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American Movie

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I was a failure, and I'd get very sad and depressed about it...
and I can't be that no more,
'cause I really feel like I betrayed myself big time.
I know when I was growing up I had all the potential in the world.
Now I'm back to being Mark who has a beer in his hand...
and is thinking about the great American script and movie.
And this time, I cannot fail. I won't fail. It's not in me.
You don't get second chances and mess 'em up. You'd be a fool to.
Not just finishing films or getting some money, but it's right now.
I feel like it's five, ten, fifteen years ago...
and now I've got the same options again, and this time, I'm not gonna fail.
This time, it's most important not to fail, just to drink and dream...
but rather, to create and complete.
When did you first get involved and how and why?
Well, I think I had done a radio show with Mark first.
As part of the radio show, he mentioned other projects he was doing.
Not the eleventh hour. This is the twelfth hour.
Lisa and Uncle Ed, radio show.
"Dear girl, do you know what you possess in your hand and its capabilities?
Do you have any reasonable semblance--"
What we're doing right here-- It's past 3:00. It's--
Oh, my God, it's twenty after 3:00.
We've got to get these pages printed and get them straight to the copier.
We've got madmen putting scarecrows up front. God knows why.
They have no purpose to this show, but I like to keep the troops motivated.
Idle hands are know to be the devil's workshop, so we wanna keep things along.
Sitting here, you're asking me questions.
I'm trying to get this finished. I've got people walking around.
I wish I could give 'em destinies, but I have to adhere to this keyboard.
He asked me to come over and help him.
He said he needed help. I'm always helping him with his films.
We used to do a lot of partying together, but I don't party anymore.
"Dear girl, do you know what you possess in your hand?
Do you have any idea of its capabilities?
Do you have any inkling, any semblance of understanding whatsoever?"
I just made that up. I wanna write that down. "Do you have any--"
- Stevens. - He's ready. Step out a minute.
- Kicked out of my own kingdom? - Sorry, I owe you.
- She's such a delightful little girl. - Ken, listen up.
Why, thank you, Lisa. That really makes my day.
- I didn't know you were-- - That I was lurking around? Surprise.
Well, we recorded The Creeps...
and while we were recording The Creeps...
I was smoking dope and drinking beer, and it really struck me...
I was no longer paying attention to the actors and performances.
And I thought, "My God, what am I doing this for?" You know?
And I realized also when I was recording...
that I wasn't even a director.
I wasn't. I knew there were stilted performances...
and I did nothing to rectify the situation.
So I think, though, it's good to face things like this...
because then you can deal with them and realize 'em.
And when you're ready to shoot Northwestern...
you've got these emotions and these complexities cornered.
UWM. Amount due, $878.54.
That's funny. I just borrowed gas money from my ma tonight.
This is gonna be interesting. The IRS, Wisconsin.
My God.
Amount delinquent, $81.11. Oh, man.
"Resulting in a lien on any real and personal property you own...
within ten days of this notice."
September 6, and we're October 19.
Luckily, it's just $81. What are they gonna take...
my Night of the Living Dead book?
Oh, my God. "Legal actions."
Unbelievable.
Who wants to be faced with this crap?
"Your AT&T Universal Card has arrived"?
Oh, God. Kick-fucking-ass, I got a MasterCard.
I don't believe it, man. Life is kinda cool sometimes.
Explain what you're doing today, Mark.
Today I'll be handing out flyers saying "Independent Feature Film."
I has the dates, it has the number for casting and the crew.
And we're going to get that out to all of the suburban libraries...
because a lot of people go there, and they'll see that.
Cool. Right there.
I'll move this sucker right there.
I think that he first started...
he was 14, but he said he was 12.
It was quite possible because--
he was always talking filming...
and that he was going to make movies, and so, always.
His bedroom wall used to be plastered...
with movie ads.
Mostly movie horror ads, but movie ads of all kinds.
He got an eight-millimeter camera...
from a guy down the street...
and the focus was terrible, but instant filmmaker.
I'll tell you why films fail or succeed.
I'm going to tell you about this one, Northwestern.
A regular feature film shot on black-and-white negative.
It's gonna look beautiful.
There's your secondary lead right there. What do you think about that?
- You have funding? Everything covered? - Yeah.
You're gonna be in a drive-in with an umbrella of gray over you.
You'll be in a junkyard with thousands of rusted memories laying there.
You'll be among the company of filmmakers this time...
but you'll have something under your belt besides what you throw in the wash.
He's like, "Ken, I'm making a movie.
Will you star in it?" I said, "Of course, I will."
So we went to Valhalla Cemetery...
and shot our first super-8 film.
It was called The More the Scarier.
It was-- I was 11 years old at the time.
He was 14.
I was in The More the Scarier III.
What was that about?
That was about--
We were riding into a cemetery...
in the back of a truck, and we were drinking vodka...
and I was playing my guitar.
And it's a silent film, and then we go out into the woods...
and there's this mystery killer that's killing all of us.
This is where the chick, Dawn, runs her haunted house, right?
But it's got to have some killer interiors, right?
'Cause you don't know too many people running haunted houses, right?
In films, it's ad executives or whatever else the hell they do.
But this chick is going to be running, working, doing a haunted house...
so you get some really cool interior stuff there.
You know what I'm saying? You ever see Manhattan?
Ever see The Seventh Seal, where they have great dialogues and backgrounds?
Talking about the plague, and there's a gargoyle in the back...
or talking about life, and there's Jupiter or Saturn in the back.
I mean, this just looks right.
This is perfect, I mean, the way I see it.
And, of course, there'll be a whole crowd of people here...
so we gotta make a line where people can't go.
and have a lot of assistant directors saying, "Step five feet back."
I was reading an interview of him, and he said, "This is my dream...
since I was a little kid filming in a cemetery.
I dreamt of making a feature film."
I was like, "Oh, my God, this is his whole life, making this one film."
I can lose ten weekends to help him.
A synopsis on the story? Okay.
We're gonna go-- The film starts-- Check it out.
Beautiful, stunning black-and-white shot at the magic hour...
as we float past dilapidated duplexes, worn trailer courts.
I've been location-scouting them...
so when I do this, I've already got what's in between my hands.
Then, at that moment, people say, "My God, I'm glad I'm sitting here...
because I'm actually seeing something for once."
We get to see Americans and American dreams...
and you won't walk away depressed after seeing this, period.
My name is Matthew Weisman.
I'm working on a film entitled Northwestern.
- I'm doing casting for the film. - Okay.
- Do you want to know about the film? - Yeah, I do.
A 186-minute phone call to California at prime rates?
What could you talk to your stupid-ass brother about for that long?
You know he's been having psychological problems lately.
Not on my phone bill, he doesn't.
Take a motherfucking wild guess.
Look here. A 186-minute call to California on prime time? What is that?
They're making a mockery out of my words.
This whole thing is turning into a theatrical mockery. Understand?
- No. - Well, you will.
I'll go in and read this fucker like it should be read 'cause I've had it.
You stupid fucking bitch! There's a 186-fucking-minute phone call...
at goddamn prime time.
I paid the fucking bill!
I'm calling you to let you know that there is a cast meeting tomorrow night.
Looks like there's a lot of work we have to scrape together.
Hopefully everything will collide, and we'll make our deadline.
I come to the airport all the time when I want to work.
There's no phones ringing, there's no people talking to you.
And if you're hungry, it's like, tough shit.
You can't stop and justify your inaction of scriptwriting by making a pizza.
You gotta be in this car. You have no other choice.
Why are we here? Working on the third draft of Northwestern.
I've got to get it so it's not embarrassing to give out, you know?
