood Palm Tree as a film, I think it’s quite remarkable that Horiwood.Com actually exists, like for ‘real.’ Lol! In the dream, Once Upon a Hollywood Palm Tree would have to have Bird Runningwater of Sundance do its film distribution strategy, otherwise it would be sunk, like tequilas and extra spicy spiked bloody Marys, down the hatch with Injun filmmakers at The Abbey on Sunday brunches, if it didn’t. :)
I wake up. No Jehovah witnesses at the door this time. No Jacksons either. It’s sunset.
I think I’ll go out and meet real people. Although all the colors of a Hollywood filmmakers pallet are right before your eyes to paint with each day (you just choose super hero skins to overlay your characters with in your films to look more clever), you can’t dream in Hollywood on surreal movie sets forever.
Photo caption – A Photograph as Art, plastered on a wall on Melrose Southside (between Stanley & Spaulding). Whether we live in Los Angeles, a South Pacific Polynesia Island or in Israel or the Middle East – we all share life and identity underneath a Palm Trees shade.
~^ Posted by Horiwood.Com, Hollywood California USA. 2.5.11~