Monday, September 05, 2005

MTV: Wrap-Up

The last three days of the shoot can be wrapped up in a single post-I'm ready to write on other things and I'm sure you're ready to read something new. However, I'll try my best to go over all the main points.

Day Four

This was the last day at Washington High. We started with some shots of the guys spinning tires with the camera angle low shooting up into their faces (this was not alot of fun in the 115 degree heat). The crew used their rental car to put up on blocks to substitute for the Dean's car. These shots took a while, but also lended to some creativity. In between takes we hopped on the golf cart provided by the school and improvised a rail shot. We held the camera on the cart as the guys walked "Reservoir Dogs" style towards the camera. It looked pretty cool (as far as a bunch of teenagers walking can look "cool").

We moved inside for the latter part of the day. They were basically classroom scenes of the Dean coming over the loudspeaker announcing that the "Seniors ruled." This more or less did happen. It was the lone thing the Dean actually did that we had asked of him. We filmed this announcement and the ensuing celebration (didn't happen) that included Mike Ransom jumping on a desk and ripping off his shirt.

Also during this scene an extra tried to tell me, Mike Ransom and Anthony Chavez (all pretty big kids) that swimming was a more physical sport than football, hockey and rugby combined. This was a kid who a day or two earlier had stopped filming because his sunglasses had gotten moved. This earned him the nickname "Hollywood." So I already hated Hollywood, and here he was telling me and my friends that because he was a swimmer he could kick my ass. As you can imagine this did not go over well with us. Words got so heated that Ryan had to step in. He later told Chavez and I that he was hoping that the kid took a swing at us so we could kick his ass. Hollywood won't ever be in Hollywood, that much I'm sure of.

We wrapped with me getting a crew shirt from Joelle (she took off early with some more footage to bring back to New York). John Howard and I spent the last few minutes of daylight as extras walking around Chavez as we walked into the Dean's office.

Day Five

Day Five was mostly spent in and around a garage. This was supposed to be the "Planning" stage where the guys are all working on a car and magically come up with the plan. I got a lot of time to work with lights now that we weren't in such a time pressure crunch. Each setup took a lot of time to get right. We didn't want lights reflecting off of the car. But on the other hand the car created a lot of shadows that masked people's expressions and since this was one of the few scenes with important dialogue we needed to see faces.

Other times little things that didn't seem all that important to me (for instance the placement of a rug) took a few different time to get right.

The day did move quickly as the heat was not as unbearable as days past due to some rain. We did some other pick up shots of various students carrying equipment and wrapped almost on time.

Day Six

The last day we worked was basically divided into two half days. The first half day we spent shooting in and around TG's house. We got some shots of TG and a few other guys driving cars as well. This was interesting because Steve was running behind schedule and Ryan kept pushing to get to the thrust of the day. The car shots were unplanned. Biz also took the time to get some nice shots of Phoenix off of Camelback Mountain during the car shots. It's a breathtaking view that will probably add a nice touch if they are used.

The second half of the day we spent around Brophy. We shot all exteriors since the school was so uncooperative. What exactly their problem was being associated with this show I'll never understand. MTV was willing to pay them per day over a thousand dollars. But I digress. I directed foot traffic around the cameras, which was a chore since a school down the road had just gotten out. I enjoyed messing around with Steve and Biz and talking about some funny Brophy stories.

But all good things must come to an end. When Steve finally decided they had all that they needed they loaded up the car and we had to say our good-byes. For all it's problems the entertainment industry is a really wonderful business. Each project develops relationships and brings people together more like a family than most people probably realize. I hadn't mentioned it, but Chavez came down for the last day of shooting just to hang out. The relationships that were forged with Steve, Ryan, Biz and Keith in five days can take months or even years in other settings.

And all in all relationships are all that really matters in life.

I hope you've enjoyed reading this little saga. I'll get back to more regular posting soon.


Anonymous Mike Hath said...

Greg, I'm pretty sure you had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the Dean's car prank.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

god, im so hot - chavez

6:28 PM  
Blogger greg said...


Go back and read.

I was called because they wanted to interview someone about it.

It turned out I could do production work.

I never said I was part of anything other than the FUCKERS, which I helped found.


1:35 PM  
Anonymous Mike Hath said...

I can derelict my own balls, thank you.

10:07 AM  

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