Monday, Dec. 30th, 1979 —
Actually, it’s the last day of the seventies, but I’m running a day behind. The eighties will be ushered in as myself and compadres frantically attempt to finish “Book of the Dead.” The idea of working on a film through the decade appeals to me, although more in concept than in reality.
Ellen left today for good. Theresa arrives tonight, Rich leaves Friday, Ditz and Cameron left yesterday, Ivan and Tom Perlman will be back tonight and immediately leave, Tim leaves Friday, and all that will be left will be Sam, Rob, Bruce, Goody and myself.
As for money I’ve got $70.00, upon completion I should get between $250-300. and I have $100 at home. We’re talkin’ about $400.00 once back in Detroit. I immediately owe $40.00 on the phone. The rest may get my car fixed and get me away for a while. Even better would be, if the dope draught in Detroit continues, stopping in Atlanta and scoring through Goody’s connection and making a bit more.
Tuesday, Jan. 1st, 1980 —
Another long night of shooting, but not too bad since there was just the necessary people on the set.
Last night, in celebration of the new year, I ate some speed, drank beer, bourbon, and champagne, began feeling very lousy but had to work and after four or five bad hours made a comeback. The highlight of this New Years was getting into a massive firecracker war, not unlike the way Sam, Bruce and I spent New Years 77-78.
Tonight I pushed Bruce to the breaking point. I kept squirting him with the shpritz bottle again and again until he gave me a the ultimatum that if I did it one more time he’d throw his cup of orange juice in my face. I squirted him again and lo and behold he threw his O.J. in my face. For some inexplicable reason I totally enjoyed the whole exchange, even the O.J., possibly because once he’d done it has was totally off guard and a Bruce Campbell of times past surfaced.
Sunday, Jan. 6th, 1979 [year crossed out] — 1980
Sam, Rob, Bruce and I went out to the set about 6:00 P.M. today, cleaned up, cut wood, set-up and got one shot, then came home for dinner. Afterward, Sam crashed and wouldn’t get up so it’s another night off.
We’ve all been talking a lot in the last several days, mainly about “Book of the Dead,” but also about other things. We discussed me at great length last night and Rob seems to think I’m lazy (as does Goody). I disagree, but it’s interesting to hear.
Also, I believe Sam and I will begin cutting this film up upon our return while Rob and Bruce get money. That’s great.
And also, I think I may be able to adapt “Bloodbath” into a compact half hour Super-8 film. I think I’ll also do a ten minute chase film, too.
Monday, Jan. 7th, 1979 — [all crossed out] Tuesday, Jan. 8th, 1979 — [the date is crossed out] 1980
Today was ridiculous. In fourteen hours we got two shots. It’s finally gotten to the point where I consider “Book of the Dead” to be partially mine. The first shot today was going to be a dolly from Bruce’s profile to his front. Now it’s from profile to front, then back and down for a low angle. The additions were mine. The shot of Betsy lifting Bruce up is mine as well as the zoom from outside at the stump through the window, partially the tracking of the van up Clinch Mt. and . . . the last shot of the film, when it’s shot, is all mine (with a tad of revision from Philo). I’m quite pleased about contributing. There’s also some inserts of Ellen running that I shot, although they probably won’t get used.
Friday, Jan 11th, 1979 [date crossed out]– 1980
It’s raining, it’s pouring. It’s 12:30 P.M. and not only are we not out at the set, Rob and Sam aren’t even awake yet. If we get anything done today I’ll be surprised.
Things have been going along fairly well, although slow. Each day Sam or Rob is sure to say, “We’ll get twenty-five shots today.” I’d say we’re averaging about six or seven.
Yesterday, Rob was saying since he hasn’t any written documents with Gary Holt he’s not going to give him a percentage, which Gary is expecting. I asked how much of a percentage was Gary expecting and Rob replied “I can’t tell you.” Well, it’s really no big deal and I actually don’t care what Gary gets, but the fact that I’m here three weeks beyond my contract with no pay increase, I’m doing a lot of the lighting, loading both cameras, recording sound and most anything else that needs to be done (which is quite a bit), I really don’t need any reminders that I’m merely an employee of Renaissance Pictures and not a partner. Everyone but Goody and Don Campbell made more than me and stands to make more if the film goes anywhere and none of them saw fit to stick this thing out — Well, I’m kind of pissed. My only ulterior motive was that I might become part of the company, but now (and I’ve been feeling this down in the core of my being for several days now) I don’t think I’ll ever become one with these guys. I wasn’t with them from the beginning and I’ll never be allowed to forget it. As Rob is never wont in reminding me, I simply can’t understand how difficult it was getting the money.
Sam gave me the day off, although I certainly didn’t ask for it. Along with the day off he also gave me a list of things to get and told me to go to the airport and drop off the film, which I just did and now I’m in the Big Boy across the street.
Back in the days when I was a P.A. and rather paranoid about being fired, Goody informed me today that my fears were justified and they were planning on it. Goody said he talked to Sam in the workshed and persuaded him not to.
Now I’m in Howard Johnson’s having just seen “Going in Style,” which was interesting, but oddly written and paced and didn’t really go anywhere. What was really neat was seeing the trailer for “The Shining.” There was more blood in it than all of “Book of the Dead.” Very effective.
Once again I get the odd impression I may be fired. I’ll return to Morristown and be asked to leave — politely, yet firmly. It would be exceedingly asinine considering the crew, yet imminently possible.
Why am I unable to broach the subject of joining the co.? Because I’ll be rejected, that’s why. It’s a stupid attitude and thoroughly in keeping with my past performance.
Now an hour drive back to grief.[Written on the back of a folded script log form]