Vermont and the Turpitude of Others
Well we went to Vermont last weekend and did the shoot. A 12+ hour drive in an oversized SUV that guzzles over $75 of gas in a tank will make John Mayer songs more strangely appealing as the cabin goes crazy.
I have never been to Vermont. It’s beautiful, but not that different than Ohio especially in the Hocking Hills area. One tidbit learned on the trip was that Vermont supposedly is not that well off. They have a lower gas tax so people from the neighboring states like to fill up on their side of the border.
We setup and shot on Friday morning. Gil Whitney was my shooter and he lit the show too. Meredith gripped then got started on a scanning of photos that are over 60 years old. The subject matter was not “up”. We were dealing with the Holocaust and being a Jew in Germany and Poland under the Nazi’s with one of the precious few survivors, and one of the very few ones with us today.
I helped mostly as a “producer”, or as that job’s capacity more commonly gets done. Brandy AKA My Sexy Fiancé Veronica ™ directed. We stayed in a motel only a couple miles away from the shoot. Shockingly, at the end of the first days shooting, we had a lot more footage than I had anticipated. We wrapped at about 5:30PM and decided to see IRON MAN. Brandy was none too pleased, but everyone else was jazzed about seeing IRON MAN. We had a nice dinner out in Hanover New Hampshire on the campus of Dartmouth. It was only 6 minutes away from the motel. I loved IRON MAN. Jon Favreau rocks as does Robert Downey Jr.
Saturday equally went smooth. We started at 10:00AM and went on until about 5:30PM again. We pretty much had everything I thought we needed and Brandy agreed. We tore down lights and duvetyn that was blocking out natural light from the windows. We covered all the war years of this German Jew’s life and her years hiding in Poland. Somehow, I find the story uplifting in many ways. All I can say is that hope exists in the human spirit.
That night, we saw a Woody Allen film from 2007 I had never even heard of called Cassandra’s Dream with Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell. It reminded me of Match Point in many ways, but Woody is in his UK phase where he’s making movies set in and shot in England. It’s revitalized his creativity in many ways. The movie was average for a Woody Allen film, but his average represents better than most people’s best movies.
We set off home a whole day early which was nice. Saved money and had bonus time, except immediately upon arrival I was bombarded with edit work. My freelance work has not subsided, but increased.
After buying a new car recently, I spent more on it than I had intended and it has drained my savings. Now the economy appears to be crashing hard. As burned out as I am right now, I need to take as much paid work as I can because I see some hard times for everyone on the horizon.
In between gigs, I found the time to finish Uncle Pete #7. I like these. I think they are funny, but as I mentioned before, they still have not found their audience. In many ways I think some conservative folks really don’t like the pot shots. Go figure, but still, it’s just a joke and everyone needs to lighten up. What’s even stranger is when people watch it & think I have these ultra conservative values, and then they react poorly to the shorts… Now that is surreal.
The organization of the 9+ hours of footage for the documentary is being sorted through. We’ve got months of work to go on this. Brandy has a project that means something to her, so it carries weight with me and I have a lot of that to spare still.
Your faithful narrator,
Peter John Ross
Hall of Fame