sexy cat

Musicians are often referred to as “cats”. One thing I hate about most cats is that they just don’t obey. They work with you on their own time and in their own way. They are uber independent. They could be straying out all night doing God knows what then show up out of nowhere ready to play at exactly the worst moment. And, when they do finally appear, they can be just fucking brilliant. This is enough to make a filmmaker want to swallow a razor blade.

With cargo van, track and dolly, cameras, lighting, and assistants in tow I called Sergio under the guise of how great and easy our casual shoot was going to be at about 10am. He sounded like a corpse. He was bleary from getting sucked into partying until 5am. And, of course, our rooftop location in the fashion district was teetering on unavailability. Perfect. This is where you roll with the punches and get what you get.

After feigning relaxation and waiting in Sergio’s loft while the appropriate inspirations were consumed and the guys got their shit together, I wrangled the cats and got them into the back of the van. I felt better when I heard the wafting notes from a flute make their way to the cab. No shoot, however, without greasy Chinese food at the Grand Central Market. As I forced jokes to keep the party bus rolling, I stressfully drove the oversized van up the multi-leveled parking structure. With each ascending level the ceiling got lower until the van’s antenna was scraping along letting me know the roof was about to be ripped open by concrete. No more jokes, my head exploded.

As civilians driving out of the lot looked up at me as if I were a GI on acid driving a fake assault vehicle, all I could think about was how much actual work we had in front of us. Sergio noticed and suggested a parking space next to where I had landed the van. It looked like a greased BB wouldn’t make it let alone the tank. Sergio offered his services assuring me that he could back the van in. Sure, why not? I’m insured, well, not for him driving the van, but what the fuck? He schooled me by backing the behemoth in with ease. He hopped out and floated toward the elevator playing his flute with finesse and style. What did I say about brilliant cats?

After pushing through the people infested market and eating blue ice cream on top of fat saturated noodles with low grade protein we were finally en route to our rooftop location. The fashion district in downtown LA on a weekend looks and feels like an ant farm being dowsed with gasoline. I saw this one coming. What I didn’t see coming was the elevator of the decrepit five-story building not working. My assistant, Arpee was a beautiful and talented artist who weighed in at about 110 pounds. Sergio’s friend, Eddie, another cool cat, couldn’t have weighed much more. I think if he were to stand behind Sergio (and Sergio is a scarecrow) he would disappear. I’m told Eddie has perfected the art of living while eating nothing. Then there was myself, Mr. Crossfit. All of us were looking at many hundreds of pounds of bulky equipment and track and several flights of narrow, creaky stairs.

In order to get to the top we had to pass through Think Tank Gallery on the third floor. This is where Sergio’s friends live and work who graciously granted us access to the roof. Desperate as I was to get setup, it was impossible not to take in the show going on at the time, 101 Vagina. I struggled like a bug between walls plastered with one photograph of a vagina after another. Billed with Ellen DeGeneres in mind, this show is self-described as “light and profound, cheeky and deep.” The artist proclaims that he just loves vaginas, and so do I. But at the time all I could do was sweat and hump gear and 200 pounds of sand bags through the multitude of vulvas on display.

We made it happen. Sergio, Eddie, and Arpee really put their heads down and worked hard getting all that junk up and down the stairs after the shoot was over. Without their willingness and great attitudes this would have been an epic fail. No divas in this crowd. With a little coconut water and some tangerines for craft service we created our hyper-lapse and track shots. And just as expected, Sergio looks as cool and as brilliant as the cat that he is.

Read the story.

Watch the final video.