Note: Maybe a better name for this post would be: How not to prepare for a documentary. But then again….life happens. That’s what makes it interesting.
Let me tweet this on my typewriter:
Chris Wiegand visited the desert…filming for his documentary American Blogger. We were so honored to be a part of it.
Welcome to 110 degree heat Chris….it’s actually a cool day in the desert.
A quick takeaway from filming:
Camera goes on….I can’t think of anything to say.
Camera goes off…..4,895 words a minute.
Checking out the camera equipment:
After filming at the house, we drove up a few miles so he could get some perspective on the desert valley:
We took Chris on a tour of Palm Springs and to see Forever Marilyn.
Dear Casey, your husband is quite the gentleman.
He wouldn’t look up Marilyn’s skirt…until I threatened him:
You came all the way to Palm Springs…LOOK UP at her huge undies….or ELSE.
We went to dinner and Mr. LBB and Chris talked about drilling and engineering stuff…..and I tried to entertain a grumpy Boo. Almost at the end of filming, a cord broke:
Me: Can you fix it?
Chris: If I had the right tools.
Me: Tell me what you need and I’ll see if I have it.
Why yes I do own a soldering gun!
Boo didn’t want Chris to go. Here she is taking her stand in his Airstream:
Late last night Chris set up his camera to film a time lapse of the desert sky. He pointed out the constellations to us and twice we saw a satellite passing smoothly around the earth. I’d never really noticed how bright the stars are in the dark desert. I can’t wait for the sun to set tonight.
Something else I learned yesterday: if someone comes to film a documentary about you, it’s business as usual. Here’s short account of behind the scenes:
1. I think I’ll cut my bangs. Doesn’t turn out quite as I planned.
2. My face breaks out. I haven’t had my face break out in 6.392 years. I hope Chris isn’t filming in HD.
3. Chris calls and says he’s on his way. He’ll be filming in HD.
4. I turn on the lights so it looks like someone lives here. 7 light bulbs pop at exactly the same time. Welcome to the desert hillbillies (or the exorcist?)
5. I forget to do laundry. So much for wearing something cute on camera. I am able to find a clean white t-shirt.
6. The second we started filming: Felix (the yard guy) shows up with the loudest lawnmower and weedeater on earth.
7. Felix does not speak English….and I don’t speak Spanish…..I convince him to come back later by acting out a movie scene in the front yard. He stares at me for a second and in perfect English says “sure, that’s no problem. I’ll come back tomorrow.”
8. Back to filming: Diesel decides to bark at a fly, then he barks at a car passing by, then he barks at his shadow…..then he barks at the oxygen in the air. I lock him in the pantry. scratch…scratch…scratch. I ask Lisa to take him into the studio. Diesel poops in the studio. Someone steps in the poop.
9. Back to filming: the air conditioning comes on. It’s louder than I ever remember it. We turn it off. It doesn’t turn off. It finally turns off after about 10 minutes. The temperature in the house rises to 400 degrees. My eyebrows sweat.
10. Finally filming! I’m going to be so sophisticated and normal! I somehow manage to use the word “cameltoe” 6 times within the first minute.
11. Still filming. The second air conditioning system kicks on.
12. We drive up the mountain. While driving, I utter 2,000 words of complete brilliance. The keys to life. It will save the universe. It will inspire millions. Chris doesn’t have the camera on. I can’t remember what I said.
13. Oh I forgot….I had to move 6 lbs of trash from the front for Chris to have a seat. Throwing 20 empty bottles of hand sanitizer into the back I think I said “why would someone break into my car and leave 400 expired coupons?!” Chris thinks I should do a blog post solely on the contents of my car. I am an embarrassment to humanity.
14. Hey Chris, meet my sweet daughter Boo! Boo decides to be in the worst mood on record.
15. Why don’t you ride next to Boo in the car….she’s always saying witty and funny things. Boo falls asleep.
16. Let’s go see Palm Springs…there’s a lot of stuff going on there. We go to Palm Springs: it’s empty. (insert sound of crickets)
17. Wouldn’t it be nice to film with my daughter and husband on camera? No one wants to be on camera. Boo won’t utter a word.
18. I finally convince Boo to be on camera. She decides to only converse with us in baby gibberish….and she crosses her eyes repeatedly.
19. Let’s film putting Boo to bed. Wouldn’t that be sweet? We walk into Boo’s bedroom and Skyfall is playing on her TV….Silva and Bond are in a violent gun battle…you know, because it’s so typical for us to let Boo watch a violent movie as she falls asleep.
20: Boo says her prayers. She prays for “oxygen.”
21. Boo gets out of bed 3 minutes later and refuses to go to bed.
22. I ask Boo to read something on camera. She forgets how to read.
23. Boo, do you want to help Chris take his stuff out to his truck? Boo does a face plant down a flight of stone steps.
Thank you Chris for visiting our little oasis in the middle of the southern California desert. Loved sharing my little part of the blogging world with you. It’s nice to hang out with someone who “gets” me….the working alone….the love of creating….the adrenaline when you have a vision for a project. You are so talented and I know you are going to do great things. I feel blessed to have taken part in a small slice of your project.
You can follow Chris and his project American Blogger here: