NOVEMBER 2001
I'm in LA for some meetings regarding our last film "H.R. Pukenshette."  I've been anxious to shoot another film.  Since it doesn't look like anything feature-wise is gonna be happening right now the plan has been to do another short. 
First, Phil (who edited HR) and I were gonna do this short film "Super Lazy Guy" but somewhere along the path we just kinda lost some of our enthusiam for it.  So while I'm in LA me and Kurt have decided to lift a section from one of our feature scripts and turn it into a short film.  It's basically a goof on car chase scenes in movies.  My whole objective for the next short was do something "new" to get more experience under my belt.  This film will give us the chance to show how we can handle action sequences - so it works for me.  We did an outline using what we could from the feature version and we're both pretty psyched about it.  I had lunch with my friend Joe Reitman.  He's been acting for a long time, you may've seen him in The Perfect Storm, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, or American Pie 2.  Anyway, we bumped into each other during Sundance 2001 after not seeing each other for some 3-odd years and have been keeping  in touch since.  I asked him if he wanted to play one of the leads and he's up for it.  Which is cool, he'll be funny in the part and has a lot of good connections in LA if the film comes out good.  So, we're on our way again...

 
DECEMBER 2001
Kurt and I have more or less finalized the script. We've got some pretty good bits in it. If we can pull them off that is. While Kurt's here in NJ on holiday we decided to shoot some tests. Steve "the Hick" Hicks who did the puppet work on "H.R." is a full-fledge producing partner this time. So the 3 of us head out to Asbury Park to shoot the tests. The biggest challenge of this film will be the chase sequences, since it involves the camera to be moving constantly. Since I was pretty certain we weren't gonna be able to afford a Steadicam I figured if we put the actors on a flat bed truck along with the camera we could create the right illusion of these guys pushing shopping carts around. Since the actors and camera are on the same plane they don't have to worry about keeping in sync or running their asses off all day while we shoot. So of course when we get to Asbury it's the coldest day of the year and the wind is whipping off the ocean. Brutal. Luckily, we'll be shooting in May so we won't have to deal with this. We shoot some tests on the back of my friend G-Mon-B's truck and when we watch the footage it looks pretty good... but we're not 100% sure it's the way to go...
 
JANUARY 2002
Kurt's main task during pre-production is gonna be trying to find a midget to play the other lead part opposite Joe.  Since I had no luck last time finding one in NYC he's taken out an ad in LA and we'll see what happens.  Our budget is only about $7,000.  We all wanted to shoot film and I've gotten tons of resumes for DP's but the more we think about it, the more we're realizing we probably won't be able to shoot film.  These days everyone's shooting digital video.  It would be nice shooting film, but we have to be realistic about our budget.  Oh well.  I've been trying to get Fred Berry to play a part.  He, for those who aren't "In the Know,"  played Rerun on the 70's sitcom "What's Happening!!"  We all think it would be fun to have him show up.  But so far I've been having trouble tracking him down.  Kurt's also been having trouble with his midget casting in LA.  Here we go again...
 
FEBRUARY 2002
I spoke with this dude Dan I met on one of Phil's shoots.  He was interested in shooting the film.  I think we'll end up going with him.  He's an allright dude and, best of all, has everything we could possibly need in terms of equipment....and more.  Casting has been going good.  I finally got a hold of Fred "Rerun" Berry and he's up for it.  After I secured him I decided to go after another childhood "idol" Uncle Floyd. 
Chances are unless you're from the NJ area you won't know who he is.  He's appeared in a few movies like "Good Morning Vietnam" but mostly is know for his NJ-based cable show.  I got in touch with him as well and he's into it.  Suddenly, we've got an "all-star" cast lining up.  Sabrina Gennarino and Kevin Kolack from "H.R." are also gonna be in the film, which'll be fun.  I really liked working with them both.  But aside from having to deal with moving cameras this time we have to deal with SAG which is new to me.  Sabrina, Joe, Uncle Floyd, and Fred are all SAG so we need to sign an agreement with them to have those guys act in the film.  It's a lot of paperwork but a good  experience for future films.  Our last ditch effort to shoot on film instead of DV didn't pan out so now it's DV for sure.  I'm a little bummed, but what can we do?  We just don't have the $$.  Hicks made a good connection with this dude who rep's midgets for wrestling events.  I called him and he was cool as hell.  He's super-excited about the project and is all up for getting us a little person for the role.  Since he rep's like 40 little people I think it's safe to say we'll never have to worry about midget casting again.
 
