Doctors may have reason complain about the unrealistic portrayals in ER. Cops and lawyers say that while Law and Order’s stories are well-told, they’re hardly what happens in the real world. Military personnel have griped about how Hollywood always gets it wrong. My geek friends and I have laughed at the way computers and their programmers are written for TV and movies.
I am doing my part to prevent this kind of on-screen misrepresentation from happening to my fellow accordion players. You see, I’m the technical consultant for a Canadian Film Centre film called Squeezebox.
I admit that the range of technical errors about accordion playing made by movies and TV is minor in comparison to other fields. Rambo has launched missles with the radio’s “transmit” button, ER‘s doctors take too-heroic measures and Hugh Jackman’s geek in Swordfish broke encryption just by thinking about it hard enough. The most likely error a Squeezebox cast member will make is trying to put on their accordion upside-down.
But dammit, I’m going to prevent that. They will strap their accordions on right side up. They will master the art of moving the bellows. They will position their fingers properly over the buttons and keys. They will learn how to do a convincing bellows shake. Hell, I might even be able to teach them Louie Louie. This will be like the accordion version of boot camp that the actors in Full Metal Jacket and G.I. Jane went through before filming. I will break them! Break them and rebuild them into my Unholy Accordion Army of the Night!
And then I will feast on their souls. Or maybe just the tuna salad from the film’s craft services.
I will also be an extra in the film — I’ll be one of the contestants in the “accordion competition” scene. One of my keyboard heroes, Trent Reznor, started out this way too, with a bit part as a member of the band “The Problems” in the Michael J. Fox/Joan Jett movie Light of Day.