Man, was I surprised to see Neil Diamond and Wernie Ebb jump out the plane and onto the frozen tarmac. They immediately shivered in the arctic winds and disappeared into the circa 1950’s hangar after a few soul greetings and handshakes. Little did I know that they were going to use me as a guinea pig in their mad plot to win the world over with my superstar onscreen qualities and their supposedly superb cinematic prowess in the field of comedy, no less?
“Surprise!” they say when I enter my office. “We’re going to make you our hero in this skit. We’ve been planning this for a while now and we couldn’t think of anyone else who could fit the role of the ice fishing superhero. You’re the one and only legend.
“Cool,” I say. I can’t help but wonder if I’ll get my own dressing room and then I remember, hey this is Rezolution Pictures, they can’t have a dressing room, and I slowly return from my first glimpse of stardom. “Ice fishing? Where are you guys from? Mooyac?”
“Don’t worry, there’ll be cheerleaders in the film and commentators with their own desk,” Wernie quickly shoots back…Apparently Wernie calls the shots when it comes to calling the shots.
“CoooooL.How about stuntmen and special effects?”
Neil Diamond interrupts, “That’s all taken care of. It’s going to be good, man. Just say, make it so, man and it’ll work.” Neil Diamond is the camera man and I’ve seen his special effects, mainly good focus shots.
“Really cool, man, I’m going to be a superstar.” I quickly sniff my fingers in homage to the movie “Superstar” and everyone cracks up. “Make it so,” I say and make it a point to see the team more often during their sojourn into the Great White North. The team also had another member, some nice girl, I think, Rain Deer, something like that. She’s the soundperson.
A few days later, I’m wondering if they’ll ever get to my scenes. How do you rise to superstardom if you don’t get filmed? Lesson one: You insist.
“The weather’s got to be either really blizzardy and incredibly horrible, to show how tough you are, or it’s got to be a really nice day so we can capitalize on your unique comedic facial structures, you know, like really in focus and close up. It’s one or the other,” Neil Diamond explains.
The whole week has been drab with neither the bluster to cause a really bad storm nor the incentive to blow over the clouds. It was biting cold and work requiring delicate fingerwork neither dampened the Rezolution of the team nor slow them down. They would have been proud to work for Canada Post back in the old days when dog teams were the only means of transportation in the winter months. But hell this is modern day communications and everything is recorded with digital quality and I know that this could be the chance for superstardom for the one and only me. I hang around as much as possible and hope their hard work sways into my direction. Lesson two – Persist.
Finally, I wake the groggy crew on Saturday morning (after a barhopping Friday night in town until closing time) with a yell, “C’mon man, it’s finally a great day to go fishing.” Lesson three – never be afraid to be bossy when it comes to achieving your superstardom.
I had rounded up a cabin and some necessary props to do the shots and drove the big production team and film crew to the shooting site at the lonely cabin by the lake. “It’s cold,” everyone comments. I agree with them and the preparations switch to actually shooting me walking out. The general directions were to come across as “The Legend” as the world knows it in the ice fishing milieu and generally win the world championship ice fishing competition as a result.
I walk in the way only a Marlboro smoker knows, across the (thick or thin!) ice towards the film crew. My ice chisel squeaks the – BO C. snow as I use it to feel my way across the frozen expanse in search of my prey, the elusive January trout. Lesson four – who cares how you act, it’s who you know and who knows you that counts.
We discover the ice is 3-4 feet thick. A lot of time sharing the ice chiseling and keeping warm somehow. Lesson five -when you do film, have lots of stunt actors do the dirty work.
It was bitterly cold, but I reveled in the effect of the -29 C on the film crew. Let’s go inside and eat the fish was the general consensus just before sundown and we all scurried over to the preheated cabin. The fish was excellent and kudos to the cooks. Lesson five – hire catering services.
For some strange reason, I failed to ask where the cheerleaders were until after the shoot was done and wondered if I was really to win the world championship ice fishing competition. “Never fear,” says Neil Diamondd and Wernie. “Everything’s cool,” says Rain Deer.
“Make it so,” I say and the plane departs with 200 minutes of my 15 seconds of fame and fortune (everything measured in nanoseconds these days). Final lesson -don’t stop until you’re satisfied that you are a superstar.