There's some corny dialogue that'd make the pope weep...
and I've got to resurrect that, so to speak.
"I feel so trapped. You know how long we've been living together?
Since high school. She dropped out. I graduated.
Her dad sold the house. It's almost paid off."
"Why don't you move out? It's a free country."
"I don't know. I guess it's just one of those things."
Who the hell in their right mind would tell the world, "I'm gonna do this"?
And then I think, "Man, I'm broke, I gotta get gas tomorrow...
and dude's talking about making a feature film, shit."
Now we're gonna talk about high-level negotiations...
'cause for the first time in your life, you're gonna make a profit.
Just like that.
No, you haven't even started hardly.
Well, not hardly. You did start somewhat, yeah...
but not very much.
Bill, traditionally...
is quite close to his money...
and it's quite a challenge to pry anything loose from him, money-wise.
And, Mark, on the other hand...
has, if anybody, the ability to pry it loose.
Let me show you something, William.
- Talk to me. That's right. - How about that?
- She wants to be in your film. - Oh, my gosh.
Okay, we can start then.
Tom, why don't you show us what you got in the way of breakdown.
My duties on Northwestern are those of the production manager.
I've gone over the script on a scene-by-scene basis...
and we've got it all color-coded broken down...
so everything from cast to props to atmosphere, stunts--
I think that Mark's idea of a film, of this film...
and Tom Beach's idea of a film are just so different.
Both of them are knowledgeable filmmakers...
but it's a different kind of knowledge.
One's more primeval and one's more textbook.
The location type, which would be interior day/night, exterior night/day.
At that point, you gotta get a cameraman.
You gotta get a sound recorder, a boom operator...
an assistant cameraman to do the clap, like that.
Then you want a couple others on the sideline.
As far as where Mark's film stands now...
I'm not really too sure.
I know that we kind of have--
We sort of have had a breakdown in communication lately.
Thanks a lot though.
You know what'd be really cool is a cup of coffee.
- Okay, I'll make some. - Just so I can get out of this bed.
You know how many phone calls there are sitting there?
- Oh, yeah. - A lot.
I'll put on the coffee.
I'd like to sleep here all day, but I can't.
I gotta type up sheets and have them copied for the meeting tonight.
Man, I gotta get some information across.
There's no excuses.
No one has ever paid admission to see an excuse.
No one has ever faced a black screen that says:
"If we had these set of circumstances, we would've shot this scene...
so please forgive us and use your imagination."
I've been to the movies hundreds of times. That's never occurred.
You know, it's like you're the lone man on this--
the lone captain on this big-ass ocean liner...
and it's like, "I need people to cook the food, to run the motors.
I need people to make sure that we don't go into the rocks and so forth."
Oh, my God.
And at about 12:30...
the realization seriously hit me-- no way.
I have absolutely no fucking money.
I have no hope of getting any money until Coven is finished.
Aesthetically, I'm not ready.
The script is not ready.
The casting hasn't even begun.
The locations are scant at best.
Are you crazy? That's 11 days away from now.
My first impression of him was...
he looks like a pretty raw dog.
He's pretty tall and crazy looking. I liked it.
He showed a lot of promise as far as schooling.
That is, as testing was concerned. Not that he was that great a student...
but he qualified for the gifted schooling system they have in Milwaukee.
He dropped out of high school because he felt he didn't learn anything there.
His main asset is really just his mouth, his talking...
and he can be pretty convincing because he's very assertive, very aggressive.
But I think that he's best suited for work in a factory, maybe.
When he decided to join the army...
I think that was not only a decision to get away from here...
but to try to straighten out his life...
and it didn't work too well.
Mark moved back from the army and said, "Let's make another film."
He made a couple of other shorts from there.
Then along came Coven.
This is ridiculous. We started in May '94.
We've got every f-stop known to man in the film.
Now we gotta take action. We gotta put those scarecrows in on a killer slant.
They've been there for years. The farm's burnt down.
It's going to be the opening shots for Coven, you know?
- And what is Coven? - A 35-minute direct-market thriller...
shot on 16-millimeter black-and-white reversal.
It's an alcoholic, man...
compelled to go to this group meeting by his one and only friend left.
But they're not that helpful, the group, you know.
- You know about the group thing? - Yeah.
Okay. So that's what we're doing a film on.
Coven, man. We got to get this sucker done though. Seriously.
Last night, I was so drunk I was calling Morocco.
Calling, trying to get the hotel Hilton at Tangiers and Casablanca.
That's pathetic, man. Is that what you want to do with your life?
Suck down peppermint schnapps and try to call Morocco at 2:00 in the morning?
That's senseless. But that's what happens, man.
So we're here today to redeem it...
get these establishing shots for Coven...
and do what you can.
We're in America today, and we're ready to roll.
One, two, three.
But check it out, Mike. Do you know about the placement of the scarecrows?
What they're doing here? One's got to be on this angle...
and the other one's gonna be on the other angle.
And check it out. When you look at the scarecrows, do you see?
- I mean, do you get it? - Yeah.
We did a lot of fun things making the movie.
One time, we brought Mark's car...
into a vacant drive-thru theater...
took iron rods and smashed up his car.
Another time, we dragged Mark...
headfirst through a swamp, like 25 times.
Coven relates to Northwestern in this sense.
If I don't make money off Coven, how will I make Northwestern?
I've got to make money back on Coven.
So when I did these figures-- 500, 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 units, right?
I said, "Check this out. Fuck this, man."
It's-- I'm sorry for erasing that, but it's 3,000 units for 45 grand.
Because if I don't get that 45 grand, I will not be shit.
There's no 500 copies, no 1,000, no 2,000.
There's fucking 3,000 to be sold...
because if I don't get that, I will never be able to make Northwestern.
You're signing for it because those checks are gonna be...
in Northwest Productions' name.
- And 3,000 plus interest-- - Northwestern's name?
That's the title of the company. That's who the checks get made to.
$3,000 of those checks goes to you. You get your three grand back.
Doesn't sound very kosher to me.
Just make sure they're endorsed Northwest Productions.
- Right. - And he's the only name on it?
But how am I gonna know about what you're doing?
Because it cannot leave the account without your signature.
I don't know what you're doing. I don't have the books.
- You get a statement. - No one can take anything out.
You'll get a monthly statement. Nobody can take any money out unless you sign.
- See? - It's in your control.
Sounds like the usual.
- Sounds like the unusual. - Here. Shake on it.
There you have it.
Columbus took a chance.
- And found what? - Lindbergh took a chance. Had faith.
Faith on nothing.
- Bill, you can't go out like that. - You gotta be upbeat.
Yeah. I mean, you gotta--
- It's gonna work. - A lot of good that is.
When you go in the grave, and you're laying there in the casket...
the last hurrah, the final good-bye...
what're you gonna think about, Bill, huh?
You tell me.
Well, that's the whole deal. You gotta assert yourself and think...
"I am here because--"
You ever think about that?
I am here because.
Hey, man...
you have two hours tomorrow from 11:00 to 1:00 to be an extra in a film?
Are you sure about that, Charlie?
Hey, do you know where I live?
I live two blocks from you.
All right, dude, you got a pen? Can you get a pen?
- You've seen a lot of movies, right? - Yeah.
And you basically know how to frame shots?
I guess. No, not really, but--
But I mean, if you would see an action...
you would kind of centrifugally focus on it-- "it" being in the center?
Yeah, I can figure that out.
I think my ma's gonna have to end up going out in the woods.
I have my shopping to do, and I have so much.
This is the last day I can shoot. All extras fell through, except Mike Schank.
