So we’re filming a movie. It’s called Ctrl Alt Del.
I don’t even know how this started. I guess I’m going to talk about how it started. I guess it was kismet. I had known Pirooz Kalayeh tangentially for about two years, ever since the San Francisco debut of his film Shoplifting From American Apparel.
I wrote a poem for a contest he was holding on the website for the film. He liked the poem, he later told me, but it didn’t win the contest.
We became Facebook friends.
Was it last year? I have no idea, I don’t know how to keep track of time. Anyway, it might have been last year when Pirooz approached me about perhaps writing a story for a film. He told me he was reaching out to young writers and wanted to adapt their works into something for the screen. Of course I was interested. He told me he was thinking of maybe a story about a relationship. I told him I had just the thing.
I wrote the story. I sent it to Pirooz. I also got it published (on more than one venue). We began our conference on how to make this into a movie.
The only script writing I’ve ever done was in high-school, when I was president of the amateur filmmakers society and spent my senior year with a band of wannabe actors and cinematographers making a movie that accidentally got deleted on the school’s AV room computer. And that script was super simple. Just a bunch of directions in which a brick is found and left in various places by various people and two teenagers try to make out and get busted and everyone in the movie is obsessed with Pure Moods.
Pirooz ended up writing the script. I think he just gets really excited about projects and maybe likes to be constantly busy with a new creative pursuit and I was taking too long to adapt the story into a screenplay and maybe caught up in some other bullshit so I am thankful that he took the reins in that regard.
I read the script. A bunch of people read the script. We all liked it but made some suggestions. Jayinee Basu was extremely instrumental in keeping the message of the film on point, and D. Dragonetti loaned their expertise to the handling of certain subject matter in the script.
This all took months. And now we have a story. And a script. And real camera operators. And some real actors. And some fake actors like me.
I’m in Los Angeles right now. We are actually filming this thing. It is so weird. This is the longest I have ever been in LA and I’m having a good time but it’s pretty trippy. I keep seeing celebrities. I was in a taxi cab in Studio City with one of my costars and Chuy from Chelsea Lately scooted by on his scooter at the intersection we were stopped at. Pirooz dropped off DVDs at his brother’s condo and saw Ron Jeremy passed out on one of the couches. Some guy who usually plays a deadbeat dad on television was waiting for lattes ahead of me at Starbucks.
I posted the thing about Ron Jeremy on Facebook and it pissed off my dad. He made some allusion like, I hope he’s not a part of your movie. Ew, dad.
We filmed my first scene on Sunday. It was fun and both easier and harder than I thought it would be. I’ve acted in some small roles in films that my friends were making but up until this point I hadn’t done anything like this before, like spending the whole day filming and having a craft services table and watching a camera crew and sound crew do their work. We did the scene in maybe eight takes, and then filmed some add-ins. It definitely didn’t take as long as we had planned for. I was surprised.
Next up is filming a fake poetry reading and a then doing a real poetry reading, with Jos Charles, Joshua Jennifer Espinoza, and Melissa Broder.
I’ll tell you more as things progress.