Archive for May, 2008

Day 90: GUNS IN THE GRASS AND CRACK IN THE BATHROOM

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008
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Brownsville still suprises me. As I’m already collecting some material for a potential next movie I went for research with Triste. Suprising moment 1: Triste in front of a graffiti wall tells me about the crazy stuff going on in Brownsville. Suddenly he gets a phone call and steps into the grass next to the wall to answer it. When he has finished he calls me to show me a gun that was just lying next to him. Just like that. He told me to film it otherwise no-one would believe him and think he makes up something like this.

Suprising moment 2: We drive to a house where some shit should go on. Triste tells me to film through the bathroom window but as we could hardly see anything we finally go inside. There some guy tells me to go to the bathroom where 3 people are smoking crack through a can. Everyone tells me to film this so that the world gets to know what’s going on in Brownsville… Crazy shit. As I said I’m already three months here in Brownsville, but there are still situations that surprise me.

Day 89: DIRTY AL’S

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008
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Damn, that was good today. Got invited by the Filmcommission to Dirty Al’s at South Padre Island and my whole stomach is full of shrimps now. What a dinner in comparison to the last weeks where we had only sandwiches all the time. Yes Barbara, I know you are jealous now, but unfortunately I can’t do anything about it :-)

Day 88: THE SHOCK OF MY LIFE

Monday, May 26th, 2008
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When I got the message that our Raid System is probably destroyed my heart stopped beating for a moment. It started again, when I checked the hard disk that is hidden deep down in my bag and which is a backup. The Raid System is a backup by itself and because of this we didn’t plan to do another backup on a hard disk. The decision for that was made a week ago (has anyone got an idea how difficult it is to buy a Lacie hard disk in Brownsville when American online stores don’t accept European Creditcards? That explains what I did all day long…) But anyway, the film material is still there, I guess I will put the hard disk under my pillow so that definitely nothing happens.

Day 88: THE WHOLE FILM MATERIAL DESTROYED???

Monday, May 26th, 2008
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As soon as I got back to Vienna, I immediately felt all the exhaustment of the past three months and couldn’t help but sleep, sleep, sleep. I was gonna sleep for a couple of days, but got interrupted by a phone call.

It was Haake telling me that something terrible has happened with our raid. Just to make one thing clear: Our raid is a special hard disk, where all our film material, all our scenes are stored. No raid means no scenes and no movie. Destroying our raid is just as if we never shot anything. Just like shooting a movie without putting a tape or film stock into the camera.

So Haake tells me what happened: The flight company took away our raid on the flight from Paris to Vienna. I had another flight and therefore didn’t know anything about it. When Haake got the raid back in Vienna, it was damaged. He, of course, panicked and took it home to plug it in and see if our film material is still there. Unfortunately, he forgot to change the voltage button (We’ve got different voltage in Europe than in the US) and so that whole thing kinda exploded. A small smoke cloud was the end of it. So now we have no idea if all our work is gone or not. We gotta get the raid repaired and then we’ll see if we still have the film material or not. Now all we can do is wait. And I’m not thinking of sleep any more.

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Day 87: AND IT GOES ON

Sunday, May 25th, 2008
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Who thinks that now as my team has gone back home I can go to the beach, is wrong. 5 big boxes full of props are waiting to be given back and 40 release forms are waiting to be signed. Regarding the props the US are wonderful. I have cleaned all the glasses and plates I bought for the party scene and have put them back into their boxes. Tomorrow I will bring them back to Walmart and get my money back. In Austria this is only possible under the hardest conditions and not without telling a lot of lies. Therefore I really love America. When it comes to the release forms the situation is a little bit different, I guess I will have to call a lot of people and drive through the whole city. But whatever, I still have 6 more days to do so….

Day 86: THE TAKE-OFF

Friday, May 16th, 2008
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Honestly… and this time for real: this was definitely the worst day of my life ever. After 3 hours of sleep I had to get up at 7 again to extend my contract with the rental station in Harlingen. Then I headed back to the hotel to pick up Gaile and Barbara to bring them to the airport.

When I came back to the hotel room at 10am (which I had to leave by 11), I got dropped dead. Not only Barbara and Gaile didn’t clean up as they promised but also left the apartment totally destroyed and dirty. Even the coffee machine was still on. Afer a complete nervous breakdown I checked the keys to my new room (which was only one door away) and started to sort out things. First I carried my own stuff (2 bags), then all the props (5 huge boxes) and then the rest of the groceries. That’s when I got the next shock: the new room didn’t have a fridge. Well, that meant, I had to check a new room and to start all over again. In the meantime it was already 2pm and I was unable to move my body anymore because of total exhaustion. Luckily RJ called round that time and offered me his help.

