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Episode 5 · 2 years ago

THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO (2018) with Assistant Director Hilton Jamal Day

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Parth and Trent talk with assistant director Hilton Jamal Day for The Last Black Man in San Francisco. 

Edited by Parth Marathe

... recently? I haven't eaten anything today. Well, I guess last night. I mean I drank like a smoothie this morning. Well, so that's that's something. Well, you ran didn't eat it. I drank it. I what did I eat last night? I ate from Indian food last night, my ethnic culinary safe play, ever. Yeah, but I feel like saying that you didn't eat anything, but not considering the smoothie is kind of madness, because because like when a liquid becomes viscous enough, then it becomes like a food, but if it's stupid, if it's thin enough, then it's a beverage. What are you? What have you had, Trent, before we start ragging on me for no real particular reason? Good question. I ate some honey nut cheerios with almond milk, because my parents don't know what a what a decision. Yet my parents don't buy regular milk anymore. So we're really doing the cows of America favor. And then I had some some juice, but I'm not. I'm not a big almand milk guy. Really, I think it's I was hesitant for years and I tried it and I was like, Oh, like, no one gets hurt in the process and it's like sweeter the almonds. Do I know that it's like supposed to be worse for the environment because it requires like such a large amount of water to grow almonds that, in the gray and scheme of things, we'd rather torture some cow? Tee. It's it's more damage in the long run to for the momentary relief of sparing a cow's udder. That's enough of that, I'd say. Also, fans, we have never recording equipment. Don't our voices, son Crisp or we had. We had new recording equipment for last one, didn't we? I know, but we didn't break the news size. I suppose that's true. Now it's official. So a week ago they were just like wow, part sounds good, but now they understand why and it isn't just because it's not just that. My like I finally hit puberty part. When did you hit adolescence? Let's let's get to the show, shall we? That's probably be for the best. Welcome back to craft services, where we talk about the movies. Each week we discuss a different film and hopefully have an interview with the crew member of that film to talk with us about their experience. This week we're talking about the last black man in San Francisco and we were able to interview its assistant editor, Hilton Jamal Day. So trend. You want to you want to give a synopsis, this little imdb Synopsis, of this yeah, it's about twelve words long, but all read it. Here we can go. I like hearing you talk. A young man searches for home in the changing city that seems to have left him behind. Wow, part that's brief. I'm DB really spared no expense. It's true they didn't even mention that the young man is black or that it's in San Francisco, but I guess that's advertised. Yeah, I would say you don't really need to bring that up or tell me about the budget and box office of this film, if you don't mind, if you just have that information at your disposal. You seem like you would. I just keep it in the recesses of my mind generally. Well, this had a budget of two million dollars and made four point six million dollars, over double its money, although it like in all honesty, probably didn't make much money because of marketing and stuff, although I don't know how much marketing this received. I don't think I saw any commercials for it. I remember seeing a few trailers on twitter. Part still broke, even it was a good movie, So let's let's give some credit. Okay, yeah, it was a financial success. Okay, okay, I'm sorry. I guess I'll give up production history. That's okay with you. Joe Talbot, who's the director, was as friends with guy named Jimmy fails. They both grew up together in San Francisco and had been wanting to make a movie together since they were teenagers. So they they wanted to make a film in the in San Francisco, but there wasn't really like a film scene in that area and they also didn't really know anybody. But Talbot ended up sending an email to Barry Jenkins, the director for Moonlight and writer, and he got some advice from him and then they ended up starting a kickstarter campaign and ended up getting seventy five tho dollars for it and that ended up getting them interest from the film industry and so then they were able to secure funding from plan be entertainment, which is Brad...

Pitts production company and then they were able to into may two thousand and eighteen, they casted Jonathan Major's Danny Glover to China, Arnold, Rob Morgan, Mike EPPs, Finn Whit rock and Thora Birch, as well as Jimmy fails as the titular, as the main lead. And so plan be entertainment was the one that was producing the movie, and then eight hundred and twenty four gained the distribution rights to it, so they were the ones in charge of marketing and putting it out in theaters and things. And Yeah, and then they filmed the movie. They they're the there is constant demolition and changes to San Francisco as the film production went on, which made it kind of difficult to film. But other than that, they just filmed a movie and then got it made. There you go. Well, put parth. Thank you. So we got an interview. I'd say we let's let's cut to it. What was a way trying to Oh, well, awkward. We interviewed neither of US know. You know him, you love Them Hill and Jamal Day. He was the assistant director for this film and he was a very nice, cool man with a lot of great information, so we're gonna we're gonna let him take it away. Hello everybody, and welcome to our interview with Hilton Jamal Day. He's an assistant director who has worked on many films such as sorry to bother you, black bear and for our film through today, the last black man in San Francisco. We're super excited to talk with him today. So welcome to the show. Thank you so much for having me, gentlemen, I appreciate it. Thank you. So we like to start off with all of our guests just sort of asking what got you interested in film and like where that sort of started. Sure, Um, that is a really incredible story. So my mother was in sales for Kodak in Chicago when I was born and as I got older, soon as I was able to talk and walk, I was already making movies and didn't stuff. So at a very early age I was playing with a lot of the equipment that she had around the house. Moving forward into in into my life, I started to get really, really interested in post production editing and you know, it's kind of crazy because I was able to be at a high school, at James Logan High School and Union City California. There they had an electronic media production academy. You're only supposed to be in that academy as a senior, but I worked my way in as a junior and a senior and I also was able to to take that and move that on into college, Enjoying San Francisco State Cinema Program and while I was at state I met a lot of really incredible people and it really honed my focus on in filmmaking and in post production especially. So when I graduated from state I was really, really heavily interested in post production and I had my own very small company that I was working underneath and I was doing a lot of small jobs from, you know, with with local companies, local cannabis clubs, music artists for music videos, small companies. I was doing commercials for and editing things, wedding videos, things like that, anything I could get my hands on to do post production. But it wasn't until I started peaying that I realized how incredible the ADS are on a set and just recognizing how much respect that person commands and how much they're responsible for and how much they, you know, have to do in a day and and between being a PA on all different type of projects and then finally peeing on a on on a reality show. That actually showed me how much having the void of an ad showed me how much that was the job that I was even more interested in than post production, which I had been interested in my entire life. So I think that that's really important to see how that, how that transformed for me. So by post production, were you like specializing and like editing? I just find it so interesting that at a young age you grab it, the gravitated towards that, when most people are either like, I'm going to be the director or I'm going to be the actor, and you chose a third option. Yeah, so, so, I mean I always wanted to direct in and I always wanted to produce and everything. I feel like everybody comes into filmmaking with that mind that they want to be the director. But the more that you work, the real lot you realize how many jobs there are and how niche specific everything is. And I was always blown away by claymation and,...

