We were already a few hours into another Friday evening under the guidance of The Seagram’s Golden Wine Cooler Declaration. Named for the commercials featuring Bruce Willis, we had created the document as a means to hold each other accountable to follow through on finishing creative projects. Many of our Friday or Saturday nights consisted of watching movies and discussing how we, me and El Flaco Explosivo, would make films together in the future. We had collaborated on a short film titled The Deerhunter 2. Think elements from Weekend At Bernie’s meets The Deerhunter but as a black comedy. We had also developed some feature film ideas, but at that point, the short film was the only thing we had completed together. Therefore, the SGWD was going to be the catalyst. We weren’t going to re-invent the wheel and the watching movies part of the evening wasn’t going to change. We would still throw on Street Kings with Keanu Reeves, or something just as spectacular.
Both of us had signed the document right underneath the slogan of Seagram’s Golden Wine Coolers being both wet and dry. Whether it would hold up in a court of law remained to be seen, but neither of us was concerned with that. It was to be the shot in the arm both of us needed.
For one of my projects, I had recorded an EP of heavy metal songs with my brother under the moniker of The Van Damned. My brother did most of the vocals, and I played the guitar. The EP was titled “Throne of Destruction.” Even though we had written lyrics, improvisation was encouraged. Songs had titles like “Satan – part 2”, “For a Fistful of Blood,” and “Unnecessary Surgery.” That final track was named after a line from the film Ghostbusters, in which Egon Spengler claims the architect of Dana Barret’s building, Ivo Shandor, performed a lot of unnecessary surgery.
Flaco, or The Explosive Thin Man, named for Alexis Arguello, had cut together a short film that included excerpts from a business trip he had recently taken. Today, I unveiled a flash video game that combined elements of the documentary film Overnight with elements from Mark Wahlberg’s oeuvre. Most likely, as the evening progressed, we would watch the entirety of Overnight for the umpteenth time and recite most of the dialogue along with the film. Afterward, we would probably throw on something with Van Damme or Seagal. We wouldn’t spend too much time worrying about it. This sort of choice would naturally sort itself out.
It’s been at least 8 years since we have held a meeting of The SGWD, and so much has changed since then. However, the precepts, the focus of those evenings remains alive and well. I think about those times and I’m invigorated to continue applying the lessons learned; to continue in the face of uncertainty. In the immortal words of Bruce Willis “It’s wet AND it’s dry… my my my my.”
Andrew Davie received an MFA in creative writing from Adelphi University. He taught English in Macau on a Fulbright Grant. In June of 2018, he survived a ruptured brain aneurysm and subarachnoid hemorrhage. His other work can be found in links on his website: asdavie.wordpress.com