Forth floor, go right, down the hall next to the crappy robot-chandelier, beneath bad rip offs of Keith Herring figures you'll find the entrance to the Herring Suite. A hundred bucks a night, sleeps four, not named for the deceased artist, instead it takes its name from the ripe odor of the herring fish. Atlantic born, ripened in warm plastic for days, released in the tight quarters of the Warsaw train, and at the moment, the fifth, and most potent, member of our traveling cadre.
Everybody is wiped out. I finally started to lose it today with Ervinas. We wanted to film in the Berlin TV/Radio tower (kinda like the space needle) a very important set of shots. With all the problems with security and terrorism I was nervous they wouldn't let us shoot inside. I asked Ervinas to translate since he speaks German. At the ticket booth he immediately started chafing the hell out of the woman who worked there which bugged me out. Not a soft touch - from where I was standing it looked like he might be blowing our chance blatantly and I got kinda bent. I said some stuff a guy forty years younger should not say. We seem to have recovered but still awkward.
Rome on the other hand is the coolest guy ever. The natural protagonist, and most natural actor I've ever done anything with. After how ever many days I find myself constantly wondering if he's hungry, if we're walking too much, and generally feeling grateful toward him. Then there is Dave, the guy the police talk to first since he's got the camera. Also the guy most affected by the herring smells, the sight of chopped up smoked fat, the sight of sour milk (chunky sour milk, this stuff has texture) being consumed after three days without refridgeration (the guys drank it for breakfast). His camera broke last night, he is often cold, but all the same he keeps trucking and got some really nice shots. I have a feeling thoughts of romance in near by Vienna (he met a nice girl there last month) keep him buoyant, more power to her.
Then there is me, worn to the bone with Ervinas' nonstop anecdotes, talk and relentless knowledge dropping, but otherwise pretty happy to be here doing what we're doing. Each day it gets a little clearer what the story is, each day I'm a little more impressed by the dynamism of Berliners (very friendly, helpful, tolerant, diverse AND people almost never look into the lens when we're shooting in public, where did they learn that?) Tomorrow we wrap it up, shoot the last scene in Berlin. I'll shoot the hotel scenes and the belly dancer stuff back in Lithuania. The scene tomorrow is much like the first scene at the hill of crosses, so hopefully it'll go well.