Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Shooting Episode 1 (Season 3)

by Nathan Stout



Chris is like 'ok, we need to shoot three minutes of footage each Thursday if we are going to get Episode 1 of Season 3 done and posted by the end of the 10 weeks.'

Nathan is like 'I don't want to.'

Fast forward to the next Thursday... we got down to work.

The first scene is Chris walking up to Nathan's house. He just stands there. Then scratches his ass, takes a deep breath, and walks to the door.

This was easy enough. We actually already shot this bit back in 2006, so it was like having a living storyboard.

We then went inside and started doing a lot of story additions. Instead of Nathan sitting, reading something (like he was in the original footage) he was feeding his fish. They are really big fish and there is this fish shaped pillow, so we decided to have one of the fish jump out of the tank and fight with Nathan while Chris walks up to the house.

Chris had me take the fake fish and stagger around, acting as if I was fighting it. I took a roll off the back of the couch and rolled around on the carpet a bit. Chris liked the stunt and I had to roll off the back of the couch several times. I then took the fish and smashed it against the wall and Chris liked that too. He wanted me to smash the fish into the camera lens so we could cut between the wide shot and the POV of the wall. After some more fighting, I got the fish back into the tank. All the while Chris is outside peering in through windows and calling my cell phone, trying to see what the hold up is. We shot these bits before and after the fish fight.

This was the point where I was supposed to notice the knocking at the front door. We decided to add an additional bit where Nathan runs all the way around the house to get on the elliptical machine (which acts like some sort of transportation vehicle) and ride it to the front door (which was only like seven feet away). Chris moved the camera to suggest the movement of the elliptical machine. We also slid it on the floor so I could have something to cut to between scenes.

I answer the door and we are back to the original script. Chris comes in and sets his stolen Census bag down and begins unloading it. This is an addition too. The 2010 Census is going on and we had this bag left on our mailbox. We decided to use it and include a joke that had Chris stalking Nathan for quite some time. Nathan figures this out because Chris' things are in a census bag with Nathan's town's name on it.

The next scene was complex because Chris wanted it to appear to be in the style of '24'. This meant a a lot of cuts and camera movement. I added a joke about Chris producing a can of Dr. Pepper out of his shoe (just cause it was silly and funny) and we had the scene.

I am assuming we were well beyond the six minute mark (that we needed this particular Thursday but we kept going). I shot Chris preparing to shave in the bathroom. It is basically a 'lite' version of a scene we had shot for season 2 just a few weeks earlier (the Secret Agent Man scene). This time however Chris hears something in the bathtub (which will be added in post) and he dramatically opens the curtain. There were several slow zoom in shots of Chris' face and hands, but the camera kept going out of focus so I fudged it by zooming out (which didn't create the focus issue) and then I reversed the footage in Premier.

Next Chris shot me sitting at the couch and vegging out to Miguel on the TV (to be added in post). I jump up and run into the restroom and talk to Chris for a bit and we both come back out to watch television. After some lengthy conversation, and a dream sequence involving a poster board and Information Society, I get up to go get something to eat. For some reason we forgot to shoot me deciding to go get something to eat. All we have is me walking to the cupboard. I get to it and open the doors. Chris is balancing the notebook with the season 2 script above me. It falls and hits me on the head. The problem is that the book did hit me on the head (the bridge of my nose actually) and hurt quite a bit. We used it anyway (see I suffer for my art). I collapse and Chris comes over and slaps me awake. We put the camera facing upwards, and Chris looked down into the lens and slapped it a few times. I removed the plastic-slapping sound and added a real slapping sound.

The next scene had me on the couch and Chris explaining that season 2 fell on me (probably because it wants to get done). Chris turns back and I am gone. We then introduce our newest creation, Stout Man! I put on a cape, a mask, and a t-shirt with SM on it. Chris shot me with a fan on, and a bubble machine blowing bubbles all over the place. I said a few lines then we turned the machines off and I said them again (for dubbing purposes). The fan wasn't blowing my cape heroically enough so Chris got behind me and flapped it around. If you don't look too hard, you won't see his hands flapping the cape.

The next scene we basically ad libbed about fighting crime around the world and Stout Man and his sidekick set off out the kitchen door to stop the evils of prank callers.

That's where we ended the second day of shooting. For our next evening of filming, we will wrap up the episode, and I can finish editing.

1 comment :

  1. Old Butch

    John was in the fertilized egg business.

    He had several hundred young layers (hens), called 'pullets,' and ten roosters to fertilize the eggs.

    He kept records, and any rooster not performing went into the soup pot and was replaced.

    This took a lot of time, so he bought some tiny bells and attached them to his roosters.

    Each bell had a different tone, so he could tell from a distance, which rooster was performing.

    Now, he could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report by just listening to the bells.

    John's favorite rooster, old Butch, was a very fine specimen, but this morning he noticed old Butch's bell hadn't rung at all!

    When he went to investigate, he saw the other roosters were busy chasing pullets, bells-a-ringing, but the pullets, hearing the roosters coming, would run for cover.

    To John's amazement, old Butch had his bell in his beak, so it couldn't ring.

    He'd sneak up on a pullet, do his job and walk on to the next one.

    John was so proud of old Butch, he entered him in the Renfrew County Fair and he became an overnight sensation among the judges.

    The result was the judges not only awarded old Butch the "No Bell Piece Prize," but they also awarded him the "Pulletsurprise" as well.

    Clearly old Butch was a politician in the making. Who else but a politician could figure out how to win two of the most coveted awards on our planet by being the best at sneaking up on the unsuspecting populace and screwing them when they weren't paying attention.

    Vote carefully next year, the bells are not always audible.

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