Here’s a very, very important lesson in film: don’t pick a location where local militant lesbians do their laundry.
I’m honestly surprised this isn’t taught in film class.
We were filming this weekend and one of the locations called for a laundromat. The laundromat we chose was in the Castro — it was bright yellow and just damn pretty. The problem with laundromats is that, a. there’s no obvious workers in most of them, b. we didn’t really feel like calling the owner because it’s a simple shoot and that’s just how we roll.
We set up shop at the laundromat, set up our camera inside one of the machines and even shot the beginning of the scene.
I’m not sure what did it. Maybe it was one of us saying, “excuse me” to the local clothes-washing lesbian. Maybe it’s because we were standing near the machine where her clothes were and when we asked if we were in her way, she muttered it was fine (but secretly called us something racist). Or maybe, maybe it was Dustin (Mint, in Break a Leg) taking off his shirt and putting on a bra (FOR THE SCENE, FOR THE SCENE!) that got the lesbians all hot and angry but…
Here’s how the conversation went, generally:
Lesbian: (yelling angrily) “I’m sorry, but do you guys have a permit or something because I know the owner and you need to leave!”
Justin: (calmly) “We don’t have a permit, no, but –”
Lesbian: (angrily) “Uhhuh, yeah, yeah, you don’t fucking have one. You’re in our way, okay?! You need to LEAVE!”
Justin: (calmly) “Sure. We’ll pack up –”
Lesbian: (one eye popping out in hatred) “Yeeah, yeah, okay, sure. Sure. You need to GO!”
Justin: (calmly) “You can stop repeating that, we’re going –”
Lesbian: (head cracking open from sheer fury) “Yeah, yeah right, yeah — that’s it! I’m calling him! I’m calling the owner!”
Yuri: “…we’re leaving. I think you need to relax and sleep with a man (I didn’t say the last part, but it would’ve been HILARIOUS [I apologize to all non-angry lesbians, but come, it'd be funny, right?]).”
Then they burned. They burned with the fires of a thousand suns. They burned with the hatred of angry, middle-aged San Franciscans who tell everyone they know how much they love and support art but only go watch transsexual theater because it’s right, and appropriate and really, really bad.
But I digress.
They fumed. As we put away our stuff (and thanking them kindly for being so nice: “YEAH. YEAH YOU’RE WELCOME” [oh god, the hatred]) and headed to another location. A location where hippies (and tourists) still roam, where San Francisco became San Francisco, and where nobody gives a damn if you film in the corner of their favorite laundromat.
We went to the Haight.
We got the scene.
And it was good.
So remember: always hippies, never militant lesbians.