...you know, stop motion animation and you know, as a kid, and so you know seeing a lot of shows like that. I did my own stop motion pieces as a kid with transformers. I was crazy about transformers. So, you know, between that and doing other like little secret agent videos with my friend, it was always cool to take our footage and I felt like we had more fun cutting that footage then we did actually, you know, shooting it in finding different ways, like Yo man, like there was nothing we couldn't do it we didn't have the special effects for something. We would like record ourselves playing a video game to get that part in, or find a clip from our favorite movie and splice it into our home movie to make it work. And you know that was blown away by that. But it's interesting because everything that I know, and I was mainly in into editing, not you know, video effects or, you know, coloring or anything like that, but especially cutting was my thing, and which is crazy because nowadays they want you to be have way more than just a cutting experience. To be a professional editor, you need to know how to do a lot of different things with graphics and it's only when you get to the bigger and, you know, more complex productions that you are you have those people who are niche specifically just cutting or just doing the graphics for this part. You know, it's much more granular. There but for me, you know, that was what I love the most, and I realized is that being detail oriented that way and following how what happens on set is going to cut. That actually helps me out as an add because a lot of ads don't think that way. So I'm always thinking about, okay, what we're shooting like with the director like our should we use time on this shot if it won't cut? Should we use time on this shot if it's not something you love? Every shot should be your master should all these things go into my ad process and a lot of that I gained simply from doing a lot of editing work, you know. Well, it's really interesting like that. You were like you went for like an ad and so we were wondering. So you've obviously made the jump from PA, which, for our listeners, is productionist assistant, which is like kind of the lowest rung on set, the starting I point. Yeah, and so we have yet to reach that level yet, but so we were wondering what that jump was like for you and what that kind of learning curve was like for you. Yeah, so, like I said, I started off with my own small company and doing things on a on a when you have less people, everybody has more responsibility. So I worked for a lot of really small shoots and small projects and did a lot of really, you know, groundwork just to get my feet wet. And also when I was in school I met a lot of people that helped to connect me with folks that I could get hired as a PA. And I worked as a PA for about two years before I ever add. Actually, I actually excuse me, and my first year paying I actually ad twice. And did it really realize? Is there a small project? Some I had two friends that asked me of one friend asked me to ad is short film and then his friend heard that I did that in the other friend told him I was good and said Hey, you should get this guy. So at that point I didn't really realize that was what I wanted to do. And when I started PA, and you know, like I said, you realize on a bigger set with more crew members, how pivotal that ad rule is and how they keep everybody coherent, on the same page, make sure everything's in communication and legitimately control the set create the environment for an for the rest of the crew to working. So working on a whole bunch of different projects as a PA, you know, commercials, music videos, TV shows and features, at all different levels, not just the set pa but ARTPA and, you know, an office PA and different every ever, every area I could get experience in, I did, and I ended up getting hired onto real world season twenty nine, and I did. I was with real world for like three months and and then three months that I was there, I totally realized the void of an ad and what that means to a production. When there's somebody WHO's not specifically there to track time, things can get out of hand. Reality is meant to be that way, though. You're meant to track story and follow story and it's meant to feel as real as possible. There's a lot of there's very little interaction between the subjects and the crew. So, UM, being in that world really, you know, made me recognize in miss what it meant to work with an ad, to work on productions that have an a d. So after I worked on real world, I started to tell all my old producers and production managers like Hey, like, you know, I want to ad, this is what I want to do, you know, and I and I feel like I'm ready at this point. So you know if there is a small job or something...

...that you know that somebody would need an ad. I'm trying to get my feet wet and you know, sometimes you tell people that and they don't take you seriously. You know, I don't know, and this is this is why it's really important when you have an in the ability to find a small job where you can take the responsibility of being a key or a head of department on that job, you should do that, because you're only going to learn more about that craft. And so my first job was a music video that I was hired for by my good friend of mine, Rose Crane, to be a first ad on a music video for this band called Magic Man, and the song was Paris and it was an ambitious music video because there was a lot of vfx in it. My first job ever getting paid as as an ad like at for a, and that was really, really cool and and you know, like I said, I learned a lot after that and beyond that, working on small jobs like that as a first a d and then also beginning to work my way from the ground up in the in the feature realm, it really kind of got me to where I am now. So I was first thing on smaller projects and at the same time I was like key setting on key set, paying on feature films and on TV shows. And you know, I work my way up from a key set to a second second ady, to a second ad to a first lady, which is what I do now primarily. I still second a d every now and again for other first ladies, which I think is really important to do to learn. But Um, you know, it's really important also to continue to excel in to understand, you know, where your best useful and I felt like you know, my my abilities, we're best useful in the first ad slot and, you know, and bringing other people together to make something amazing, you know. And Yeah, so in reference to the last block man in San Francisco, or just more generally, what is an ads relationship with the director and can just describe some of the responsibilities in a D has on set? Sure, from the very beginning the AD is usually brought in once a lot of other things have been figured out. The script should be in a pretty good place, maybe not the final version, but very close. And you also, you know, you may or may not have certain locations figured out as well, but it's really important just to recognize that the ad comes in, he looks at the project, the content that either, if it's on a commercial job, it's probably like a creative deck or a or a treatment, and if it's a feature, it's the script that they want you to look through, read through and break down. And after you've read it and then you've read it again, then you can really start to break it down for the first time, because it's only after then that you can have your conversations with the director and say, okay, this is what I read here. What does this mean to you? How does this translate into imagery? Because somebody can say crowd of people first thing I'm going to read, and if I read that in a script I'm like, Oh, how many are you thinking when you say a crowd? You know all these different things, like you know, does this it says that he's writing? Is He writing with a pin, the Pencil? What you know? Like there's really small things that you can find in a script that allude to other elements. So, you know, my relationship with the director is really to make sure that I understand the material the same way that they are, that I can share the vision, so that I can help to create a world in which that can be realized. And you know, I often say, you know it is. It is often common when a director does not get along with the ad because the ad is going to be the devil's advocate every single day and tell you what is possible with the time and money that we've got. Maybe not so much the money. That's usually like a producer that I'll tell you that, but the ad can tell you how that time, how that money translates into time and how that time can be managed. And it's really important to have of somebody that you trust so that they're not misleading you and how much you can do in a day. And I think that that's a really important part. So in those early stages the ad lays out the shooting schedule from based on the script breakdown that they create from the script. So first you read the script, you make the breakdown and then you start to take that breakdown and create a schedule, and then that schedule will go through several preliminary drafts before it's the final version that you know we are going to move through and move forward to shoot. And then on set, you you you now, as the first lady, have the responsibility of executing that plan that you created, and it never goes exactly according to plan. I maybe had one job, one one movie that ever went completely according to plan and it was phenomenal that that happened. But it's one of those things...

