I missed a couple of days of updates here, and I’m about to head out the door again, but let’s see what I can do in the next few minutes.
We got another good team member a couple of days ago. Archie builds staircases out of wood and metal for a living, but what he really loves to do is make things for movies. He (and a couple of his buddies) are now all over fabricating some of the props that we had been worried about. Snow globe? “Chip would love to make that.” Spanish gold? “The key is the texture.” And so on.
It seems I’ve been remiss in discussing the Crusader, our pirates’ deadly craft, and a key piece of hardware for the shoot. We have three candidates: fuego’s Olds Regency 98 (the Hotelsmobile), a Big ol’ Lincoln ragtop with suicide doors, and a beat-up old Pontiac station wagon. The catch with two of those boats is the roof. We can’t be havin’ one of those on the Crusader! It’s not a big problem – we have the tools and we have the will.
The Lincoln would be the easiest to use, but the least useful. It doesn’t belong to us and we would have to return it in the same condition we got it (or better). It would rule out many of the (to put it nicely) customizations we want. Still, it adds a touch of class to the picture. The station wagon is, well, ugly. Ugly, ugly, ugly. The baby-shit brown beast has a bashed-in front, it’s sitting low to the ground, and overall it just doesn’t look good. On the plus side, all the owner wants back is the engine. How do you spell carte blanche? Finally, there is the Hotelsmobile. We could chop the top off that one too, but fuego wants a useable car when this whole adventure is done, which means replacing the hard top with a ragtop. I don’t think he yet understands how expensive that conversion will be. If we use the unskilled but enthusiastic help of the crew to chop it, we are likely to make further modifications more difficult.
Until two days ago, I was leaning toward the Hotelsmobile, then Archie joined the team. Whereas before we were in the “find stuff” mold, he is very much in the “make stuff” mold. He has an image of how he wants the car to look – masts, rope, bowsprit, cannon, and so on. He won’t have time to do all that stuff, but letting him loose on the station wagon has plenty of appeal. He called last night, anxious to get started, and wondering if we wanted turrets in the doors with little cannons pointing out. With his skilled and enthusiastic help, I believe ugly wont be a problem anymore. My biggest worry now is that although the owner of the car says it runs, it’s been sitting for a long time. We’ll have to test that before we commit.
Archie also knows someone with an armory of movie weapons – both real and exact replicas. “How big a machine gun do you need?” Sweet.
Yesterday I spent some time on special effects, working out how to make an electric spark when Kentucky Jack is fiddling with some wiring. That went very well, and today I’ll be getting some supplies to turn that up to eleven. Because, you know, more is better.
Tune in next time for: Into the Black Hole!