The Ice Man

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Thanks for the kind notes on the DirectStream video. Part 2 has been released and you can view it here. Making videos is fun and I've making them since I was a teenager. Which brings to mind a funny story from out of the past. I was constantly in trouble in my high school days. After being arrested by the the Secret Service for climbing a wall and sneaking into the Balboa Bay Club to take a picture of Barry Goldwater, a candidate for president at the time, my parents threatened to disown me if I didn't straighten up. I figured I should chill on the adventures for a bit and stay close to home. But I needed a project. I had saved my money, much of it garnered from stealing change off my father's dresser (remind me to tell you the story of the lie detector my Dad built), and bought a used 8mm film camera. The problem with owning a film camera when you're 16 years old: there's nothing interesting to shoot. I had to create something. I figured it'd be fun to make a film. A real film with actors and a story. Only, I didn't know any actors and there was no story. That never stopped me in the past. I turned to my best friend, David Wiley, for guidance. David was amazing. He could play the piano (because his parents forced him to), he could act and he was popular with girls. Perfect. A real movie star. As we had no budget and our only motivation was to find something to do with my camera, the plot had to be simple and involve no sets or props. The story was titled, The Ice Man. Actually, we didn't have a story, but if we did that would have been the title. We modeled it as a cross between a Charlie Chaplan character and the Three Stooges. Charlie Chaplan because we didn't have any sound and we needed only a mustache for a prop, the Three Stooges because we wanted it to be funny and had seen one of their shorts about delivering ice to customers. Never mind that in 1965 no one had ice delivered anymore. A block of ice was cheap and so was the fake mustache. We were ready to go. Our first idea was to film our star carrying the ice down the street. He would get tired, set the block down, sit on it and wipe his brow. Of course the ice would start to slide and this would make our first action in the movie as our star careened down the street on a block of ice, out of control. Hilarious. Only, if you live in Anaheim California there are no hills steep enough to have this work. And even if there were, ice apparently doesn't slide with a 120 pound teenager attached to it. I know because we tried. My slightly older neighbor, Mike Meyer, was the driver involved in the failed attempt to photograph Goldwater. He too was arrested by the Secret Service and so was a bit wary of helping us, but he did have a car. We needed a car and a driver. A car could pull a block of ice if that ice were cleverly attached to the rear bumper with a cable. Tomorrow, we convince the local police department to block off the street for us.
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Paul McGowan

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