...where you know you're a trouble shooter too, when things don't go according to plan. You have to figure out how to make it work because at time is money, you know. So in recognizing that how important it is to be able to manage time. That's like the biggest thing for an ad is managing time. But I can say the next biggest thing, the most important thing for an ad, is to supervise safety measures. Safety is key on any set that you're on, making sure that people can come to a safe working environment and do the things that they need to do. That we've rehearsed and tested every little bit of everything, every stunt, every scene. It's really important portant to be able to feel good before you press record on the camera. You don't ever want to do anything that has not been proven to work. And so you know, and it's that that I would say this, between safety and time management and being a problem solver, those are the ads primary functions and then, beyond that, just communication being the the the the the apex of the communication between everybody. Everybody's going to bring you. All the crew, all the working crew, are going to bring all their problems to you, and it is up to you to figure out how they affect everybody else and make sure that that's communicated with the above the line crew. How that translates into money. There's so many different realms that the ad has to navigate, but I would say the like I said, most importantly, safety, time, in schedule management and, you know, in communication. Those things are really important and problems I've you just said, like one of your main functions is creating the schedule, and so I was wondering how close of a working relationship, I mean, obviously it's all collaborative, but like how how close of a working relationship you have to have with your producer, who kind of has more of an eye on the financial end of it all? Sure, so, so with the producer. The producer should be there too, you know, to help you with money management because, like I said, all of the things that you're spending money on that's going to translate in to time and it's more than just the producer. I think it's really important to recognize, you know, the producer may be like the head of production, but all of the keys are the head of that department. They all play a pivotal role. So you have locations. A lot of those locations may dictate different schedule changes, the casting actor availability. That's going to dictate a lot of the scheduling. So the producer is mainly there to make sure that these things are happening in the way and they're being provided the way that we need them to, the best way possible, and that we're spending the money that is in the budget the best way possible to make our shoot possible. In the line producer, not necessarily the main producer, but the line producer is the person that is, you know, like the the last line of Defense on that budget. That is literally line item watching how all of this is being spent. In the main producers and executive producers are there to approve certain decisions, you know. So there's oftentimes, well, I'll have a situation where, you know, we there may be an ask from the director or the client or whoever, on whatever kind of job, and I have to I can't answer that question and I have to go to the producer to make sure that before I start to make any moves towards this, is this something that you can approve? And, Um, you know that's on every job in different ways. Is always that the producers like the last you know, excuse me, the top of the hierarchy of the of the set where, you know, even the director answers to them, because the director can't do anything without money. So, you know, it's really important to recognize, you know, that relationship that the director and the producer have versus the ad who's taking the vision and taking that money and trying to put them together in a time that can work. So, you know, in especially speaking about last black man, we had a phenomenal team of producers for you know, that came together to help make that movie possible. I feel like between there is there was, um, we had three main producers and an incredible night line producer that was phenomenal and it was just really just interesting just to see how they all had to work together in different realms to make certain things happen. And you know, it's one of those things that, had we not had people dedicated and smart and knowing what they were doing, that movie would not have become what it was or gotten to the places that they went. Because even after my job is done, the producer is there with the director to help push it through post, to get it the distribution and exhibition that it needs to go far and become, you know, something even greater. So you know, recognizing that the producers going to be...

...there before you show up, during and after. If you're an a D and that person is, they know a lot more about what's going on than you do, and that is that should be someone that you can go to for support always. Yeah, so, as the person who is allotting time for a specific scene, how do you like go about estimating like how long it given scene will take? Is it based on like difficulty or the amount of like moving elements, because it'd be very hard to predict the amount of takes necessary in order to write, to get the product dawn totally. So, man, that's a question and a half. I will tell you that that is a very difficult thing to do and it is a craft and how you do it is it really speaks a lot about your method as an ad so for me, I don't like to estimate anything, I like to get some concrete numbers from the DP, from the director and from the lighting team, from every department. How long is this going to take? How long do you need to do this? How long is it going to take us to get the arts that the set dressed? How long is it going to take to light it? How long is it going to take camera to get set up and then how long does the director want to rehearse how much? How long do they want to shoot? How many shots are there and how long do you think it's going to take for each shot? How long is it going to take to switch between shot has to turn the room around? These are all things that in scouting in preproduction, like I get into everybody's, you know, all of their information to see. I need to know that before I submit a schedule that is going to literally be a legal document in the future. You know about what the plan is and it's important to know that all the paperwork is legal. You know that stuff can come back and bite you if you're not really serious and decisive and in very you know definitive about what you're putting in that so I like to before I estimate anything, I like to take that information, you know, and gather it from the crew, compile it and say, okay, if you need this much time and you need this much time and you need this so much time, this is how much time we need really to do that. And then, you know, there may be oh, that's too little, so we need more, and it's like okay, cool, then we can. We can add more, you know, or maybe that's too much. I'm like, okay, great, that a lot of time you guys gave me. We feel like we can all kind of maybe work at the same time in different ways. Maybe we can shorten that time, like I always like to submit that that true, you know, a true compilation of the time, and I don't like to guesstimate because then if I guesstimate, you know, accountability is everything and it's really important to recognize that. If I want to have accountability for my schedule, I want to be able to look back and be like, Hey, you know, this person told me it would take this long. It's taking longer than that. That's not necessarily my fault. It's not always about fault. But then it's like, all right, I put this much time, we're going over. What do we have to work out to make this work. Now we have to figure out, okay, we're this. Doing this now either takes away from the next scene or it puts us into overtime. Producer. Can we afford that? You know what I'm seeing. What is the what is the the end all goal here? What do we want to do? What is most important to do? What's the top priority? And those are things that you find out in the moment on set, but in the prepro when you do are when you're still in Prepro, it's important to be as as to make that schedule as realistic as it possibly can be, you know, and and still try to get as much into a shooting day as possible. It didn't into go more into that. For features especially, it's a rule to try to keep each day to six pages. A six page day is pretty average, give or take. You may have one big scene that's happening on a day and that's all you're shooting. That's maybe fifteen pages. That may be possible. I've had that happen several times, but you know, but usually in a six page day that's several scenes that you can bang out and you know, like I said, give or take, it depends on what it is, because you can have a one eighth of a page seen that says car chasing sues, and that can take you thirty thirty days, you know, and it's really just important to recognize, like I said, that's where you tap in with your director like okay, this little piece, how many shots is that? You know it says montage, this is only a small piece of the script, but how many shots is that? How many company moves? How many shots were going to really put into that? So you know, there's a lot of information between the script, the shot list, in every other department's breakdown of their own for their own things that they need to do on the set. All of those things culminate into what becomes the final schedule. Well, that's great. So sort of to get more specifically into last black man in San Francisco, that's a I think it's incredible that that moviee was made for two million dollars, because it just I watched this today and it's courteous. It's...