- You gotta help me. - Mark, I have so much to do.
- I'm doomed. - What am I supposed to do?
Just stand there.
Make sure everyone has brown gloves.
- Does everyone have brown gloves? - No, dude, dude, dude.
- I have some here. - Okay.
Show the group of the coven, and then I got one shot which is a close-up of me.
Then one shot of a swish right to the left of a tight of a coven member...
as he sees him for the first time.
Yeah, low angle, man.
Then I need somebody to scale the tree and get that snow off.
Son of a fucking bitch. Everybody just come up for a second.
Right up to the camera.
I'm just gonna go wide on you.
Oh, yeah. Okay, this is kinda great.
You gotta spread apart like about five feet each.
- That way. Okay, very cool. - Penny...
can you please put my soda on the tarp...
so it's not frozen when we're done?
Because I'd like to drink it, please.
Five-- We're gonna do like a five, six, eight split.
You guys got to look menacing. Can you be more menacing?
Oh, man, all right. We gotta do what we can do then, I guess.
All right.
I think it went good, but I don't wanna say that until I see the footage...
because you never know what's gonna happen.
I've been out here five fucking times, doing the same shit.
But I'll fucking get this down...
and I think with these last four shots, we might have this fucker in the can.
- Cut. How's that, man? Talk to me. - Good.
Well, we can't see your beard. How's that?
- What do you see? - You can see part of the beard.
- This is the edge of the close-up. - Fuck it. You're right.
Man, I go out here. Just go out there...
hour, two hours, drive around these houses...
and it's like, okay, now I know what I'm here for again.
You got that squared away. But to be serious...
the American dream stays with me each and every day.
I'm glad we're doing this today because I was really getting down and out...
and thank God they extended my phone bill till Friday and lowered it too.
But anyway, so today I'm gonna go right back to work so we can get--
Actually, my house ain't gonna look like this. It'll look flatter...
and less obnoxious that this.
He wants to have the good life eventually.
He wants the big house and the nice car and all that...
but, you know, for the last, I don't know, ten, fifteen years...
he's been delivering newspapers.
I realized one thing, in a kind of Christian-coded ethical arena:
Why should you be successful while others are not?
Well, you know what? I got over that guilt.
'Cause you know what? I don't know that answer. I don't know why.
It feels like-- in a Christian-- what Jesus would be saying.
It's totally unchristian to try to get ahead...
because everyone's one an equal, level playing field, an equal par.
But you know what? I'm not a Christian. I'm a half-and-half, man.
Half's the satanist idea and half the Christian idea.
Satanist, which is the pursuit of human endeavors...
and Christianity, which is the pursuit of higher levels.
Okay, part of the script is asking for a junkyard.
There's actually several scenes--
This new girlfriend is slick. She's cool.
You know?
- How did you meet this girl, Mark? - She's helping on the film, man.
And if he's able to even do 25%...
of what he says...
it is more than what most people accomplish.
He's got a goal, and he's going after it...
one way or another.
He's gonna achieve it.
- Don't push me, you fox. - I don't care.
Happy birthday, little Cee-Cee.
- Hey, what do you say? - Pee-pee.
- Say, "Hi, Daddy." - Hi, pee-pee Daddy.
Happy birthday.
Mark's got three kids by Alyssa.
From what Mark tells me, they never get along anymore, you know.
Alyssa shouldn't be worrying about what I'm doing.
I could just be having a fine time with Joan there.
There's like lots of connections when there's kids...
and sometimes it's not broken off...
as quickly as it should be.
- How do you feel about Joan? - I like her.
In fact, that's the one girl that I really respect and like...
because she's fun to be around and I don't wanna mess that up.
Hey, man, how you doing? You're just sitting there, eh?
Cheer up, man. The world is yours.
- What're you doing? - Just sitting.
What, contemplating what you did with your life?
- Yeah, sort of. - What'd you do with your life?
Well, what didn't I do?
What are your plans for the future?
Doesn't look like I got much plans.
I heard you're gonna be a big-time movie producer.
- Really? - Good news.
We're working very hard. You'll have your $3,000 back very soon.
- Really? - Yep.
We got the whole tomorrow storyboarded out. Here.
I know. I saw that a couple of times already.
When did you see the storyboards?
Well, you gave it to me to peruse.
So I did.
- You perused them? Where are they? - It's in here.
How come every time I give you something, it ends up under the shoes?
You told me to keep it here.
Within weeks, the film will be cut, finished.
Throw in an optical track on the release print...
get it into 3/4-inch, bump it down to half-inch for multiple sales.
- What do you think about that? - Multiple sales to whom?
To the buying audience. We're selling 3,000 units.
Who's the buying audience?
Bill, we're selling 3,000 units at $14.95 each...
which is a return of 45 grand.
Pay for the film, get the three grand back, pay everyone back, take profits--
That'll be the day.
You know what? I'm gonna bring over a bottle of wine. You have a preference?
Red or white wine?
- Red or white? - Red or white?
Yeah, now you're thinking.
And you get your name on the credits as a producer.
You are on the path-- one-way path to hell.
- How's it going? - Really good.
- Looking good. - Thank you.
Okay, action.
No, this is wrong, this is all wrong. It's too claustrophobic.
I don't know why Mark is spending all this time completing Coven...
when it's supposed to be his preproduction time for Northwestern...
which I was originally involved with.
He's supposed to be taking care of my money and doesn't say a thing about it.
And neither does the bank or anybody else.
How much money do you have?
280,000 bucks.
Supposed to be, but I don't know if it actually is.
Some of the actors said this has been going on for two years.
One way you gotta look at it, he's a determined motherfucker...
if he's stuck this out for a half-hour film.
So I guess he probably will get Northwestern finished.
All we want to do is finalize the kitchen, get the props set.
We're ready for Tom's close-up, and we got to keep moving, man.
We gotta move, move, move, and that's the bottom line.
It's a noisy day. This is supposed to take place in winter, but there's birds.
You hear those birds?
They're just going, so I'm gonna cover that up and make the best of it.
I was actually looking at the storyboard here.
I hadn't looked at it since yesterday. It refreshed my memory about shot 37...
where my head goes through the cupboard.
I had done this one about one-and-a-half years ago or whenever we filmed last.
This was the one shot that I had hoped that we got right the first time.
Mark.
Mike, take it easy. Let's not go through all--
Hey, man, what the fuck's the matter with you?
Man.
- Oh, you did follow me. - Yeah.
- We didn't move out? - No.
- We gotta move out. - Right.
- We're gonna need another one. - Do a take three.
It's about 11:30 in the morning. We got till 6:00 p.m. to do 52 shots.
We'll do it, and we'll end it in a beautiful fucking bloodbath.
So I don't wanna--
I'll be right there. I got the perfect blankets. I just found them.
That camera will be silent.
What the fuck is wrong with you, man?
We're running a little late here...
and I'm getting set up for the last shot.
I always give a finite time that I'm gonna end...
so I can get out of here at a reasonable time...
but I'm also aware that it's kind of Mark's dream to finish the film...
and so I try to strike a balance and, you know, not split too early.
This is the door that Tom Schimmels is gonna get his head put through.
I put a few scores in here to lessen the blow...
so no permanent damage done to him, and he appreciates that.
Sorry. Your finger all right?
And action. Motherfucker!
- Guys. - Oh, man, you all right?
- What? - This door opened up.
Dude, you missed the scoring, man.
Motherfucker, man!
All right, hold on, hold on. Cut, cut, cut.
Let's get this man an ice pack.
Dude, you know what? I'm sorry I tried to put your head in this.
This is going to take some shit.
Go.
