"My work as an actor on location/set
is to have the Producer's and Director's visions
up on the screen !"
- - Badger
Badger in Stealing Stanford
er, Say Uncle
um, that is to sayUncle
No wait now it's back to beingSay Uncle and, d'oh, now they've changed it again
from The Promise to You Promisednow it's finally
Monday, March 26 2001:
I got a call from Glen at Central Casting regarding my availability for an interview the next day for a movie (as "usual" the title and relevant information was not revealed), as well as my availability (if booked) for an April 10th shoot.
As always I arrived for the interview (as I would for a shoot) about a half-hour early.
A pleasant surprise: pleasant
was running things!
I'd had the honour of working for Jim twice before: first for the feature comedy
Dude, Where's My Car?
and then for an episode of
Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
Apparently in this comedy (then still) titled Say Uncle, I would be one of numerous grooms in a montage of Failed Marriages of one of the female characters.
The distinction this time being, my character actually would have a name:Mr. Leon.
We were informed the director as being actor (and Kids in the Hall alumnus)
We were brought in two and three at a time.
I went in with a rival actor (up for the same role) with the distinctive
surname of Flunk (or Phlunk).
Flunk has a distinctly different look than I (slightly older, definitely taller and balder), but as it was indicated through Jim that Mr. Leon would be made-up to be rather flamboyant
I wasn't sure which route they'd want to go with it.
Very affable, Bruce put us at ease making jokes about his hair being a Shatner-esque wig. He inquired as to the Most Fun [Acting] Job on which each of us had worked.
"I'd say probably
Dude, Where's My Car?,"
"They had us wearing Speedo's and Bubble-Wrap Jumpsuits."
"Whoa," he realized with the faintest hint of a chuckle.
"You'll do just about anything"
I hoped such a comment was a good sign
Bruce indicated there was a "lot of work" (implying, I would think, if one of us didn't get the Mr. Leon role, that that actor could yet be booked as background or such).
Jim signed us out.
Friday, March 30 2001:
I came home from my day job to two messages on my machine: one from Steve at Central that I had been selected to play Mr. Leon
and asking for me to call to arrange a wardrobe fitting.
The second call was from Joyce Cogan (doing the film's wardrobe).
I left a message on Steve's voicemail confirming I got his message, and that I'd heard from and would call back Joyce.
Joyce verified my measurements and we arranged my wardrobe fitting for Tuesday April 3rd.
She indicated the flamboyant nature of Mr. Leon that the outfit would be "Prince-like," (not to be confused with royalty: we're talkin' the Artist now known again as Prince, formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince).
Of course when I hear words like "flamboyant" and "ruffled shirt" in the same sentence my mind goes to Jon Pertwee as Doctor Who
Tuesday, April 03, 2001:
I got to the fitting where I met wardrobe coordinator Joyce Cogan.
They narrowed it down to two outfits: one had ivory pants and an aqua/cyan ruffled shirt and same-colour jacket.
The other was brown leopard-like pattern with amber coloured beads.
They preferred the aqua/cyan outfit, but were aware that Bruce may want the brown one.
Monday, April 09, 2001:
The other day at the Orlando Jones 7Up Race Car commercial on which I worked, I met an extra who put me onto the
online at which one can see what films are being done On Location (as, to film, they need permits). Note: the EIDC site no longer carries that function.
I found that Say Uncle had taken out a permit at the Dockweiler Beach, which map programs such as Yahoo! and Excite were unable to recognize.
Finding it manually in the Thomas Guide, I saw it as a long stretch of beach to the west of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
After work I stopped at the MTA office and got schedules for all buses in that area, no matter from what direction I might have to arrive.
As it turned out, I got a page from Angelique from Central indicating my calltime was 10am and the number for the information details line, I called it, but it was about something totally different.
Concerned, I tried calling Steve but got a voicemail.
Thankfully I still had Joyce Cogan's number, and she gave me Central's number (the one for which I had being no longer in service).
I got hold of Angelique who assured me the information line would be updated and to check in after 7pm.
