Vindaloo Philm-Wallah

Art Director

I find myself volunteering to assist a low-budget film shoot. They are shooting at my house which has a large room that can be used as a studio and plentiful space outside to stage lights, props, trucks, etc. I'm not familiar with the director, who seems to be a serious, sober young white man in his 30's with his baseball cap on backwards. We don't interact a lot but he's the kind of person who's tan cap doesn't carry the logo of an existent team of any kind, but rather some logo for an unknown product, probably aligned with some sort of gear for movie-making. The DP is tall with long black hair also wearing a backwards baseball cap. His is scruffier than the well quaffed director, indicating that he's probably owned his cap for quite some time. As with a good deal of DPs, he's brash verging on assinine, using his size and personality to talk over or steer any conversation or verbal idea into his arena. His two assistants gleefully support his 'bro-ness.'

Outside, lights are being built apace and craft services are being offered. I walk back inside seeing that a few art department folks are attempting to create a bar with a small performance space. As this is my house, I pitch in and assist moving some of the heavier props and flats around. I offer suggestions regarding positioning and lighting. The director, DP and others gather around and come to support my proposals. It seems I have become post-facto, the Art Director of this piece. As the DP dispatches his gaffers regarding the lighting plan, I head upstairs to see what's doing in the large room above the garage.

Expecting to see this room decked out as a production office, I see its sparsely populated. One or two people amble in and out but not much is happening. The reason seems to be that there are no desks or computers, but a few cots and TV around the place. As it has now turned to nighttime, I see that the only cot that's occupied is up against the far wall. It's Keith Richards sleeping sideways with half his body off the cot. He doesn't seem bothered in the least. I sit down on a cot next to him to take in the sight. He's wearing black jeans and a ragged, white T-shirt with some kind of faded logo, maybe Harley-Davidson but I'm not sure. His heart can be seen bulging and pumping as he lays on his back. It's as if his heart was on the outside of his body only covered by the T-shirt. It is beating irregularly, as you would expect considering how many exotic substances it has come into contact with. It swells and shrinks at random. Sometimes it stops all together, pauses for about 15 seconds and resumes. His heart is absolutely memorizing.

Someone enters the room and asks for me to join them downstairs. The bar-stage is coming into focus and the crew are doing a great job with the limited budget. I'm guided to the director. He holds up a neon cross, about 6 inches in length. He asks if I have any more of these and I ask him how many he wants. He says enough to comically decorate the back of the stage, quite a lot. I take his order and find myself instantly in a small shop, a general store painted mostly white without much merchandise. This kind of resembles a homey-er version of an IKEA pick-up window. I present the neon cross and the attendant says I can get 50 or 100. Imagining the space in my head, I opt for the 50 even though he says the 100 order is a better deal. Also, even though I'll be reimbursed I'm short on cash and credit so I'll have to go with the 50.

Back on set I deliver the package and the art crew begin placing the crosses around the stage area. I go upstairs again to check on Keith. Sitting on my cot is the long-haired DP saying that this is now his space, with his sycophants in full agreement. I explain that he's wrong as this is my cot and my house. His whining attracts the director and he explains that he needs to go to sleep right here, right now. I tell the director that its fine if he takes the cot, I'll just go to my room and sleep in my own bed.  

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