(Preface: This may get a little rambling and not always just about the filming but about other things/thoughts that went through my head or I’m reminded of as I type this out. I hope you’ll bear with me 🙂 )
Well technically I guess it should Night 1. I had to work Friday before heading out for filming. My boss, who is great and been super supportive of me in this as well as most of the staff in my office, let me off 30 minutes early so I had plenty of time to get there. I got to Sea-Tac with time to grab a bite to eat and a drink. Definitely needed the drink more than food. Anxiety & nerves are such a fun combo to fly with for me. I already have issues with motion sickness as it is which is why I travel with mint tea & sugared ginger. Helps my stomach greatly!
Happily my flight went smoothly. Couldn’t sleep. Watched an episode of Agents of Shield and played cribbage on my tablet to pass the time. Didn’t take long at all to get my luggage. The rental car however… that’s a different story, LOL! I specifically went with Enterprise due to their reputation. There were about 20 people on the bus and only 2 agents. But wait! You can use the machine over there —> if you have a reservation. Okay, so I gave that a try. Only the machine was charging me $20 more for the car than my reservation said. So back to the line for the counter. Got that straightened out. Then out to another line to wait for an agent to take me to my car. Which, so nicely, was sitting out in the dark parking lot instead of under the lighted cover. Made trying to dial the combination on the dials of the black lock on the luggage so much fun, LOL! But I needed the windshield mount for my phone for navigation so I had to open it.
Once that was in hand, I settled in the car to get everything adjusted and call Scott to let him know I was there and find out where to meet. They were on set doing some filming so he gave me the address and I let him get back to work. I programmed the address into my Nav app whom I call Oliver. He has a lovely British accent and I’ve never had any problems with his directions…. until now. I forget how some of the on/off ramps are in LA and Oliver was a little vague some times about which way to go until it was too late. Then he’d cop an attitude when he’d have to “recalculate”. I was seriously waiting for him to tell me to pull the damn car over and get someone who can follow directions to drive, LOL!
Finally found the street I needed and holy crap! Whomever thought building the street like that needs a solid kick to the head. Barely wide enough for 2 cars and one side of the street people parked along so really it was only one car of driving lane. And twisted and windy. Finally found the address! But I also needed some place to park. Come to find out there were 2 movie shoots going on within a couple of houses of each other. I knew they weren’t filming at the house that I had the address for so I had to chose which of the other 2 houses was the right one. You know, kind of like the whole Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade thing… “Chose wisely”. I would have totally died if that was the scene because I picked wrong the first time. Over to the other house I go and asked where Scott & Jack were. The nice guy I asked let me know they weren’t filming and walked me into the house.
I still had a huge bundle of nerves, excitement, and anxiety running through me as I walked in. I saw Lesli first and got a hug from her and she took me over to Scott and got a nice big gear loaded hug from him! Oh and when I say gear loaded, I mean he was in military gear for the shoot… just wanna clear the air on that 😀 We chatted a bit about how my trip down was. He asked if I’d talked to Jack yet, which I hadn’t, so went over to him to say hi. He too was in gear for the shoot. Had a short conversation before he continued on with what he was doing. Scott and I chatted a bit more, though a lot of my focus was on just breathing so I wouldn’t pass out 🙂 And then went out side where they were setting things up for the filming.
Not going to go into too much detail about what was being filmed. Don’t want to give anything away so you’ll just have to watch the movie 😉 I’ll say there was a grenade, insurgents, a girl, and the good guys involved. As Scott went off to do his thing, I talked with Lesli and some of the other actors & crew on set. Everyone I talked to was so incredibly friendly to this strange person who just walked on set. The common thread that connected all these people was the fact they are ex-Military, from all different branches and countries even, who turned to the entertainment industry as a profession when they left the service. One of the actors was Wil Willis who has his own show on the Military Channel called Triggers. Very awesome that such an actor would be involved with the show. The production has quite a few highly know actors/actresses in it that I will mention along way.
I watched with fascination as they’d set up for the scene, do blocking, do a rehearsal or two so everyone would know what they’re doing, make sure the cameras had a the angle they needed to get the shot, then shoot it. Then it’d all happen again as they made adjustments or did a retake because something didn’t go quite right. Then they’d setup for the reverse angles. Run through and shoot it all some more times. And finally again for the the insert/close up shots. The real wow was then seeing it on the camera.
The cameras that they used blew me away too. Not the kind I’d seen or used years ago in college. Basically high end and probably high def DSLRs. I’m going to have to look at my Nikon D60 and see if it does video. It’ll be a cool way to document so off-road adventures. Back to the set though… I saw some of the footage on both the camera’s that were being used to shoot the scene. Like I said… just WOW! And that’s before any editing or post production is done.
Had a little pyrotechnics going on too. Not an explosion or anything. That would have made for some very unhappy neighbors at midnight! Just some fire to help simulate the grenade explosion. Pretty simple set up for the effect and it looked good on camera.
They also shot a brief bit for Wil Willis’ character and then some different POV shots of Jack & Scott being knocked down by the grenade explosion. Each time they changed what they were shooting it’d require relighting & restaging most everything. It’s no joke when they say film making is a lot of HURRY UP! and wait. But the fun part of the waiting for me was getting to talk to everybody and hear their stories.
Oh and before I forget to talk about it, the location we were at… It was a big house, on top of a hill, that was in the throws of a remodel that never got off the ground. I’d say the inside was 95% unfinished. Just studs, some plywood, and one enclosed room that we would end up filming in on Saturday. Dust, dirt, debris everywhere! But for what was being filmed, it worked perfectly! The outside was better kept unless you looked down to the mass of overgrown foliage (jungle) on the lower patio/garden/whatever-it-was-used-for area. The main entry way had a curved patio area with a waist high column border/railing going round it that led to the stairs going down to the jungle. Stone tiles were used for the floor. There was a small, unfinished balcony above with clear plexi-glass half wall. I have pictures but I didn’t get the owner’s permission to post them so I’m hesitate to do so. Afraid you’ll just have to make do with my rather crappy descriptions. Should brush up on my architecture terminology. Again, though, it all worked well for the where the action is supposed to take place.
By the time everything was done for the night, it’s was about 3am. I was 90 minutes of shy of having been up for 24 hrs. Didn’t feel like though. I really was quite awake thanks to the adrenaline, anxiety, nerves, and whatever else was running through my body. Scott, Lesli, and I were sent on our way with a noon call time. Plenty of time to get back to their place and get a good night… umm… morning’s sleep. Ha! If only 🙂
To be continued…