Wednesday, August 30, 2006

On The Set - Day 7

Finally the day was upon me; it was the last day of filming! Excellent! I woke up in the morning for an 11 AM call time. Knowing that movies normally push hard into the night on the last day to capture every possible scene under the sun, I found an 11 AM call time to be a little bit weird. What were the chances that someone in the scheduling department meticulously took into account what the scenes were to be shot, figured that the store workers were going to be used hardly at all, and logically figured out that they should show up later in the day? Not at all. They guessed at the time and called me in at a time that was more convenient!

The day before, Erick and I talked about doing something nice for one of the production assistants (PAs) that had been corraling, directing, and barking at us for the last few days. He was a pretty cool cat once we talked about everything but the tasks at hand, i.e., the movie, and we set up a pretty nice repoire with him as the movie went on. We had adopted our friend as "Juan Fanta" due to his fun nature, propensity for incredibly sweet Coca-Cola Corp. products, and the fact that on this film, and all Latinos are destined to be baggers or stockers, or in this case, PAs (yes, Juan is white...just work with the whole adoption thing ). So, I headed over to Strange Cargo (SC) and designed a crew shirt. The idea was to have on the front of the shirt "Juan Fanta" and a picture of a Fanta bottle or logo while on the back displaying our favorite Latinized catchphrase of "Esteefler!" above and the name of the movie and year it was shot underneath a picture of Stiffler. Well, SC faked that whole concept up for me. Although they had a lot of pictures and images to choose from, there weren't any there I can use for the original vision. So, I had to improvise. After debating for about an hour in the store, I came up with replacing the Fanta bottle with an "Hecho En Mexico" ("Made in Mexico") emblem on the front to signify Juan Fanta's acceptance into the storeworker's fold, and replacing Stiffler's face with a flag of Chicago to signify where the movie was shot as well as pay homage to the fact that on the backs of the director chairs they had a slightly modified Chicago flag with 2 blue bars surrounding 3 stars and a maple leaf. I figured it fit the motif well enough and got three shirts drawn up.

While the shirts were getting drawn up (they told me it would at least an hour), I decided to walk on down to my local comic book store and engage in some geekdom. I'm a major Wolverine fan so I decided to see what was going on with his arse lately. When I got to the new comics section, I was appalled at what I saw. It was as if Marvel lost their mind and had 50,000 Wolverine titles out. Which one was the most current? Which had the best artwork? How come Wolvie is wearing a pink sash and a bandana in this one? Is he now gay?! I stopped collecting comic books aorund the time I figured out I liked girls and knew collecting comic books wouldn't get me laid (Even quitting never got me laid but at least it was one less obstacle in the courtship process ). That was around 1990-91. So, I decided to finish up reading what the heck happened to the original Wolverine series via the Essenetial Wolverine books where they grab the comic books up, strip out the coloring, and present them to you in a nice format to get caught up. I went up to the counter and asked the guy, "Listen...uhm...what do you recommened to someone who's been out of the game for at least 15 years and would like to know what's going on the Wolverine series...since Marvel has lost their fookin' minds and can't decide on what Wolverine is supposed to be doing?" He laughed and gave me some tips once I was done with the old series. I got a call 25 minutes later telling me the shirts were finished, so I went and picked them up in their glory and was satisfied with the outcome!

In the morning, I got to be a hand actor/model. Basically, they were shooting close ups of someone hanging a picture on the wall. I was actually there when the entire scene was shot originally. However, they didn't have access to the actor who hung up the picture previously. After looking at people's hands, my hands were the closest! So, I did 16 takes of me hanging up a picture! ACTION BABY! All of the "hand job" jokes that came out of this experience I'm sure will be brought up at some point.

As the day of shooting wore on, everyone kept asking me when we were going to give Juan the shirt. I wanted to do it in a fashion where Juan would be recognize by all the extras and staff. So, we decided to hand it to him during lunch. Lunch consisted of box lunches for the extras while the crew got crab legs and steak. As good as the steak smelled, I was perfectly happy with my chicken caesar salad. So, I scarfed up my food and went on my search mission for Juan. Of course, he disappeared for a lot of lunch so we had to sit around. I finally caught him lurking around and asked him to meet up with me when he got some time. He was immediately free so I then went ahead and gathered the folks around. We first christened Juan with his new official moniker for everyone to hear. A big round of applause broke out and caught the attention of the entire cast. We then handed Juan a modified Fanta bottle of orange soda as the first part of our gift pack. We then grabbed a shirt and gave it to him and told him how much we appreciated how cool he was and how much we truly loved him. *Cue AWWWWW track* Another round of applause broke out. He seemed actually shocked and delighted to get such a gift. He was also a bit embarrased due to all of the attention he was getting and turned beet red with a goofy smile on his face I could tell he really did like it! So, that made me feel all warm and gooey on the inside. He thanked us, took his shirt, and sat down by some of the other PAs. We all sat down cracking up and sharing our feelings on his reaction when I overhear, "Yeah! It says 'Esteefler!'" come from the PA table. I bust out laughing some more. I know for a fact that there was a bit of envy going on.

The rest of the day honestly flew by. Juan seemed genuinely touched by the gesture and walked around with a smile on his face . I got to know more of the extras walking around and worked on building my MySpace friend's list. I successfully drained the battery on my phone talking to various people to pass the time. Around 11 PM I got called up to shoot a scene! YEAH! I felt greasy and hairy but didn't care. I finally got to do something else except share my beautiful knuckles with the world. I ceremoniously got placed in the bagging area with the checker with the lines! YES! SCREEN TIME! We shot the scene multiple times and it was determined that both the checker and the store manager had wrapped up all of their scenes for the movie. Everyone clapped and cheered and a couple of heart-felt speeches were given.

Knowing that they had wrapped, it became photo time for me. Below are some of the pictures I had taken:

The night wore on and things were winding down. I spent a lot of time discussing human behavior on the set with a fellow extra. I promise more on that later once I have postulated everything. Then were were mystically released! Awesome! Then the true "fun time with pictures" began! I got a picture with the writer/director of the film:

Then of course, had to get some cool shots with Juan Fanta, the REAL star of the show :

We wrapped it up, said our goodbyes, got the emails and phone numbers, and went home. I had a lot of fun doing it even though I may have been negative at times. I definitely learned a lot about myself and the people there and walked away a better actor and more importantly a better person.

Now onto the next one!
Currently listening :
Inspiration (includes Bonus DVD)
By William Hung
Release date: By 06 April, 2004

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:

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