MARCH 2002
Ah, where to begin?  Dan is in for the DP.  He's gonna give us a huge break on his rate, too.  I seriously can't ask for anything more from him...oh, except getting good images I guess.  But I don't think that'll be a problem.  We have one scene in the film where the part Fred Berry plays goes over a cliff.  Well, there really aren't any cliffs here on the Jersey Shore.  So, we've gotta use the old stand-by that people making movies have been using since Day One: The Illusion.
  We're using this sea wall in Monmouth Beach and shooting it at a low angle and sending the shopping cart along with a Fred Berry dummy over it.  Me & Hicks went down there one Saturday afternoon to do some tests and it worked out surprisingly well.  Should look funny in the final film.  Speaking of Fred Berry he originally agreed to a certain sum, then about a week later he  wanted more $$.  Well, we weren't instantly ready to give him more $$.  But we did want him in the film.  After we all probably boasted to our friends we had Rerun set for the film, now we were faced telling them "He's not in."  Well, my ego's too big to have to do that.   We talked with Fred and worked out a deal.  Since he's only in DC he agreed to drive up and stay in a spare room instead of a plane and hotel room.  Adding those costs to his original salary actually would've came out to what he was now looking for, so we agreed to pay him.  So there's no need for us to tell our friends we aren't working with Rerun.  You have to understand two things: A) for people our age who grew up watching "What's Happening!!" it's pretty cool to have Rerun in the film.  It'd be, I guess, like today's generation getting one of the "Freinds" actors in their film 10 years from now.  And B) I think it's pretty cool that not only did we step up just trying something different on this film (i.e. the action sequences) but we also started to get some experience trying to get "names" for the parts.  Next time if we do a feature (or even another short) we can maybe try getting some bigger names.  But then again, what name's bigger than "Rerun"?  Beats me. 
 
APRIL 2002
My friend Ben has been working on music for the big chase - which is essentially the whole film.  He's come up with some good stuff, and pretty fast.  It's got a great beat and you can dance to it...or push shopping carts really, really fast.  We basically gave him a song by Apollo 440 that we liked and said "Make something like this."  And he did.  Pretty amazing.  We finally met the little  person who's gonna be in the film. 
There was a wrestling event at this bar in Belmar.  The guys were all there for it.  Chris Guyre of the Micro Wrestling Federation set it all up.  Our actor's name is Billy Allen.  We spent a good portion of the night afterwards talking with him.  He's gonna be really good in the part, I can tell.  We also went thru all the locations with Dan in Asbury and Neptune.  We showed him some of our test footage on the truck.  Even thought the stuff looked good, We've decided to use a dolly and just have the actors run on the ground.  The truck idea was a good experiment but might've ended up taking more time than we'll have.  Dan also got me some DV test footage so we can see how good it looks.  We were all pretty stunned by it's look.  It's very close to 16mm.  It'll be fine, no big deal we're not shooting 16 anymore.  I've been racking my brain trying to fill all the parts.  People are gonna laugh at our end credits when they see a cast list 40 names long in a 10 minute film.  Whoever heard of such a thing?  This is the one thing I've been not too keen on from the git-go, but we've tried our best to cut parts and it just isn't working.  Time to call in a LOT of favors from friends I guess.  But my biggest concern with it is I don't wanna be waiting around for  somebody to show up for there 2 second bit part, holding up the whole shoot.  I try drilling it into everyone's head that we're spending a few grand on a crew, etc and if they show up late we're wasting $$ every second.  Hopefully they'll believe me.  I'm not sure I would.  Everyone keeps asking "what if it rains?"  I can't tell them much except "there's nothing we can do."  Cause there isn't.  99% of the film is EXT's.  It's not like if we get up and it's raining one day we can go shoot INTs.  There just aren't any to do.  We just have to pray for sunny weather.  My feeling has always been as long as we get Rerun's stuff we'll be OK.  I can get everyone else back in June if we have to.  But Rerun would, most likely, want more $$ to return.  So as long as we get his stuff shot in May, we'll be OK - rain or not.   And finally, I talked with Phil at the film festival in Hoboken that we both had films in and he agreed to edit the film.  This is a big relief for me.  I wasn't sure if he'd have the time.  But he's into it, read the script, likes it, and is ready to go...and so are we.