Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Assumptions... Murphy’s Law… Intuition… Instinct… and Errol Flynn Part 2

Remembering moments that help you and the people around you grow as human beings…

The story below concludes Patrick’s experiences while researching, learning, making mistakes, feeling, practicing and moving on.

It is difficult to describe the feeling you get when you step into a home with a history – a checkered one at that, where the initial owner was a shady stock promoter and his guest, in the final stages of life, was none other than Errol Flynn.

Patrick has always been fascinated by Errol Flynn, and even more so by his sudden death in Vancouver over fifty years ago.

In the fall of 1959, West Vancouver businessman George Caldough hosted the Hollywood legend and the actor’s 17 year old girlfriend in his home, located at 1026 Eyremount Drive.

While in Vancouver, for what was only supposed to be a few days, Caldough paraded Flynn around to various hot spots to “be seen” – and in between, Errol’s condition was worsening. The compounding effects of a slipped disc and rapidly failing organs (helped along by copious amounts of vodka and heroin) caused Flynn to suffer greatly, and often during the visit, he would need to lie in bed at the Caldough house – sweating profusely yet shivering at the same time.

On October 14, 1959, Flynn, en route to the airport, dropped dead of a heart attack in the penthouse apartment of a doctor who was trying to treat him and a couple of years later Caldough was convicted of stock fraud and sent to jail for 6 years.

The house on Eyremount was occupied by a number of families over the years since then, and until recently, was very much intact.

Reading about something is not good enough, and seeing as though Patrick was researching and trying to develop a film based on these last days, paying a visit to the house was definitely in order.

Patrick actually spent time at the house many times over several years, mostly peeking through the windows at empty spaces and eventually was able to actually shot some re-enactment scenes of Flynn’s last moments prior to leaving for the airport.

Patrick found himself spending even more time there, as it was in the last stages of demolition. Needing to take even more detailed notes about the house before it was gone forever, Patrick would stop by from time to time, wandering through the door-less entrance and stepping over the broken bits of drywall and glass.

Leading up to Halloween, Patrick would stop by the house every single day, but each time he felt a little unsure of his surroundings: the feeling in his stomach was sending him many different signals.

Doors swinging open and shut (he was sure it was the wind) was enough to cause me to exit the scene rather quickly.

Patrick’s trouble is, however, that curiosity would get the better of him and draw him back to the house – over and over again…

This time, Patrick was not going to the house alone…

The first person Patrick decided to bring along was a professional photographer – someone to help record the last images of the house. She did her best, snapped some great images, but couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there. She admitted to feeling sick and chilled to the bone.

Chilled to the bone Patrick thought…

That was something I too had started to feel every visit…

An unusual coldness inside the house, even when the weather was rather warm outside.

Patrick continued to ask others to come to the house with him…

Maybe, this was because he wanted to confirm his own beliefs that there was something unusual going on…

Patrick states that he is not terribly spiritual, or rather, he wasn’t before these visits.

There was definitely something unusual in the house on Eyremount Drive, and Patrick wanted to get second, third and even fourth opinions.

Every single time, the reactions were consistent – the place was otherworldly. Everyone felt the gut wrenching feeling, the cold, the “bad air” as some described it.

Patrick mentioned his research exploits to his co-producer on A Century of November Nicolas Awde, and if you know Nick, he never comes across as someone who is easily shaken.

At the end of Nick and Patrick’s work day, (Halloween), Nick agreed to come up to the house to check it out. We wandered through the house, and Nick was observing the conditions of the house – the piles of broken gyprock, the skeletal remains of the framework, the appliances carelessly dumped over the balcony and into the swimming pool, now filled with murky water. Nick even noticed a double sink in good condition that he might like to take home with him.

Patrick escorted Nick downstairs, exploring darkened rooms, cold and empty fireplaces, scattered documents – and then around the deck of the pool. And then - it started to get to Nick. The chill. The air. The damp and the dark. The gut instincts that tell you to get out while you can.

Pretty soon, that newish double sink wasn’t so attractive, and the need to exit the building intensified and before we knew it, we were heading for the vehicle. Enough was enough. And the experience was disturbing enough that Nick didn’t seem interested in discussing the house again.

