Thursday, September 20, 2007

September 20, 2007
Gus Walker turned in "The Last Campaign: Jesse James Meets His Fate" map this morning (via the web). Very cool map, but then Gus always does cool maps. I'm on the home stretch for the Dick Liddil vs. Wood Hite fight. Need to check on the veracity of a Dick Liddil photo I have seen in recent years. It's a great photo, but sometimes these tricked out images (Liddil is holding a pistol) are too good to be true. McCubbin will know.

Geographic Film Ignorance, Part II
"You struck a nerve with me Bob, when you talked about Hollywood making a film in the area where it does not take place. Earlier this year Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee had its premiere in Rapid City, South Dakota. (It was filmed in Canada.) As luck would have it, I was one of the people hired to set up the screen and sound system for the show over at our Civic Center. When it was all over the Producers went back stage where I cornered one of them, a gal, and asked why they made this movie in Canada instead of South Dakota? She replied right away that it was cheaper to film there!!!!!! I said that I could understand that if they had actually come to South Dakota and scouted possible locations, and checked out how much the motel rooms are during the 'off season' (we did a film here in December called The Stone Child where the motel rooms were $30.00 per night with 2 people sleeping in 'em) and the availability of qualified crew!

"I would have known if they had come here as I'm on the Black Hills Film Commission.(The Boone's Lick people skipped us too.) Furthermore I said.....the plot of your film is that the Lakota people are constantly being screwed over for money.......and one of the few jobs the Indians ever get offered on a regular basis is playing extras in the occasional film job! So, I guys did it again , you screwed the Lakotas over for MONEY!!!!!!! She started sputtering about how HBO was planning to come to South Dakota and do some follow up Deadwood films but I said that doesn't help the Lakotas. I found out later that the cast & crew suffered through a very cold winter of filming, while we had one of our most mild winter seasons! And the location they picked looked like CANADA!!!!!!! They have the 7th Cavalry attacking at the Little Big Horn through a forest of pine trees! The Christmas film National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets was here to film at Mount Rushmore this Spring (I worked with the locations department) They planned to film for only 2 days....found out how reasonable the cost was and ended up shooting here for 2 weeks!!!!!!! The ending was supposed to be filmed in is now in South Dakota!"

"I didn't mean to go on and on, but I'm with you that more care should go into picking a location! And they should check into cost as well, some areas are very depressed when tourist season is over!"
—Jim Hatzell

South Dakota standing in for California? That's too rich (and that transformation doesn't bother me).

When I was a young and in a band I was very attracted to the hippie commune lifestyle. Why? Two reasons: free love and living off the land. It was, at least in my mind, a place where the Old West meets Surf City ("two girls for every guy"). But I was too shy and too provincial (read that "Kingman") to ever actually go partake in the fantasy, although I have friends who did, and, in fact, I actually married one of them.

So an article in the new Playboy caught my eye: "The Ranch: Full-grown children of a commune come to grips with the original green lifestyle." The author, David Black, spent time on a commune in the 1960s and for the article he went around the country interviewing former commune members and kids, now grown-ups, who were raised on a commune. Several traits of the former-commune-kids are fascinating: none of them has an iPod; they don't want to share, because they were forced to share everything in a hippie way when they were kids. Ha. Most still adhere to no TV, and suprisingly, to me, they prefer outdoor plumbing.

So, why are most of the communes defunct?

"No one was doing the cooking, the cleaning, the chores," said one ex-hippie. "It always came down to who would dump the garbage." Everyone wanted to sit around and come up with big ideas, but nobody wanted to actually do anything. Another old hippie added, "On a commune, you need people who know how to do things. And the problem is the ones who are not competent always take charge." That rings true in all walks of life.

Another problem was "shared money," as in "Hey, man, we're all going to share equally." This worked when the commune members were sharing government assistance, but when people got jobs and inherited property, it became, as one of them put it, "a farce."

So that leaves free love, but even that had a dark side, and the author was kicked out of his commune for daring to make a pass at an older woman who took offense. Sigh. Paraphrasing Paul Simon from his tune "Kodachrome", none of this reality can top my sweet little imagination.

Classic Onion Headline de Jour
Scientific American Somehow Makes Woman Feel Bad About Her Body

"If you took all the girls I knew when I was single, and put them together for one night. None of them would match my sweet little imagination, 'cause everything looks worse in black and white."
—Paul Simon, Kodacrhome

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