It was 7pm. We were in all black. Tegan, Curtis and myself. I wanted to wear my mustard pants but Tegan wouldn’t let me. So we were in all black. We rented a 14ft U-Haul. Then my buddy Mark showed up in his 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS and the guerrilla don’t get us sent to jail shoot had officially begun.
We wanted the biggest building in Hollywood and I had staked out our spot perfectly… Nobody would catch us. We carefully backed our U-Haul into a small alleyway by the side of a Mobil gas station on Santa Monica and Highland and turned the engine off. Tegan asked the gas station attendant if we could leave the Uhaul where it was while we “grabbed some dinner” at Subway.
We walked across the street to the Subway, ordered four sandwiches and waited for the sun to completely set.
Darkness arrived. We crossed back over and snuck into the back of the truck, put our flashlight app from our iPhone on and began the setup. A C-Stan, one Leko light with a stenciled gobo, three lenses and a gasoline-filled generator. Curtis turned his police radar on, another handy iPhone app for occasions such as this, and Tegan got in the drivers seat to keep lookout.
Let’s do this shit.
and Curtis tugged the generator as I aimed the projector straight at the top of the landmark and…
Carpe Noctis illuminated the side of the biggest building in Hollywood.
Our logo was big and bright and THEN… poof.
It was gone.
It was back!
Then POOF… It was gone again.
The light kept flickering on and off. The generator must be broken. Fuck. We’ll just let it go on and off all night till someone tells us to fuck off and until we get some great footage or until we get arrested. Hey!
I think we should get arrested!
Curtis and Tegan did NOT like that idea.
But it’s DOPE PR!
They didn’t give a shit about dope PR. I wanted the PR for Carpe Noctis. If we were gonna be different and make theatre ‘cool’… well fuck.. let’s get into some theatrical arrests!
But no. They were NOT on board.
The stench of gasoline was filling the back of the U-Haul. It was getting dangerous. A helicopter flew by.
Did they see it? Do they know we’re here?
Tegan got worried. Guys. let’s get the fuck outa here.
I was game. Fuck it. We got all the footage we needed.
Curtis turned the police radar off. We were done. Mission accomplished. Mark ran over from across the street where he was hiding with his camera and snapping as many photos as possible and said
Dude I got some CRAZY shots.
Then he took off in his muscle car. Now he lives in West Virginia. Or wait, Philly. Somewhere… dude’s always on his motorcycle riding to different lakes and uploading rad photos to Instagram. Anyway…
The helicopter came back.
We started breaking everything down in the darkness with only the flashlight from my iPhone illuminating the U-Haul bed.
The helicopter kinda wavered over where we had projected the logo.
Is that… Is that the… The LAPD?
HOLY SHIT! IT WAS THE LAPD! THIS IS PERFECT!!!
The helicopter got lower. It circled over the building. Then came a spotlight. The helicopter stopped moving and hovered over the exact spot we were projecting onto.
MOVE! MOVE! MOVE!
We threw the gas-filled generator into the back of the U-Haul along with the sixty-foot extension cord.
MAKE SURE NOTHIN FALLS! Curtis yelped as he leapt out of sight and dove into the drivers seat, leaving Tegan and I in the back of the truck with thousands of dollars of lighting equipment and a generator filled with gasoline wavering on it’s cruddy wheels.
The helicopter started circling our U-Haul.
IT’S FOLLOWING US!!!!!
Tegan and I and the equipment all JUTTED forwarded as the U-Haul peeled away. The door to the back of the uHaul was still wide open. “SHUT THE DOOR!” Tegan screamed.
The projector swung back and forth, the lenses were scraping the floor and the generator was clinkity clanging in all directions. If one thing broke we were fucked… wait. Sorry. I was fucked. All my money was on the line.
I threw down my life savings to ‘Make Theatre Cool’ whatever the fuck that REALLY means. IT MEANS EVERYONE THINKS THAT THEATRE IS COOL… if we do this right.
A hefty but seemingly attainable goal…
If the generator fell we’d be soaked in gasoline. And maybe end up in the ER. Or explode.
I was lost in thought about all the possibilities.
“CLOSE THE DOOR!” Tegan screamed again.
Oh right… the door! I forgot!
But the U-Haul was moving so fast I couldn’t grab onto the rope handle to tug the door down. We both tried to grab the swinging rope thingy as the uHaul was bumping up and down and twisting and turning but we couldn’t latch hold of it. Finally we got it and lowered the door as low as we could get it, but we couldn’t close it fully, cause we were inside. You gotta be outside to lock it shut.
A bright beam snuck through the small sliver of opening of that millimeter of non-shut door and hit Tegan and I in the face. Curtis sped up. I had no idea where he was going. I could hear the helicopter. It was following us. Suddenly we came to a halt.
We were fucked. Wait… no.
We were parked out in the back of a 7-11.
We were safe.
Curtis had done it.
We made the papers the next day and sold out the festival.