Today, there is simply rubble that remains where this house sat for fifty years. The pain and suffering that film legend Errol Flynn endured during his last days on earth can only be left to the imagination. Who knows if others had suffered behind those walls since?
Who knows if others who had lived in that house over five decades had strange feelings about the house?

Patrick had heard one story, from a realtor, that the wife of a very recent owner refused to allow her husband to build their new home on the site because she didn’t feel right about the existing house when she entered. She even forced him to sell it.

Patrick imagines that this property, with the million-dollar view of the entire City of Vancouver will see an opulent mansion built upon it. He can only hope, for the new owner’s sake, that the cold and sickening feelings that everyone shared within those walls, crumbled away with each crushing blow off the backhoe that knocked the original structure down…

Remembering moments like these help you and the people around you grow as human beings…

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Reflecting on a moment: First studio recording;

Created throughout the development of A Century of November, the company decided to storyboard some images, to produce an animated presentation based on the reviews of the novel A Century of November.

This was one of the first concepts completed to build a visual foundation on story and characters.

Everything was completed throughout one day in a recording studio. Many days of research and prep were involved in gathering all the elements to make it happen.

Studio time started with an amazing individual who is dedicated to carrying on the art and tradition of Morse Code. Her name is Lavina Shaw of the Morse Telegraph Club. The telegraph clicking sounds accurately depict all the words appearing in the animated presentation.

The Studio recording session concluded with the very talented violinist & songwriter Susie Mares Suzka Music playing various connecting tones and themes off words and images.

The final words chosen, were from the novel;

A haunting story, of the power and death, the pain of loss with the possibility of hope during a time of war.

A Century of November Conceptual Animated Presentation

Monday, December 7, 2015

Assumptions... Murphy’s Law… Intuition… Instinct… and Errol Flynn Part 1

Remembering moments that help you and the people around you grow as human beings…

Assumptions... Murphy’s Law… Intuition… Instinct… all go hand in hand, they can be challenging to differentiate between one another. Learning, making mistakes, feeling, practicing and moving on.

There is truth in the what it is said about the word “assume”, making an ass out of “u” and “me”...

It happens every day in life with the little things, and sometimes can affect decisions that can have tremendous impacts on your daily life.

The story of signing Jay Wolpert to write the script for A Century of November falls in this category.

Patrick assumed that the novel he sent to the agent at Paradigm, would be tossed or would never find its way into Jay’s hands. Patrick simply believed that any material not represented by an agent, lawyer or manager would ever get to someone like Jay, regardless of its virtue.

Thanks to some friendly persuasion by Nick, Patrick eventually wrote a little note, slipped it inside a copy of the novel, and sent it to Paradigm…

The rest as they say has become history…

Even after that lesson, Patrick continued to fall back into the same thought patterns.

Patrick’s research on another passion project regarding Errol Flynn’s last days, was looking for individuals to interview, who may have spent time with the ailing actor during the last week of his life in Vancouver. The trouble is that it was fifty years ago, and many of the people involved in the story are either dead or extremely old.

While trying to acquire all of the details about Flynn, Patrick managed to get to know something of the other people who were with Flynn at this time.

There was George Caldough, who hosted Flynn and was poised to purchase the actor’s yacht. Patrick’s research turned up that Caldough died of a heart attack at age 50 back in 1978.

There is Beverly Aadland, who was Flynn’s 17 year old protege. He died in her arms in a West End apartment of Dr. Grant Gould. She is still alive, but is very private and doesn’t necessarily want to be bothered again (she has recently been interviewed for an Australian documentary entitled “Tasmanian Devil: The Fast and Furious Life of Errol Flynn”, and is in talks with HBO regarding a film based on her romance with the actor).

Then there is Dr. Grant Gould. He tried to save Errol, but to no avail. It was his apartment that Flynn died in. What are the chances that he is still alive?

Patrick’s extensive research over many years turned up nothing. Until now…

Patrick believed that Dr. Grant Gould was also gone. Patrick dug some more and wanted to write an article, with credibility. More research, phone calls and finally struck gold.

To Patrick’s delight, Dr. Gould was still alive and well and still practices medicine, despite being semi-retired and he is the answer to many questions Patrick’s had about the true details regarding Flynn’s death.

From this point forward Patrick’s new mantra, was to consider looking at all sides, exhaust all possibilities, before jumping to conclusions.

True success will come from turning over every single rock.

To be concluded…