Sunday March 20, 2011
The day was filled on and off with rains and downpours and very brief respites therefrom.
My friend and I did some shopping at CostCo, after which he brought me down to Hollywood and dropped me off at Bette's place.
Bette drove us down and despite very slow, rain and accident-laden traffic, we managed to arrive at 5:01pm for our 5pm calltime
(when she suspected we might be late, we called Nick to let him know).
As it was, due to the rain and a flat tire, our special effects and make-up artist
arrived about ten minutes after we'd arrived.
While Nick went over stuff with Better, Brittany began working on applying my prostethic make-up she'd created.
There was no money in the budget to have done a lifemask of me, but she also was not provided in time any reference photographs, so she was unaware I have a rather short upper lip.
The prostethic has a "regular" lip, so the entire face was a bit off-kilter.
However, once applied
(which was trickier than expected, due to the high humidty making the adhesive a bit stubborn),
it gave even more surreal a look, the upper lip even creating a weird crooked aspect that gave the appearance of perhaps a years-earlier stroke or such.
While working on me, literally for about three or four hours,
Brittany and I conversed about all sorts of topics; understandably intelligent, her knowledge of pop culture knowledge
(and interest in spooky stuff),
let us enjoyably discuss various subjects.
The friendly Zoey
(on boom mic, but assisted Brittany when needed),
was a bit more creeped out by certain ghost stories Brittany and I were sharing, but not in a bad way.
Zoey slightly enjoyed the creepiness, but not to the extent she'd probably ever go on a ghost hunt.
Brittany was also running special effects, having done such on various October Haunted House themed attractions.
For the scripted ending involving a rather nasty projectile excremental discharge, she created a concoction of peanut butter, chocolate, instant mashed potaoes, with a full bottom of vanilla extract to combat the odour; said touch which didn't really help, but wasn't as bad.
As she worked, we discussed various directors and special effects make-up people, which appeared to surprise her I knew about them.
When I was done, and as Bette began having her prosthetic applied, Nick and crew shot my early Benjamin scenes in the short.
When I'd get home later I was aghast of the various photos I'd had taken with my camera, I only had a couple of shots taken of me in the coffin, not in the Confederate uniform throughout the rest of the short
(lots of on-set photos were taken throughout the night, Nick assured me I'd receive copies).
Nick was a bit put put at first with the "costume" he'd had to acquire, as it looked extremely cheap and Bad Costume Shop'esque.
While I concurred it resembled the sort one would use for an amatuer dramatics society, considering my make-up having me resembled a cross between
Little Big Man,
as the Master-aged
(in the episode The Last of the Time Lords),
House of Dark Shadows,
the uniform costume actually Worked.
We broke for "lunch" around 10:30pm.
Subway sandwiches had been brought in, to the horror of vegetarians Brittany and Zoey, and myself
(not a vegetarian: I just don't eat Subway).
As there was a nearby Wendys and they'd already obtained some Pepsi for me
(as the only beverage out with which they'd started was water and bottled tea, and with my Pepsi they brought coffee for those who drink that),
my regular Double Cheeseburger plain was procured for me
(Wendys technically is less expensive now, as I only get their burger, what with their having discontinued serving Wendys delicious fries, Wendys having replaced their fries with Carls Jr. and/or In & Out fries).
I managed to consume my burger despite my prosthetic "mask," but understandably Brittany had to touch it up as predictably the foam latex came away from my upper lip.
With Bette done up as Clara, we spent the rest of the night filming the scene, as rain returned, stopped, returned again not only with a vengence but tremendous thunder claps and impressively massive lightning flashes.
As the closing shot literally could only be One Take, thank gods it worked... mostly.
Initially Brittany had been experiment with an air cannon, and had deliberately exaggerated its dangers to preclude anyone touching it
(while my make-up was being done the crew had their safety meeting in which that was mentioned, as well as the strange instruction "not to talk to the talent;" Brittany and Zoey and I had been merrily chatting away for well over an hour by then so we decided that that added prohibition would not count for the two ladies).
When it came to the scene, realizing it would be Me on the floor, Brittany re-emphasized that sometimes... (not always but sometimes...), the slender PVC pipe could... shatter.
Thankfully she also had with her a manual pump, which while would not spray the room like an air cannon, would still certainly create a ghastly rectum-volcanic effect.
We reshot my collapse, so I ended up face down.
A small slit was cut into my pants rear, and I'd already set up myself for my left arm to be outstetched; I suggested to Brittany she could lead the flexible slender tube through my sleeve and down my jacket to the pants.
Brittany had added hot water to the unrefridgerated concoction to regain its liquidity, and stirred it with her gloved hand until we were ready to shoot.
The tube was ready, the camera rolled, and Brittany started pumping.
For a moment she feared it was not working, when suddenly... it started to emerge.
Though I could not see it, I could feel it.
The liquid nightmare belched forth and, due to the inadvertant slight angle of the hose, it shot not exactly straight, but right up onto my right leg.
It was such I suspected the hose was not aligned with the hole and was shooting down my pants leg.
Then I felt a massive surge land on my thigh, as the crew could not help themselves as they began laughing hysterically.
Due to the grotesque nature of the proceedings
(as well as everyone else's contagious laughter),
I could not help but chuckle as well, hoping my involuntary movements could be interpreted as death spasms.
We were finally wrapped.
Brittany removed Bette's make-up first, as I had to shower
(thankfully the location was a home).
Before the effect, Nick helped me wrap my lower torso and top of my legs with industrial-strength paper towels Brittany had brought, which also were used in the clean-up of the mess.
They got off my pants and the paper towels indeed protected most of my body
(and I spent the shoot barefoot).
The shower cleaned off the rest of me, from the water I kept clear my head due to the make-up.
Ironically the prosthetics which had been such a challenge to apply, were being equally reluctant to be removed.
I drowsed as Brittany worked on Bette; whilse I'd been in the shower Zoey had departed so I was unable to provide her directly with my contact information as well as the information on the
weekly radio show I co-host,
but Brittany and Zoey are friends so with my info in hand, Brittany assured me she'd get to Zoey the information.
While waiting, I noted my prosthetic's lips had again become undone.
From the mouth I was able to pull away from my face the nose and part of the cheek.
It still took a considerable amount of time to get off the rest when Brittany began to work on me.
Bette and I literally were free by about 9am.
Nick again thanked us for our work, and assured us we'd receive DVD copies as soon as possible.
The morning traffic heading back north wasn't so bad; much of the rain had dissapated.
Bette had assured me she would drive me all the way home in the event of rain, across which we came as we approached Pasadena.
As we came into a non-raining area, she dropped me off about four miles shy of where I was staying; based on results instead of getting directions on her iPhone right To My Place, she had figured out sort of which bus would get me home, and dropped me off there.
Once home I slept in for a few hours before learning the following day I had another audition, this time for the NY Film Academy...