Friday, August 22, 2008
Return to Camden County, again
The way the buses were running to the Valley, I arrived at crew parking at 8am for my 8:30am calltime.
I was shuttled up past the actual studio
(where most of the interiors for Earl are filmed),
and I was brought to their outdoor trailer-park location, up near Roscoe.
I met DGA Trainee
who provided me with my voucher and around 8:20 brought me to wardrobe.
Wardrobe wasn't immediately ready for me, so I waited around, soon seeing
arrive, his face fully bearded, mountain-man style.
He headed into hair and make-up and later he was back to his "regular Earl" look.
I had spoken to wardrobe on the phone the afternoon before, and was urged to bring "options," which I accurately predicted would not be used for the simple fact of having brought them.
Had I not brought any options, I would have been admonished.
As it was, I worked with
who had me change into a green shirt and brown pants and a burgundy half-apron
(e.g., only at the waist).
Around 9:10 two odd things happened when my phone rang.
One was the fact that the phone was actually ringing, as being on a shoot, I had already had it set on silent.
The other was it being Central Casting calling me:
"We just got a call from My Name Is Earl, wondering where you are."
I was surprised.
"I've been here since around eight," I replied, puzzled.
"I checked in with Joe, got my voucher, and I'm in wardrobe with Zoë right now."
"Oh," she said simply.
"I'll let them know you're there."
(Who I think was)
a second second AD almost immediately popped in, explaining that they there did know I was there: they just didn't know where there I was.
"Central got the message wrong," he figured.
"We thought you might be in one of the trailers and we just didn't know which one."
With my presence and location confirmed, Zoë had me trying on two other shirts and aprons, taking photos and phone-sending them to the wardrobe designer for approval.
Eventually they went with the initial version with which Zoë had provided me, and I checked out Craft Services.
I was told that the crew calltime had been 6am, so catered breakfast service was long since over before my arrival.
So much for a hot meal.
Craft Services didn't have out a whole lot I could use as breakfast, so I consumed a couple of bananas as, wearing a high-end terry-cloth towel bathrobe, the lovely and talented
came to Crafty, greeting me with a cheery, "Hi!"
After eating my "breakfast," I headed back to the "lunchbox"
(a large air conditioned dining room-like trailer which can double as background holding:
we had a similar one for the film
While waiting, I later headed back to Crafty for some soda.
Pleasant good morning greetings were exchanged with a friendly fellow who asked me,
"You once played a teacher on the show, right?"
G.E.D.," I replied.
"Ah yes," he remembered fondly.
"I directed that one too," director
said, introducing himself.
He and I discussed how much we mutually love the show, his concurring that not only is it well written and acted, but he added that as a set it's very light, fun and friendly, which for Mike as a freelance director is great when he gets to work on the show.
Later at my inquiry, Mike affirmed I could send him my demo reel, which a day or two later I did.
The lunchbox trailer has two main doors made of glass in the front, one in the back.
I sat facing the front right door, able to see all the way down past catering and the honeywagon, make-up and wardrobe trailers, so when Joe began purposefully heading my way, I was prepared and came out to meet him halfway.
I was told it'd be about ten minutes.
Not really one for much friendly conversation, Joe told me he'd earlier meant to show me what I'd be doing, and he led me out of the lot to the sidewalk, over to where my little ice cream push-cart awaited.
Joe requested I wait there
(albeit sans any sort of chair).
I had met super pleasant second second assistant director
on my initial arrival, and she was on hand as they got ready to move over to where we were to shoot.
While we waited, Stacy provided me with a copy of the day's sides over which I could go
(sides are reduced pages of the script that are relevant to that day's shooting schedule).
Thankfully it wasn't long of a wait at all.
came up and introduced himself.
I couldn't help but realize and say aloud, "Oh that's right, you're 'Sleepwalker Paul'...!"
He seemed amused I realized who he was from his two uncredited appearances on the series
(what can I say: I enjoy DVD audio commentaries, my long since having acquired
the show's first two seasons' DVD box sets).
Paul gave me the run down of the action involved
(remember that I do not believe in providing storyline spoilers myself
[such information generally being readily available Elsewhere notwithstanding],
I only provide indications of where I can be seen at what point: unless the bit for this episode is omitted due to episode time constraints, you'll see me easily enough).
Bart and I did a quick run-through so the camera people would know what would be happening.
It was pretty simple: down a sidwalk in a straight line I push my cart, with "Earl" just behind, pacing me.
Recognizing me, Jason came up and shook my hand heartily, saying, "Hey there: great to see you again!"
Mike told us it'd be two angles: one from across the street, a wide "tableau'ee," as he put it.
A few minutes later when Mke and Jason were speaking together just off the curb, a large pick-up like truck suddenly pulled up, the driver recognizing Jason.
"Oh, man!" he exclaimed through his open passenger side window.
"You are the best...!"
Still standing next to Jason, with a wide smile, quick-witted Mike instantly replied, "Why thank you...!"
Missing the joke, the driver just said, "Not you: you," pointing at Jason.
Jason started to laugh as he and the driver touched knuckles, as the driver continued, "Man, I've smoked a lot o'weed watchin' your movies...!"
And without another word, the guy simply drove off.
As John Cleese once said, that's the sort of comedy one can't write into a script: no one would believe it.
Jason and I did one walk through, then three takes on the wide angle.
They brought the camera to our side of the street for the straight-on angle, our approaching the camera.
We did three or four takes and they checked the gate.
It was barely after 11am and my work was done.
Mike thanked me and Jason not only posed for a photo with me, he held out the camera for the two-shot.
As I made my final preparations to leave, along with their guardians several of the children arrived for a scene to be shot later.
One of the mothers, Marlena, introduced me to adorable fellow Taurus
Katherine Teresa Scott,
who would be part of the park scene at the episode's climax.
Joe signed me out at noon, and as the location was slightly south of Roscoe Boulevard, I simply caught the 152 bus taking me directly to the North Hollywood Red Line station.
Ironically I probably should have accepted the offer of the shuttle back to the crew parking and begun busing from from there.
The 152 route is long and circuitous enough that by the time I was home it was almost 3pm.
On set, the sides, and on my voucher, this was listed as being the fifth episode of the season, so at the time I presumed the fourth season episode would air Thursday, October 16th, based on the
season premiere scheduled date,
as well as the season's second episode, both scheduled to air Thursday, September 25th.
It turned out my presumption became inaccurate...