She'd neglected to mention that in her message.
Around 4:30 or so, Steve returned my call, reporting the line had been updated and was available.
I immediately checked it: apart from the update that the film was now "only" titled
(formerly it was titled Say Uncle, and according to my research, it was originally titled
Stealing Stanford), the location at which we were to arrive was the Methodist Church at Wilshire and Plymouth, and that from there we'd be shuttled to the location.
A few hours later I got another page, updating my calltime to 11:00am.
This was sounding less and less like an overtime day
Tuesday, April 10, 2001:
Via the #210 bus I arrived at Wilshire and Plymouth at 10:40am.
I was taken to make-up where I was worked on by Dave.
At one point, star
came in for a slight touch-up for the scene she was doing (one of the weddings) in the church.
Just as lovely in person, she pleasantly introduced herself to me and was pleased to learn I was her Mr. Leon.
Dave was working on me diligently, and as Megan went to leave she admired the make-up done on me thus far and, tapping my shoulder, told me she'd see me in a bit.
I figure it took about 50 minutes for the entire make-up, and flamboyant it was!
Apart from the facial make-up, I was given huge false eyelashes and heavy eye make-up.
One of the ladies began to work on my hair, and while I indicated my having been told I'd be in a wig, they concurred just using my own hair should be (comically) sufficient.
I was brought to wardrobe but before I could be provided my duds, the call came in for me to return to make-up so Bruce could look over the work.
He liked it, and made a few humourous suggestions about the hair, specifically a possible spit-curl (which he called a stud-curl, jokingly referring to his own hair).
Megan was back in her own make-up chair, being made up for the new (her and my) wedding scene.
After Bruce left, Megan mischievously indicated how at one time she had a small crush on Bruce (strangely enough, particularly when he was in drag) when he was still doing Kids in the Hall
Lunch was called, and the lady who worked on my hair walked me over to the line to make sure I was fed.
Megan walked by me and, both impressed with and startled by the make-up, laughed aloud, "Oh my god !"
I got some steak but found that the containers with soda had been moved from where I'd found it earlier.
Still in my civilian clothes, I went to one of the caterers to ask to where the soda container had been moved.
For a moment he was quite taken aback at my face, but he was able to track down for me the soda.
I went inside and ate with J.B., the fellow I'd met at the wardrobe fitting the previous week (who'd be in my "wedding party," referred to as Velvet Man, due to his deep purple velvet vest).
J.B. was feeling a little put-out that he'd been shuffled to the "common extras" food line.
Prior to my being made up, I'd managed to get in a slight nap, but as lunch began to wind down, everyone began packing up for the Big Move, indeed, to Dockweiler Beach to the west of LAX.
I was rushed through wardrobe (surprisingly I was not asked for my voucher, which usually is standard procedure).
I changed, and hastened onto the bus.
The bus ride to the location took about 45 minutes.
Once there, I was taken directly to set.
That is, right on the sand where they'd set up.
Nothing fancy: just standing there.
I stood in with the two stand-ins (one for Megan, another for the priest), but the efficient tech crew was nearly ready for picture anyway.
Megan was brought in, looking radiant in a low-cut wedding dress and a medium-length curly wig with a small flower wreath; sort of an Ophilia look (as I indicated at one point).
She easily could have worn it as a wedding dress at a Renaissance Festival.
After a few rehearsal passes they were ready for filming.
I noticed in the distant background was the Department of Water and Power, its two slightly ugly chimneys rounding out the surreal nature of the scene.
The priest has her doing her vows: "I, Patty"
Megan: "I, Patty"
Priest: "Take this man, Mr. Leon"
Megan: "Take this man, Mr. Leon"
And essentially that is my part of the movie.
I forget if it was during a rehearsal or during the first take, but Megan began to add stretching forth her hand to me as she began her vows.
Bruce liked the move, and had me mirror it.
So Megan's hand comes up, and my hand meets hers, palm to palm.
