Behind the Scenes on the "Mommy Bird" Movie Set: A Buzzard-Worship Navel Gaze
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," about to be immortalized on the silver screen! Okay, well, about to be gobbled up in the maw of YouTube. Any way you shoot it, I'm gonna be in a movie!
You know how it is. The semester is ending at art school, you've got a dozen projects to finish, and a five-page essay ... and one last film to make. This is the sad fate of my daughter The Spare, who has had to scramble for a film idea at the last minute.
Her topic: Why her mom loves buzzards. This is a nonfiction documentary.
As the star of this timeless cinematic masterpiece-to-be, I rather bridled at having to curb my more rowdy impulses for the filming. But I get it. When one has an opportunity to do mission work for the Sacred Thunderbird, one considers the audience. Tamped down on the rowdy. A little.
In order to find Sacred Thunderbirds, Spare, Heir, and I had to drive down to Wenonah, where a flock sometimes 200 strong roosts in the winter. I won't say the town was buzzard-free this weekend, but there weren't nearly as many wretches as there used to be. Nevertheless, there were buzzards on the water tower, and a small flock fussing in a tall pine tree.
It was Spare's idea to set up the camera while I went to the tree and tried to flush the buzzards out, so she could get shots of them flying. Well, this I was very glad to do, especially when I discovered that they were roosting in a tree in the back yard of a house for sale. House for sale! Carte blanche to go screaming and gyrating up to a pine tree in the yard. I leaped. I yelled. I waved my puny arms.
Forty feet above me, the Sacred Thunderbirds regarded me with disdain and went right on with their nightly routines. Not one single vulture took flight.
On the other hand, an alarmed woman in the house across the street opened her door and peered out at me. I said, "Oh, I'm sorry. I'm just trying to get the vultures to fly."
Her response was to slam her door and pull down a blind. Heir thought this was embarrassing. I just felt like you have to forgive the sinner. Poor woman has two dozen vultures right across the street, and she lacks all appreciation! Sad, that. Very sad.
All in all I alarmed two homeowners in my hearty pursuit of the Sacred Thunderbird in the process of providing footage for Spare's documentary. Meanwhile I alarmed not a single Thunderbird. They were too high.
I'm sure Spare will be creative in her use of the footage she was able to shoot. And what fun we'll have here at "The Gods Are Bored" when this film hits the Intertubes!
The best part of being the star attraction in a documentary is the fun you have making it with your daughters. I hope this isn't apostasy, but the buzzards were kind of a sweet afterthought.