Action. You sick motherfucker!
You motherfucking crazy, man? Come out here, man.
Nerves twitching, please. Fingers.
Just the fingers, just the fingers.
Heartbeat.
- The name of the film is Coven. - It's pronounced Coven.
What else could it be pronounced?
"Coven." That's the proper pronunciation.
No, "coven" sounds like "oven," and that just doesn't work.
Not unless you want to put an umlaut or something over the "O."
A what? Hold on a second. Those two dots?
Yes. Possible.
There's something cinematic about it. It's like a stage or something.
You look all around, man. The graveyard is like a stage.
Then all of these dead people too. It's like-- they can't bitch at you.
You don't have to hear their opinions. They're there though.
They're here as decent human beings, finally.
Here you are equal.
Parents be coming after you because you have a movie camera in one hand...
and a beer in the other, man, they wouldn't tolerate--
I mean, that was and is the joy of life.
That wasn't tolerated, man, when you were 14, 15 years old.
They'd start coming after you...
so you'd get out into the cemetery with your beer and your film camera...
and you were one with the world and equal with the world.
- It was a vast work field. - He'd always say...
he was gonna become a millionaire and all of us would be jealous of him.
It didn't really make us envious of him.
It just made-- at least me, anyway-- just feel kinda sorry for him...
pity him, that he felt that way.
Honestly, I thought he was gonna grow up to be a stalker or serial killer...
or do something where he would try to plan someone's death.
And, unfortunately, sometimes I had the idea that it might be mine.
What were the films that influenced you most when you were younger?
Dawn of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead and Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
- What about those films influenced you? - Oh, it's simple.
Dawn of the Dead seemed more realistic than Hollywood films.
There was gray skies and dead trees...
and the National Guard out there.
It was just something I didn't see in other films.
It was just great. The dialogue was different. There was blood.
Night of the Living Dead-- It was in black-and-white.
Dead trees and gray skies.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre was like one of those 16-millimeter accident films...
they'd show you in school--
the grain of it and the saturated color of it.
I'd be having nightmares.
I mean, that was really like being alive...
and watching something instead of something dead like a Hollywood film.
- What was the last movie he took you to? - Apocalypse Now.
Did you like it?
And he kept on saying, "The horror."
- Who said that? - The guy on Apocalypse Now.
I like it here.
I'm pretty sure my mom and dad live here.
I guess they keep an address here, even though my dad's not around much.
My mom-- Swedish girl, a little excitable.
My mother and my father, they just don't mix very well.
The home environment wasn't what--
Had I had a say in what it should be...
it would've been somewhat different in that--
Well, no, it's getting in the personal.
There always was conflict. You never knew what was going to happen.
Sometimes it would be scary, and I think how he dealt with it...
was completely withdrawing from the family.
Two tens and two dollars.
So I'll either win ten or a dollar if I win.
- No, I didn't win anything. - Life is hard.
- Yeah, life is hard. - A potato.
- I won two dollars on this one. - You did?
Yeah. See? Two dollars plus a potato is two dollars.
I've been losing about ten bucks a day for the last week.
Here's what I think of the lottery: I think when you play the lottery...
sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.
But it's better than using drugs or alcohol...
because when you use drugs or alcohol-- especially drugs--you always lose.
I'm telling this to my ma. His Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor...
drives him over to his Gamblers Anonymous meetings.
Yeah, his sponsor also has a problem.
Yeah.
How does your sponsor gamble?
No, I mean, does he do scratch-offs?
He goes there for scratch-off problems?
Maybe he buys five dollar ones.
What do you owe? How much?
Dude, I owe like $10,000 to my dad...
$3,600 to child support...
one-and-a-half thousand to the IRS...
MasterCard, like $500...
Marshall Field's card like for about $100...
the phone, probably like $300.
I owe like state tax $50.
I mean, that's not paying the state tax--
Did you say Cliff said he won't give Mark any more money?
No, he said that this is enough because he owes him so much.
I'm not interested in financing something...
that I can't be 100% in sympathy with myself.
He'd have to cut out the language part of it...
and get off this kick with the bottle, all that sort of thing.
So, what we gotta do is film you coming down like that at the same pace...
as you coming into the leg, like that, all right?
I don't know what about his movies he's making, the message he's sending.
If they're supposed to be entertaining or have some kind of moral value...
I don't know.
It seems to me that with so many movies out there and such a big selection...
that people can choose from...
what is it about these movies that he thinks are special...
that people will go out of their way to purchase?
Here we go. Now, he bent your knife. Hold on.
- That sucked, man. - Let me unbend it.
Don't cut yourself.
One day I was partying in my basement...
and I always used to get pissed off inside...
because I would want to party really heavy...
and no one else would, you know.
Then, all of a sudden, Mark came over...
and either I had a bottle of vodka, or he had a bottle of vodka.
But anyway, we were drinking vodka, and I was so happy...
that I found someone who would drink vodka with me, you know?
So, then Mark would drink vodka with me all the time.
I'd go over there all the time, and we'd buy a fifth of vodka and share it.
And that really made me happy.
Get ready again. Put your hand on the button.
I'm serious, man. Make sure it stays integrated, enmeshed.
Okay, action.
Keep it rolling.
Cut.
Thank you. Done good, son.
Alyssa called, saying she was gonna take the kids away.
Why does she wanna take the kids?
Because, you know, I won't marry her.
Because Joan’s around.
I mean, she's living with this dude now for three years, you know?
And my kids live over there.
Why can't I be with Joan and have my kids too...
just like her situation, you know?
- And I can't, man. - Did you tell her this?
Yeah. Hell, yeah, I told her that. She don't give a fuck.
- Are you afraid? - Oh, yeah. People take action.
People say that it's just words, and all of a sudden, one day...
she's moved out of state, which she says she'd do, and all kinds of stuff.
You know? So, it's like, if she can't have me...
she's just gonna take the kids away.
I can't even believe she would say shit like that.
I mean, that's crazy. I love my kids, and I wanna be a good father.
I'm trying to get all this shit done.
You can't have your cake and eat it too, all the time.
I don't wanna end up being a nothing.
Holy shit.
Where are you?
I'll show you this song. I'll sing it for you.
So here's to the joys we had together
When we met in June
Let us be the way we were Sorry
I miss you so much
Since you died
Since you wanted to die
- That's the end. - It's a pretty optimistic view.
That's not the one I had in mind. I had another one in here.
- Where'd it go? - I couldn't find it.
- Are these songs you wrote? - Well, this is what happened to me.
So, good-bye, dear
Hope you're in heaven where you belong
I was wondering, do they smoke and have cigarettes in heaven
I don't think so
I still love you
I'll visit your grave every day
Well, not every day...
but I'll visit it sometime if I ever find it.
I'll find it. Don't tell me where it is.
So, good-bye, sweetheart
Bye-bye blues
That's nonalcoholic, man.
Let me open this up and let me get this sucker out.
Check it out. Put in my first goddamn turkey.
Yeah. Okay. Bye-bye, see you.
Okay, have a good time, Ma.
Listen, will it make you feel better if we get that house schnapps?
- Yeah. Do that. - Would you like that?
Yes, I would.
What would you like, man?
I'd like to have a peppermint schnapps...
with Sprite...
and ice in it...
and two gobs of it.
Got a good taste.
My dad's up north. He called, wishes us well.
My ma and my brother are having a very sterile dinner somewhere...
talking very sterilely about some very sterile subject.
- You ready to take that bath now? - Yes, sir.
Okay, let's go, man.
I'm trying, I'm trying.
Put your feet back.
Same to you.
You're a man outta control. Just lift your other armpit.
