Last night I trekked up to the north end of Clinton Hill in Brooklyn for the Sybil’s Garage film shoot. A start-up film production company offered to make a promo film for us as a way to build their resume. We bounced ideas back and forth. They sent me a script, I sent them my comments. And before no time at all they were shooting.
I arrived at the set, made to look like a graffitied parking garage, in their office studio:
I know when working with creative people, it’s best not to micromanage. Better to let their subconscious have free reign. In my version of the film, people would be sitting across from each other in a kind of competition as they’d read sections of stories to a greater audience. The one who moves the audience the most, “wins,” the metaphor being that each piece of Sybil’s Garage is more moving than the last. This vision of the scene was confirmed when I saw the director writing out scripts like this*:
But then something happened. I’m not sure what. Somehow the scene ended up being shot like this:
A screaming, shouting, cussing, drinking mini-riot. A literary rumble. Not exactly the solemn affair I’m used to at KGB. I decided to just roll with it. I was not going to interject, like the school librarian, and say, “You know, these things are usually much more staid affairs. Maybe we can tone it down?” No way. People were having too much fun, and so I stood there in my PJs (yes, I wore PJs; we were supposed to dress “eclectic”) as we shot the scene from about a dozen different angles. The directors promised me an awesome promo film, and I trust them, even though our visions differ. And you know, it got me thinking, maybe exactly what literature needs right now to make it hip and relevant is a little punk rock. I’m looking forward to the finished product.
Oh, and doesn’t Paul Berger look totally f’n awesome here? I’d hire him to solve a murder. Or maybe commit one.
* The story is E.C. Myers’ “My Father’s Eyes”