Saturday, February 23, 2008

LOVE RANCH, Joe Pesci, Helen Mirren

Love Ranch
  • is a fictional drama, based on true events. The film’s dramatic action revolves around a romantic triangle involving the husband and wife proprietors of a brothel and a world famous Heavyweight boxer who comes into their life. Check this link to See the tie to the actual 1976 story of Mustang Ranch

  • Click on Juke Box above and pick a tune set from the 1976 era, sit back relax and read about how we did our thing 'on set'.

    Recieved a call from Elizabeth Gabel's Far Horizon Casting. 'Will' asked if this Geezer would be able to work background as a 'Fight Fan' on the 21st of February. Of course with my busy schedule I immediately replied Yes,Yes. Wear a wardrobe consistant with 1976 attire he asked. Check for the call time on the internet, the evening before, after 7pm. So far so good, the only thing was that I had gone through my closet and threw away all of my own 1970 and 1980's clothes. Now what?

    Katy called the night before to make sure all was a 'go' on my date with fame. Oh well, jeans with boot cut cuffs are always in style in the west. Call time was for 7:30am Thursday. Awoke at 5:20am and decided that was close enough. After dressing as close as possible and taking a shirt change, I left in the early morning snowfall to arrive at the New Mexico fairground by 6:30am. I like the breakfast served in 'holding' anyway, so that gave me time to enjoy the hot coffee, sausage, eggs and potatoes. They do have oatmeal and fruit for the non carnivores on set.

    Signed in with others arriving to the tune of about 200, strange looking people like myself. I don't think I ever saw so many large rollers in women's hair. Of course they were removed just before the camera action. Elizabeth told my little friend Rebecca to get us to wardrobe for our 'tuneup'. I got to keep the faded jeans and boots along with my old sweat stained straw cowboy hat with a wicked good roll. A bright orange sport jacket was just the ticket along with a brightly colored belt. Now I was presentable.

    Ed from other films we worked together, was outfitted in a bright orange leisure suit, yellow socks, and bright looking shoes of some indescribable color. Ed definetly upstaged me. Ed, if anyone recalls, was the Appaloosa town Doctor during filming in Novenber of 2007. His film wife, Nancy Ann, was the photographer that captured the images of Viggo Mortensen playing soccer with us, on the set at base camp. Check the archives for the great pictures, Pretty popular and got countless hundreds of hits per day.

    A lot of us knew each other from many other films worked together. Personable, J Nathan Simmons from '' is usually on set with us and always welcome. Most were people that we were meeting for the first time. Joel, an ex Marine at was playing the part of a Reno Nevada Police dept, uniformed officer, along with others. Joel plays rugby, tosses the Caber, is a personal trainer and water safety instructor. He is associated with the Celtic festivities in Albuquerque. We got along, with our mutual interest in 'Celtic Woman'.

    Frank with his Classic 'FrankenDodge' Dart and it's multi colored lights, are to also possibly be in the film. Frank wore his own 70's leather jacket and brightly colored poly shirt, platform shoes and flare bottom pants. Frank is an afficionado of fine classics. He travels to the local thrift stores for his many outfits. He visits the local Salvage Yards for his parts to maintain 'FrankenDodge'. Frank and I have worked many films together in the past. One of his real jobs, was as a Radio announcer where his wife called in a request. They eventually met and were married after many call-ins. He never told me what the requests were..

    Mark H who works for the BIA and is associated with the 'BIA Intranet' computer system, was working background with us for the first time. His mother is a 'Weaver' as well. Mark has been around the 'Res', so we also shared a few stories. Hope to see Mark again on set. We were asked if we wanted to work more days? Of course most said Yes. Tuesday and Wednesday of this coming week are my next days.

    Monday the 25th is advertised on all venues for anyone to attend, wearing 1976 vintage clothing, driving that 68 to 76 vintage car, whatever you have, come show your stuff. The filming will be done at the NM fairground Arena. The fights will go on all day and the colliseum is to be filled for the occasion. Periodical raffle calls will give away lots of stuff including two motorcycles. Anyone is invited with free tickets available at several locations around town. 'Casting calls' in my links should have more info. Also the last paragraph of this post, gives details.

