Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Wave - 10 Years Ago

Kevin, Jim, and Gordon (Joel took the photo)
In March 2006, four friends got together to grow mustaches and curse a lot on camera.

That's the story of The Wave.

But the story actually began on July 18, 2002.

That was the day Vincente Padilla and the Philadelphia Phillies lost to Matt Clement and the Cubs...Oh, and my car got towed.

Joel Rickenbach, my partner in yelling at the Phillies, and I took in an afternoon game at the now defunct Veteran Stadium. We saw Bobby Abreu hit not one, but two triples scoring Ricky Ledee each time (admit it, if you've ever heard it before, Ricky Ledee was a name you never expect to hear again).

Joel and I sat in left field behind Pat Burrell. In between innings, a pretty blonde from the stands would talk to him. We'd later realize that pretty blonde was his (then) girlfriend, local soccer star Heather Mitts.

Jim Bunning was on hand to make a special guest appearance, but the Phillies offense wasn't. They lost 6-4.

Joel and I slowly walked back to my "secret parking spot" where I had been parking for free for many years. An old abandoned Supermarket parking lot. Not much of a secret as many other people parked there too. I presume they were also towed as well.

This forced Joel and I to take a taxi to Roxborough to get my car out of the impound. I forget the total cost of the taxi and impound, but I still maintain my years of free parking made up for it.

I now hightailed it down Rt. 76 to get Joel to his shift at Movies U Buy on time. As we were heading South, I waved in a car that was merging from an on ramp. The guy flew on to the road never waving or even acknowledging me. I became irate saying that him not waving was the same as cutting me off. Joel defended the guy...to an extent. That night I went home and started writing "The Wave."

Fast forward to the next Spring 2003 (I think). Somewhere footage exists of a few scenes showing a wildly different version of the short film starring myself, Jim Brett, and John Tatarelli Jr. The shoot ended up getting rained out. On top of which, Joel & I were not in love with the camera rig we were using at the time. We decided to scrap the whole thing...

Sabrina recently sent me these photos. I'm not sure if I forgot they existed or never knew in the first place
(Sabrina took these photos)
...at least until the end of winter 2006. I had been hanging out with Jim Burns and Gordon Holmes through various City Theater shows. Julie & I were also getting ready to move into a house. Boxes were packed, but that wouldn't stop us from growing out some sweet facial hair and trying again.

This was late March. In fact it was Saturday March 25 & Sunday March 26. I know this because the South Park episode, The Return of Chef aired on Wednesday March 22, 2006. And the word "Jewbs," would become synonymous with this shoot...at least until a little graffiti appeared at our final location.

The script was pulled out of mothballs, a few extra "fucks" were added, and we were ready to go!

On the 1st day of shooting:

This script has the eff word in it a lot.

Too much?

Maybe we should pull back a bit.

Good call.

We didn't. In fact, we added WAAAAY more eff words!

Gordon getting a "fuck" count between takes.
And off we went!

1st day of shooting with our fearless director.
Second day of shooting, was windy as hell.
Also you can see that cast is also crew...and apparently trying to "mic" Jim's butt.
Last shot of the film!
(I made that up, this was the 2nd day though)
Overall, I enjoy the piece. It might not be the greatest thing we've done, but we were still learning what the hell we were doing. Plus, the shoot itself gave us great, and sometimes embarrassing, memories like Gordon, Jim, and I going out in public with our mustaches since we were in the middle of a 2 day shoot.

As previously mentioned, while on the parking garage we encounter some graffiti that would become an inside joke to me, Joel, Jim, and Gordon for the rest of ours lives. And I'm now sharing it with you. It'll mean nothing to you, nor should it. But when the phrase "Cold Titties!" pops in my head, it stirs up a joyousness that only this picture can truly capture:

I am extremely grateful for the time spent filming and generally screwing around with Joel, Jim, and Gordon on this and many other projects.

I can not believe it's been 10 years since we embarked on this weird adventure. And I'm fairly certain I can speak for Jim & Gordon when I say that we miss the hell out of our friend Joel, but no one misses those mustaches!