Friday, June 17, 2005
After an audition and callback down in Santa Monica, I was called by my agent that they wanted to bok me as the lead in a non-airing spec-commercial.
The audition demonstrated it'd be a funny spot, and I was aware it was for a Director's Reel (to demonstrate he could direct a commercial and/or comedy).
One guy at the audition was baffled about the concept, that it was not An Actual Commercial.
On the phone I spoke with production Supervisor
who gave me the time and location of the audition; down at St. Mary's hospital - a few stops down the
so getting there on time was no problem.
I'm pretty sure it was Sean who told me this was being produced by
(Ridley Scott's production company), with which I'd worked on the cool
"Careful What You Wish For."
Characteristically, I arrived for my 7:30am calltime at 7am.
so he'd/they'd know I was there, and I had breakfast.
Normally it's a food-cooking truck: today it was a caterer who was cooking on a small burner on a long table.
She had us take our thick-cardboard plates and write our orders on them.
As I'd been there longest, my regular order was taken first.
It was okay - finding non-fat milk was almost more challenging.
Over breakfast I met the spot's producer from RSA, Ralph Mohammed.
Upstairs I was introduced to
the director, who was also at the callback.
As I anticipated, there were no trailers: I figured even had there been, I'd probably never see its interior, as the shoot was inside the hospital.
Sure enough, we went up to the fourth floor to where we had the entire floor to ourselves.
A holding room of sorts was set up, and I was brought in for make-up by
Very pleasant and cute, throughout the day she kept making sure I looked my best.
As with the callback audition, the spot contained a few comical vignettes of a
(me), the point being
There Are Some Things Your Can't Mooch.
Following the original storyboard provided at the auditions, the first bit was my being in the bed next to a guy with an IV.
played the IV Patient.
We did a few takes;
gave me various adjustments.
Essentially I was to get his attention ("Hey..."), then (refering to the IV, as though it were a plate of unfinished french fries), ask, "You gonna finish that?"
After numerous varied takes, Adam whispered to me
A Different Line To Say
following the take we were about to do.
So we did the straight take, then, I pulled back the separating curtain again and as though saying the line:
"Hey... how 'bout a hand job?"
Impressively professional, Jim never broke his straight expression, as he slowly began to lean over with his right hand...
We set up in a recreation room for the next scene or three.
One bit started out with
playing chess with
Jerry had been the guy at the audition who was nonplussed about the fact this would not be an airing commercial.
I probably wouldn't have realized it had been he, had he not continued complaining about it even on the set
(and in the holding area...
and at lunch...).
Meanwhile (listed as
background), Sam Nehira was professional and a bit more quiet that most.
The bit included my sitting at their checkers table, and asking "for a hit" of Jerry's oxygen.
This expanded (as early as the callback) to my ignoring his slow, deperate need to get it back, as I smile and ignor him as though he'd not hoping I'll return it.
Jerry was later used for an additional bit, in which he's asleep on a sofa.
I sit down and realize the remote won't turn up the TV's volume, so I snatch Jerry's hearing aid and then I'm fine.
My problem is my external ears
single earphones that are not headsets.
It took me a while to get the dang thing to sit correctly on my ear.
Eventually it was done more as a
Hold It To My Ear
had played the MRI patient at the callback, and had been booked.
Her bit was my mooching her MRI session.
I just hop up next to her as it moves towards the tube.
Adam had been informed there was no way we could use a real MRI.
For one thing, no metal can be near it which is understandable
(as MRI stands for
Adam had been told by the hospital that the production couldn't use an actual MRI unit that was switched off, as it takes a ton o'time to restart them.
"Apparently it'd tear the fabric of space and time," Adam quipped about an MRI ever being shut down and restarted.
So for the spot, a prop MRI unit had been constructed.
Unfortunately, it was accurate enough that safety had not been taken into consideration in its design or construction.
With Cindy already lying on her back, there was
room for me to lie down next to her.
At least, not without my falling off...
I was given an apple box so I could stop onto the large prop unit easily, but I was still way off balance.
In fact at one point I did fall off, and had one of the super quick-reflexed ADs not caught me, I would have fallen on my spine onto the apple box below, and most likely would have slammed my head on the floor.
Thankfully with no injury, I had no complaints, and we continued.
At the time I somehow managed not to complete this report, so it was either some weeks or months later I received my DVD copy of the spot, which when my brother edited together my demo reel, the spec-commercial went first.
Ironically, two subsequent commercials I did, as the lead in the McDonalds regional wild spot and as principal co-star in the 2009 Super Bowl premiering Pedigree spot, I decided when Demo Rell v.2 would be edited together, Mooch would still remain first, its humour being the best of the three.