    After breakfast we were walked over to the Casino in the grandstand area of the racetrack. The scene was filmed as a 'Press Conference' before the fight. Helen Mirren's, Armando Bruza with his heavy accent and Leroy Colter were great at their dialog. As any fight fan knows, most times the words between the fighters and their respective managers get a little 'Testy'. This scene was done repeatedly for many hours from many different camera angles. We walked through, from all of the various positions and stood by in the 'Press seating' area for even more shoots. Background action was repeated so many times, and we walked through the scene so much, that we all had memorised the lines of the Principles.

    Joe Pesci and Helen Mirren look fit and in shape. Far different from poor Val Kilmer in Comanche Moon (Jan 08 TV miniseries we worked together a couple of years ago) Joe and Helen knew their lines much better than Jennifer Lopez ever did in her 'Border Town' movie last year. I wonder if that 'culture driven' Sub Prime loan will ever be repaid to The State of NM, Oh well it's only 100 million dollars.

    Tim allen in 'Wild Hogs' has trouble recalling his lines as well. Dennis Hopper 'Swing Vote', has to repeat them many times to get them right also. Standing above them all, John Travolta is a true professional. One time, and it's locked in his memory like a steel trap to be released over and over again as the others falter. Marisa Tomey starred with Joe Pesci in 'My Cousin Vinny' along with the guy that starred in 'The Karate Kid'. Marrisa Tomey and Joe Pesci stay looking great. Marrisa worked with us in Wild Hogs last year. She is a doll.

    Lunch was late afternoon and included pork roast and baked chicken. Of course all of the other fine sides as well. Each caterer has their specialty. This was good food but with so many background, it had to be not as gourmet as when we work with fewer people. No prime rib or lobster like John Travolta provided us on Wild Hogs at times.

    Ed Harris, during the filming of Appaloosa gave us a great feast at times, Thanks Ed. 'Hitch and Cole', Ed and Viggo treated us great and shook our hands and talked to us thanking us for our help. Nice to work with real professionals like that. John Travolta 'Wild Hogs', was excellent and very personable also. I see where MC Gainey from Wild Hogs is working with us on this set. He is the right size to portray 'Ross Brymer'. Luce Rains from Appaloosa is also working with us again.

    Elizabeth told us to go back to wardrobe after our meal and get a change of appearance, I came away wearing a dark blue leather sport jacket, not bad actually, No cowboy hat this time. My friend Ed came away looking like he grew up in Liverpool. He wore a pair of stripped blue pants and a blue pullover shirt. Not the most attractive wardrobe but deffinetly classic.

    After this meal it was time to move to the locaton of the entrance to the Arena. We were given 'props' that included nachos with cheeze and jalapenos, they were really used and showed it. The popcorn was ok actually. The beer was not at all well. Tea colored water actually. the Vendors were set up throughout the hall, downcamera. Joe Pesci and his entourage showed up. The prostitutes that accompanied Helen and Joe were pretty girls. Short skirts held our attention, boy did they hold our attention. I forgot how short they wore them in those days. One tall blonde that chewed gum like it gave her oxygen, had tall snaky boots past her knees. She sort of looks like Karen black from Easy Rider, according to Veronica Kraus from Santa Fe's 'ZEN River'.

    I really appreciate a smoke free environment now. Because this was 1976, a lot of people were encouraged to smoke. My throat was sore for days, and I wasn't even smoking. The air became blue and hazy, so much so, that even the smokers were quitting after getting a little dizzy from O2 starvation. Now I see why the city went No smoking a couple of years ago. One of our young men playing a Reno Officer, advised that it was illegal to smoke in a public place. I am with him. Joe Pesci would light up, then extinguish, then relight his big cigar, taking only a short puff when the camera was rolling. It may make him sick.

    At the entrace to the arena scene, I walked through the lobby toward the camera, past Joe, then turned up the stairway, stopping to shake the hand of one of the friends of Joe, just before he hollers 'Charlie'! which is Joes character name, Charles Bontempo. Helen 'Queen' walks away from Joe, toward me. I then turned left, climbed the stairs, walk again and again. Reset!, Background!, Action!, repeated often each few minutes. After her walk away from Joe, Helen Mirren was hiding behind the popcorn machine in deep background, as I came down the far starway. I hung around near her a few times. She looks very nice and well cared for. Life in a brothel must be good for her and Joe. In real life she is married to our Producer Taylor Hackford.

