It really is Bob, at Misty Meadows fault.
Really. It was one of those off-the-cuff conversations that, at first, seems innocuous – but upon a certain amount of reflection, actually changed my life.
So, my wife and I have a house in Harwich, Massachusetts. We both met in New York and live in Brooklyn, She’s a Boston gal, so, on occasion, we’d go up to the cape for short vacations – and wound up falling in love with the place. In fact, we got married in Harwich Port – not that far from where we ultimately bought our house.
Now we go up to the house now and again and spend the days potchkieing around. She loves to garden, while I hunker down in our sunroom, pumping out the classical tunes on WFCC and go to town on the script. It’s really inspiring and I really tend to do my best writing at our little house.
In every seminar on independent film making that I’ve ever been to – the one thing that everybody tells you is to leverage as many assets you have to make your film. So, if you live near a junkyard, maybe you make a movie about two brothers who work in a junkyard. If you live by a tar pit, then you have the basics for two prehistoric brothers who work in a tar pit. You get the idea.
In my heart of hearts, I knew that I wanted to make Shockwave, Darkside in Harwich. Pragmatically, we could use the house as ‘base camp’ for the endeavor – but also (and perhaps most importantly), we just like the vibe of the place. I’d do my research and put together a bunch of alternative production scenario’s, but for some reason I always came back to "wouldn’t it be cool to do it in Harwich?"
So I began looking for locations. In my off time, I’d google ‘quarries of cape cod’ or ‘rock formations of eastern Mass’, but really didn’t find anything that we could really use. It was disheartening.
So enter Bob, from Misty Meadows.
It was time to get our septic pumped, so we find a company called Misty Meadows, and… well…
When you got to have your septic pumped, how can you NOT use a company called Misty Meadows!
So Bob shows up. He’s a big guy with a truck that I’m sure turns into some sort of Transformer at night and he does this thing. We get to talking, trading life stories, etc… somehow we get to my open laptop and sheaf of scribbled notes.
‘The Moon,’ he says, ‘you should shoot it at a sand and gravel pit!’
‘SAYWHAT?!?’ I say.
‘Oh, yeah – the cape is full of ‘em! In fact, there’s one a few miles from here!’
So he turns me onto a place called Brewster Stone and Gravel, and the next day, camera in hand, I drive out to discover that yes, if you squint your eyes, and use a little imagination, the moon can indeed be found on Cape Cod.
I spent a few hours there. Taking pictures, imagining the scenes being played out around the dunes and clumps of earth… It would have to most likely be at night, I think, during the late winter when the moths and vegetation have gone to sleep. It would be cold, and uncomfortable for the production. The actors would have to be in insulated snowsuits with their space/combat gear layered on top. We’d have to have a place to stay warm, and extra batteries as the cold sucks power like a vampire…. and… and….
But it was one of those rare moments, that, in spite of all the ‘ands’ my brain was coming up with, as I stood in a crater of sand and rocks that has been worn by wind and rain and truck treads, that it not only seemed possible – but it seemed to make sense.
When I got home, my wife asked me how it went. I plopped on the couch, my brain finally settling into something like a normal, rational pattern.
‘Welp’, I said. ‘I think we’re makin’ a movie!’