Indie film actor, Joseph Grady, describes to me his very first shoot of one of his scenes in “Winter in the Blood”. Joseph, the Pikunii ([Pe-Koo-Nee] meaning Blackfeet) man laughs, gestures with his hands, and becomes fully animated. He is painting me a picture before my eyes with his words.
The trip to the shoot was not an easy one for Joseph to take because it was during the time when his health was at its worst. Joseph states, “The only way I can describe the kind of pain I am in is to compare it to having a loud jet engine in the room, that only I can hear; only I am forced to listen all day, all night, every day, every night.” Joseph admits, “I almost thought that I was going to have to call it all off and not be in the movie.” But, he didn’t. Joseph’s son and nephew drove him to the site. The young men stayed in order to help take care of Joseph for the weekend’s shoot and aid in him in fulfilling one of his dreams.
Joseph experienced a filming adventure to keep in his back pocket saying, “That one is totally off the bucket list… you know your first movie?”
According to Joseph, the following moment “was one of those memories I’ll hang onto forever.” During his first scene, Joseph was directed to drive an “old beat up El Camino” with a re-built engine. Joseph laughs and says, “It was all ‘rezzed out’, patched up and barely held together, loud and garbled, with super soft breaks.”
As Joseph describes the scene and what he heard that day of the filming, he moves his arms, presses his foot hard on the imaginary brakes. He moves his hands and shows me where the sounds came from above him and his passenger Belva, played by actress, Kendra Potter. His eyes spark. He describes the car having a “dodgy engine with even dodgier brakes” and hearing above his head, through a walkie-talkie, the words “Chaske & Walking horse, action! Camino, Action!.. a little faster now… faster.”
Joseph is driving that Camino in the University Center game room. The black faux-leather chair is now his driver’s seat with me as the passenger. Joseph looks at me, chuckles, and tells me that when he heard “Camino, action!” he had to drive that car right toward the camera. The entire production crew was assembled around the very spot he had to stop and that “the breaks were so squishy, I had to press them all the way down just to begin slowing the car. Man, I was stomping on those brakes, sweat all getting in my eyes, anxiety at an all time high. I pulled right up in front of the camera and people were backing away because I assumed they knew the same thing I did about the brakes… or at least some of them did!” letting out a big guffaw! “I didn’t want to run anybody over!”
Joseph is unsure of what happened with that old El Camino, the film company either gave it away, or sold it. Joseph paused, and wistfully said, “I would have loved to have that car.”
Winter in the Blood, and their Montana premiere is coming very soon. Plan on being in the Missoula area on July 20th at the Roxy Theater, showtimes at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Advance tickets to the showings are $10 and can be purchased starting at 10 a.m. Friday by visiting The Roxy Theater website. Remaining tickets will be available the day of the showing at the theater box office.
After the premiere head down to the Top Hat and hear live the Cincinnati band, Heartless Bastards, who provided part of the soundtrack to Winter in the Blood.