Bentfootes wrap-up

This photo has nothing to do with today’s entry.  But it looks cool. It’s a real cat!

I am back in my basement in Santa Monica. My plane barely skittered out of JFK ahead of a bank of thunderstorms. My colleague and co-director Kriota Willberg was not so lucky; she was to have taught a workshop in Toronto this weekend and instead spent $200 going to and from the airport in taxis, only to learn that her flight was cancelled due to the weather conditions.

I fear that this sort of occurrence will become more occurrent as the global-warming thing asserts itself.

In any event, The Bentfootes is in the can. Thursday morning was the last chance we had to work with Mr. Urbaniak, who, in contravention of earlier days, showed up not drunk but hopped up on goofballs. He was so manic and out-of-control that we had to speed up the camera in the hopes of his performance looking “normal” when we slow it down and loop it. We shot six scenes in forty-five minutes, with Mr. U rushing from set to set, not even stopping for lighting or to make sure the other performers were in place.

Gary “gazblow” Schwartz came for his cameo, and since he’s a bigger guy we put Mr. Urbaniak in a corner and had Mr. Schwartz block his way to the door, and thus pinioned Mr. Urbaniak was able to deliver something like a real performance.

Friday, Mr. U was supposed to shoot another day on “Kidnapped” but apparently his William-Burroughs-level of drug consumption got him sent home from that project for the weekend, so we got to shoot a scene where Mr. U has a friendly conversation with some dancers.  Because Urbaniak is who he is, the scene developed into a paranoid shouting match.

We tried to get the orange tape-on-a-stick to do the scene instead, but its agent would not return our phone calls.

Obviously, still no projector bulb.  But I have Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz playing in my head, if that counts.
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15 Responses to “Bentfootes wrap-up”
  1. r_sikoryak says:

    Sadly, I wasn’t in NY for the wrap.
    I could have gotten you yellow tape-on-a-stick, who works for scale.

  2. monica_black says:

    Considering the fact that The Bentfootes deals with dance, a live performing art, paranoid shouting match seems to work fine.

    If I was in New York, I would have given green tape-on-a-stick

    • Todd says:

      Green tape-on-a-stick, unfortunately, would conflict with all the complicated green-screen special-effects work we had to do on this picture. Instead of a piece of tape on a stick, you’d end up seeing a pirate ship or superhero or space alien on a stick.

  3. ghostgecko says:

    What’s sad is not only is that a real cat, but I can tell you what’s wrong with it: hypertelorism, a mutation in a gene that is supposed to limit the production of a protein called “sonic hedgehog” that regulates the width of the face. Too little, and you have a cyclops kitty (, too much and you have this.

    So, this is probably a dumb question, but where are you planning on releasing the Bentfootes? Shop it around at festivals, limited release, right to DVD?

    • Todd says:

      I see by your avatar that you specialize in matters of cat-heads. Unfortunately, your cyclops-kitty link appears to be in a bad mood.

      The kitty in the above picture was swiped from a news story out of Ohio. I should have posted the link. The bad news is that the kitty has this horrible mutation, the good news is that the kitty is apparently extremely healthy and happy and personable, which is rare for kitties with this mutation.

      As for The Bentfootes, right now Kriota and I are happy to just have it in the can. In a couple of months we’ll start editing it and when that’s done I suppose we’ll start submitting it to festivals.

      One of the nice things about the production is that it was conceived to be part of a relatively obscure “dance on film” festival, but the finished product, imho, has the potential to reach a much wider audience, thanks at least in part to the super-nova-bright-blazing-star-power of our irresponsible, drug-addled star Mr. Urbaniak.

      • ghostgecko says:

        Well hell, if it hadn’t been for that fine fellow, I wouldn’t have known about it. Obviously I have no idea if its any good yet, but I’ve certainly been entertained by the entries on it. If you manage to swing by DC (there’s a big festival there) or one of the artsy theaters in Silver Spring, I’m eager to see it.

        As for the kitty . . . huh, that site has problems some times when I try to link to it. The top level is: There was a whole hilarious batshit thing going on about that particular cyclops kitty a few months back. I dared to scoff at the notion it had “crossed over the Rainbow Bridge” and was now frolicing with everyone’s dead pets and all the fluffy cute dead animals in a vaguely Judeo-Christian paradise and was basically told that to doubt made me a soulless monster. Anyways, the double-face mutation is apparently not as instantly lethal as cyclopia (which also causes brain damage), and it’s one of the more survivable ones. Just think – it’ll be able to lick itself twice as much!

        • Todd says:

          Well, I gotta say, those are certainly some messed-up cats in those pictures. I see my cover star “Frank and Louie” made the cut in their hypertelorism entry. Go Frank and Louie!

  4. urbaniak says:

    We finished the movie? I have no memory of that.

    • Todd says:

      Well, the movie isn’t exactly “finished,” as indeed it could not be with your shameless, destructive behavior on the set. Instead, let’s say that, like a great poem, it has been abandoned.