That's a wicked-ass toenail, dude.
Whoa, that toenail's more than a quarter inch thick.
- I know. - That's a science photo.
- Science photo? - They can use that in science class.
- Science class? - All right, I think you're done here.
- No, you gotta do my back part. - You gotta lift your back up.
What am I doing? I'm washing Bill's clothes.
Fucking man's inhumanity to man.
Doesn't mean you have to be a saint to wash the boy's handkerchiefs and socks.
How long has he been soaking?
You know the man's freezing in there.
Just ten minutes. I'm trying to jack him up with hot water.
With his peppermint schnapps?
Well, that was his idea. Not mine, believe me.
- I hope he doesn't pass out in there. - No, it's strictly monitored.
- Who's monitoring? - I'm monitoring.
What's so funny about that?
Come on, pull.
Let me hold your arm.
It's not really coming in pieces. It's coming in flakes.
Cooking it at 325 was actually the right thing to do.
Dude, what's up? I ain't seen you for a while.
Your smiling face. What the hell you have to say for yourself?
- Happy Thanksgiving. - Happy Thanksgiving, man.
- What do you have to say? - Nothing, really.
- What do you got in that bag? - Soda.
- Soda? - Yeah.
You're lucky we got all ends tooken care of.
Yeah.
- You look happier than hell, Jack. - Yeah, so do you.
Well, I ought to be, man.
What do you know that we don't?
I won $50 on a lottery ticket today...
but I don't want them guys to know...
because, otherwise, they'll wanna borrow money from me.
Have a seat, Bill. Dinner's served.
- Right here? - Yeah, have a seat.
- Good. - Head of the table.
You're executive producer.
Bill, what you need? You want peas, corn, potatoes...
turkey?
- I need a knife. - Here.
I could see great cinema in this.
- Cinnamons? - Cinema.
Cinnamon?
Dude.
Dude, I see great cinema.
That's good.
That's something good, anyhow.
But I don't know what it is.
Yeah. You know--
You spend your whole life surrounded by people...
"We're gonna do this, and we're gonna do that."
What do you think? What do you fucking really think, huh?
- What do you really think? - About what?
For years, I've been trying to face up to who I am and shit like that.
But I can't. I don't know why, man.
It's like I know where I wanna be and what I wanna do, so I don't know.
I wanna come out of all of this stuff.
He wants to be somewhere where he's not.
But then, don't most people want to be somewhere where they're not?
Hey, man, you ripped that one song off, I hate to tell you, from Black Sabbath.
I didn't. I wrote all the words.
Yeah, but, dude, I'm saying there's an unconscious influence.
Yeah, but all your ideas come from somewhere else, Mark.
You can't make up an idea by yourself.
- No, dude. - It's gotta come from somewhere.
Yeah, but-- Have you listened to the tune?
- That's an exact copy. - No, it's not though.
- You changed one word. - I changed all-- I used one word.
I used the word "insane," and that's it.
- What's that? - The Ghost of Christmas Past.
- You have to whisper, okay? - All right.
'Cause otherwise, we'll get into trouble.
- What? - Otherwise we'll get into trouble.
All right.
I've really been unhappy probably at least for a good week...
and it just got worse.
I decided to use it to my advantage...
and just start working on Northwestern.
It's gonna be a long, tough road writing this script...
but I'm taking my depression into Dawn's character...
and trying to get some good stuff out of it.
Are you thankful, Mike?
I don't know. For some things, I guess. I don't really know.
I'm thankful I won 50 bucks the other day...
thankful that I won another ten dollars today...
and I'm thankful for all the food that I've been eating...
you know, around Thanksgiving time.
He came over and put a smile on my face.
I didn't even wanna wake up tomorrow morning.
I had nothing to look forward to.
I'm thankful that Mike came over and put a smile on my face...
talking his shit.
- That is wicked. - Oh, yeah?
- Oh, yeah. - What are you watching?
Northwestern from 1990, six years ago.
And--
We're looking, and we're thinking about stuff right now.
That's really, really cool with that handheld-- with the wheelbarrow...
but it's got to be smoothed out.
- You know? But at least I was out-- - You started shooting six years ago?
Oh, yeah, absolutely, man...
and I felt it many years before that, many years before that.
Why'd you stop?
I think, obviously, there's gotta be some fear...
like if you actually go ahead and do it and complete it...
there's more consequences to it.
You let a day go by and fantasize, and that day slips into years.
Suddenly you're in this living room watching something from six years ago.
That shot does look good. Right there.
Down the aisle. Be right back.
And don't stop till I say cut. Roll it.
- Now you are off. - Cut. What? Now what?
You can hardly see your mouth anymore.
I cannot be dead-center in the frame.
In front of my sight of vision...
that should occupy more of the frame than the back of my head.
Okay, Ma, just tell me how it looks.
You were down when you do this.
- I'm trying to get outta frame there. - Yeah.
Keep the camera rolling. Did you just turn off the camera?
Cut.
- Am I framed up? - Yeah.
Oh, now I see there's a frame there.
Oh, no! What are you talking about, Ma?
Okay, just never mind, man.
Okay, just-- The camera's rolling, sound is rolling.
- Is that-- - I see a frame inside here.
Yeah, it's the TV frame. That's the frame we're trying to--
You should be higher up, much higher up.
Your face is-- Yeah, more above you.
Where am I at now, Ma, with all of this film burning?
- Yeah, that's okay. - Okay, ready?
Absolute quiet, please.
You got out of the frame several time, and then you jumped in again.
- Gosh, it's so uncomfortable here. - Did you turn the camera off?
- Yeah. - I didn't say cut. Now cut.
Excellent. Okay? You wanna roll this, honey?
Good morning, Monica. Mark just wanted me to call...
to let you know what was happening.
Right, and then we're gonna come over by you...
and finish something up over there, something with the car.
Joan came, and Alyssa was here, then left.
Mark is right in the middle between them.
You've just ended what we've just begun.
- You fucking left me. - I needed a break.
Three fucking years ago.
You're not just gonna walk away.
There's nothing that lasts, you know?
But I think that this will last for some time.
You think what will last?
The problem between Alyssa, Mark and Joan and Mark.
What're you doing here?
When I run this Bolex, that'll be the last take of Coven.
I don't know how you get the-- you know?
It's kinda weird...
to do the last shot of the film.
I guess not. I think everything actually makes sense.
It's me alone doing it...
sitting here in this car.
As Joanie put it, "Now you got nothing"...
so she walked off into the sunset.
Alyssa ruined-- We were just...
really getting so well along and just starting into things...
and Alyssa came over, man.
I was humiliated. The situation and--
I'm just gonna do the last shot of the film here. Ma's gonna take a picture.
He lives for movies, making movies.
Always dreaming that someday he will make a big movie.
Do you think he ever will?
It costs money, and where is he getting any money from?
I don't know.
I don't think so.
Favre looking around.
It's across the middle, and there's G.V. at the 30!
To the 25! Wow. A gain of 40 yards.
You know the ship is sinking when that happens.
Dawn, what are you doing?
You get settled now.
Okay, Robert. You ready?
You're ours. You belong to us.
I'm listening to the A.D.R. work right now.
What's A.D.R. work?
- Additional dialogue recording. - What's additional dialogue recording?
When the original dialogue recording while the camera was running...
is not good enough because of camera noise or extraneous noise...
you must rerecord it in a more subtle environment.
- You understand now? - No.
What is it you do not understand?
There you go. Here.
Are you editing? You're through with that too.
Every scene has been edited. Right now I'm just fine-cutting.
Tomorrow I'm going in and staying the whole day, staying overnight. Boom.
