Get Back On Track

We've had a small break from filming Drift this past couple of weeks, but now we're getting back into it. So Saturday morning at 7:30 AM I will again be drinking beer and sitting across from Joe in a little dark bar. It's so early to be tying one on. I've just had a haircut, so I have the itchies all over my collar and down my back, but the breeze feels good on my neck. In other words, I'm ready to get back into it. We'll be reshooting this scene in which Joe and I play basketball together and have a conversation. I guess there was a problem with smudgies on the lense or something on the first try. I think it's a mixed blessing, because although the scene is difficult to coordinate, I'm going to feel much better this time around. The first time we did the scene, I had been up all night, so I was really tired. Plus it was blazing hot on the court. We had to keep pausing for airplanes, traffic noises, dog barks, and even some family shooting off a model rocket across the park. We had to coordinate the bouncing off the basketball with our lines, so there were huge frieght trains moving through the dialog. That's what it felt like for us, I'm sure. Once it's edited it will come off very snazzy. This time, I will be ready. I plan to get at least 4 hours of sleep the night before.

I'm excited about Sunday because I get to do one of those fake phone conversation scenes. I don't know if you know very much about filming, but you know those scenes where two characters are having a phone conversation, and the camera cuts between the two people as they talk to each other? Well, to make those scenes, each actor speaks his half of the conversation into the phone, as if the other actor is on the other end responding. Really, though, the actor is just pretending to be talking to someone. Then the editors cut the scene so that it looks like they're talking to each other. I don't know why I'm explaining this to anyone. I'm probably the only person on Earth who didn't know that's how it was done. The point is, I get to pretend to have a phone conversation into a payphone at the airport. How cool is that?

In other news, very shortly, I'm going to be posting an MP3 of Up On The Orange Moon for you to listen to on the Reclinerland website. I'd like to have the score up online for people to download, but I'm not sure how I'm going to manage that. It weighs in at a cool 7 pages. Anyway, I'd really love your feedback. It's the first step toward the completion of the album. And speaking of which: the mixing for the new Parks & Recreation album is finished. We're shooting for a November release, which is ambitious, but possible. I've had a good time this past coupleof weeks sitting up all night in our studio with a cup of tea, 50 bottles of water, some beer, and soda pop twiddling knobs and singing harmonies. With strings, horns, harmonies, and all of that, this album was very complicated to mix. Some songs start off really sparse and then grow into these orchestral monstrosities, while others just rollick along like the second coming of the Housemartins. I had to come at every song from a different angle, sliding the faders up and down during playback. We're all very excited about this record. It'll be our first one as P&R, and we want it to be special. Plus, for a while it was looking like it would never be finished, what with all the setbacks we dealt with. We had computer problems, personnell problems, money problems. All of it. We couldn't record in a church with an $8000 budget, but we did what we could with what we had. I think when you hear it, you'll hear a bit of struggle in the music. That enriches the project. It's just like when a performer goes onstage with a little bit of nervous energy. That nervous energy can really drive his or her performance.

So, no more all-nighters for me. Today, actually, was the first day of my new "Get Back On Track" sleeping regiment. You know, when you come off of a stint of going to bed at 4AM every night by waking up extra early one day, so you'll be really tired by bedtime. That's what I did today. Got to bed at 4, up at 9. And ladies, our finishing the record is good news for you. It means my weeknights are freed up!

(cue chirping crickets...)