Monday, September 19, 2005
Demoted cook [and nearly buried Badger]...
Friday while still on the
set, I was contacted by my calling service, being notified I was booked for Monday on the TV series
Sons & Daughters,
filming in Pasadena.
I already knew that, ironically,
was also to be filming that day in Pasadena (my then-booked seven days for that feature was at the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills).
My calltime was 7:15am, and as I take the bus to Pasadena a lot, I knew exactly which one to take, and I arrived at the crew parking by 6:30am... a little earlier than even I'd actually anticipated.
I was shuttled to the location, the coffee shop/restaurant
and, being early, I was shown where was our production's catering truck where I had breakfast.
I discovered this was some reshoot scenes for the pilot for the series, which I already knew was scheduled for a
March 2005 start,
as a mid-season replacement on
A similar scripted improv-style such as
Curb Your Enthusiasm,
Sons & Daughters
is mostly hand-held cameras and (as
at one point indicated),
"Five minutes of improv to get a one minute scene."
I was booked to play a cook for the episode, the day's shoot involving three scenes that in the episode were three different days.
Now I have no firsthand knowledge and can only base my conclusions based on results, but it
as though one AD
(at the time I was certain it was the 1st AD),
based on results, seemed to have something against me personally.
In the first scene I was placed in the deep background with my back to the camera, I presumed (being the cook an'all), so I could be used later.
Later however, he wouldn't place me in the kitchen area, even after wardrobe put me into the cook jacket (their being fully aware of my cook "status," and such being right on my voucher).
I sat through the second scene shot, out of camera range.
After lunch, he declared I was going to become a "civilian," and I was "demoted" to restaurant patron.
I had learned that the actor playing the brother
played by the lovely
the episode's director and series co-creator.
They filmed the scene between Cameron and Jenna as Jenna indicates her passion for singing.
I was just outside of camera range again, but for a retake of the scene, I was brought forward and with another guy, was placed into a corner booth where I/we could view and react to her singing.
Then a cameraman took up right in front of our booth table.
I still watched as though I were part of the scene, watching Amanda (as Jenna) get up to sing Paula Abdul's
to demonstrate to her brother her fearlessness of even bursting into song in a restaurant.
Her back was to me, but I watched and reacted as though I were camera visible.
I was visible to the affable
who, after the take, wanted some reaction shots of patrons, and insisted on a close-up of me watching and reacting.
The 1st AD seemed measurably resistant to this idea (of my getting a close-up), but his attempt/s to have the director move on was veto'd by the director, and they filmed a couple of takes me watching and reacting.
To avoid any glare, we worked it so at the moment of My Reveal (Amanda moving so the camera had a clear shot of me), I removed my glasses as though better to see her.
Showing my glasses come off maintained continuity should any previous shot show me as I'd been wearing them.
We were wrapped at 4:18pm, meaning unlikely any official overtime.
I thanked the pleasant crew members with whom I worked (Mike,
providing them with my contact-information card.
Fred Goss thanked me personally, indicating having loved my/The Look I gave Amnda.
I had learned that early in the day he had gone to the wrong production catering truck: that he had gone to the
catering truck by mistake!
I told him
(apart from my having
done close to the same thing on a commercial shoot
that synchronistically, I'd been working
all the previous week, and would again be back on the the following day, albeit in Beverly Hills.