Black Team OneSo what would get a person to go to Arizona in the middle of summer? Well, for me, it was the opportunity to film a small scene in a web series called Black. Black is a web series about a covert operations team: Black Team One. Season one was filmed on a budget of $10,000. That’s it. In Hollywood, you’re lucky if that gets you just the permission to film at a location much less actually filming. But Frank T. Ziede, Power Forward Films, and P3 Mediaworks made six kickass 4-5 minute episodes for season one on that budget. So imagine what they can do with the $50,000 they raised through Kickstarter for season two!

Two of the stars of Black, Mikal Vega and Mark Golden were on hand to film. Mikal Vega stars as Carnahan in the series. Mikal is a 22 year Navy veteran that includes service as a SEAL. He has been in Transformers 3 & 4, Dallas, TMNT, and The Last Ship, just to name a few. He is also the founder of an organization called Vital Warrior that helps soldiers recover from trauma received while serving in the military.

Mark Golden plays Golden in the series. He spend over 10 years in the Navy, with 8 of them in the SEALS. He was also in Transformers 3 (Dark if the Moon) and owns his own line of clothing called Cannon Drive.

Frank Ziede (creator, writer, director) joined in the scene as well as Chuck and Cindy, who run Ascent Aviation where we were filming. Chris Renteria was the other backer in this particular scene. I’m not going to go into detail about what we film because I want you all to enjoy it without too many spoilers. It was filmed on a airplane that was getting ready to be parted out and recycled. That meant, no power. Which in turn meant hot 🙂 Granted it was not as hot as it could have been. The airplane had been aired out a few days prior to our arrival. It had also been quite cloudy for a few days prior, too. I arrived Friday. Sunday, when we filmed, was the first time the sun had really been out at all.

This is a video of the cockpit of the airplane we used. You can hear Max & Jon talking in the background. It is short but in full high def so about 50MB in size.

Video of Airbus 757 cockpit

Pretty cool getting see all the buttons and switches in a plane and realizing someone actually knows what to do with them all.

Once Max & Jon had the lighting and everything set, we were ready to get started. We had a quick walk through so everyone know what they were doing & where their marks were and then BAM! Filming began. It took about 2 1/2 hours or so, though not all of it was filming. Some were resetting for different angles. It gave us time to chat with each other and learn what brought us there. Everything was very laid back but when it came time to do the job, everyone was on it.

Once filming was done inside, all the gear was brought down. It was almost cooler by that time outside as long as you stood in the shade under the plane. There was a quick shot to do outside of Mikal & Golden and then it was done. We hung out to chat a bit more and take pictures but then everyone was off to the airport or to drive to their day jobs. It was a short but extremely fun experience. I got to spread my acting wings a little, though I think I still prefer behind the camera to in front of it 🙂

Hopefully by the end of the year, the new season of Black will be airing on the web!

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Hanger at Ascent Aviation where we filmed. This was not the plane we used. The plane we used was sitting on a concrete pad with a bunch of other waiting to be scrapped.
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Cockpit of the Airbus 757 we used.
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Looking out the main door. Tucson airport is over the fence.
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The center door on the right side of planing looking at another plane that has started the scrapping process.
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Looking from the cockpit door down the aisle.
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First class back to coach.
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Left to right Chuck, Frank, & Jon chatting after filming.
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After filming, Mikal and I discussed what we thought the clouds were. The bottom one we agreed was an ant. The top one looks a bit like a scorpion. Appropriate for AZ considering there are lots of both.
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Mikal & Frank after filming.
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Mikal & Chuck
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Chris (another donor to the cause), Mark Golden (play Golden in the series), Frank, & Cindy.
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Packing up after filming.
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Never go anywhere without toilet paper. Including filming on a defunct airplane.
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Mikal, Frank, & Golden goofing off for pictures.
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Jon taking pics of the guys goofing around.
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Yes, Mikal is liking Frank.
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We really are trying to line up for pictures.
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Left to right: Chris, Chuck, Cindy, Golden, Mikal, me, Frank, & Max. Jon is taking the pictures. Chuck and Cindy are the proprietors of Ascent Aviation.
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Frank & Chris
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Frank & I.
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Black Team One patch. Luck has nothing to do with it.