We left Ohio Saturday to be back in Vermont Sunday
just in time for surgery on Monday. Remember winter before
last, nine months after I got two new knees, when I broke my
femur? The on-call surgeon that day put in some titanium
hardware. When it comes to hardware for people, titanium must
be all the rage because my knees are titanium too. Anyway, they
usually leave the hardware in, unless it's new knees (then I
think they always leave it in) or when the hardware pokes out of the
bone half an inch, like in my case.
hardware that was too big-in
hardware that was too big-out
During the broken femur four
week follow-up Vin and I pointed out that the titanium hardware
looked too big since the edges that look like castle turrets
were jutting out into my IT band. The doc said he doubted it
would bother me (easy for him to say) and then he moved out of
town to a hospital in New Hampshire. I remembered thinking, if
I can see that's it's too big, I'm surprised he can't, but what
did I know?
He told me it would take a year
to fully heal but said it looked good enough to ski and that's
what I really wanted to hear. When i skied it didn't hurt so I
didn't really worry about it. When I walked it hurt and I
limped but it hadn't been a year so I didn't worry about it then
When a year went by and the limp
was getting worse instead of better I got worried that the sharp
little castle turrets would saw right through my IT band so I
went to my regular surgeon. He said that the little turrets
wouldn't cut through the IT band but he could see how the
titanium hardware jutting into my IT band and muscle would
bother me so we made appointment to take it (the hardware not the muscle) out.
I showed up to pre-op yesterday
like always and humored the surgical team by acting like I had
never been through the pre-op protocol. The nurse sat next to
me confirming the electronic records (they're always bragging
about their electronic records) which was a good thing because I
could tell her I didn't have a kiwi fruit allergy nor did I have
a hip replacement in December like the electronic records
Then they gave me the versed**
so that's all I remember.
Dogs wearing glasses...always
Vin and I shot our second year
films at the end of the school year because we wanted some
greenery in the landscape figuring that way our films wouldn't
look apocalyptic like most student films.
We finished shooting on the
Tuesday, exactly a week before our second year review*, which
isn't much time to get footage converted, sound synced and a
I did the numbers and realized that in order to
get a rough-cut edit of my film done by the review, I wouldn't
be able to sleep for the last three days.
three days with no sleep (why am I doing this to myself?) I
delivered my film to the faculty. On the way home Vin and I
stopped at the food co-op since we didn't have time to buy any
food for three days which didn't really matter because we
didn't have time to eat either. We got some bulk pitted
organic kalamata olives in containers that always leak...a
lot. We were on our bikes. We know that putting leaking
olives in a backpack isn't a good idea so we just fasten the
leaky lid with rubber bands and Vince carries them while
riding with one hand. (he can do anything)
Funny story about the rubber
bands....The store puts their extra rubber bands around a cup with pens in it so if someone needs to hold down a leaky olive lid,
Here's how tired I was...I spent about five
minutes getting a rubber band off the cup with pens in it....five minutes
because I worked the rubber band off the top, over all the pens instead of
just slipping it off the bottom. Even funnier is that the
woman behind me saw how much trouble I was having getting the rubber band around the pens and helped
me by holding them.
*second year review....where the
student sits at the front of the room facing six faculty members
and the faculty members throw rocks at the student (why an I
I still have a feature screenplay to finish for the semester ( you wouldn't believe how long those take to write) so more when that's done....but to hold you over, here are some pics from my recent film shoot.
you for entering the competition for the 2014 Athens International Film and Video Festival. This year we had 1,171 films submitted. I am
pleased to tell you that your film, "I Love Bagels", has been chosen
for this year's festival.
The entries for the
"local" filmmakers were prescreened and judged by an outside
prescreener, who thus has no potential conflict of interest regarding
We'll be sending out later this
week full information regarding screening formats, deadlines to receive
exhibition copies, and other pertinent information.
Ruth Bradley, Director
Athens Int'l Film and Video Festival
How about that...a real film festival. I can check that one off the list.
In case you missed all the other 'I Love Bagels' photos...
Couple little things ...
My classmate David was shooting his film a few weeks ago during some bad-ish weather. He couldn't get his car started so he called AAA because that's the kind of thing you call AAA for. They were sorry but they weren't 'going to be able to get to him today.'
