Friday, October 21, 2011

Never Mine: The un-love song

A few posts back I tipped my hat to the fact that Robby Celestin is writing a song to be featured in a key scene of VOC. While I'm not quite ready to give you a listen, I will offer a read. The lyrics to the song NEVER MINE are below, as penned by Robby. The song is written from Devin's perspective and offers a glimpse of the tragedy he has become.


(R. Celestin)

All alone am I, in this place of my design

Don't recall a memory of something that is mine

I'm a wounded man in every sense of the word

Self-inflicted are the scars that I incur

You're standing there, a vision so divine

I close my eyes but in this dream you're never mine

Never mine. Never mine.

I can take anything I want in this world but you

Never mine. You're never mine.

My soul hangs down, my heart stays deserted because you're never mine

There's nothing to save me. I'm lost in this sea

There's no way to get to the one that makes me free

I can look but never touch because in this painful dance

For once I'm the Victim and you're the Circumstance

When you're close to me the pain and longing grow

We wonder how a touch would feel but we're not allowed to know

Never mine. You're never mine.

I can take anything I want in this world but you

Never mine. You're never mine.

My soul hangs down my heart stays deserted because you're never mine

It hurts so bad; the answer is simple yet it's not

These two world's colliding; it's never worth the shot

So we stay so far apart in this tiny little room

Wanting a taste of a love we can't resume

I'll yearn so painfully and deepen my desire

A slow death on the inside from this longing, from this fire

Never mine...

Stay tuned, True Believers. The song (and more) will be dropping soon.



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

An Original Sin

The other day I was asked to pick out a few of my favorite scenes from VOC and while the task was daunting to say the least, I was able to settle on a Top 5. In the #2 spot is the fight-scene discussed earlier. Of the remaining 4, I realized that most of the scenes I chose had one (additionally) common thread: they were all filmed at Northwoods Restaurant & Bar in St. John, IN.

Jeff Fryzel, owner/operator of Northwoods, is pretty much a Super Hero, and I mean that in every sense of the word. His joint is not only one of the best restaurants in Northwest IN but at night it turns into one of the hottest clubs around. Every year he hosts a spectacular tribute to the Fallen of 9/11. There is hardly a charity within dreaming distance that he does not contribute to in some fashion and in the middle of it all he is one of the funniest, most insightful, individuals you'll ever meet, not to mention the life of every party. Ten minutes of Jeff's time is enough to make you feel good for the rest of the week. Oh, and did I mention that he loves Original artists?

Northwest IN is a tricky region when it comes to live entertainment. 99.9% of bars and clubs want bands who are going to play Top 40 hits and stand-by favorites; music that is good for crowds and good for business. Jeff Fryzel, however, is the only bar owner in the area who understands that musicians are Artists, not Jukeboxes. That being said, once a month Jeff and Northwoods host an All Original Music Night, where locals bands are able to come in and perform a night of their own material. To an artist, there are no words that can express how grateful they are to have this opportunity. But that's part of who Jeff is: he understands people and gives them what no one else will.

In the early stages of writing the VOC script I bounced a few ideas off of Jeff and sheepishly asked if I could potentially film one scene at the parking lot. Jeff responded with a perfectly deadpanned "Absolutely not." And then he laughed the way only Jeff can and he opened the doors to his club, his Baby, for whatever I needed to nurture mine.

At the end of it all, VOC filmed in Northwood's parking lot, the banquet room upstairs, the VIP room and in the bar.

The climax of the movie, one of my Top 5 picks, was filmed over the course of six hours at Northwoods on a Monday night, a night the bar should technically have been closed. When I was enroute that night with cast and crew I called Jeff just to offer a sincere "thanks in advance." He waved it off and said, "Hey, you needed a place...I have a place. It's all good."

And that is what makes Mr. Fryzel a Super Hero.

That being said, don't take my word for it. Next time you're looking for a spectacular meal or an insane night out on the town, head on over to Northwoods Restaurant & Bar. No doubt you'll see Jeff there. And when he walks up to introduce himself, as he always does, do me a favor and tell him Paul said Thanks.

Catch all the details of the Northwoods party schedule at:



Monday, October 17, 2011

Ain't that a kick in the head...

You have to remember that outside of being a tortured soul Devin Reeves is an accomplished assassin, plain and simple. And in the early stages of writing the VOC script I knew that, while I didn't want action to be the focus of the film, I needed to show Devin's physical prowess otherwise the character would be less believable.

This posed an interesting dilemma because while Buddy Wayne Goettsch is a fantastic actor he had no prior hand-to-hand combat experience. Thankfully I had access to a secret genetic weapon: My older brother, Chad Celestin.

Like Devin, Chad is a walking dichotomy. He is a father, a degree holding (and Master's Degree pursuing) Engineer, a teacher at Purdue Cal, a writer, a brother and an amazing friend. He has also devoted most of his life to the study and creation of martial arts. To call Chad spectacular would be an understatement. The best I can tell you is this: You know all of those crazy martial arts moves you see in the movies? Yeah, Chad can do them for real. And he has, time and time again. He's sparred against real life villains, thugs, groups of attackers and 3rd degree black belts and he has never, ever lost.

So on a cold and early morning, Chad, Buddy, my younger brother Daniel and I met in a basement and set to work. We hit it hard for 12 hours the first day and another 4 hours the next (for the second session we were joined by my oldest brother, Robby). After the 4 hour session we went to the location to film the scene.

Let me say this again:

No Experience + 16 Hours + Chad Celestin = Completed Fight Scene

And make no mistake, it is an intense exchange. Devin takes on 3 villains (played expertly by Chad Celestin, Robby Celestin and Daniel DeRousseau). The exchanges are mind-blowingly accurate and complex and it is easily one of my favorite scenes in the film.
The day after the scene wrapped, I remember Buddy proudly displaying the various deep bruises he had amassed from the sessions and the shoot. He wore them like badges of honor. And I remember being so impressed with the work and dedication he displayed, devoting himself for a few days to an art form he had no experience with, and executing that art perfectly on camera.

A few months later, while reviewing the final edit of the scene with a friend, I was reminded that (a) Buddy had never done anything like this before, (b) Indie Films don't often feature martial arts exchanges, (c) we had very little time to pull this together and (d) we had no mats, pads or stunt-men at our disposal. I was then asked if I had a Plan B in case the scene hadn't worked out.

My answer:

If you have Chad Celestin and Buddy Wayne Goettsch, you don't need a Plan B.