“Haiku Tunnel” DVD’s Priced to Move!
Haiku Tunnel, the “office comedy” I had so much fun making with my brother Jacob, is now available — exclusively! — at my online store. (Sony ran out of them, apparently, and the slow economy has delayed their plans to put out a new batch as part of a cool “Signature Series” of DVD’s.) Enter the code BLAST1 to receive $10 off your total order. (This discount also applies to the Red Diaper Baby DVD and book.)
Adding Haiku Tunnel to my store has called up many happy (and frantic) memories of when we made the film in the summer and fall of 2000 (the movie was released in 2001), among them:
- Discovering, on the first day of shooting (in my brother’s old apartment), that I would be required mostly to lie in bed and “act” asleep. (I turned out to be a natural at this!)
- Seeing the look of delight and amazement on the face of our executive producer, David Fuchs, when he showed up that morning and saw all kinds of trucks and equipment up and down the street. How, he wondered, had we gotten so much out of so little money? (No one had the heart to tell him that most were for a commercial shooting nearby.)
- Preparing to shoot a crucial scene in an office building in downtown Oakland, only to learn that (a) the actual guard on duty refused to relinquish his post to our fictional guard, (b) by the time we were finally ready to shoot, it was lunch hour — and thousands of people were about to flood our “set,” and (c) a Mexican Independence Day parade was approaching the building. (We solved the first problem by appealing to the “real” guard’s love of film, the second by — I’m afraid — having our P.A.’s stall all the building’s elevators for a few minutes, and the third by working really, really fast.)
- Me running into George Lucas at the Skywalker Ranch while we were doing our postproduction sound there, and blurting out, “Thank you, Mr. Lucas!!” He looked aghast, as if he had been ambushed by a slightly slimmer Jabba the Hutt. (I learned later that you’re not supposed to talk to him at all, or even look at him; he’s very shy.)
- Getting the phone call from Isaac Hayes’s manager that Mr. Hayes had watched a video of our movie and had liked it — and was thus granting us the right to use his great cover of Dylan’s Lay Lady Lay.
- Doing an all-nighter in the edit room to complete a rough cut of Haiku to submit to Sundance — and then falling asleep on the BART train and going way past my stop.
- Getting the message from our sweet and brilliant producer, Brian Benson, that we had gotten into Sundance — and Jake and I busting out our “We-Got-In Strut” as we walked with David Fuchs to a celebratory lunch in North Beach.
- Carrying the just-barely-completed reels of our film on the plane to the Sundance Festival. (They were heavy!)
- Going to meet the legendary Tom Bernard and Michael Barker of Sony Classics at midnight at their chalet in Park City (where the festival takes place), just as Hollywood-perfect snow began falling.
- Seeing a trailer for Haiku at a local movie theater in Berkeley and thinking, “Wow, my head is scarily big!”
- Attending a sold-out preview screening of the film in San Francisco with a lot of our cast and crew — and David Fuchs beaming, saying, “Wow, people really seem to like it!”
… and so many other memories, as well. Now Jake and I are making the kind-of sequel, Love & Taxes, and having just as much fun (and angst). One day, the film gods willing, you will be able to see that movie in theaters and on your home screens. In the meantime, there are the Haiku Tunnel DVD’s — preserving the happy efforts of a bunch of quixotic, film-making optimists for as long as these types of media remain watchable. It’s a nice feeling.