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In a crazy combination of desperately needing a new place to rent and six degrees of separation, I currently find myself subletting the East Dallas residence of filmmaker Toby Halbrooks. He's currently on location in New Zealand working on the Disney big-budget remake of Pete's Dragon with another Dallas filmmaker extraordinaire, David Lowery (Ain't Them Bodies Saints). Halbrooks co-wrote the script with Lowery, who is directing the movie. In fact, when I moved into my room, the dry erase boards that cover the wall were covered in notes about Pete, Elliot, and Passamaquoddy.
I hear from Halbrooks and his girlfriend, Annell Brodeur, who is working in the costume shop on the film, occasionally, mostly reminding me to pay rent, but sometimes with photos that cause jealous drool to run down my chin. It's cool enough to think that in some way I'm along for the ride of these Dallas kids working on a big-budget Disney movie, but recently I discovered that Lowery is live blogging the creation of Pete's Dragon. It's a treasure trove of insight into the filmmaking process, filled with reflections on how he got this far, but he also writes about what's on his mind, what he's reading, what's he's watching (recently, he writes about rewatching Moonstruck, one of my favorites!). It's one of the few blogs I've ever read by someone pretty famous that doesn't take to grandstanding. It's honest, reflective, and well worth following. Plus, it invites us all along for the magical journey.
If you're interested in keeping up with the progress of Pete's Dragon, or just reading what Lowery had for breakfast, you can follow his blog at road-dog-productions.com.