|35mm - Vol. 1|
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The movie projection booth is a place like you’ve never seen before. Prepare for these comically true stories, in all of its glory and with its pants down. The job was highly classified. The lifestyle was very unusual. Their journey is like none other and you’re about to experience every "ridiculous" moment. (SAMPLE BELOW)*
35mm - Vol.1 BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT & OVERVIEW
"Jason worked hard. I always like his work. How is he as an
author? I didn't know until now and he didn't disappoint"
Book design by Jason Durgana
SAMPLE OF BOOK
16: NEW MOON, NEW VINNIE
As if what you’ve already read hasn’t been utterly mind-boggling, there were some things that just could never be explained. Sometimes the coincidence was impeccable but it still remained inexplicable. In this particular occurrence, I was working alongside Vinnie when we encountered the most unusual of circumstances. Surprisingly, it hadn’t anything to do with inanimate equipment in the booth. No sir! Instead, everyone in the entire theatre was in a standoff with a living immortal. That creature so happened to be a bat. Yes, a bat managed to enter the theatre. How it managed to fly inside is anyone’s guess but I do know that bats did indeed live high amongst the shadowy rafters on the outside roof. The concept of a bat flying into the booth, through the roof hatch, then through our projection booth door and into the theatre was farfetched. But on the list of crazy possibilities, this was actually very high up there.
As usual, the management hadn’t any testicular fortitude to deal with the “situation” so they called upstairs to Vinnie and I, over the radio. “Hey projectionists, there’s a bat flying around the theatre. Anything you can do to help would be greatly appreciated”, is what we heard from the highly effeminate male voice over the radio. “Vin…what did he just say? Tell me my ears are deceiving me”, I ever so eloquently questioned Vinnie. “Umm Jay, I’m pretty sure he said there’s a bat flying around the theatre downstairs”, Vinnie responded after clearly missing the point of my rhetorical questioning. I know what I heard. But my issue related to the subsequent statement regarding our request to “help” those useless idiots. Why would we help? And let’s just say that we actually wanted to assist them, how could we help with that matter anyways? Am I Bruce Wayne, all of a sudden?
Vinnie responded, “We’re on our way”, with the sole intent of us getting drinks from the concession while potentially seeing Dracula in rare form. Admittedly, I knew what I was getting into. It’s a bat. It can fly. Truthfully, I know that it can swoop down and bite someone, slowly increasing their sensitivity to both natural sunlight and garlic while ultimately turning them into a vampire. This is all factual information. I also know that a bat’s fangs can give someone everlasting life, which wasn’t even my principal concern. My greatest fear was the knowledge that if a bat was ever to bite me, I might begin to sparkle like Edward Cullen and that only Blade could put me out of my misery. Keep in mind that neither of those outcomes were appealing ways to enjoy immortality.
We began our descent in the elevator to the main theatre floor. Once the doors opened, I was taken aback by several employees seeking refuge under dropped ceilings and cupboards while looking to the heavens for the sinister bat. Most of the general public had entered into their cinemas unbothered. But those unlucky few employees tethered to their positions, were instilled with fear of Elvira. In all honestly, who wouldn’t be afraid? You just never know if that one bat is signalling several others to take flight into the unsuspecting theatre, in attempts to create an illegitimate bat cave. To our surprise however, we didn’t see anything. We obtained some drinks from the concession when duty called and both Vinnie and I headed back upstairs to the booth. Sadly, this is when the gravest betrayal in projection history occurred.
As we approached the elevator, Vinnie pushed the button as we calmly awaited the doors to open. Ding! The elevator finally reached our floor and the doors slid open when all of a sudden, we hear a theatre floor employee yell, “Yo guys look out”! From high above, the bat swooped downwards, just past the stairs and headed in our direction. I wasn’t necessarily startled by the shout but I was shocked at the heavy shove I felt in my upper back as I attempted to enter the elevator. What the heck? Without warning, Vinnie had become so distressed that in the heat-of-the-moment, he pushed me towards the bat like a human shield! In one fluid movement, he committed this treason just before leaping into the elevator and hitting the “close doors” button repeatedly. Es tu, Vinnie? In that lone instant, Vin developed enough superhuman strength to powerfully push my massive frame directly into the line of fire.
Terrifyingly, everything slowed down to a halt. In that split second, I simultaneously contemplated the betrayal that just befell upon me while hearing the thick flapping of the bat’s wings while staring directly into those sinister bright red eyes. My life flashed before me. Was I going to become immortal? Would I begin to sparkle and sport a stupid haircut? Would emotionless brunettes immediately fall for me? Would I wear all black and turn nocturnal? Okay, well that last one has already happened but I continued to question my ever-changing destiny. Would I begin feeding on used Band-aids? Damn! That even hurt me just to write it! But all of these uncertainties swirled around my head like the very bat that now controlled my future. The only way to find out about my fate was to tune into the same bat channel and at the same bat time. Or you could just keep reading along.
In all honesty, I was just mere feet away from the bat and we practically went face-to-face. Surprisingly, it’s snarl quickly turned to trepidation. I didn’t understand, at the time, why its expression changed from predator to prey. It must’ve realized that my 250lbs body could possibly be hungry and that if anyone would be sinking their teeth into flesh, I would be the one doing the chewing. Nosferatu altered courses and exited stage left all the way out of the entire damn theatre! It must’ve seen what Champ Kind did to bats in Anchorman 2 and recognized the high risk of danger in ending up deep-fried. Bram Stoker couldn’t even write that ending! Well, that was one vermin eliminated and with eyes like the Bride in Kill Bill, I now turned to the other. Vinnie literally pushed me into harms way. To this day, I’m still shocked at the betrayal. I finally understood how Russell Westbrook felt about Kevin Durant.
I simply pressed the elevator button again as the doors slowly slid open. Vinnie was trapped now between a “Jay and a hard place”. “Okay dude. I swear it’s not what it looks like”, Vinnie said as the elevator doors began closing on me. I literally stuck my foot in the door to prevent his sly escape and with a heart more broken than Taylor Swift before Red, I ever so dramatically asked him why? “Jay, I just bumped into you. It was your fault for falling in that direction”, Vinnie said with the inability to even keep a straight face. I shook my head in disbelief. Not even he would accept that lame justification. He was trying his absolute best not to crack under questioning but laughter erupted from us both. Of all people! Vinnie? He used to preach to me about watching Band of Brothers just to keep the solidarity alive. How bros always came before hoes! And in just one brief moment of terror, he pushed me into a figurative bullet. His attempted explanations were so suspect that neither of us believed any of it.
Vinnie – “Just
listen. From my perspective, it wasn’t my intention to pull a Shane
(from The Walking Dead) on Jay with that bat. Things just
Even the very staff member who gave us the warning-call, witnessed the shocking betrayal. “Yo I saw the whole thing Jay. That was some cold-hearted stuff Vinnie. Man, you ice cold”, he said to us when we crossed paths just later that very day. Yep, Vinnie was guilty as charged. “Jay, in the jungle, it’s the survival of the fittest”, he said with as much sincerity as an escort complimenting you on your personality. “Really Vin? That’s what this is now. The booth just became the jungle right there huh”, I responded as we joked the whole ride up the elevator. “Man, you really would push me into a stray bullet if we were being shot at”, I light-heartedly said. To this day, Vinnie still hasn’t refuted that statement which tells me that he actually would use me as a shield! What a terrible "friend"! But all joking aside, as tight knit as we were, nothing could prepare our team for what would happen next.
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