The journey never ends.
by Alyssa Ramos
I’ve been extremely lucky these past two years in LA. Not only have I traveled, found my career path, and made some incredible connections, but…no wait, my emphasis was going to be on my connections with people. I have a tendency to meet certain people one time, and form this crazy universal connection that makes us automatic best friends even if we never see each other. That is the case with the director/producer/star of the movie that I went to go see last night, and I must include our own crazy journey of friendship as the preface because it’s really funny. So if you just want the review scroll down.
So Blake Freeman is this hilarious, witty, outgoing guy with a huge heart and gorgeous, supportive girlfriend, both from Tennessee (I think), who came to Hollywood in search of the dream so many people chase, the movie industry. Except he’s also a genius and driven beyond belief, like a mini bulldozer on speed or something, and he created his own small production company where each person has multiple roles (i.e. his sound guy would probably double as an extra). He struggled like the rest of us, but never gave up, and now he’s succeeded at releasing yet another full length indie movie.
Why am I going on about Blake you may ask? Because he’s fucking awesome. That’s why. Two years ago when I was a curious and fascinated little accidental LA newbie, I would wander around Melrose and Beverly aimlessly, looking at stores and restaurants, and…important looking movie set stuff. One day I was poking around a little boutique that had movie equipment stuff and people walking around frantically outside of it, wondering if I would see Brad Pitt or something. “Are you one of the extras?” A guy suddenly said behind me, scaring the shit out of me. “N-no..” I replied, extremely embarrassed. “Do you want to be? It pays $100.” Considering the fact that I was poor and had nothing better to do that day, I agreed, and before I could ask any questions, I was in hair and makeup, making friends with the MUA/extra and signing papers that I probably should have read.
I didn’t do much. I walked from a clothing sales rack into a dressing room…but hey, my face is on Netflix for two seconds! (Blake still yells at me for missing the premier of the only movie I’m “in” (it’s called Noobz, about video gamers)). Somehow my amazing acting skills stood out, and Blake’s manager came up to me afterwards asking if I could meet him and Blake for a meeting. I met them a week later at Baby Blue’s, not entirely sure what we were even meeting about, and apparently they had no idea either. Mostly because Blake had been up all night celebrating the final wrap of the movie and was still drunk and dying, but determined to keep his word about the meeting. He was literally sliding down on the booth next to me like he was melting and still trying to get his point across. He finally gave in and ordered a beer, which naturally I followed since I too was hungover, and beers led to tequila shots and next thing we knew, we were both wasted again, and getting no where with the meeting.
“Blake, we have a meeting with PMBC in like thirty minutes…” His manager suddenly remembered. “Oh shit, yeah we have like this really important meeting with like, this super important PR agency in Beverly Hills today,” he said nonchalantly. “Hey! Can we bring her to the meeting? Let’s bring her to the meeting!” He said, suddenly highly amused with the idea. So off we went, stopping at 711 first to get two giant beers to chug on the way.
There’s nothing like walking into an extremely quiet, extremely fancy, professional building, when you’re wasted in the middle of the day. Long story short, they sat the three of us in their conference room, where we automatically grabbed all of the snacks and waters in the middle of the table, and tried to listen to the workaholic PR woman who was talking 8000 miles a minute. The manager told us both not to talk so he did most of the talking…I smiled and nodded…and Blake suddenly chimed in towards the end with a two minute, aggressive, straight-to-the-point rant about what he wants, that he still does not remember saying to this day. His manager almost had a heart attack, but the next day, they called saying they wanted to represent him. We’ve been good friends ever since.
And now what you’ve been actually waiting for….
Friends, family, press, and climbers gathered in Santa Monica last night for the premier of Blake Freeman and Wunderkind Pictures‘ new documentary film, “A Journey to Planet Sanity”. It starts when a 68 year old pizza delivery guy named LeRoy captures the interest of Blake and he gets his contact information, which, if you know him, is completely normal. He contacts LeRoy, and finds out that he’s struggling financially because the majority of his funds go towards preventing against alien abduction and paying for psychics, and he also is unable to get a better job because of his age.
Blake is outraged that society has brainwashed this poor old man and is causing him to live a life of constant fear and delusion, so he decides to take matters into his own hands, and take LeRoy on a journey to Planet Sanity. The first hurdle to overcome is proving that aliens don’t exist, so he takes LeRoy to somewhere in the middle of nowhere where everyone is obsessed with aliens. After talking to a man who claims an alien inseminated his mother and he is half man half alien, and a hilarious big ol’ black dude with an Obama sweater who claims he’s the Prophet Yahweh who can summon UFO’s (and “calls a no show” every time), LeRoy is convinced they don’t exist. Oh, and there’s also the part where Blake takes him to create crop circles in the middle of the night, then sends an “Alien Expert” up in a helicopter to examine it, and films his reaction when he realized it’s a giant middle finger.
The next hurdle is convincing LeRoy that psychics aren’t real. So after Blake calls out two psychics, then LeRoy gets rum spit in his face during spiritual cleansing and his poo examined by a poo psychic, and finally Blake gets a death curse on him by a Voodoo doctor, and does everything possible to try to die from skateboarding in traffic, to running around neo-nazi gay-protesters in a pink ballerina costume, blowing bubbles in their face, LeRoy is also convinced that psychics are also fake.
Everything was fine until nine months later when LeRoy calls Blake and informs him that he’s afraid the world’s going to end in 2012. After interviewing several people and getting no scientific evidence, Blake rounds up the half alien, and Prophet Yahweh to see if they can summon the aliens and save everyone from the destruction of Earth. They can’t. And end up just getting into hilarious fights, and hating each other.
The documentary takes a twist when a month later LeRoy contacts Blake again. He’s depressed and upset that he’s wasted so much time and money believing all the things that weren’t real, and feels like he hasn’t done anything with his life. He also drops the bomb that he’s on the verge of losing his house, which would make him involuntarily homeless. After trying and failing to sell the only possible assets LeRoy has…his paintings, Blake takes matters into his own hands. Since the art galleries all said he had to be “established” to sell art, Blake invests in some massive canvases and the two make random pieces of art using the splatter technique, the back spin technique, and even Blake’s balls that get dipped in paint and lowered down onto a canvas like he’s in ‘007.
He rents out a gallery space on Sunset Blvd. and gets LeRoy dressed up as a French guy. He invites art sellers, high rollers, and even Jack Nicholson makes an appearance, and they end up convincing everyone that he’s a prestigious new artist from France, and selling all of the paintings…including the ball painting which sold for $700…to an art buyer…
The film concludes with a sincere and touching thank you from LeRoy to Blake, and news that LeRoy not only gets to keep his home, but that he’s doing well and continuing with his painting career. The cast members were all at the premier and seemed more than excited to be there. I congratulated all of them, and gave them big hugs, except for the half alien…I was a little bit scared of him.
Check out the trailer: