Film journal excerpt
YOKNAPATAWPHA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT
Investigating Officer(s): Det. T. Armstrong, Det. S. Murphy
Incident No.: 001985-19D-2020
Case Description: Dalton Kimbrough homicide investigation
Dalton Kimbrough's film journal was found in one of the boxes of script pages (Evidence # 001985-13) in the editing room/office.
The following entries from February 4–9, 2020 seem to show a critical turn in Kimbrough's mood and perspective on the filming of Death to the Revelers.
Prior entries, which are too dense for publication at this time, show a calmer, more technical, and focused Kimbrough, while these entries begin to paint a different picture of him.
Caution: Some rough language and situations.
Gwen is so Shane it's a shame she's not Cheyenne or a shame Cheyenne is not Shane is not Gwen. That would not do for it's too perfect and true, untrue as life, thus true.
I'm spoiled by her unspoiledness; plain dumb doom and glee, that's me. If I could shoot either one of them, shoot them in their truest death, I would make something of this which I have been unable to make. But if it clicks and comes close to a close, and the clicks is the trick, the trick to come closing a curtain, the closer I come to closing myself.
Once opened by the world, you are a scorched soul. If they look at you with eyes of affection and awe, you die, el fin. You could never become what the come had contained, the come that became you. Because their eyes have contained you, their words have explained you. And that is all, nothing and everything.
I feel like a con-artist, a scolder of children today. We've been filming the scene on the pier with Darl and Paolo. Dave can't get it right. It's his only time to speak out, but I was thinking of resurrecting Johnny to give him the part. And then it hit me, to play on his own fascination with himself. So I blocked it out and we ran through a few improvs, and Dave, when it came down to being himself, was suddenly reluctant to turn inward. So I jammed him in there.
I made all the guys stand around him as he sat like a mushroom in the grass, and we swung our d**** at him and moved in a circle, giving a low chant. At first, he was laughing and joking, embarrassed as expected, and then it started to weird him out. It weirded the others out as well — some of them anyway — but I insisted they keep up with the exercise. (NOTE: It's amazing what kind of response you can get out of guys by calling them "p******.")
Finally, it did the trick. Dave didn't have anywhere to turn except inside himself, what with all the man-threatening male hanging around in his headspace.
After all that, we shot quite a different conversation between Dave and Teddy, a conversation about hiding behind props. I couldn't call it good magic, but I call it a seed, a seed spawned from the primal instinct, the subconscious flame. Call it a dictatorship of the silent cerebrum. I have to stick it in my head and bang against the walls. This is becoming a lot harder than I expected.
Is it cruelty that rules our nature, or is it that which we must overcome? Is man ruled by love or hate? These are the issues brought up on the set today.
Gwen is getting all high-minded on me. There's a time and expanse of place, and outside of it, your opinions count for s***. They MUST know this! On the stage, in the spotlight, in that spiral arena, you must dislodge your real breath. You have to shed that person, leave them behind, and give life to someone new. Someone who is not you, someone you are scared of.
And then you realize you're scared of everyone, and that you can only be yourself. And the acting begins. It is so embossed with your own natural fears that it becomes something of its own, something wholly real and illogical.
OhGODAMMITALL! What difference does it make? I look at this script, and it falls apart in my hand like tattered rags. What once made sense to me now reads like it was written by a stranger. Can it be that I've learned so much from these people, after being so long without human contact, that I've actually improved? I don't think so. I've actually become more confused and uncertain.
Do we breed this amongst ourselves, in cold groups? I love people! I love everyone! I kill what I love! Gwen hides behind these things she has to decide. Her mind has been turned on, and now there is no letting up from the pedal. She will drive and drive until she drives herself insane.
I know this because I've known it every day of my grown-up life, all the days lapping at the stars and the wet edges of the earth. I can only dunk my head in the pond and tell Dave to take off his clothes, go for a dive, and never come up.