...an amazing looking movie that like has. It looks like it cost ten times that, honestly, and so with such a tight budget, that most obviously have been a very tight production schedule. So I'm wondering if you could speak on to what working under those kinds of constraints are like. Oh yeah, so last black man, Oh man, I can tell you that that was the greatest undertaking of my life yet of my career, because, you know, within I believe, we had twenty six shooting days. There's a lot that we had to do in that movie and also there was so much that we had to create and there was just always felt like time was running away from us. And you know, when you're trying to do things at that level, sometimes in the early process, you know, you skip things that you that you will then need later and have to spend more money on later. And you know, in that film and during that production, I feel like we did an incredible job of utilizing our time wisely and shooting in ways that we didn't have to spend so much money but that we got the maximum production value out of what we did choose to do. There was definitely some incredibly difficult days. One of the most difficult days of my life was the day that we shot Jimmy Skating Down California Street. That particular shot by itself is probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, because every block between the camera and where he was had to be blocked off with an ITC by police officers and PA. So I had a very massive crew literally for that one shot and you know, a lot of those people were they started for that shot and then we're done up for the day after that shot. They were literally only needed for that moment. So it's recognizing that, you know, balancing the set, balancing locations, balancing company moves. I feel like, you know, the biggest thing that we tried to do was to group scenes and and locations all together, which we always try to do, but sometimes it's not always possible, and so there were certain times we had to do with certain things in a location, leave and come back to where that location has been flipped by the art department in Production Design and set dressing to become a different place that we need to shoot again, and that can be really difficult when you're when you're, you know, doing a project like that, because you don't always have the luxury of leaving and coming back. So I felt like, because it was a completely on location shoot and that's none of that was done in the studio, that made it a lot more difficult. There's a lot of things that you can control when you're in a studio space where you have control over everything that's happening there. We were like really shooting in the hood, we were really in Hunter's point, we were, you know, really shooting on California Street during rush hour. You know what I mean? Like there's there's certain things that were, you know, difficult to avoid and also that I our director wanted. He really wanted to bring that, that real element to the to the shoot. Joe Talbot was really serious about that, like I really want to see this part of San Francisco and it's really important that we show that part for what it really is. And you know, it was definitely difficult to do that. I'm sure that we could have saved money in a lot of places by not shooting in certain areas, you know, and there was definitely some money spent on certain locations that in any other case you could have just recreated that and, you know, in a studio, in a it's one of those things where the dedication to that made the schedule a lot more ambitious. I will say it. In addition to the location constraints in all of the different places that we shot on location. There was a lot of of cast, you know, schedule conflicts that we had to work around as well. So in especially when you look at the final scene of the climax of that movie, you know those seems like that are difficult. They're more difficult than people think. Like when you see a wedding at the end of a movie and everybody's they're like Yo, it's it's incredibly difficult to get several big name actors into the same room the same time for one day and to want to be there all day. So you know, it in managing attitudes and everything. It's all it's all part of the craft and I think that all of those things played an incredibly big part in making last black man a very ambitious and difficult shoot. That movie was not easy. I think I lost like twenty pounds working on that movie, just just running around like crazy trying to get things done...

...and you know, but I don't regret any of it. It's definitely it's one of those things where I always I always try to make sure that I am when I need to be, that I'm at the Monitor to see the Monitor as much as possible and on during that movie I was not always able to beat right there at the Monitor and when I saw the movie and saw some of the things that we did it, it blew me away because I'm just like, AH, I didn't even know that that's what that shot looked like. It was, you know, because I was over here doing stuff, you know. So you know, I am. I'm incredibly grateful to have been a part of that and I'm incredibly thankful to the entire cast and crew for what they did to make that movie possible, because each and every one of them, I can remember when they put effort into making that what it is, and now it is what it is and it's amazing. I mean the the effort chose, for sure, and you were speaking about how the director really wanted to make sure you got that sort of authenticity with location, and so I'm getting the sense that this was mostly shot on location, and so if you could speak about whether there were any sets that you had to build and what that process is sort of like? Right. So, so there we were shooting on location, but there were certain steps that we did have to go into those places and create completely, you know, different sets. So the main house itself. Man, there was so much that we had to take out of the House and bring in, but the house as it was was was, for the most part, exactly how it looks in the movie. However, the thing that you don't see is like, down in the front of the house, on the street level, there's two garages that are there and they completely yeah, you would never know that there's two garages, but they completely covered those garages with the top and with a with a fence and foliage and Greens into to make it look like that was just like the base level. And then when we go back to the place when it's been renovated, there's a lot of things that you now see and the house is expanded and completely different at the end of the movie. So you know, it's in a spoiler alert. Sorry, guys, but do what you know. It's one of those things where, Um, you know, looking at that set, that was a very difficult set to manage because you know, of course, our homeowner was very, very, very protective of his property and you know, we also he we were on a time limit and he's like you guys get to be here from this time to this time, and you know, there's only so much extra that money can buy in those situations. So I am very grateful to him for doing that. And, you know it more than that, there was also the set that was Montgomery's grandfather's house, that the exterior of that set was the house that was on in Bay View Hunter's point on Ns near the near the bay. The interior of that house was on Third Street in Bay view hunters point and it was in a much different area than that and in a much more dangerous area actually, really so shooting there was a bit more of a challenge, just dealing with some of the the the folks that were around the set and keeping the crew safe while we were shooting there in the middle of the night because, of course, you know, like when we do have to do night shoots and whatnot, we want to start in the afternoon and shoot till morning, and you know, doing that in a in a violin area can be very difficult. You know, more than that, Gosh, there was so many places that we literally completely created but that we're inside, you know, the the San Francisco area, you know, and it was just it was really incredible to see what our art department and you know what set decoration was able to create and I'm really, really proud of it because in the end result it all really feel the connection between the different places. You can't always tell, like Yo, man, this, this room right here, is miles away from where we saw it from the outside. Like you know that. That happened quite a bit and I'm just really grateful that the especially because of our art team, because of our GNE team, just lighting things the same way and because, you know, of our cinematographer, we were able to shoot things and connect them in ways that you don't often see in a lot of movies or that they don't they don't go to the extent that we did. So we took notice some shots that really impressed us and kind of bewilled we couldn't figure out how they were done. So we're gonna use you to ask how sure the the rock fight, there was like an aerial shot, which was really interesting, the downhill skateboarding tracking shot that you mentioned,...

...and then the final like rowing with Jimmy Rowing away under the Golden Gate. I feel like there's a lot to say. They're okay. So the rock fight, I can say I was one of my favorite days. That was like day two. I want to say on set the rock fight was it was a catapult rig built by our key group and it was a catapult or a Trebuchet, and on one side of the catapult was the camera here. And literally we have this sitting, this scene where the kid puts his hand on the camera when it's in one position and the camera he pulls and throws the camera in. The grip team swung the trebuchet over and it came down on another kid just before, you know, and safely stopped before it hits this other guy. I think it comes like right here on the other kid before he gets hit by this rock. And that was one of the funniest things that we had to do, because everybody wanted to throw the catapult, you know, and all and of course you know me as the ad is, no matter how much anybody tells me he's gonna be fine underneath the camera, I'm like, will check it another ten, twelve time because I don't want that Trebuchet to come down and, you know, and do any harm to anybody underneath it. But it was completely safe. You really, really, really proud of our GNE team and, like they they did some amazing things, but that was especially a rig built by our key grip, that is, Jason Noel on that movie. And so there was that. Then there was the California street shot and if I'm not mistaken, they were up on top of the hill. I want to say that's high, but at the top of the hill where Grace Cathedral is, the two intersections that are at the top were blocked off completely. The shot starts with the truck coming around the corner. Every single block on the side that you can't see of that of that street, there were cops and cops for the traffic, pay's for the pedestrians and we had our skate double who would come in and do the skateboarding down now. He fell twice, I must say, and of course you know we're where the camera was was maybe ten, twelve blocks. I can't remember exactly how far, but we were way down on golf and golf is quite a several several blocks away from Grace Cathedral. So we were shooting from an intersection there, from the middle of that intersection, shooting on a long winds all the way to grace cathedral and watching him come down and just coordinating every time that we had to Redo the shot. Had to bleed out the traffic weight maybe five or ten minutes for all the traffic to bleed out, make it, wait for it to become safe again, lock up everything and then give him another try. And by the third attempt we got that shot, and I must say that that was we got that shot literally moments before three o'clock when we were no longer allowed to shoot that shot because rush hour started. So that is there's so many things about that shot where I'm like yeah, we did that, you know, like very strongly were anxious on this movie. Yeah, totally, you know, right, right. You know, it was definitely amazing to get that one in the camp. And then at the end, what what we're you see Jimmy Rolling, rowing away. That was a boat to boat situation. So we had our of course, our camera boat, we have another safety boat with divers and, in any safety personnel in case something goes wrong, and we have our picture boat, which is Jimmy actually rowing. So you know, we actually went out under past the Golden Gate. We had to start at a dock that was, you know, on the Inner Bay and then come out, you know, row, drive all the way out to the just just beyond the Golden Gate Bridge, but before you actually exit the Bay, and we shot that right there. And it was it was a bit of an overcast day, definitely at Lee. The water was a little choppier than we wanted it to be, but it was safe enough for us to do what we needed to do. And if I'm not mistaken before that, before this project, our lead Jimmy, was not crazy about being in the water or being in a boat or swimming at all. So to get this shot, was was there? Very difficult? Of course he was. He had a life jacket on underneath his costume that you can't really see. There's a lot of things that are happening in that shot that were very, very difficult to achieve and to make sure that our boat doesn't drift, that were in the perfect position, that the safety votes just close enough to be out of the frame but still close enough to help, and that Jimmy can then row in...