    We all walked back and forth and climbed stairs many times over, platform shoes sounding like horses hooves, for the greater part of the night. No matter how often it was repeated to walk quietly, the same "Clop" "Clop" "Clop" sound echoed through the lobby. Eventually, indicating a long night, Pizza was brought in at about 9:30pm. I heard the casting people say "Piranhas", as we grabbed it right from the many countless boxes set on a table outside. The cameras were reversed, we were brought back in and repeated the scene from another angle. The Gleason brothers are very distinctive. They are well over 6 ft tall. The brothers were walked through the scene several times and were then 'wrapped' which allowed them to beat the long wardrobe lines.

    Finally it was a 'wrap' for the rest of us. We ran back to holding, changed clothes, got in line with the other hundreds of background, then moving to the wardrobe 'turn in' trailer. Tempers were short and when some immature adults tried to jump the line in front of us, to be with there friends, a short tempered more mature guy, let them know his displeasure. Most wisely moved to the back of the line. We are all told to return the wardrobe on hangers. The rule is followed, common sense of course.

    Now you guessed it, the immature line jumpers conveniently 'lost' their hangers, carried their wardrobe in a wadded up mess and proceeded to attempt a 'BS' routine with the wardrobe personel. Luckily this is rarely accepted behavior, I have seen times when the person was told to go find their hangers and return when they are properly prepared. School and most importantly, Parents, are forgetting a few things these days and the 'real world' has to teach behavior. Sometimes with an extremely harsh and embarassing response.

    After being handed my pay voucher, which is held as security for return of wardrobe, I returned to Elizabeth Gabel's casting assistants for final checkout. I arrived home at about 12:30AM on Friday morning. All in all, a 19 hour day for all of us with no naps. I made up on naps the following day. I hope Elizabeth's crew finally got to go home.

    I will post more on Tuesday Feb 27th and Wednesdays Feb 28th, 'on set' experiences.
    Y'all come back now, Ya Hear!
    IMDB list of actors and comments

  • the following Wednesday has a few more links to interesting facts from history. This series of posts will run from 2-21-08 throough 3-5-08. So far at least.

    Love Ranch Fights

    For tickets to the Monday Love Ranch Fights please go to Care Free Spas (on Menaul; 883-2999), 777 Auto Sales (4th & Candelaria;343-0777), OTM Fight Shops (San Mateo & Cutler; 884-8844) and Zanagra Dodge (at Lomas; 262-1111).

    Come be a part of the making of the major motion picture, LOVE RANCH, in an all-day action packed event featuring an all-pro live boxing card, the best of New Mexico comedians, and an eclectic sampling of New Mexico musicians at Tingley Coliseum, Monday February 25.

    Willy Villanueva will headline against Lorenzo Estrada, Archie Ray Marquez against Ceacar Velenzula and a final bout with Joe Cruz against Jose Garcia.

    Step back into the 70s, catch Hollywood's eye and be part of the filming. Come in your best 70s clothes and hair and be eligible for a prize (Think Charlie's Angels) or bring a 1960s to 1976 car for another prize.

    The 12 hour event will also include more prize give-aways every ½ hour and include two motorcycles, two ATVs, a pool table, Gibson guitars, a set of golf clubs, bicycles, and other great stuff.

    The crowd will also be entertained by the musical groups Doc Metzger, Kimberly Ann, and Felonios Groove Foundation as well as comics, Matt Peterson, Rusty Rymes, Mark Shooter, Rick Semones.

    "Love Ranch," directed by Taylor Hackford ("Bound by Honor," "Ray"), stars Joe Pesci ("Casino," "Raging Bull," "Goodfellas") and Helen Mirren ("The Queen" and "National Treasure: Book of Secrets").

    Get Free Tickets at Carefree Spas, Triple 7 Auto Sales, 93.3 KKOB FM, Zanagara Dodge, On the Matt Fight Shop. You must have a ticket to attend.

    Doors open at 7 am.

    Isn't this USA great? The land of opportunity. One Nation Under God.

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