Sunday, October 24, 2004

October 23, 2004
We took off from Phoenix at noon yesterday and halfway down the freeway to Phoenix, Mike Pelligati realized we didn't have a fog machine for the saloon scenes in Tombstone. Jeff called his wife on his cell, and she did a map quest of a Halloween Party store in Gilbert, but when we got out there they were closed because of a power outage.

So we drove on to Tucson, and after a Mexican food stop at El Indio ($27, Sue account,) we went over to a Party store at Craycroft and Broadway Roads and bought a fogger, fake blood (two kinds, thick and thin) and a fake skin wound for the Milt Joyce shot in the hand by Doc Holliday scene we wanted to shoot ($36, Mike paid).

We had big plans and I read the scripts aloud as we drove on down to Tombstone and we planned out our shot list.

Got to Tombstone at five, met John Martin who was the promoter for the one-night-only-event at the Oriental Saloon. I walked Mike and Jeff around the town and showed them where the events we would be shooting actually happened and we looked at what we could actually use (not much).

At six we met Dave Daiss, who drove over from his ranch in Sonoita, and the four of us had dinner at the Lamplighter in the Tombstone Boarding House ($67, salmon dinner and a glass of wine, I bought).

We had a comped room at the Holiday Inn Express just out of town (near the site of historic Watervale) up on the hill and the only place for miles around that cell phones could get a signal. In fact we couldn't get a signal in the lobby, only outside in the parking lot, so the three of us walked around the parking lot in the dark talking to our wives. Funny sight).

As we went to our rooms, we noticed the rec room was crammed with lodgers watching (what else?) Tombstone.

We got up town at eight in the morning Saturday and interviewed and gave screen tests to about 30 members of the local Vigilantes group. Got some funny, good stuff for future True West moments and also as a reference tool for future Classic Gunfights.

At about 11 we commandeered the historic Crystal Palace Saloon to re-enact the black and blue plaid shirt shooting. The fogger worked perfectly and gave the room an excellent patina of haze and authenticity.

Got some really strong scenes (the actor, Warren, from Minnesota, portraying Tom Waters was excellent). Unfortunately one of the owners came in and kicked us out, saying we were driving away customers and she had two bartenders standing around, so after a bribe of $50 and a promise of a mention (Hey, you Maniacs, go to the Crystal Palace in Tombstone and say, "Drinks all around! True West magazine sent me in to get drunk and blow my paycheck in here. Yeeehhaaaaaa!!!" Or words to that effect. Thanks.)

The party in the Oriental came off big time at 7 p.m. and it was a zoo on the corner. They had a big Cox Cable truck set up on the street showing (what else?) Tombstone, so we really couldn't shoot the nighttime shots we wanted. So after filming Peter Sherayko, the guest of honor at the Oriental hoedown, we decided to come back another time when we could control the environment and the street a tad better, so we drove home, getting in at two in the morning.

"The first rule in pitching horseshoes, is to remove the horse."
—Old Vaquero Saying?

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