Together we managed to have cleaned up everything within 4 hours (we even washed the dishes as I would have been too embarassed to look at any employee of the hotel again if I had left the room as it was). Anyway I can’t tell you how angry I was. Not only because of the dirt, but my team also has “forgotten” a lot of stuff like kitchenware, a coffee machine, speakers, a notebook (!) and even underwear. And I guess they will never see their stuff again as I have no idea how to carry all these things with me. It’s their own fault, that’s all I can say.

Day 86: ANOTHER WORLD

Friday, May 16th, 2008
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As we left Brownsville yesterday, it was a curious moment for Andi and me. There was only little time to say Good Bye to all the nice people, who helped us so much. There have been so many impressions and incidents the past two months, which will leave deep marks in our heads. Altitudes and deepness, you experience rarely in your life.

It was already dark, when we reached Austin in the late evening. Austin is a very large city compared to Brownsville with many impressive multi-storey buildings downtown, we couldn’t see more. At the Red Roof Inn we had time for two cans of beer, a nap of sleep, at seven o’clock AM we had to start again.

We reached the equipment rental service earlier than thought before and we had a few time to keep an eye on the street. It looks completely different than Brownsville; almost no Mexicans but a great influence of black citizens. But in principle there’s poorness in the outer districts of both towns.

Equipment back, then back on the Highway to Hewston airport. It’s striking to note many german place names on our way: Schertz, Luling, Waelder, Schulenburg or Weimar.

For all of you, who have to drive from Austin to Hewston: Don’t take the first way to the airport, because it’s the wrong one. It’s very small and costs half an hour of your time. Hewston is much bigger than Austin and there are highways in three storages. That’s unbelievable for us Europeans. We didn’t see much more. Then we came into a traffic jam close to the airport and it seemed that the time would run out. When we arrived we had to bring back the car, which was brand new two month ago and which now looked like four years older. The took it back without any troubles. We reached the check in right on time and I had enough time to check some cigarettes.

The reunion with Gaile and Barbara was the evidence, that all happens right on time like at the whole film shooting of the past two months. Often we had the feeling, that tomorrow the big wave will fall on us and set an end to our shooting or that the last hair of Damokle’s sword would tear… but it didn’t.

And now back to “the old world”.

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Day 85: THE DAY AFTER

Thursday, May 15th, 2008
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Yesterday was our last shooting day and we got drunk in the whirlpool. Today work called again, which means I had to organize a farewell party and Barbara’s birthday party. But, as I am still busy with other things, nothing was organized when the first ones came. Therefore our main actors (the male ones!!) had to cook. Finally it was delicious, a big compliment to Carlos! After singing Happy Birthday and eating Tres Leches cake Barbara and Gaile started to say good-bye and to drop some tears. I will stay in Brownsville for another week as there is still some stuff to complete.

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Tag 84 – 43rd SHOOTING DAY AND THE LAST ONE: SPEECHLESS…

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008
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I don’t believe it. We made it. Right now after 10 hours of shooting we are packing our boxes with the equipment, ’cause the air freight is picking it up tomorrow to bring it back to Austria. Andi and Haake will drive to Austin tomorrow to bring back the rented stands and then catch the flight from Houston. But right now I can’t really believe it. Everything seems so unreal. I hope we will have finished packing pretty soon, ’cause we wanna go to the whirlpool downstairs and finally celebrate that we have survived 43 days of shooting. Still unbelievable…

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Day 84 - 43 SHOOTING DAY: THE LAST SHOOTING DAY

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008
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What do you do on your last shooting day when you’re supposed to shoot a classroom scene with a school choir and you neither have a classroom nor a school choir???? Well, Constanze called the church and got me a room with bible-drawings on the walls and a group of Christian College students. To make a scene and especially a choir out of that was my job then.

After an hour I managed to get ‘em to sing “Row, row, row your boat”. Don’t ask me how I came up with that. But it kinda worked out. And so we were shooting our very last picture with 15 Christians singing “Row your boat”. And then Haake looked at me. Andi looked at me. Gaile looked at me. (Constanze was outside but would have looked at me, too). And they all were waiting for me to say the final words. And yep, I’m gonna say them, actually shout them out, so that the whole world can hear ‘em:

IT’S A WRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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