...the exact direction and go straight through the shot in the shot that we got was magic, you know, but we were there for most of the better half of the better part of six hours to get that shot. Oh my God. Yeah, you know, if you got to get out there, you got to get everything set up. You need to make sure that you're, you know, in your window time. You have to move out of the way if there's bigger ships coming in, because there's a lot of big ships that come through there. Same thing if you're shooting in the port of Oakland, you have to like make sure that yell. If you're in the water, like the big cruise ships are coming in man's you have to, you know, make sure that we move for that. That was that was a difficult shot to get and that was actually our last day of filming for the Principal Photography Unit. Oh Wow, yeah, that's amazing. So these are all some really beautiful images that you were able to capture, and so one of the questions that we had was, in general, but also specifically talking about this film, are you working off of storyboards specifically, is each shot broken down like that or because this is such a visually meticulous movie? So unfortunately we did not have the luxury of storyboarding every single piece of the movie. I would have loved that, but that is not something that we had the ability to do and you know, but we did have an extensive shot list, and this is one thing I highly recommend is that you don't do it as you go. It's really important to do it ahead of time and make sure that I can use that information in the schedule, because if you do shot list or you change the shot list when we're already in the schedule, there's something you might build time around, a hold one day in a week, changing the schedule in that changes the whole week, you know. So I will say that. You know, it was definitely, like I said, ambitious, because Adam Newport bear our DP. He is a mastermind and there were certain shots that took a lot more time than others, but they were they were the ones that people remember in that movie and I'm really glad that we did that, that we took the time for those shots. But it was it was definitely difficult trying to look at our shot list, look at the time needed versus the time allotted and find a common ground where we can, you know, get exactly what we needed to get. There's several there's there's a few parts in the movie that didn't make the final cut that I was like, Oh man, some of that work is really gorgeous, that people won't see, but it just didn't support the final story. You know, and you know, but we you get it. You get it, but then you feel bad like man, we spent three hours on that night trying to get that. He's done, you know, but it's in the final in the final product. You know, it's all good. You know you kind of have to kill your darlings in the name of the final product. You gotta Kill Them, you gotta kill them relentlessly with no remorse. So you also worked on sorry to bother you. IMDB told me, and I was wondering, it says as a second assistant director, and that's what the distinction is. And what was your role on that movie? So on sorry to bother you, I had the awesome pleasure of being the second a D to Brian Benson, who was not only my first in that movie but also my professor in my producing financing course at San Francisco State. He was also the first person to give me a paid PA job, so he's been watching my career as I've grown and he asked me to second for him and I was so excited to do it. But I it's crazy because I didn't know a turn about boots Riley before that, before I was asked to do that project, and let me tell you that after I heard his name the first time, since then I don't her boots name, three folk five times a day. Boots, boots Riley came in and changed my whole life man Um, and so I can say that it was an incredibly different situation from being a first ad on last black man, because, I'm sorry to bother you. Well, it's very similar to last black man, where we had a lot of, you know, big name actors. My primary goal was to make sure that those people were taking care of in base camp and in addition to making sure that the call sheets that were going out each day were perfect. And it's a funny thing that we have, but Brian Benson, because he was my professor. Every night again he would give me like a great went on my prelim call sheets. When I submit them in the middle of the day, he give me a grade and send it back and then show me. He's like, this grade represents how close it is to being exactly what it is supposed to be. Oh, you know it. You know I love Brian to death and I'm really, really grateful for him, to him for bringing me on to that project. It was...

...an incredible undertaking. That movie was no joke. We shot completely in Oakland and, you know, it is just one of those things where, like every single day on that movie it was something out of this world, like you know what I mean, and something that like, you know, when you're doing a comedy of that nature, it's like really dark and really twisted and very unorthodox. And you know, in the helm of it is boots Riley. You know, his whole directing style is completely out of the box, is you know. So it's one of those things where I I appreciate see what that came out of as like know, the product of that movie. However, I wasn't seeing that when I was in base camp. Most of my day was in my trailer at my computer and, you know, constantly running out to make sure actors are going through the works, hair, makeup costumes are all good. You know, in any new crew members are being taken care of via special effects guys, the animatronics team, all those folks are being taken care of that they know what's going on and, you know, and managing also the second second in the key set in the PA's that were underneath me. There was a lot going on on that movie that I wish I could have seen from the set, but I was mostly just pushing all of that out of base camp and just hoping to God that it was all happening the way that it need to. Then, excuse me, the way it needed to, and it's one of those things that every single day it was always really interesting to hear the things that are happening set, you know, and from front. When you're in the second ad position, you have as much responsibility as the first ad because you are essentially doing that role for base camp. You're just not on set. You have to manage base camp, manage time. You need to know how much time it's going to take actors to go through the works, how much time it's going to take them to travel to and back from set, what who all is coming on the next day that's going to work, making sure that the call sheet reads perfectly, because the call sheet is pretty it's a legal document, just like the schedule, but it is the wish list of things that you want to do, whereas the production report done by the second second eighty, at the end of the day, is a report of what actually happened. So making sure that the call sheet reads perfectly and that there's not anything missing is really, really important, because you know that can come back on you having missed a particular element or a particular proper something that was supposed to be attached to a scene on a on the call sheet. You know, although all the other departments have their own breakdown, it's important for you to make sure that everybody on the crew is reminded that this thing is necessary today. And so, you know, being a master at creating call sheets is not easy. It definitely takes some serious skill and although I was the second a D on. Sorry to bother you, I have to give huge credit to my favorite second ad Dominic Martin, who was my second ad on last black man, and dominic is a much better person in that role then I could ever wish to be. That man is phenomenal and he handles things better than I've ever seen anybody in that role. And you know, there's just there's so many things that happen when you're in that realm. You you might have an actor with a bad attitude or something that happened where that they weren't happy, and recognizing the keeping the actors happy is like your number one goal. There's the call sheet, but then keeping those folks in good spirits is really important because if they're not in good spirits and base camp, they bring that energy to set and that's not something nice to see. So you want to make sure that they can feel good about coming to you with their needs and wants. And you know, and that's like I said, it's not easy. Dominic does it better than me. I feel like I can get, you know, myself a little bit scattered ring like, Oh crap, he wants this and I'm not sure how we're going to get it. And you know, but dominic does that with with amazing finesse. That man's amazing, you know. So I will say, Um, I, like I said, it was an honor to do that job with to to be in that position, on that role on sorry to bother you just because of all the different people. I've met, almost all of those actors on that movie. I was crazy about them before I got there. I had to remember, do not be starstruck when slow and so shows up today. Um, and what you we, which is filmmakers, we should always aspire to not be starshry those people are there working with you. You know. So and in more than that, just, like I said, just making sure everybody was happy and and you know, the other thing, one of the greatest things I the happened on that job was being able to work with the same team that was responsible for, you know, for the aliens movies, you know,...

