My sweet, sweet wonderlings, I come bearing gifts wrought masterfully from the raw materials of boredom and forged from the hot ore of living in the middle of fucking nowhere. Here, take a gander at what I used to do before I moved to Boston.
Yeah, that was me co-starring in that amaze-a-thon. But I can’t be credited with what can only be regarded as cinematic perfection, the movie trailer that just shot sex lasers through your brain is the work of director Peter Leon:
Like many of you I am a transplant to Boston.
And though it may pain our native brethren to hear it, us transplants are just as important to the cultural Bostonian bouillabaisse as they are. We are the sexy new appendages that keep the Bostonian Beast alive and ever expanding. Like some horrifying, centipede limbed, Lovecraftian horror from beyond the veil replete with a Socks cap, we are the fresh blood required for the stew. But like everywhere you go, people just don’t appreciate what they have. Or at least from time to time, the appreciation slips through their fingers. Boston’s no different, there’s plenty of kids I’ve meant who say this town sucks and that there’s nothing to do here.
Nothing to do in Boston? I packed two dipshit sandwiches; did you eat ‘em both?
But it’s okay, everyone does it, no matter where you’re from. But just trust me on this bored youth of Boston; you have no idea how boring it could be.
I used to live in glorious Tucson Arizona. Tucson Arizona, where it’s summer nine months out of the year and for the rest it’s something close to fall. Tucson Arizona, where it’s actually illegal for you to deny someone a glass of water if they come to your door and ask for it. Well, actually it’s just illegal to charge someone for a glass of water but regardless; it’s hotter than the devil’ s dick out there and twice as bumpy. (Figure it out). In addition, though it must be noted is has gotten better in recent years, not a lot of big bands and acts make their way through Tucson. Which means people have to drive to Tucson’s Bizarro sister city Phoenix. Which is something we hate because if we’re American’s armpit Phoenix is the nation’s asshole. What I’m getting at is not only because of the heat but also due to the fact that much doesn’t happen in Tucson, people living there must resort to making their own fun. Which is actually a fucking blessing and results in a lot of creativity and ingenuity. The Tucson music scene is one thing which has benefited for decades from the motivation of complete and utter tedium, it’s a very active and versatile scene and I’ve seen countless great acts in town.
But what’s just beginning to really start to rear its head in the last few years is the Tucson film scene. And Peter Leon is a big force behind that.
Sure, obviously Leon is one of my buddies, so maybe it’s impossible for this article to be without bias. I’ve known the guy since high school and I’ve had a part in almost every single one of his ten films.
Exactly, the motherfucker has made ten films.
And you can say what you want about his films having next to no budget and them not containing professional level actors, but look at what Leon gets done with what he has at his disposal. I can honestly say that even if I didn’t know the kid I’d be excited if he was given a proper budget and a genuine working level cast. Imagine this inspired mania at the helm of a 80 million blockbuster. I’ve been there from the beginning and seen his work get better and better through each film. His early ones were laughably bad when it came to acting and special effects but what wasn’t a joke, even then, were his skills regarding storytelling with a camera.
He can edit, stage shots, and cut together a narrative like nobody’s business.
So even though when me and Leon look back at some of his early films we laugh and wince we can see the talent he had underneath all the corn syrup blood and computer generated bullet shells. His last few films have easily raised the bar for his work and Tucson’s indie filmmaking scene in general.
His latest is called L.A. Underground and it’s a comedy about boxing among other things. Check it:
I know what you’re asking yourself and the answer is yes, that’s all McMillen. I don’t use stuntass like that man cooze Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves. I only wish I could be back in town for the film’s premiere at The Grand Cinema Crossroads Six Theatre on September 22nd. Mostly just to see my flawless, alabaster colored, perfectly ice cream scooped buttocks adorn the big screen with a packed audience of lucky viewers. But I also what to see this movie so I can see the movie, so I guess I’ll just have to buy the DVD.
Leon is making traction, he’s had local news coverage while he shot a zombie melee in downtown Tucson for his film Copper Creek and he’s amassing more and more Internet attention with every film he’s released.
His films have been a part of Tucson Film Festivals and all are available for sale on DVD or Blue Ray,
some folks have even been kind enough to offer reviews on Amazon.com. I, of course, have a copy of every single one since I was in most of them. And I never miss a good opportunity to watch myself, especially when I’m brandishing a machine gun or making out with an unconscious man in front of my neighbors. (Same film). All the DVDs and Blue Rays are chock full of special features. There’s blooper reels, commentary even film school tutorials from Pete for the next generation of DIY Scoreseses and punk rock Michael Manns. Which is what Leon basically is. He refuses to think that independent cinema has to be regulated to one-room dramas or avant-garde snooze festivals.
He wants to blow some shit up, make a few dick jokes, and maybe even decapitate someone on screen.
He wants to do all that and he doesn’t want to wait until he’s got truckloads of money.
He wants to do it now.
(Though he will welcome any and every truckload of money he is greeted with if you are feeling so inclined).
I watch the movies and the behind the scenes stuff now as a sort of chronicle or home movie of me and my buddies. All the stuff we did and the shit we got away with. Before I talked about people not appreciating what they have or the places they live, guess I was no different.
Somewhere Joni Mitchell is sighing.
I know now that I’ll never forget shooting scenes inside a meth soaked trailer park out in the middle of the desert. Where we had fake machine guns but some of the people shooting with us had the other kind. Speaking of fake machine guns I absolutely cherish the memory of me, Peter Leon, and my buddy Sam Doane shooting a scene out on Mountain Street with some extremely convincing looking plastic guns when not one, but eight cop cars descended upon us.
We were all handcuffed and put up against the cars while the understandably shit berserker cops screamed at us to tell them where the rest of the weapons were.
Of course Pete, who was across the street getting handcuffed too, was being a real wiseass to the cops when they asked him questions, which I found out later. They’d ask him if he had any weapons and he say something like, “Not any real ones.” Little did they or I know that Pete was secretly filming the whole thing. After the cops figured out we were making a movie they asked what it was about. We told them cops and crooks. They asked us, “So who wins?” You better believe we told them the cops did.
I’ve never in my life ever been so happy to be a white kid.
I have no illusions what might have happened if we weren’t and a bunch of Tucson cops found us holding what they thought were real machine guns.
But it’s still a good memory, and one of those things I’ll never forget.
So if you’re interested check out Peter Leon’s website and see what he’s all about.
Support somebody who’s doing it, really doing it. Because we all know those armchair geniuses who have so many ideas and so much they want to say artistically but they never do squat with it. Pete Leon’s the total opposite, who doesn’t want to get behind that? And as I’m writing this, my girlfriend’s family, who has seen the trailer for one of Leon’s movies with me in it, is demanding that I bring the whole movie over so they can watch it. I’m combing through my shelves and I am saddened to say that I can’t find the one they want. I’m sad because not only have I disappointed them but also because I want to watch it again. I texted Leon, which isn’t just professional distance, I usually call him by his surname, and told him my problem. The guy is doing some crazy Internet witchcraft and trying to send me a copy so I can bring it to my girlfriend’s family in time. It’s going to take him hours to convert it and stuff. I tell him not to worry about it but he insists. That’s my friend, he might be a wiseass and at times sarcastic to the point of violence inducing, but he’ll do anything for you if you ask him. I figure I’ll just order another copy online anyway, kick him a few bucks. But seriously it sucks that I lost it in the first place. I’m pretty sure I lost it in the move, leaving Tucson for Boston I had to leave a lot behind. That was just one of the things I really didn’t want to lose.