I've become someone quite unlike myself. Or maybe, as I once learned, more like myself than I ever knew I could be. More frightening and strange, like I've become one of the other people. Such that human deceit runs so deep that you come to a point where you can't even trust yourself.
I woke up from a dream brought back from Biloxi. A night on the beach with Shy because we'd lost our money by stealing it away from each other time and time and time and again until it had all slipped through our thieving fingers. I remembered the cool rush of the surf, a perpetual din that rocked me to sleep as if I had crawled inside an enormous, sandy womb. And as the waves rocked me to sleep, Shy called out to me, already stripped and glistening in the moon's mirrored waters. Calling me to swim with the porpoises, a school of them, all bearded and wearing glasses. I acquiesced and joined her in the nipping surf.
A playful struggle ensued, and it was a patient dream of childhood recreation, tossing and giggling in the boiling waves. And soon it became treacherous, the riptides recalling their collective strengths, and we wrestled to cling to a tottering buoy. It was small, only an armful, and only one of us could get it. She karate-chopped me in the head, and I was sucked down by a swirling, magnificent whirlpool. A blender actually. I was sucked away into a frozen strawberry purgatory, and just beyond the blades, I heard that resounding cackle, the sound of satisfaction for having outscored another sap.
This is how the day began, at 4:30 a.m. I was up restoring the equipment and readying the scenes for the day. Having my morning stomp about down the driveway. Rousing the birds and the first light. The whole day surged through me, and I was waiting to explode. The others had barely been to sleep, up drunk and angry. All of them are so frightening with their dreary interests. Up at dawn and creating the world! Or snoring in a bed of vomit!
I screamed and pleaded with them all day. It was a day of high emotions, and they've all been drained of them. Perhaps what we need is a few days of rest. I can get the story back into shape, and I can give them time away from it. I'll let them go home for a couple of days, and let them get back to that part of themselves that knows these characters. Let them touch base and be disturbed by themselves.
Today I watched a ghost descend on my home and my people.
Cheyenne, you rogue b****! — I cried.
She just danced and twirled in her mimicking parade, showing them exactly what they wanted to see. It's because she is such an excellent performer that she lures people to her web. She came to take my set away. She is angry because I left her.
The lies and trickery and all the assumed death were getting to be too much, so I let myself disappear. I died essentially, took my life by my own hand, and receded into the tide. I thought she would never miss me, that she'd move on to her next wallet and trouser folly. She deserves a ticker-tape parade of adjectives, but I have none to give. She spent me already, and here back now?
I shot her and shot her and shot her as much as I could to make her get the message. And like those dreams at night where I keep hearing her laugh, I could hear it echoing in the trees, amid the gun cracks and crunching gravel, as I chased her down the lane.
It's some goddamn conundrum… here I go home to gasp on the suck pipe. Whether it's steam or stale gas or a hot-fired hunk of metal glossing my skull with a fine red sheen, I'll be the cause.
I am the god of my own destiny and will never let a hamburger harlot and fish's knave take me. I'll throw everyone in before I jump. I'll use their foul, floating bodies as my island earth, and I'll pitch a tent and sail my own paradise homestead to wherever I please. I'll dip my toes in their terror-filled eyes and dive for jewels, snatching pearls from their snapped-shut oyster hearts.
F***ITALL!!!! It's not even 4 pm and we've stopped for the day. Not even pink in the sky and we're done. The pussies can't act, they can't live, they can't walk around without imagining that someone has stepped on their precious toes.
I got rough with one today. He was mocking my character in the Darl-Shane death-watch scene, so I slammed him over the head with my body and pummeled him to such an extent that everyone was highly upset and agitated, just where I wanted them. And they all refused to go on.
I chased them with my camera, and the lot of them folded. The lot that mattered anyway. Dave will stay and shoot for days, but he's periphery. Zeboe has a black and blue face, and Kayla won't put the make-up on him.
I should kill them all now, put their shameful death masks on my camera, and make my movie guerrilla-style. Death to the Revelers! Those weak-jawed animals who call themselves persons.