...and making the creatures for that. I get just crazy, like when you look at Yeah, you know. So, you know, the guys that were in the the spoiler alert, but the folks that are in the horse suits, you know those guys. They've done a lot of work and you know, it's just really incredible when you come across some lie like Yo, you've got some tenure. You know. So I you know, and recognizing also that you when you're in AD everybody's going to come to you looking for answers, and it's important to recognize how essential it is to be honest when you don't know something. And you know, that's like one of my busy by biggest pieces of advice I can give to anybody want to be an ad you don't always say that. You know, if you don't know, you have to let them know. I don't know, but I'll figure it out, and that's the attitude that you want to push forward with. Just to sort of start wrapping things up a little bit, obviously we're in we're in new times right now, as strange and exciting times because of the coronavirus, or's pandemic, and so we sort of asked each guest how that sort of affected their work. I follow your Instagram, so I was able to see that you were working on something. I didn't know what, but so how has that affected your ability to work? Yeah, Um, I will definitely say it's been a very slow year. It has been an incredibly slow year and it's just been really interesting trying to circumnavigate how to operate around this virus and to recognize, you know, everybody's safety is so key and when you're working with something that is that has so many unknowns, it becomes just more essential just for everybody to be safe as possible. So for me, I did not have any work for quite some time. It was like three months before our job came around, and the job that I did do was I can't give too many details about it, but I can tell you that it was it's incredibly difficult to shoot under the constraints that we have with the safety guidelines. But, you know, even still, it's one of those things that, you know, I feel that they're it's so essential to have all of the elements that you need there, to have people to oversee those guidelines and to make sure that, before you even show up, that everything is going to happen the right way, that you have all the equipment that you need to keep things safe and that everybody's practicing the safety protocol. And you know, so it's one of those things where we live in a world where not everybody thinks exactly the same about their feelings about the virus itself, and but if you're in a working environment, you need to apply what the rules are and I think that the biggest and most amazing thing that I notice is with the crews that I've worked with, is that they have gone over and above the calling of making sure that we do practice those safety guidelines. And you know, it's one of those things where the biggest thing is just recognizing how difficult it is to do a lot of the same things. Keeping six feet from somebody you know in you know, when you're on a set is really, really difficult because of the things that we're used to doing. You know, you have to move slower when someone asks for something. Okay, before you just run that piece of gear in there, there's so many things that you need to check. So there's a head count issue, there's a crew, crew size issue that we have to deal with, there's space and proximity issues, there's dealing with, you know, with with gear being handled by more than one person. How often you have to sanitize something when it's being handed off or transferred to another person? Making sure that gear in certain departments is all compartmentalized and not shared or touched by anybody else. It's definitely incredibly difficult and you know my in my opinion, I would myself like to get more safety measures than we even have now, you know, to make everybody feel even safer. And that's the thing is that I think that it's important for us to not rush back into big productions, because that's those are the ones that are really waiting to get started. Small productions are able to still shoot. Really small productions are really able to shoot. That's what I was working on. I was very small production, but there's, you know, much bigger productions that require, you know, hundreds of people on a set. That that's just literally something we can't do and still keep a blanket of protection from this virus confidently. So it's it's one of those things where...

I can tell you that everything is more difficult, everything takes longer and everything is different, you know, as far as trans transportation, completely different. You really can't have anybody ride with anybody or be picked up by anybody anymore, which creates some serious problems when you're trying to figure out what what to do and how you're going to move stuff around. You know, just just looking at, you know, the spaces that you're shooting in. Some spaces may not be suitable for the work, considering the guidelines. Like you know, you're here in a certain space, you can't have more than a certain amount of people and if a job needs for that to happen in that job shouldn't happen, you know, and it's important for us to be honest about that and to recognize how serious it is and to also police each other as far as safety, you know, etiquette, making sure that people are washing their hands, making sure that everybody has a mask, a well rated mask, of you know, and in making sure that they're wearing that mask properly, making sure that people know how to wear the mask, probably how to put it on properly, how to put on and take off safety gloves, recognizing that any time that you know, if there's anybody that's near talent that then the talent doesn't have a mask, then those people need to be double protected with the face shield and the mask, and even maybe even more protection than that, depending on the situation of the proximity. Right, I will say that it is almost more trouble than it's worth. Then it's worth trying to figure out how to shoot things these days. If it's not incredibly simple, with maybe one actor in a few shots, it's really difficult. And so schedules, if it will become longer so that you can allow for the time to do what you really need to do, um and everything like that. Everything just goes slower, and it needs to so that we can make sure that we can apply all of the safety measures. Well. I think that's a great place to end our conversation. Thank you so much for talking with us. We really appreciate it absolutely. I really appreciate you guys for having me. Thank you so much and yeah, anytime. You know, anytime, and I you know I encourage anybody listening if you're interested in being an ad, to start, like you said, with the entry level position of a PA and and in that realm you can see how the entire set operates. You'll get experienced with every department and you'll understand what it really means to be in a D because a PA is essentially not only a foot soldier of the crew, but on a feature film the PA is are in the assistant director's department like they belong to that department. So it's just important to recognize that close relationship with the ads and how you can grow straight into an ad from being a PA. That's fantastic. So that that was our guest for today, Hilton J Day. Thank you so much and we'll see you later. Thank you, guys. Thank you all right. Well, that was a great interview. Thanks to Hilton for talking with us. We hope to talk with them again in the future. Part where do we go from here? And we've had fun, we've had some laughs. We had an interview with Assistant Director Hilton Drum all day. But we're where do we go from here. Thank should we tell our audience what are what our thoughts are on this moving? Fine, we can if you really want to, but I have a thing in like ten minutes, so we better keep every yeah, so I hope you don't have too much insight about the film. I have nothing. I've no thoughts. You know, it was just like two hours, like flashing colors, and I didn't really retain much of it. It was basically like the latest installment in like the Rambo movie. We go in and you pay twelve dollars and you see some explosions and you have a decent time and then you walk out of the theater and you're like, what did I what did I just do? What was what did I just financially support? This is obviously all a joke. Yes, yes, the last black man in San Francisco, let the record show, was nothing like Rambo, the last blood, the latest movie in the Rambo Franchise, although I've never seen a Rambo movie, but I think it's I think only started work one. I heard the first one's actually like a really profound movie about like about like PTSD, it is, and then the rest of them, Sylvester stallone like below and stuff up and like killing people. The Second Rambo Movie Was Co written by James Cameron, well whatever, brother, and so then that's the one that kind of was like, oh, so Rambo is a...

