Psycomic - 11.03.01
Still Fucking Monday and Finally, Tuesday
Prior to Mohr, the first person we met with that Monday morning, courtesy of our casting maven, Christine Sheaks, was Judd Nelson. This was a cool meeting, as Judd was in the then-and-still classic, The Breakfast Club. Aside from that, I'm also a big softie for a little picture called From the Hip, which was directed by Porkys helmer Bob Clark and written by a then un-Alley-ed David E. Kelley. If you've never seen it, try digging it up at a video store, especially if you love courtroom flicks like I do.
We talk about those flicks, as well as the myriad other flicks he's done, and the whole time I'm thinking to myself "I must get this guy into the flick, somewhere. He is so the fucking man." This is, after all, the genius who put the perfect inflection on the line "Hey, Cherry - do you belong to the Physics Club?" Judd snaps me out of my daze by thanking me for the shout-out I gave him in Dogma - a line I'd completely forgotten about prior to that. It's a mutual love-fest.
After Judd and Jay Mohr, we sit down with Shannon Elizabeth - she of American Pie and Scary Movie fame. She's the big surprise of the day, as she's smart, self-aware, and incredibly lacking in pretense. While going into the meeting, she wasn't on our radar. We knew her simply as the American Pie and Scary Movie girl. But in the meeting, the worm turns. She gives such great meeting that she's the only person on our radar at that point. She's also honest as hell, and dishes up some good gossip, which is a big plus with a catty old lady like me. And since these meetings are more about checking out an actor's personality than their acting abilities, you really want to connect with them on personal level, because remember: you have to spend two to three months with this person when you commit to them. Their performance in character will come eventually; it's their off-screen persona that you'll never be able to mold. So you want someone on set you can bullshit with and like when you call "Cut." Because you say "Cut," alot when you're directing.
So Jay Mohr, Judd Nelson, and Shannon Elizabeth were the stand-outs of Monday. Scooter and I talk about them that night, when we meet with Laura Greenlee (our line producer) and Jon Gordon (our Miramax production exec and godfather) to discuss Austin, Texas vs. Los Angeles, California, and which is better to shoot at. True - most of my shit takes place in Jersey. But Jersey's not the cheapest state to shoot in, and since this is a road picture that only starts in Jersey, there's a need to find a state that can double for the rest of the country (and I hate to admit it, but Red Bank doesn't look like Colorado).
During this meeting, the crucial issue of what to name the production company comes up. Our production company is called View Askew. However, when you make a flick, you need to do it under the aegis of another production company, so if anything goes wrong, your production company doesn't get the pants sued off it (I know - why bother having a production company in the first place, if you're just constantly changing the name while in production? My best guess is for the stationary).
On Clerks we had no production company name other than View Askew (we didn't know any better). On Mallrats, we called the company 'Unstable Molecules', in honor of Stan Lee, who did a cameo for the picture. Chasing Amy was shot under 'Too Askew', Dogma was under 'Plenary Indulgence', and the short-lived Clerks Cartoon was done under 'Toon Askew'. What to go with this time?
Laura throws out the brilliant suggestion that wins the title after we talk about how this is the last of the Jersey flicks with Jay and Bob. She suggests 'Askews Me' - you know, because we're leaving. Get it? It's so clever that, as far as I'm concerned, Laura doesn't have to work another day on the picture. She's earned her salary with that one suggestion.
Tuesday morning, Sheaks tells us that we're going to meet-and-greet with Kate Hudson (she of Almost Famous fame) in New York City when we head home the following week. I say that's cool, but I'm really interested in meeting with Amy Smart too (she of Road Trip and Outside Providence fame). There's a pretty big part for a girl in the flick, and usually, we'd just cast one of the actresses we've worked with before (we work with a lot of the same people in our flicks). But this time, we want to go with one we've never worked with before, based on the nature of the story.
That's about the extent of our casting activities that day, as we spend the rest of Tuesday recording the commentary tracks for the Clerks Cartoon DVD (due out in January). I'm jawing on it, of course, as is Scooter, Dave Mandel (the guy we created the cartoon with), Chris Bailey (the guy who designed the cartoon), Jason Mewes (he of 'Jay' fame), Jeff Anderson ('Randal' to the fans), and Brian O'Halloran ('Dante', natch). Jay, Jeff, and Brian are all in the movie, and we've met with them before, so there's no reason to meet-and-greet them. They know all our bullshit, and we know all theirs.
Jeff's going through his own bit of meet-and-greets, however, as he's getting ready to direct his first film. It's from a script he wrote, and he's promised me a bit part. Hopefully, I don't play too big an asshole (I've already got that covered, just fine, in real life).
Later that night, Scooter and I meet with Laura and Jon again to pour over pictures of possible locations in Austin. The locations person out there goes to a place, takes a bunch of pics, then tapes them together in standard manila folders, and ships them off to us. This place looks like a medical lab. Great. That place looks like a diamond exchange. Perfect. When we're done with the pics, we talk further about Austin vs. L.A., and let them both know that there's a Kate Hudson meeting set up for next week, and we're still working on tracking down Amy Smart.
After that, Jen and I take Scooter, Mandel, Jeff, Brian, Paul Dini (he of Batman Animated fame), Dan Etheridge (a good friend of ours who's also a producer), and Jen's friend Lisa out to dinner at a place called The Ivy that makes this gumbo you'd step on your own mother's neck to get at. Everyone talks about movies, the impending strike, and Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker (which Paul's involved in, of course; see? more bones for the comics-only people). The bill comes, and with tip, it's about a seven hundred and fifty dollar meal (only because I'm such a sap, and can't NOT tip fifty percent on a restaurant check - even when the service is shitty, which it wasn't at the Ivy). I suddenly miss how affordable the Broadway Diner in Red Bank is. The same crew of people eating would probably cost about a hundred and fifty, with tip.
But then, the Diner doesn't have that awesome gumbo.
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Wednesday - 11.10.00
The Last Article
Still Monday - 10.27.00