Then the poor guy had an ambulance in his film. He rented an ambulance and driver (seems weird but I guess you can do that) and it couldn't get up the hill to the location.
I'm producing my classmate Cory's film where there is a house fire in the last scene*. So, when he asked me to make smoke bombs (producer** of a student film has a varied job description) I put it on my 'to do' list. That was until I realized the smoke bombs*** were for an interior scene....in someone's house! A house that someone, in good faith, lent him for his film. I asked him if he had told/asked her if lighting smoke bombs in her house would be OK and yadayada, we're now using a safe, controllable fog machine.
Then, we're housing one of the actors in the apartment of a classmate who is shooting in Ukraine at the moment. I went over to spiff up the place and make the bed with the sheets I'd just bought (after all, I am the producer) but of course, there was no key. Why was I not surprised?
The words 'probably' and 'I assume so' are used far to often.
So that's what I'm up to these days as an MFA film student.
*That bit of info shouldn't ruin it for you since earlier in the film the
woman puts a frozen pizza in the oven while it's still in the box
**I wonder if Judd Apatow ever had to make smoke bombs for his director
***my smoke bombs are a combination of postassium nitrate and sugar and I used them in my 'I Love Bagels' film (all exterior) where even with an inch of aluminum between the bombs and the ironing board I was using, the ironing board caught fire.
That's it...I'm going to quit making posting promises.
Below is my bullet pointed February.
They say it's one of the worst winter ever in Athens, Ohio.
•Been working on films:
-I was flattered because my friend Geoff asked me to be Assistant
Director on his second year film. Flattered because he's 21 and in a
-Vin was cast as a soldier. A Ukrainian WWII collaborator. They shot him (with a camera, not a gun) in
the jeans and 2003 US Speedskating team jacket he was wearing when he showed up. They said it wouldn't matter because it was a night scene. I can't
imagine that wouldn't look weird. OR in film making lingo...I can't
imagine that wouldn't bump for me.
-I've been working as a grip or gaffer now and then...in a world where
when someone asks for a 'C47', you grab a clothespin and when someone
asks for a stinger, you grab an extension cord.
-Iryna, the woman/classmate that had Vin play a Ukrainian WWII soldier
in a US speedskating jacket, was having a really tough time on her shoot
partly because it was way below zero, windy, they were shooting the
whole thing outside and had a baby on set. David, a classmate that is
also a youth pastor asked his congregation to pray for her.
More about February:
•I'd heard good things about the documentary film 'Blue Vinyl' so I went
to the library to check it out. The student librarian searched and
searched before telling me they didn't have it which surprised me
because they seem to have every film ever made. I looked at her
computer screen then told her to try 'vinyl' instead of 'vinal' and
there it was.
•Gossip. You know the funeral home I told you about that has the inflated holiday scenes out front? Moquin's? Well, I was reading the paper the other day and saw that a Moquin was arrested for selling human bones. hmmm.
•I'm saving the worst for almost last. Vin woke up the other day and screamed when he tried to bend his leg. He didn't injure it either. It just happened. We went to the emergency room where the ER doc read the x-ray as showing: osteoarthritis, a bone spur and atherosclerosis. We left wondering where he went to medical school and picked up a copy of the x-ray on our way out. A few days and an MRI later, we think it's a partially
torn quadriceps tendon which in layman's terms means something that will take a really long time to heal. We'll know more on Monday.
•It was 9 degrees with a 10 mile an hour wind the other day and we got this email from the school:
Forecasted temperatures are expected to be so severe that exposed skin
may freeze, become frostbitten and people may become ill with
hypothermia in minutes. Everyone is advised to stay indoors, limit
exposure to the weather and make sure you are dressed appropriately for
temperatures indoors and outdoors. - Dress in layers in order to adjust to building temperatures as well as temperatures outdoors.
- Exercise caution when traveling outside and make
alternative arrangements to conduct business via teleconference or
e-mail if possible.
- Give yourself extra time to arrive at your destination
if walking on campus and travel slowly. Take small steps and use
- Avoid extended time outdoors and if you must work outside, take breaks as necessary to avoid frostbite or hypothermia.
I read that and thought of the afternoon just before we left Vermont when, feeling pretty macho, I went up to the ski center to ski around dark when it was
21 below and there were 30 people doing the Tuesday night race.