Sunday, August 1, 2010

3-2-1 Action

Scene: A young American couple lands on a secluded, white-sand beach in Thailand. When hopping over the side of the bum boat, the male cuts his heel on the tip of a rusty nail sticking out the side of the weathered wood. Eager to begin his dive, the man takes no notice and joins the beckoning female in the cool, salty water, thinking the saline will clean the wound. (The camera zooms in on the cut, which has begun to trickle blood and an ominous music starts to fade in.) With no one in sight but the sleeping Thai boat driver, the couple excitedly dons scuba gear and dives in the azure blue water, marveling at the rainbow of sea life they see below. They swim further and further from shore and from the safety of the boat. Suddenly she spots a shark. Within seconds she turns, screaming and flailing wildly as she swims back toward the boat, “SHARK!” With a look of pure, incredulous horror, he says, “I’m bleeding.” End scene.

What comes next may be far too obvious to fans of the deep blue dramas like Open Water or Jaws. However, before you jump to conclusions, you should know that this scene has further stage instructions and a surprise ending.

Tim and I have been cast in the lead roles. The scene is set on Koh Phi Phi Lee Island in Thailand on July 5, 2010. And, probably most importantly, the shark is about the size of a large bass and, on a previous trip, a former boat driver may have mentioned that any small sharks we see in the area are harmless. However, the rest of the scene did play out very similarly to the one above, with a bit of writer’s liberty about the details taken for effect. I certainly swam, flailing in a mad panic, back toward Tim screaming, “SHARK!” with all the ferocious, passionate, dramatic fear I could muster. And he was bleeding. And he was quite nervous. And he was a bit mad at me when I finally came to my senses and explained the actual size and probable intention of the shark. But it makes for a good comedy non-the-less.

It seems my life has been one film reel after the next lately and not only because of all the exciting adventurous I have been on.

Mom, Dad, Elizabeth and I spent a day behind the scenes at Universal Studios. We saw Shrek come alive in 3-D, learned how Spielberg achieves his famous special effects, avoided the T-Rex and, for the most part, the water (sorry Mom) on the raft ride, and lived to tell the tale of The Mummy rollercoaster.
In Cambodia, Mom, Elizabeth and I set foot on the actual set of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider when we visited Ta Prohm Temple (also known as The Angelina Jolie Temple) and others in the Angkor compound. In the movie, Jolie’s character Lara Croft must race against time and villains to recover powerful ancient artifacts, some of which lie below the temples.
In Thailand, very near to the near-death shark attack, Tim and I walked along Maya Beach, the filming location for The Beach staring Leonardo DiCaprio. In the movie, Leo’s character discovers that in paradise, looks can be deceiving. Ironically, the movie actually features a shark attack. Good thing I saw it after our trip, or my reaction to the actually shark may not have been quite as cool and calm.

During our weekend trip to Penang, Malaysia, a little old man with four front teeth and a fondness for constant tooth-less chatter peddled Tim and me around to the various historical buildings and locales in Georgetown. Among the famous are homes and buildings featured in the 1999 Jodie Foster film Anna and the King. The film is loosely based on Anna and the King of Siam and the musical The King and I. One of our toothless, non-stop chattering guide’s favorite silence-fillers was, “You know Anna and the King. You know Jodie Foster. It filmed here.” After 38 times, we knew. But it was a beautiful tour non-the-less.
So there you have it, eight days, eight entries…and we’re all caught up.
Back to making the movie that is my life.


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