...big action movie. Was it good? Did you see it? I don't know. I've never seen it. I've only ever seen the first one and I really like that. My Dad is a really big fan of the Rambo movies and when he was in college he had like a poster. Is In your Dad's Middle Name Rambo? It is ramp it's actually Rambo first blood, part two. You know, I've I've read that online. M It's actually really crazy that his parents they they could see into the future that that would be a thing that would happen and that he would be a big fan of it. Not only that that franchise would come come into existence, but that there it would be so successful cinematically that there would be like six movies and that eventually the franchise would conclude with a little feature called Rambo last blood, and that your father would want to carry that name with him his entire life. And so part isn't your middle name also Rambo related? What's let's I'd rather not get into my own personal stuff. That's kind of invasive. I'd rather not get there. Yeah, I truly understand. Yes, it is all right. We'll get into that at a later date. anyways, what were your rich initial thoughts on this movie? I I wasn't sure to expect at all. When I worked at a movie theater last year, this movie showed there and and for better or worse, a medium amount of people came to see it and I was like, what is this movie? But everyone who walked to the theater was absolutely blown away. And then like two weeks later it was not having screenings anymore and just like that it was gone. So when we selected it for the PODCAST, I was like, finally my chance to redeem myself, and let me tell you, I understand what all the hype was about. It was absolutely beautiful, the performance was great and I really enjoyed myself for starters, but I will, I rip it to Smithereens in a moment. I have a similar opinion. I thought, well, I mean, I guess we can go straight into the direction, because I think that's the strongest aspect of the movie. It's it's really it's amazing that this is Joe Talbot's directorial debut. It's like this is a director that knows what they want. Visually, it's very specific and there's there's a lot of decisions that feel very controlled, and that level of control is not something you, like a lot of filmmakers, have. So it makes me excited for whatever he takes on next. I thought it was a really interesting it moved at a really interesting pace and again for first, first time director. I feel like a lot of directors kind of move at a little too fast of a pace because they're not not super confident in their ability to hold the audience's attention. I think, HMM, and this kind of does like the opposite of that. Yeah, it really takes its time. It would too a detriment a little bit, I think, towards the middle. Hmm, I think the pacing kind of falls off a little bit in the second act, but I mean, I thoroughly enjoyed it, I would say. I think visually for the first like thirty minutes of the movie, like every shot kind of blew me away and then, just because it's set the bar so high, after that point, when it got more into the conversational elements or when it was just like dialog between characters. It was like less stunning. But since the IT's set such a high standard for itself, the Middle Half of the movie visually, I agree, felt a little like meandering or left less strong than the book ends, only because it made itself look bad by looking so good at at other times. The conversation shots and in this movie, in the Second Act would be the best shots in any other movie. It's just that, comparatively the stuff that they do in the first and Third Act, I think it's just like the most like standard. I thought the blocking for even what should be like mundane shower ver shot in other movies was really like elegant and unique. Even like the movie poster where it's Jimmy falls in the middle and then his friend to the left of him, like that should be rather uneventful, but something about it just like really like resonates and it's it's simple yet beautiful that that's like a good thesis statement for like the Visual Language of this film. Yeah, and I think, like as you guys heard in our interview, they said that they kind of had an emphasis on real life locations and even if they were building sets, they built them within real locations, and I feel like that's something you can tell because there's...

...there's a great like textures to the movie. I think like the production design is really on point. I think it really shows off the city in a really beautiful way that I've never really seen San Francisco shown, being it was all shot on location, and it just feels like like Ladybird is a love letter to Sacramento. Feels like this is a love letter San Francisco. While that might be a rather obvious statement, I think it needed to be said. But the city is a character in this movie, even in like like super fictional like like Gotham city or or New York and spider man like like things like that, where the the the surroundings are considered an important part of the story itself. I'm a really big fan of one. Movies do that, and this really gave San Francisco really specific character, I think. So what do you think about put broadly the the plot of the film? I so. I thought it was a really interesting way in revealing information, because when you I had no idea what this movie is about at all. Yeah, IMDB doesn't want you to know. Yeah, but I mean I didn't even look that up. I like completely I completely went in like cold, and so I thought it might be like some like science fiction like Hancock story of like there is only one man in San Francisco, one black man in San Francisco, or somewheart. It's it's more of a metaphor. Yeah, well, that's what I didn't know. Your head out of the gutter and so and so the gentrification parth movie starts without really exposition at all. Yeah, the first shot is so effective at grabbing your attention and you pretty much immediately know what it's about being the like the young girl like skipping down the sidewalk and all of the pollution going on and I know the city of San Francisco finally trying to clean up the river they've been polluting for decades because rich white people are moving in, and I think that immediately sets the stage for everything that's going to take place that like from that point on it moves really slowly, but it doesn't need to hold your hand. It kind of it kind of just lets you go on a visual journey with these guys and it's a really beautiful friendship that you kind of get to see them sort of physically. You can see that relationship in the way that they move with each other, the way that they talk with each other, and it's just really well done, I think. Ye when you look at the sequence of events on paper, like just to refresh my memory, I read the wikipedia Plot Synopsis and it was like pretty brief and I was like, Huh, that was just a few paragraphs. It was like a twohour movie and it kind of felt like a lot happened. While there aren't many like say, like plot points, they're just a lot of like interesting character moments and I feel like all of the acting is so well done that you like don't mind sitting and just like listening to them talk, even if it's doesn't necessarily pertain to the task at hand, just because you want to know more about these characters and their relationships and the world they live in. And I think a lot of credit has to be given to the actors for how how they carry the movie. Have Gotten into the habit of watching the movies we do with subtitles so I can try to appreciate the screenplay a little bit more, and I think that this was really smart and witty, but not in a way that like drew attention to it. So it's not a very inyourface thing. There's a sort of specific group of directors that have a have a really intense visual style, but don't impose themselves upon it, never gets in the way of the story, like, I think, David fincher somebody like that, where he has a really specific style. Whenever you see a movie by him, you know this is a David fincher movie, but you never it's never like he wants to do something really crazy visually and that gets in the way of the movie. It's always in service of something and so he never really gets in the way of it and I felt the same way here. I don't know how to put it other than like artistic directors, where they try to like a lot more emphasis placed on the craft and they can sort of fall into the trap of falling in love with their images a little too much, and this doesn't, I think, and it has really beautiful images to fall in love with. Speaking to earlier point about the rate at which it revealed information, I guess the biggest, I don't know, twist is that Jimmy's grandfather like didn't actually build the house and that was just what he was telling himself, because it like made it feel like he still belong there, and I...

