If there’s one thing I learned on this show is; you gonna do a micro budget flick, AVOID car scenes. I swear my next flick will all take place in a fucking house. Anything having to do with cars has been hell. It didn’t help that Mr. Trigger drives a sleek sports car, with a cramped interior, which made it very hard for a camera man to be inside. DAY 1 was my first day with Pia Metni who plays Catherine in the film and we spent the bulk of our time in that damn car, a smart car still much smarter than me. Pia actually wound up doing some of the camera work herself for my reverse, going MacGyver on our asses by using the sole of her shoe, putting it between her thighs and placing the camera on it. Pretty ingenious. The logistics of the situation definitely added to the realism of the scene as well. I am supposed to be stressed out driving Catherine around; no problem there! Trying to act while ducking Montreal heavy traffic and construction, concerned about NOT killing us, fished that emotion out of me pretty easily. Was a tough and draining day, but we pulled it off.
DAY 2 started with a sucker punch. The location we had locked for a shoot-out, fell through, the dude double booked it. But lady luck smiled on us via our makeup up girl Marlene, whose family happened to own a club that was like 15 minutes away from where we were and it was available for us to shoot in. So while Viel, another actor and myself shot a scene downtown (with Viel going Commando, lying down in the busy street, cars zooming inches from his head, to get a shot), everybody else stepped up their game, moved our gear to our new location (a much better one than what we had initially booked) and dressed it up in record time. So yes, we managed to get our shoot-out. Huge kudos to everybody for stepping up their game and making Day 2 happen, what could have been a total disaster was salvaged via quick thinking, mucho efforts and quick action. Driving the car back to producer’s Berge Garabedian’s house (yeah it was his car) proved to be another nightmare. Montreal highways blessed us with more construction i.e. closed lanes and bumper to bumper traffic. Long story short, we got back home at 2AM in the morning, and hardly slept for the next day.
Day 3 was all about a dialogue driven scene between Pia Metni and myself and it went down without a hitch. Pia was a pro and I dug her energy. On my end, I had prepared that scene big time before we tackled it, I knew what I was going for (a different side of the character being revealed) and it all rolled out organically. I am very proud of that scene and the work that Pia and I did on that day. Day 4 started easy with a swift scene with myself and fine gent Howard Rosenstein but then became another battle. A location dropped on us at the last second so we had to improvise. Co star Anderson Bradshaw was starting to get sick hence not in tip top shape, and we had a fight scene to do. But like a good soldier, Bradshaw forged through it, we executed said scene and got it in the bag. Phew!
So that’s it. End of shoot. I would like to personally thank Christian Viel, Anderson Bradshaw and Deke Richards for the INSANE amount of work they put into this baby. Would like to thank producer Berge Garabedian for believing in the project and his moral support throughout and of course our wonderful cast and crew for their dedication, efforts and stellar work ethic. BILLY TRIGGER wound up being a suicide mission and at the end of the day we survived it. I can only speak for myself and say that I am a better EVERYTHING for it. I learned more on this show than I have on any other: acting, the film-making process and my shortcomings as a human being. I was also faced with obstacles that I had never encountered before; I worked hard in solving them and eventually did, I am proud of myself for that, and I now know for next time. Now to deal with pick-ups and the post shoot downer. Expect more updates as Christian Viel enters Post with the film. Later yall!
After the uneven first week for me (action was good, my leg injury became an obstacle, acting was not 100%), I launched into week 2 with CHARGE on the fritz. My first scene on Day 1 was a one on one with Fred The Hammer Williamson. This was IT for me in my head; it had to be my rebound acting wise. After our first take which went smooth as silk, I went up to my bud and co star Deke Richards, clenched my fist at him in a fuck yeah way and told him “Boom, I’m back”. And that was it! My mojo had returned. All that pressure I was putting on my shoulders in Week 1 was gone and I had fun with the scene. Needless to say acting with a veteran like Fred, resulted in me upping my game. What a pleasure it was to go head to head with him. I am a better actor for it.
Wow! What a week! That should be the conclusion of this piece but since we are already at the end of the week, that is how I feel about it at the moment, a few hours before we escort Fred “The Hammer” Williamson to the airport. It all began a week ago when we went to pick up Mr. Williamson, an action film legend often referred to as the Black Clint Eastwood, at the Montreal airport. We were quite stressed because there was numerous issues with the flight reservations that we spent two weeks trying to resolve. Of course, the flight was delayed several times, forcing numerous rearrangements of the evening plans and the overall logistics of picking the man up. We ended up spending most of the day coordinating the man’s arrival. Again, we did not know what to expect, as sometimes name talent can be “problematic”. No worries once again here as Mr. Williamson was a class act and a consummate professional.