This week’s Flogging raises an age-old question: how does a man in his forties — a man who at this point of his life and career should probably know better — allow his hair to end up looking like this:
To answer that question, we’re going to explore the hilarious subject of movie making: specifically, all of the crazy stuff that has to happen before somebody yells “Action!” on the first day of shooting. You may be surprised to learn that a lot of preparation goes into the making of a movie, though if you were unlucky enough to pay money to watch “Snow White and the Huntsman” that may be slightly difficult to believe. (Let’s just say that Kristen Stewart will be reprising her role in the world of fictional fantasy characters by playing a female Pinocchio next time. She has a head start over others vying for the role since she is apparently also made of wood).
Anyway, I am about to break the lid off of Hollywood with a stunning little expose I like to call…
Hollywood, Here We Come!
Over here in the sunny backwoods of rootin’ tootin’ Georgia we are currently enjoying a slice of Hollywood prosperity on account of the 30% tax credits offered to filmmakers by the state. While the significance of this may escape you, what it means is that we are clearly the most gullible of the fifty states — Hollywood producers have been arriving here in droves lately to take advantage of our local hospitality (not to mention our talented network of meth and cocaine suppliers). Understand, chums, that when I say “Hollywood Producers,” I am, of course, referring to people who actually produce films. If they are here, they are probably working. If they are still sitting in a hotel lobby in Hollywood drinking daiquiris, then they are probably the “deal-making” type of producer, for which the qualifications are that you hold your hand in the air and state, loudly, “I am a producer!” I have worked with a lot of these guys and while they don’t actually produce much, they are always good for a laugh.
Now many who know me well are aware of my personal feelings about the dog and pony show that is the Hollywood lifestyle. For those of you considering a life of fame and fortune in Tinseltown, I think it is fair of me to provide a couple of words of enlightenment. You may, of course, make your fortune — in which case, you will spend it on renting an ant-infested micro-home in the Hollywood Hills. But you are far more likely to fly in for Pilot Season, forsaking your 6000-square foot house for a broom cupboard in an actor’s community on Barham Boulevard. Once firmly established in the business, you will likely spend much of your week in meetings. I once suffered through a production meeting while working on the now never-to-be-made film, “Tatua,” where the sole agenda for the meeting was to determine a schedule for our next meeting. I am not kidding. But here’s the biggest kicker: If you actually get to make a film, the chances of shooting it in California are virtually zero, since the cost of production, living and permits are so astronomical it would take the Gross National Product of Denmark to finance a romantic comedy starring Andrew Dice Clay.
The fact is, Chums, most of the films are already here in Georgia. By coincidence, so am I. I think you can see where this is going.
At the moment, I’m working on the first of three comedy films here in the rootin’ tootin’ gun-totin’ capital of the South. “Why three of them?” you may well ask. Well, the financial investor types prefer to eliminate risk by giving production companies three chances to cock up a perfectly good script instead of just one. That is why Kristen Stewart will get to make “Snow White and the Huntsman 2” and why Uwe Boll has a career. (To be fair, I read on E! News that young Kristen may also have caught the eye of a certain director who apparently has a thing for inanimate objects. Poor Robert Pattinson is all I can say. He deserves better. A large lump of coal, for example, would be an upgrade). The good news is that I am the writer of said scripts so if this all goes down in flames I can shoot myself and feel good about it.
The first of our films is called “Wingman” — it’s a humorous little movie about the perfect Wingman who betrays his pals by daring to fall in love. They subsequently destroy his relationship with his ladylove. Then, after falling victim to pangs of guilt, the Wingman’s idiot friends find out how difficult it is to fix the thing they just broke — namely, the Wingman’s heart. You, my loyal Chums, will no doubt be delighted to hear that I am also starring in the film! Yes, try to contain your indifference if you can. The truth is, many moons ago I actually studied to be an actor. (Read my Wikipedia bio. Make sure you ignore the bit about Gary Gygax). At this stage of my life I am getting back in the saddle, so to speak. It’s going to be groovy.
As a little teaser to our upcoming mountain of fantabulism, I thought I would share with you a few stills from a recent promotional photo shoot. I’m excited to be working with a group of very talented comedy actors who make up the troupe that will appear in each of the films. So for one night, we got the boys in character and costume, surrounded them by pretty girls (more on that below) and let them get drunk while photographer-types got busy all around us. The results were hilarious. The experience of the actual shoot was even more hilarious.
Unbeknownst to me (Nigh Perfect, I swear I had no advance warning!), our Executive Producer — my Clockstop Entertainment partner Mike Smith — had cunningly recruited the services of a number of gorgeous young ladies for the evening’s festivities. Many of these girls were professional dancers, Mike informed me. I must say I was extremely impressed that the local Atlanta Ballet had employed such attractive young ladies.
Needless to say, the girls were great fun and totally professional at all times.
The consumption of alcohol — while usually frowned upon during a production — was actively encouraged in order to add to the ambience. In fact, we even employed our own bartender for the night. As you can clearly see, I was extremely professional about the whole thing and refused to get involved.
At the end of the night I attempted to remove the hair dye, which was labeled TEMPORARY HAIR COLOR. The blue and the white came out simply by rubbing my head. The red, on the other hand, proved to have a half-life roughly equivalent to that of an atom of gold. I had recently bleached my hair to give it that “canvas-like” quality, only to cover it with red dye. After the shoot, I was forced to re-dye it blonde. As you may guess, I am now bald.
So that happened.
Anyway, please keep an eye out for our wonderful endeavor, “Wingman.” I will keep you all updated, Chums. Ask me about it at conventions this year, why don’t you.
And if you happen to run into Nigh Perfect, remember: it was not my idea.
This month’s convention schedule
Humberto Ramos and I will be appearing together at the Wizard World Convention in Chicago to promote our awesome book, Fairy Quest. Please come by and visit us, and I’ll show you the top of my head, which is still red! Go to http://www.wizardworld.com/home-ch.html for more information.
Humberto and I also have MASSIVE news regarding the upcoming Dragon*Con, which is in Atlanta at the end of the month. We are creators of the official badge of the convention this year, which is huge news for us. We’re also judging a comic book character contest, and our book Fairy Quest is a part of the theme of that show. Come by and see us at the madness that is this year’s Dragon*Con, and get your badge signed! Many of the young ladies from the photo shoot will be milling around as official Fairy Quest babes. Buy a copy of Fairy Quest. Hell, buy Humberto — he is totally for sale at the right price!
This month’s moment of Mini Dude unveiling
I have had a number of email requests asking to see the newest addition to Team Jenkins. Well, folks, he is ridiculously, unbelievably cute. He is the one and only…
… Mini Dude!
Paul Jenkins is a writer of many things, an actor, raconteur, bon vivant and musician (electric triangle). He can be found saying catchy things on Twitter @mypauljenkins or “Liked” on Facebook: . Please visit the Fairy Quest webstore at fairyquestbook.com/fairyquest-store for all your fantasy needs (ahem). And since he is about to conquer the dragon: