Dreams: I was in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, by cartoonist Khris Kaneff

Edited by Phil Stubbs
Cartoonist Khris Kaneff appeared in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. This is his report of his adventures, with his cartoon.
I was somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the Greyhound bus broke down: (REALLY!) I remember thinking something like, "I'm going to be late and blow my chance to work under the direction of Terry Gilliam. Couldn't my casting agency have flown me out, and for god's sake man, I even paid for my own round-trip ticket. Was Sandy, my 'conveniently absent' casting agent,in on this? Was this truly happening? CAN SHE HEAR ME? " Suddenly,there was a terrible fluttering in my heart and my mind was full of what felt like huge doubts as to whether or not I would make it to the set of FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, which was still some significant distance away from where this faulty American tin can just puttered out. I want you to have all the background, this is true GODAMNIT!

I play a minor role (as a goon who ushers Duke out of the doors in the "Debbie Reynolds scene") in a great film that I feel an honor to be a part of. The enormous effort it took to get out to Vegas from Hollywood was worth it. Thank GOD another Greyhound caught the torch, and I arrived in plenty of time. What eventually amounts to thirty seconds on film, takes two months and a lot of nailbiting to accomplish. For reasons which I'll never know, we did not film on this muggy night in Vegas. Fourteen hours spent being suited up by Julie Weiss (Twelve Monkey's costume award nominee; and a very patient lady, if I may add) added with a good bit of standing around.

Finally, I'm called to the set whereupon I meet Terry, DUKE, and GONZO. Terry gives me the run-down on the complexity of this paramount ( Err- Uhh; Universal ) scene. I am to pay close attention, as this next bit of action could make or break my career, let alone the outcome of the film: (NOTE *Exaggeration.) After rehearsal, I'm sent back to the holding pen where I am tied down and force fed sushi. (NOTE *CREATIVE License # 234.1-09.)

The end of this cruelly exciting experience is topped off with a message from Terry, relayed to me, By one of the Producer's Assistants. "Are you the Goon? Good. Terry says thanks for coming out, and he'll see you next month in downtown LA."

...One month later. I arrive at The Ambassador Hotel which is no longer actively running however, often filmed in due to it's undisturbed original condition. We do more of the same. I am re-introduced with Terry and company, and we go through the scene which only deviation from the night in Vegas, is that of its location. Terry was working arm and arm with a tall smart sounding chap, as I notice this against the contrast of "NASALIAN AMERICAN" accent. There seems to be a sense of setting up and letting go. Both men are deliberate, yet allowing of all and anything that has been planned out, or not, for that matter. Almost like flat blacking a canvass then exploding white paint onto it and entitling it: BIG BANG, this is a fusion of chaos and order, and I am privileged to be a part of it, no matter how small I am in relation to it's space. I'm welling up with creative juice just watching the two men story board out the scene, as I myself am also an accomplished artist/cartoonist. The canvass is black for five takes, and for those five takes, we all burst out onto the screen making celluloid history. A millionth of one millionth of one second in relationship to the scale of motion picture infinity. Then we all ate some pizza, and went home.

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