I Gotta Go Grammar Police on “Prison Break – The Final Break” and How a Movie Gets Made

… drive down all the long-winding roads and break all the world’s most difficult codes. Smile on a passing favor and find thoughts with which to savor. Laugh while hoping things get better and put all your dreams in a handwritten letter. Know the demons that from within arise and catch your future with the element of surprise…

7/29/09

Aloha! Last Friday, while watching my dearest friends’ dogs, I watched the “Prison Break” movie (or two episodes squished together into 90 minutes) known as “The Final Break.” I was very happy that certain aspects of the show were concluded in a relatively neat fashion. I got a bunch more “T-Bag” (played by Robert Knepper) lines to use at work for S’s and G’s, such as “my pro quo to your quid” and “how’s it going Five-star?” (or something like that). Although, I should be careful – I do occasionally run across a 5-Star General or two and if I called that person “5-Star” in public, it would probably go over about as well as a “terd in a punch bowl”, as one of my co-workers just loves to say.

Before I go all “Grammar Police” on the final scene, I’ll mention a conversation I had with my friend Todd last week. (yes – just a friend – no other strings attached – to answer a rather curious e-mail from someone named “JumbOLie-ya”) Todd and I wholeheartedly agreed that one of the worst things to happen from a television-viewers perspective is a show getting cancelled and that’s it – all gone – never to be heard from again. It really is a bummer when one gets invested in a character or plot or some other aspect(s) of a show and then the show just goes off the air for good. Well, as a person who values time more than money, I totally feel shafted (or bent-over, if you like) when a show I enjoy and for which I make time simply disappears. Thankfully, the “Prison Break” folks got a chance to tie-up some loose ends and finish out the last season. Hurray for that!!

As I wrote a few blog entries ago, I spent some time reading the IMBd Wentworth Miller message boards. (at some point – I concluded that I just couldn’t look away – I was captivated entirely – but I will deny it fervently;-) ) Somewhere I read a few “spoilers” and because of that I pretty much knew what to expect in “The Final Break”. I wasn’t sure how “Scofield” bites the dust and I was interested in the fate of Theodore Bagwell. I have read that many “Prison Break” fans were disappointed in “The Final Break”, but I appreciated the closure, so there won’t be, but one, complaint from me.

Which brings me to the final scene in which Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies) and Link (Dominic Purcell) are watching Michael’s(Wentworth Miller) last video to his family. It does not escape me that I’m probably one of the very, very few who noticed or even cared about the extremely poor grammar spoken in Michael’s video, but because of it (the poor Grammar), I had to rewind the last few minutes and re-listen to Michael’s departing words. He speaks about his “child”, which is singular – however, he then refers to “them” and “they”, which denotes a plural – or children. I was briefly confused by Michael’s reference to “them” and “they”, so I did rewind and determined that he was actually refering to one child. I suppose I tend to pick-up on “the little things” more than “the average bear”, so if bad grammar is my only real problem with “The Final Break”, then I recommend that all “Prison Break” fans be sure to check it out. (yeah – I’m a geek/nerd/dork – no need to remind me!)

I have also mentioned in a recent blog entry that I have volunteered some of my time in an effort to assist in the making of a movie. To bring you up to speed – this movie has been in “production” since 2005. Once a year, someone will contact me and tell me that the movie is “back on” and most of the same group of people get together again and work toward the movie’s completion. I won’t get into all the drama and specifics (most of which I’ve been lucky enough to miss anyway), but the people who own the equipment needed to film and the people who spend the most money and supply most of the talent, have two different ideas on how this movie should take form. This causes a tremendous amount of friction, that eventually creates a big enough rift to halt production for many months each year. I have a full-time job and anything I do regarding this film is strictly on the side and so far, I have not made a single penny. I have pretty much done everything but direct so far. It’s been a hard-road for all involved – yet it has allowed me to see how a movie gets made and I have learned more than I could ever have expected. Most of the shooting has been done, but because we lost a high-profile actor between this year and last, we have to find some creative way to fill the void. I even get to “appear” in this film now.

I have had some fun over the last month or so and I won’t lie and tell everyone that it isn’t fun being in front of the camera, but the experience has mostly just solidified my position on anonymity. I prefer being involved with film/tv/video production from the back-end, or sidelines. I doubt it’s a question of talent or “will”, as much as it is a question of me being me and not having to cultivate a “PR” image that will most likely just piss me off in the end and create a situation where I have to compromise more of myself than is pissible to give. I’m difficult to package-up nicely, so it’s best that I just do my thing away from the eyes of those who might find me interesting. It is a foregone conclustion that I am not really meant for public consumption.

The main goal of those who created the premis for this film and who have overcome nearly insurmountable odds is to get the film to certain film festivals. I allow myself to get pulled back in simply because I respect and admire the fact that no one, on any side that matters, will call it “quits” and let the movie die. I can frame a shot, run a camera and I’m a super-fast learner, so I figure I won’t be a party to the “politics”, but I won’t be one of the may who have given up and dropped out  either. Technically I’m a “rookie”, because I have not been to film school, but most of the people involved have thus far been patient, helpful and understanding of my ability to “learn on the fly.” Plus, I have been around enough through the years to not be a completely green.

Personally, I am finding myself becoming half-way excited that this thing may actually be complete and ready to go by early 2011. I also find myself quite thrilled by the fact that some of the local “crew” have been given permission to use a rich guy’s pool all summer, whenever we want. I don’t need to be paid – I just need a free pool that comes complete with a poolside grill and a fridge that is ALWAYS stocked with steak. Considering I am a water person all the way and considering I love me some grilled steak – it would be one dumb idea not be involved in whatever way I can with this particular project. Not to mention the rib-cracking laughing fits that accompany a long weekend of trying to get out “rag-tag” group from one location to another with no food, no smokes, no caffiene and hardly any sleep.

We have had to take another break so the two writers can hunker down in solitude somewhere and come up with more lines for my character and change part of the ending to explain the disappearance of another character. I think there are some other issues, but I am not privy and I feel I should let the others “play” on their own for a while.

I am forced to blog about things that happen outside my regular work day, for the most part. I work for Homeland Security and just like in Las Vegas, what happens in the office, stays in the office. For those in the “Prison Break” know – my life is absolutely nothing “Agent Don Self’s” life. I doubt anyone’s life is like that.

I’m off to figure how I’m going to get places with a vehicle that has no working fuel pump – just when I thought I was gaining some headway on saving – ahhhh crap.

Rock on movie makers – peace – mia (sciencegirl99@excite.com)

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