I would use a variation on this move for the UCLA student film
Bruce suggested to Megan helpfully,
"Think of it as a bird hitting a window"
It made for an amusing romantic moment.
Megan suggested tears, so between takes Dave came over and gave her from each eye a glycerin tear.
Bruce McColloch is one of the best directors with whom I've worked.
While efficient, professional and knowing what he wants, he was always pleasant and amusing, making little quips with his suggestions.
As I stood there with my flamboyant make-up, at one point he mentioned I'd been chosen for my "manliness."
After one take he indicating liking the timing of my "moment," and suggested how to look even snootier, as it were.
After that he pointed out I was "perfect."
Megan and Bruce allowed a photo or two with me, and at one point Megan noticed Bruce's dog, a good looking white standard poodle named Lulu, was at the set.
Megan asked Bruce if Lulu could somehow be placed in the scene.
"No," he said to her gently with mock somberness.
"She'd just f--k it up somehow and I'd have to start hating her quietly"
The gate was checked and everything was wrapped for the day.
We got back to the church at 5:00pm.
Not realizing the weekly Tuesday meeting of mine had been cancelled, I bused straight to there when, had I checked my pager messages, I'd have been able to go straight home within about 90 minutes (instead of those 90 minutes getting me to my friends' place in Glendale)
Note: a pleasant addition; the next day I noticed that in the "adjustments" area of my voucher the A.D. signing me out added "+$25" without telling me she'd done it, nor did she note on the voucher as to why it was added.
I do not know if it was a make-up bump or the fact I was "so featured" or what.
As Mr. Leon is mentioned verbally by name at least, personally I'd love to see my name actually listed in the film's credit crawl
Box Office Prophets
site lists the updated date, as well as confirming the film's loss of the lovely Linda Cardellini as she was too busy on the Scooby Doo movie.
Wednesday, August 21, 2002:
Like many people online nowadays, 99% of my email is spam.
I have Message Rules on my Outlook Express, but a lot still makes it past those rules.
Normally I just highlight All I Receive, de-select personal emails (and Post Listings I want to read), and hit DELETE.
This morning an email from Sony Pictures (to which I subscribe and whose emails at which I occasionally glance) had an intriguing heading:
Subject: Find the Shrunken Head, and Go to Vegas, Baby!
Okay, wondering what th'heck that was all about, I read the message (it was for a Ripley's Believe It Or Not sweepstakes), but that story was farther down: at the top of the email was information on not only an essay competition for Stealing Harvard, but the
official Stealing Harvard web site link!
So I am finally able to add that link to this page
Thursday, December 24, 2002:
While researching some other stuff (due recently for getting book on
The Untitled John Hamburg Project,
rehearsing and shooting next week),
I came across the fact that the release date for the
Stealing Harvard DVD
is February 18, 2003
(with a bottom line price of $20.34 with no shipping charges).
More as it progresses
(if my deleted scene is on the DVD), et al
A brief temp job "introduced" me to a merchant who pre-sells movie theatre tickets to specific theatre chains for lower than the theatre's own matinee prices.
I had one for Mann Theatre and due to errands had me by The Plant in Van Nuys, I used it for the 7:30pm showing.
During the day I'd read the near-uniform negataive "reviews" blasting the film, mostly as it stars Tom Green.
Well, the film was not that bad.
Jason Lee should have received top billing (Green does), and Green remarkably is toned down from his normally unwatchable'ness.
Unfortunately, not a single one of the Megan wedding sequences is used in the finished film.
Now, "there's always the DVD," should it have Deleted Scenes, "but" the film does have numerous outtakes after the credits are concluded, and after sitting through the film, they're quite worth it.
If you see the feature and watch the outtakes, you'll notice when there is a clapboard it still reads
as the film's title
So, my "big close up" is Not Here (in the theatrical release).
As I said, the possibility exists for it to be in a Deleted Scenes selection of the DVD, so I may check out that.
But at least I did enjoy the experience and the day on which I worked the film, and I have the photos taken at the time.
Maybe if the gods look down and smile, maybe I'll get to work with (any of) them again