Doing what?
Editing. Fine-cutting.
Oh. Fine-cutting.
Oh. Hallelujah.
I'm never drinking or using drugs again.
- Are you sure about that? - I'm 100% positive.
I did that myself on the word processor. I did two different types of print.
The description sounds intriguing.
You know, Mike, I could really use your expertise at remembering things...
to figure out where frame 6962 is at this point.
This is definitely a sign of voodoo.
- Why is it a sign of voodoo? - It's an unnatural cross, Mark.
You think when Jesus was hanging there He thought it was natural?
- Are you coming down here tomorrow? - Yes.
But I gotta work at the cemetery tomorrow.
...in 17 plays.
Here's Brett Favre up under--
The boss looked me in the eye and said...
"Mark, I hope this is the beginning of a long relationship."
I tell you what, man. It scared the shit out of me.
Years of vacuuming at a cemetery? Uh-uh, man.
I don't see how people can go year after year at these fucking stupid jobs...
and not want to make something of themselves-- I don't get it.
You ain't gonna see me vacuuming no floors.
Give this a handful of weekends, man, and it's out.
Where are these from, Mark?
They're from the cemetery.
They sell flowers there?
No, this is like from the flower shop or something. I don't even care.
It has nothing to do with any grave or taking anything.
- This is flowers-- - They don't have graves there, right?
They just have vaults.
I-- Right. That is a grave. They've got graves in the yard.
But I'm saying it's a new thing. No one possesses it. No one owns it.
It's my flower to you.
Watch out, man. Dawnie, get your sleeping bag ready.
It's not a sleeping bag.
- Shit. - Shit, all I can see is purple and--
Is that the first-- Did you swear, man?
I don't care. I'm just asking if I'm--
If I'm hearing things or I'm going to sleep, 'cause I never hear you swear.
- I never swear. - I thought you said "shit."
- Did you? - I didn't.
- No. Did I? - Yeah, you did.
I just want know, 'cause I don't want to be hearing things.
- I don't care. I'm just asking. - You're hearing things.
No, I don't. I got good auditory senses.
Second and nine.
If he patted his right hip, how would he snap the ball?
- He would have patted his hip before-- - Wow.
My dad has always had a host of recommendations...
for what career fields I should pursue:
truck driver, police officer...
electrician, et cetera, et cetera.
What does he think about your filmmaking?
He thought it was thoroughly foolish when I was, like, 14.
Now he's very adamant about me getting the film done.
I said, "Maybe I should just get a job and quit this film."
And he's like, "No, no, you can't quit the film! You gotta get it done."
What's the relationship between your parents?
Oh, man. They're always fighting all the time.
Always.
They never got along.
I mean, since I was around.
Man.
I wouldn't allow my kids to go through that shit, man.
If you give them a destiny, they've got something to look forward to.
It was totally uncool. I mean, it was totally...
without thinking-- the way they acted-- and what effect it would have on us...
all three of us growing up.
Now they're totally cool. You couldn't ask for better parents.
But they were out of control.
Hey, how the hell far away is this marsh now?
Well, it's coming up.
This is sound for the woods. It's gonna totally suck.
That's a cut because...
there's not one fucking bird.
All I hear are trucks.
I am going to have to go to Kettle Moraine or something like that.
So there's absolutely nothing recorded for Pike Lake.
- Hi, Mark. - Hey, Mike.
- My mom packed us a lunch. - Did she? Oh, that's cool.
Yeah, we got Polish sausage, cheese and crackers...
and other stuff.
Good to see a smile on your face.
- How you doing? - Who else is here?
We're gonna do this by the numbers. We gotta do a little sound recording.
Tell him we have to do it now.
Yeah, all right.
Yeah, okay.
- Yeah, bye-bye, now. - Thanks, Ma. We'll see you around 1:00.
Yeah. Bye-bye.
Okay, we gotta do one line for the film. No one can hear you say...
"It's all right. There's something to live for. Jesus told me so."
When am I gonna eat my dinner here?
Can you give him some cheese and crackers? Give him something to eat...
so we can record this one bit of dialogue here.
Oh, nuts.
Try a piece of this.
- Oh, that's good stuff. - Yeah.
Don't have a damn thing to drink either?
- Here, Bill. - Get him a soda, Mike.
- Okay. - Here you go.
- Here's a soda, Bill. - Oh, thanks.
Don't spill it.
Never heard of that one.
Oh, that's good.
That's a brand-new soda from Coca-Cola. It's called "Surge."
It's the first line of the film, man. It's gotta be on the money.
Roll down the window, Bill.
- It's all right, uh-- - Okay, cut.
All right, man. Shit.
You gotta give it some passion, too, and you gotta--
"It's all right. It's okay. There's something to live for!
Jesus told me so!"
It's all right!
There's something to live for!
Jesus told me so!
Okay, great, Bill, but we gotta-- we have to have fluidity in there.
It's all right, it's okay, uh--
Okay, cut. You gotta bring passion to it.
A message. It's a message.
This is the shits. For the birds.
This is for the birds.
Okay. I believe we can do this.
I believe this can be done, Bill.
Hey, Mike, why don't you keep track of what takes these are.
- Is this fucking take seven? - We're at seven now.
Okay, let's do take seven.
It's all right. It's okay.
Cut. Okay.
You have to believe in what you're saying, Bill.
I do?
Well, I don't.
I don't believe in nothing what you're doing.
All right. Give it some passion.
"It's all right! It's okay! There's something to live for!
Jesus told me so!" You did it before, you can do it again.
Okay, this is take eight.
It's all right! It's okay!
Okay, that's fine. You gotta watch your teeth, too...
'cause they clack a little bit when they loosen up in the mouth.
And take ten.
It's all right! It's okay!
It's something to live for!
Jesus told me so!
You couldn't ask for anything better. I think it was recorded too high.
Give it all you got. What take is this?
- Sixteen. - This is take sixteen.
- Let's go. Take 30. - It's all right--
- Hold up. Take 30. - It's all right! It's okay!
Jesus told me so! There's something to live for!
Okay. Cut. Take 31.
Ain't that enough now?
- No, listen-- - I ain't gonna do this anymore.
That's all for me. Good-bye.
Okay. I'm gonna see what we have to work with.
I'm gonna-- Jesus Christ, man.
And it's like the room was filled with this thick green and red web, you know?
And it's coming out of Laura, and it's coming out of the table...
and it's coming out of the walls, and it's coming out of the floor.
You know? And all of a sudden...
my face hit a table, you know, and I blacked out.
So Laura dragged me outside and laid me on the grass...
you know, hoping I'd wake up.
And then her grandma came home, who she lived with, you know...
and her grandma called an ambulance.
So I'm laying in the hospital, passed out.
They got my brain on a brain scanner.
You know how your brain's supposed to go beep, beep, beep?
Well, mine just went--
Straight across, you know?
And the doctor goes to my ma...
"I don't think your son is gonna make it.
Sorry. I think he's gonna die.
I don't think there's any way we can wake him up or nothing."
So, all of a sudden, I smell this real strong smell.
And it's smelling salts they got in front of my nose.
I start to wake up, and all I see is bright lights.
I'm like, "Damn, where the hell am I?"
Then I realize I'm in the hospital, so I check my pockets for the acid.
They analyzed one hit, and it turned out to be...
blotter paper dipped in liquid P.C.P. with a little bit of downer in it.
They said if it hadn't been for that little bit of downer, I'd be dead.
Anyway, I'm checking my pockets for the acid...
because I was gonna drop my other three hits in the hospital, you know?
All of a sudden, my ma walks in the room and she's holding the bag of acid.
