Well, dear readers, lock it up. Yes, you heard it here, dear readers, lock it up – that was the rallying cry heard all around Burbank at around two o’clock, when we put the final finishing touches on “it” – “it” being The Creature Wasn’t Nice. The new black bars are really great and really helpful, we removed most of the DVD shots because I hadn’t realized that the idiot responsible for that sorry open matte transfer, zoomed in the picture by at least ten percent, and it cut the sides off in a way that kind of hurt the framing. We left some shots because the mis-framing didn’t hurt anything, and the clarity is much nicer. Marshall was always clever about how he used them so that it’s never really jarring at all. The other thing he’d done that was very helpful was add some contrast to the 3/4″ tape’s images, which gives truer blacks and helps match the DVD shots better. I’m glad we put back the button on one of my sequences. As we were about to lock it up, I asked Marshall to look at three things. The first was a scene with Leslie Nielsen and Cindy Williams in the cockpit of the spaceship. Leslie’s doing really funny stuff and we establish early on that he’s doing it to show off and nothing is really happening, as we can clearly see in the reverse shot where we see out the window. That’s what makes it funny. But I’ve always felt there should be on more cut to that reverse shot – Marshall tried it and it worked great and makes the before and after that shot funny.
The second thing was the opening black screen – I aped the opening of Close Encounters – music over a black screen, building and building to a huge crescendo – in Close Encounters on the final crash of music the screen goes completely and blindingly white. In The Creature it’s supposed to go to a gold-ish yellow. So, I asked if we could make the opening black REALLY black and boy did that help. But on the cut to yellow/gold there was something else I was never happy with and the special effects house who did that could never fix it back then without creating another optical. Basically, the yellow/gold didn’t quite fit to the sides, so it always looked weird to me and kind of almost tipped off the gag that follows (which I shan’t mention) – well, Marshall simply blew up the shot until it fit perfectly and now it looks like it always should have, not that this shot was in the version of the film the producer’s wrought. And with that, we said a loud and satisfying lock it up.
Prior to that, I’d gotten eight good hours of sleep. I answered e-mails and then decided to brave the freeway to Marshall’s. It was fine – just the occasionally clickety-clackety noise the car has been making ever before the awful water/oil faux pas by yours truly. We spent two hours going through everything. Then I headed back to the freeway, on my way to the mail place to pick up a package. Trying to accelerate a couple of times produced louder clickety-clackety sounds, but I was zooming along. As I was approaching the Laurel Canyon off-ramp the car went berserk – hard to accelerate, horrid and loud sounds including squealing. I managed to get off the freeway and turn right, despite people stupidly getting in my way for no reason, and I managed to go the half-block and get into the parking lot at the mail place. At that point, the car either lost power or I shut it off, don’t remember which. I tried to start it again, just to see if it would, but the ignition would not turn over. I couldn’t believe it.
So, I got my package and then called the triple A – they said it could take up until an hour to get a tow truck to me. So, I went to the Subway next to the mail place and had a Subway Club – well, a little more than half, at which point the tow truck arrived. He tried to start it and it wouldn’t turn over. He thought it might be the battery, but I didn’t think it was. He gave it a charge and started it again and he heard the horrid noises and that was that. He did check the oil and while it was down a quart that shouldn’t have caused anything. So, whether this was the ultimate result of the water/oil faux pas or the result of the clickety clackety thing from before then I know not. He painted a doomsday scenario for me – that IF it was engine related, I should probably get a new car, as to rebuild the engine could cost upwards of seven grand. Well, I’m not spending that kind of money on a ten year old car.
He towed the car and me to the Van Nuys Infiniti place. Naturally, service isn’t there on Sunday, but I filled out an envelope with the details and put my key fob inside and then in the overnight box. They’ll call me when they suss out the problem. I also talked to a nice sales person and he gave me some parameters for leasing and/or purchasing a pre-owned – they have a ton – mostly in perfect condition that came back as lease returns. And then, even though my intention was not to do any walking, I walked the three miles back to the home environment, at which point I was sore and tired and sweaty.
I answered e-mails, ate the rest of my sandwich, and checked out some of the pre-owned cars they had – most from 2015, although purchased in 2016, and most with around 30,000 miles, which isn’t bad. They’re all in the same price ballpark. I printed out a few I liked. They don’t make my exact model anymore – I had the G37, which has become the Q50 – but the Q50 is basically the same as my car in just about every way, including design. So, please send some strong most excellent vibes and xylophones that the problem with the car is fixable and not too much dough. That would be the easiest and simplest way to not have this be a thing. If it is a thing, however, I’ve got to deal with it this week – not ideal as it’s a Kritzerland week. If I need to get anywhere, it’s either a loaner from the Infiniti jernt (presuming they can fix it for not too much dough) or Uber.
After that, I sat on my couch like so much fish and watched a motion picture entitled Julie, which I’d never seen before. It was produced by Miss Doris Day’s company, Arwin, in 1956, written and directed by Andrew Stone, starring Miss Day and bad boy, Louis Jourdan, and good boy, Barry Sullivan. I found it almost laughable – just poor dialogue, characters behaving like no one would behave because the writer feels like it, and a climax where Miss Day has to land a big airplane in San Francisco’s International Airport. The transfer was pretty average on this MOD DVD from Warner Archive.
Then, because with the walk my calorie intake was only around 500, I had about thirty crackers, which probably brought me up to 800 or so. I’m still hungry but I’m crackered out and there is nothing else in the house.
Today, I’ll get up whenever the Infiniti service department calls and hope for some good news. My day will completely depend on the loaner situation. If there’s no loaner, then I’ll have to walk somewhere to eat, but there are plenty of jernts close by, including the food court at the mall – or if Grant wants to lunch, he can drive. I doubt I’ll be able to get to the mail place, but I will have to walk to the nearby Bank of America to make a deposit. Then we have our first Kritzerland rehearsal, which I’m quite looking forward to. Then I can relax.
The rest of the week is wholly dependent on the motor car situation, but Thursday we have our second Kritzerland rehearsal, and Saturday is our stumble-through and then it’s sound check and show on Sunday.
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, speak to the Infiniti service department and hope for good news, dough-wise, so do send those most excellent vibes and xylophones, please, I’ll eat, bank, have a rehearsal, and then relax. Today’s topic of discussion: What is the most you’ve spent on car repairs, how old was the car, and was it worth it in the long run? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have FINALLY locked it up.