Friday, May 28, 2010

"Everybody hold for the train!"

I was cast in this movie the way every actor dreams of being cast. I walked into Jetset Studios one day, came face to face with Rob and Vaughn, and Rob asked Vaughn, “How about him?” Vaughn nodded, turned to me and asked, “Want to be the lead in a movie?”

After a great table read where I got to know the most of the cast (many of them were people I already knew, which is always fun), we were off and running. There were many things that impressed the hell out of me on this shoot. The main thing was everybody’s unflinching commitment.

Many of us have been on countless movie sets, so we all know what a difference it makes if everybody is in good spirits and is, as Vaughn says, “Throw Down.” Well, everybody here was about as “Throw Down” as could be and it made for a great shooting experience. That’s not to say there were some drawbacks, of course. There always are. But they were quite minimal considering this was a no-budget movie where the majority of it was shot in a space where a train crossed every few minutes. (Poor Kelly.)

It is now months later. Shooting has finished. I can only imagine Vaughn is close to picture-lock. People ask me all the time what the movie is about and to this day I can’t help but say, “You got a minute?” After about five minutes of an explanation and seeing the wide-eyed expression of the listener, I always end up saying, “You’ll just have to see it.”

I for one, am very excited.

SHOOT RECAP - sets built and to build

When you’re budget is less than it takes for Tom Cruise to exist for five seconds, ya gotta pick and choose where to go full auto. Luckily we had the Real Deal doing the sets, his over 20 years in the biz didn’t hurt either. Deal did all the picking and choosing, deciding what extremes, from leaving a location exactly as it was to building an entire set from scratch.
On the very first day was one such extreme, where Real Deal, his trusted Art Director Katia, and sidekick Hector(also an actor that day) built the Lord of Evil and Darkness entire lair from an empty room in the Kid Friendlies basement. Deal also created the front porch of Marty’s trashed house, using a bunch of props already around the KF’s front yard area.
D$ pad went to both extremes. $ abode is a production designers dream. Real Deal took one look at this wonder and said “gotta use this place and not changing a thing’. D$ back porch looked so AMAZING we switched up a scene just to use it. Back yard didn’t need much changing, just a puffy sword hitting 4x4, which kept getting knocked out of it’s base. The living room was an entirely different situation, where Deal did do his dealing, completely transforming the place with props-props-PROPS, inclusive of a big Asteroids arcade machine.
And speaking of props, the Deals went all out on ‘em for this flick. The downtown location and Gina’s we’re pretty much left intact, cept for ALL THE PROPS the deals got from all over Los Angeles, fully transforming said locations to fit our needs. 
Over at Jet Set the Deal moved every piece of furniture to get just the right look for the master shot, transforming the place with what else, props. Most of ‘em this time made by master craftswoman Katia and the Deal himself.
Shannon’s place was the other extreme. A location as so perfect nothing was needed to be done. Just shooting. 
Same went for Squaresville and the Candy store too.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

SHOOT RECAP - locations

One of the Real Deal’s main mantras is GANG UP LOCATIONS, and who wouldn’t want to listen to the Real Deal. So to stay on schedule we shoot out as much as we could at each and every location. 
Schedules being the BIG mess that they were, this turned out to be a great strategy. Not  only did it allow for less days of shooting, it also meant being able to set up camp in one place then shoot, shoot, shoot.
Here’s the break down:
The Kid Friendlies pad was Marty’s house, the Lord of Evil and Darkness’ bedroom, and the location of an outdoor pay phone.

D$ pad was Ronald’s playroom, Reed’s kitchen, Reed’s backyard, Reed’s porch, and Lucky’s lair.

Gina’s pad was Ronald’s house, Ronald’s living room, King Taco’s bedroom, a mysterious place Fran walks to.

T Barlo’s was Esmeralda’s house and Reed’s living room.

The Jones’ was Fran’s family room, Fran’s Bathroom, a nondescript room, a random city street.

Shannon’s old pad was Fran’s kitchen, Fran’s bedroom, Fran’s living room.

Our mysterious down town location was all things the vortex of destiny interior and exterior, where characters play music, get stoned and talk shit about each other.

A road off the 14 served up all kinds exterior scene stuff.

So did another road WAY off the 14

Jet set was Voltage management’s lobby, Rick’s office, and a place to shoot green screen.

The Set General’s another place to shoot Green Screen

So was a Church parking lot

There were also some one offs like Squaresville

and the Candy store

And just out on the road and city in general.