I'm like, "Damn, now I can't drop the rest of my acid in the hospital."
So she flushes it down the toilet, you know?
So then they kept me in the hospital another month.
They said I was the worst case they ever had.
They let me go, and I continued using drugs...
all the way up until...
a little under a year and a half ago.
And that's-- I have more stories like that I could tell you too.
All kinds of drug-related stories.
I could tell you, you know.
I'll try and keep you awake with them tonight.
Need another tape in there.
It's almost like the day before Christmas.
That's right.
- Oh, gosh. - Look at that.
First play. That's it. Game's over.
- Got more of the close-up. - I don't want to take no phone calls.
You can take a paper route, you buy a CP-16, and you shoot the film.
Why, when they talk about making a film, do they talk about "dream"?
"I'm gonna work in a factory."
"Oh, yeah, that's cool, man.
We're gonna drill holes together."
- Here, man. Come on in. - All right.
- Hi. - Hi.
Hey, you know what?
- Somebody win? - Yeah, I won $200 today.
What are you gonna do with that 200 bucks?
I don't know. I gave 100 to my dad.
I got 65 at home in my room, and I got 20 in my wallet.
So if you think of something to spend 20 bucks on, maybe we can spend it.
You know what we can spend 20 bucks on?
About four pitchers at Jim Mitchell's.
I don't want to buy no beer.
I don't either, man, but if you were gonna buy it, I'll drink it.
I don't know.
The Patriots are coming back. They're getting into position--
- There's four minutes left. - That's what we're going to see now.
- We're going to Jim Mitchell's. - I'm not going to any bar.
Mark, I'm not taking you to any bar.
You have had more than enough to drink.
Okay, you know what? Weak.
He can never quit. When he starts drinking, he can never quit.
- Hey, close the door. - Yeah.
- Just outside the Patriot's 40. - Shit!
This is what it's all about-- winning a championship your way.
That's cool. The Packers won the Super Bowl.
Look at the screen.
Every bitch-ass motherfucking factory worker will go down like that too.
Bitch motherfucker!
Mark, none of that conversation.
Just like that.
I will never be like you, you fucking job-working, 40-hour motherfucker.
You can go to fucking hell.
It's a pity that he-- But tomorrow he's gonna be okay again.
I'll be okay again. I'll be just like you, wandering around the kitchen.
Just like you. Yeah, you're right.
Never.
- Well, I'm glad that the Packers won. - Yeah, I'm glad they won.
Yes.
Sunrise to sunset.
- That is sweet. - That was the line.
Hit me with a couple more.
Hold on, Dawn. "Sunrise to sunset."
Mike, are you all right? Are you all right, Mike?
Every time I spoke with him and every time we got together...
there was something that seemed to go wrong...
or did not go as planned.
And he always seemed to forge ahead...
and go through with the project.
I think that's the best thing I can say about his character.
- He's indomitable. - The place you want to be.
I'll say "take two," give it a couple of seconds, and you're burning in hell.
Move up a little bit, Robert. Okay. Cool. And take two.
Ready, Mike? When I say "take one," give it a couple of seconds. Take one.
That was wicked, man.
Okay.
Man, oh, man.
I'll take off the scarf.
She's set to roll. How tight are you on her? Like this tight?
- You're looking better now, Robert. - I'm cold as hell.
You might as well keep the jacket on for a few. Definitely.
There you go.
- All right, freeze that. - Freeze that.
- Dude, you just arched your eyebrow. - Yes.
- Shouldn't I have? - It's cool.
Oh, this is great, right here. Hold that, please.
It's the year of the independent film. Great performances, new faces--
I mean, really new faces. Who are you people?
I'll tell you who they are. They're unbelievably talented people.
Great films, unusual films, risky plots, great direction--
Got one. Okay, great.
- You forgot to wiggle. - Yeah, you forgot to wiggle.
I think 22-A really is the keeper.
- Mega. - Okay.
- So these are mock-ups that I did. - Okay.
I can do different things depending on size and what you want to print on them.
Somebody made that up, you know.
- Oh, it's Bill's birthday. - It's his birthday.
Happy birthday, William. What do you think about that?
I don't know.
Doesn't do much for me.
You look at Bill today-- he was a scholar at one time.
He really was. I always looked up to him as a brother...
like he had an answer for everything, I mean, a proper answer.
How to spell a word-- he knew all that stuff.
Nice day if it doesn't rain.
What are some of the influences that shaped the Mark Borchardt format...
or the Mark Borchardt style?
When I was growing up and drinking, the people I was around, they were...
the Americans still fighting the West with a bottle of vodka in their hand.
There was still territory out there...
In the mind or around the block or something like that.
Expound on that a little, this sort of--
Okay, listen, man. There was no such thing about...
college or religion or anything.
There was drinking. Drinking, drinking, drinking.
Everything would revolve around that-- the money, the time spent, everything.
It was America at that point.
We had, like, 15 people in Mark's backyard.
We had five cases-- no exaggeration-- five or six cases of beer cans...
just sitting there, and my dad came over.
"Yeah, Pops, we need more beer." So he procured us some beer.
Came back, drank a couple beers with us.
All of a sudden, Mark's parents pull up.
My dad immediately flanked around the garage and cut through the back.
He was outta there right away. Didn't want nothing to do with it.
He knew what was going on.
What do you think of Ken Keen?
He is a bad influence, and Mark is a bad influence for Kenny.
Those two shouldn't be together.
With the parents, you know, it's Kenny Keen's fault. He twisted your arm.
With the other parents, too, you know. And that's all bullshit...
because I, you know--
I think peer pressure's bullshit.
Where are we headed, Mark?
We're headed to jail to pick up Kenny.
He'll be happy as hell. He's out in two minutes, man.
- And how did they get him? - He and his ma were inside the house...
and all of a sudden the lights went off.
They went down to check the fuse box, and the boys were there waiting on 'em.
- Who are "the boys"? - The detectives.
They got him. Definitely.
Now it's 10:04. There's the boy.
- There he is. - Yep.
- Now you gotta fit him in the car. - Oh, yeah.
Hey, Kenny, what's up?
You sure we got enough people involved here?
- Where are you sitting? - I guess I'm sitting up there with you.
All right. I'll move over.
Dude, you're pressing the gas, man!
- Sorry about that, Kenny. - What the fuck, man?
Okay.
Right here I had 7 999...
and right here I have 7 980.
So I had to take the marker and cross out 7 980...
and put in 7-- I mean, 8000.
What are you doing here, Mike?
I'm doing "X" numbers for Mark and Kenny and myself.
What time is it?
It's about 14 to.
I need some fresh air. I'm gonna suck in a lot of fresh air.
- I'll see you to the door. - Yeah.
- Here. After you, Ma. - Okay.
As soon as I wake up tomorrow, Mark, I'll be back.
All right. Cool.
Action.
When you swing, swing in the middle.
This is the last one we got, man.
Hold up, man. Where's that plane at?
- Action? - Action.
Take 14. Action.
I'm hitting it as hard as I can, but it's not doing nothing.
One other thing. Mike, come down here quick. I gotta get the headlights.
Knock out--
You think this is a little bit cathartic for you?
- Very cathartic, Mark. - Do you know what "cathartic" means?
It means--
I think it means getting things out of your system, man.
- Yeah, okay. Then it's cathartic. - Is it? Got that out of your system?
- Pretty damn cathartic, Mark. - Cool.
Last time I was out here was seven, eight years ago to shoot Northwestern.
We shot here in the dead of summer, dead of winter, man. All of that.
I'll be back.
With Northwestern, he's putting more drama into it.