...thought that it like made so much sense for his character. Earlier with like the people on the Segue tour, them saying, Oh, this house is built in the s and then later with the the realtor like showing like the deed. It was like really a slap in the face, but they had me fooled. It was a good no red herring. I guess it does a really good job of getting you to empathize with them. I think that's something movies are kind of uniquely good at, is giving like a really subjective point of view, and you can cut. You can do that with books too, but like there's something about like physically seeing a person go through something versus reading about it. It's semi autobiographical. Yeah, of the main actor, Jimmy fails, is like life and you really feel sad for him at the end. It's really sad watching all this change happen and like him trying to reclaim something that really was never his. Like one of the best scenes in my opinion, when he went to the bank after he saw that it was for sale and he was like talking to the talking to the cleric. I mean, like give me whatever interest rate you have to like me the worst deal possible. I know you're just trying to meet a quota, but I will like pay this off like every month, like till I die. And it just like showed how much it meant to him. He could see that he was on the verge of tears and as an audience member, me in particular, who rarely is triggered emotionally by movies that wee emotions, who would have thought ones and Zeros, but this. Yeah, I thought that was one of the strongest scenes. That is one of the strongest scenes. I really like the play at the end. There are movies that like really straddle a line between being laughable and being serious. I think the sixth sense is a good ec you seen the sixth sense I have. I think that's a movie that like so easily, like you do like two things wrong and suddenly it becomes like a joke. Yes, and it's like funny, and I think that is a an example. The play scene is like an example of like it could so easily have been ridiculous and it is kind of ridiculous. It really effectively shows what they're feeling and it's I'm a I'm a fan of theatricality, so I like it when people have big gestures and movies to show their emotions. I guess I just have a problem with the play, seeing as how it functions narratively. Okay, you know how earlier in the movie the best friend character hands em this like fat script and he's like, oh, that's only part of it. I'm writing this play about our friend who just died and we're gonna put on this big old grand performance, and I'm an aspiring writer, so this is like my life's work. Up until this point he's clearly poured his heart into it and so I'm all excited to see what it comes up with. And so for the first few minutes where I really liked the trick with him flip him back and forth with like the costume on either side, I thought that was interesting. But then I liked the commentary on like Internet death sympathy, where all these people who didn't know him were like claiming credit so they could get pat on the back for knowing someone who died. But I just thought he wrote this whole play and then he derails it like five minutes in to confront Jimmy about like their own personal problems, and everyone else in the audience must have been like, what the fuck is going on? And then, no wonder that Jimmy stormed out and then the rest of the audience followed suit. But what happened to that big old script he wrote? Like you think that they would have that discussion on their own time and he would. He gathered this respectable crowd. This is like their last chance in the house, the only place where he can put on a play. You'd think he would want to carry that out to its fullest extent. It's a fair criticism. My one other criticism, while while we're nitpicking, would be I understand the symbolism of Jimmy rowing away, like finding the he's moving on, but where's he? Where's he going? And it's a beautiful shot under the Golden Gate Bridge, of course, but I feel like if he's actually trying to start a new life and leave San Francisco a rowboat with none of his possessions, like, isn't a practice, a cool way to go about that? I guess those two things are like the movie moments in the movie which it's generally a movie that like is pretty, like plays it straight. It's not trying to be theatrical or in any way. And like the rowboat scene feels more to me like a scene, like moving on everybody, like out of like a romantic comedy or something like that.

It's like how they fly off in the car at the end. Agrees, it's basically that. Yeah, but Greece is a much better movie. I can't fight you on the I hate Greece really. I like the songs in Greece. I grease as a horrible, horrible message at the end of the movie. Oh Yeah, the I guess the message is. The message is change yourself. Change yourself for John Travolta. Wear leather and then he'll love you. Like if you're a if you're a square, you need to become a really like leather bound, sexy chick, you know, like you got to change yourself to your man if you ever want to appeal to the mill gaze, you have to exploit yourself. I'm kind of a fan of like sort of leisurely movies that sort of like like top gun is kind of I don't know if you've seen top gun. No, but you can talk top gun. I'm here for it. I again, everybody. I Love Tom Cruise, not like you, but if any of you have any way of contacting him, let me know. But but like movies like top gun, even actually last black man and Sam for Tisco, for large stretches of the movie there's not really plot. You kind of just continue on with these characters and when it's done well, it's it can be really a really cool way to to sort of get to know characters. Wait, is that why you brought up top gun? Just top gun do that? I brought a top gun because it's grease's kind of like that and and grease sucks at the end. Yeah, top gun is kind of like that. I didn't really like. I wasn't thinking about how last black man and top gun are similar, but now that we bring it up, they're kind of similar in that they have their characters do whatever for a long period of time. You kind of just are watching them do things and there's not like a ticking element to it. It's kind of just okay, we're go here, we're we'll go here, we'll go there, and when a movie can do that well, it's really effective. So if you had to sort of summarize, like your final thoughts. What we do say? Well, I'll say eight out of ten, which is the highest rating I've given thus far on this podcast, because I really have trouble finding anything to critique. But at this end, obviously it was very gorgeous. It was an impressive directorial debut, the acting was excellent. It was made for two million dollars, which a really gives me hope in the INDIE film industry. But it there was something missing. It isn't my new favorite movie, but am I glad I saw it? Absolutely. Would I recommend it to someone else? Yes, and is it an important movie to watch in two thousand and twenty amidst our current political situation? Yes, I think now more than ever, I will. I pretty much agree with everything you say down to here rating. It's a movie that I do. I love this movie. I might, I'm not sure it's like you. I kind of felt like it's not like I'm gonna like, Oh my God, this is amazing and I need to keep rewatching it or something. As nothing to do with the pacing. There's lots of slow movies that I like rewatching. All right, it doesn't have that oomph factor that some movies do for me. But I agree, it's just a technically amazing movie and I think I'm happy the movies like this still exist. I think it's amazing that this movie was made for two million dollars. There's hundred million move a hundred million movie. Hundred million dollar, because I don't look this good. Yes, thank you. It's in and like I'd like to see this director take on something like thirty million dollars or something like, which I'm sure will be his next budget. Like guy like. I hope it is, because he's shown that with the very small budget they're able to make really amazing visuals and and it doesn't feel like it's constricted, which a lot of like horror movies, which are really beautiful but like made on a small budget. They'll all take place in in close settings, and this is amazing that, like you can feel the callingers throughout the city. There's these amazing wide shots of the surroundings that look great, but again there's like pacing issues. I think. Yeah, I think eight out of ten is a completely fair score. It's a great movie. I'd recommend it. Cool. Well, I think that just about wraps it up. I'd like to think once again Hilton Jamal Day for the interview. It was great pleasure talking then and part of what's our next episode? Do you know? I don't. I believe we're going to be talking with Luca Mosca on John Wick use, the costume...

...designer for John Wick. He was he's a really great guy, really interesting guy, and you'll have to tune in next week to hear all about that.

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