Doc Blog

The main character of my movie has never seen it. He’s the legendary Doc Paskowitz and he’s been refusing all along. But last night he flew into Toronto and, if he can bear it, he’s going to see the movie tonight at the world premiere. It might be hard for him to get up and walk out of the theater before it’s over, because he’ll be flanked by his nine grown kids (many of them are big and strong), his wife Juliette (she’s very strong and a lot taller than him), but he still might do it. I’m nervous that he’ll stand up and demand that the projectionist stop the film. The 2nd act isn’t exactly something a dad would want to endure.

I just wish he’d already seen it, then my paranoia would be the usual: “Oh God, it’s too late to change the film and the public’s gonna see it and what the hell are they gonna think?” Every film’s like that. Now my paranoia is all about Doc. What if he hates it? Could he actually beat me up? The guy is 86 but so what, he’s in better shape than me. He’s a surfer. He hasn’t eaten a candy bar in 60 years. I know his kids could all beat me up, but they’ve seen the film. Those early screenings were equally nerve wracking.

So my whole theory is to talk with him before the screening, maybe play the trailer we cut yesterday (or was that still this morning?) and get him to understand that if he can just make it through the second act and into the third, redemption might be found… Or maybe I’ll explain to him that IF we’d made a flat-out tribute film to his legend and the power of his ideas on diet, sex, surfing, and health, that people wouldn’t want to watch it. And then they’d never hear about his beliefs at all.

Because, let’s face it, tribute films are awful. If they weren’t, I’d have built a 19-part pedestal out of wave imagery and verbal pontification years ago, and asked him to climb right up on it. I hate that about the laws of storytelling, that whole conflict thing. Every story, comedy or drama, needs conflict and pain and all that. Why are we so damn needy for problems? Why couldn’t I just make a film that honors the guy? Why’d I have to get into all the family problems and anger and pain and profanity and stuff? I know, because it’s the law. The law of entertainment. No pain, no gain.

Actually, Doc should understand that. I learned that from him.

Hey—come watch the doc with Doc and his family tonight. You’ll love it and I hope Doc does too.

Check out Surfwise for times and location

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