Obviously, this is not a horror film, this is more of a life-and-times.
Probably gonna use a lot of his own experience--you know...
as far as what he went through in life-- is gonna be in this film.
You know, these are the vistas right here.
What does it feel like...
to have a couple rusty cars parked against a rusty background?
Because this is really fall.
In winter, when the earth decays, and the cars have decayed...
and these guys are decaying, you know?
That's what it's all about, you know?
It's--
That's what it's all about-- rust and decay--
but within that is the warmth of the soul and stuff like that.
It's lonely roads, but there's warm houses and cars.
This is the gardens of eternal life, man.
They got these people, like, stacked six high.
Six high, man.
You got one underground grave, that's one amount of money.
You got six of them. Man, it's a vertical business around here.
You know, they just keep stacking them up.
But what we're doing is making sure people are out of here.
This dude claims I locked him in a couple times.
Now that I think of it, that could have been anytime during the week.
Just wanna make sure we don't lock anyone in.
'Cause this place is big, man.
In fact, we'll just kinda go over here.
There's a river.
Ah, Jesus.
This has been going on now, literally, for three years.
Thursday night's opening will be just ten days shy of three years.
But through all of this, Mark has kept an equanimity.
All right. Thanks.
Here.
You know what? I just ran out of a bunch of flyers.
This is all we got left, so you guys can't be just putting them everywhere.
- You gotta put 'em strategically, okay? - Got it.
- Do you have it, Mike? - Yes.
- Yeah? - Mike, dude. The flyers, man.
Oh, yeah. That's right. I'm going to pass them out.
- Dude, where are you walking? - I'm walking in there...
to hang them around strategically.
- You need flyers, man. - That's why I'm asking you for them.
That's why I'm giving you them. All right, listen, dude.
So you and Matt, man--
Make it look good, make it look sharp. I know you can do it.
We were in the union, and we put the flyers on top of a bunch of newspapers.
- Yeah. - And the newspapers were like...
The Wisconsin Light, okay?
So some guy came in to replace the old copies of The Wisconsin Light...
- Yeah. - with new ones...
and took the old ones.
And he took the flyers that were on top of the old ones...
and took off with them because he didn't realize that they were our flyers.
So that's what happened.
But, dude, that doesn't make any sense.
Made sense to him.
I'm in the process of taking down...
over 1,400 flags.
I believe it was yesterday I was called to the bathroom at the cemetery...
to take care of something.
I walked in the bathroom, and in the middle toilet right there...
somebody didn't shit in the toilet, somebody shat on the toilet.
They shat on the walls, they shat on the floor.
I had to clean it up, man, but before that, for 10 to 15 seconds...
I just stared at somebody's shit, man.
To be totally honest with you, man, it was a really, really profound moment.
I was thinking, "I'm 30 years old, and in about ten seconds...
I got to start cleaning up somebody's shit, man."
What do you think are the rewards of this, Mike?
I don't know. Maybe being a famous movie producer or something.
- A what? - A famous movie producer.
Well, what are the rewards of that?
I don't know. Sex, money, power?
Sex, money, power.
I don't know.
I was gonna come in and help Mark cement splice.
Then this little disaster happened.
So now I'm just pulling the shots that were supposed to be cut.
The two frames that are missing.
Big delay, big problem.
Hopefully we can splice it so it doesn't show up too bad.
But...
Mark's in full depression at this point.
Here is a piece of film.
This piece of film must be up on the screen.
This is what happened, man.
Where is this part of the film?
What are you gonna have? A blank spot on the film? What are you gonna do?
You gotta find each missing piece and tape this in. That's what I mean.
You go to a movie, you see this. You don't pay to see that.
What the fuck is supposed to occur here?
You guys want to make films when you get older?
- Why? - Yeah!
Because you got to buy some stuff...
and it takes so much money and so much time.
- And you gotta work a hundred years. - No, you don't.
Yes, you do.
That's going to go on the other side. We need two more. Where's our leader?
This is it, dude.
It'll be done in less than an hour...
so I will be drinking now.
That was the last splice of my film, man.
Now we're just gonna roll through the end, roll black along the song.
I think there'll be a break for a little while...
from-- maybe two days.
No, hopefully a little longer than that.
But I think it will start up right away again.
Would you buy this movie for $14.95?
Yeah. Hell, yeah, man. You know?
If I can find 3,000 people like you across this country, I'm in business.
Of course, man. I mean, shit, that's what Rush tickets were.
I hear that he finished it up a couple minutes ago.
- Hot off the presses. - We're right on schedule here.
- Did you get some sleep? - No, dude.
I'm going to sleep now. I can't even stand up no more.
Three years in the making, you know.
This ain't my film, but I put a lot of work in this film.
I've known Mark for 20 years, and he's like my best friend, and it's done.
So after tonight we can sleep, and then on to the next project, you know.
- Uncle Bill. - Bill's here.
There you go. The executive producer, man.
- Watch your hand. - Come right on over here, man.
Oh, it's all right, man.
Those are tickets that you're selling now.
Hmm, I was wondering.
- Dude was wondering. - They're here to see you.
Well, you happy now?
Or you got finances on your mind?
When I hear the projector rolling and I see Coven on the screen...
I'll believe it.
The start of your money back.
Yeah!
It's all right. It's okay.
There's something to live for.
Jesus told me so.
- How's the writing going? - How's it going? It's going fine.
- Is it? - Did I stutter? I said it's fine.
Yeah, you just don't get it, man.
You're nowhere near getting it.
Hey, man. What the fuck's the matter with you, man?
Mike, take it easy.
Here's one on your first book.
- Good luck to you. - Thanks, Ray.
Trying to help me now, man? Trying to help me now?
Hey, Uncle Bill, thanks. Dad and Mom, for all the sandwiches and the money.
I'm going to wake up to hell tomorrow, man.
Those credit cards ain't gonna look nice, man.
But I'm always a man for my word. Mike Schank, you happy?
- Yeah, I'm happy. - How happy are you, man?
- I'm very happy. - Well, good, man. 'Cause don't drink.
You're gonna set the world's record.
Okay, man. I'm cooled down, but--
Hey, I'm serious, man. If I missed somebody or anything...
thanks a million for helping out, man...
'cause I couldn't have-- whatever-- done it.
Yeah!
Yeah, it was fun. I enjoyed doing it, you know.
I value his friendship and enjoy doing stuff with him.
Making movies is what he does, you know...
so I make movies with him.
Well, I hope all the best for Mark.
He works hard...
and he has a lot of dreams.
I hope they come true.
Product--
product accomplished.
Whatever.
Well, God told me so.
You done good, Bill. Congratulations.
- So, you ready to make the next movie? - Sure.
Good. 40 to 50 grand.
Yeah, you told me that already.
You want your dreams to come true?
My dreams? What dreams are that?
- What's your American dream? - I don't have any dreams anymore.
- You don't? - No.
You can't stop now. What are you gonna do?
Sit around outside of a trailer?
We'll film you sitting outside of a trailer...
but we ain't gonna live sitting outside of a trailer.
Where else am I gonna sit?
You're gonna sit by a large green grass.
Look, man. Let me tell you something.
All people are yammering about is the American dream.
- It's half past 3:00 already. - All they talk about--
- Almost time for me to eat already. - All it is is lip service.
Here we're living it, and I will be goddamned...
if I don't get the American dream.
Hello. Come again?
Stay. Stay a while.
Stick around a while.
Stick around as long as you can.
Heaven help you.
God help you. Jesus help you.
Everybody else help you.
Everybody make happy.
Make everybody happy.
Be a comedian.
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