Friday, September 21, 2007

Extra Work

Last night, I stopped by Washington Square Park to catch the last day of filming for The Echo, the US remake of Yam Laranas’ Filipino movie Sigaw. Yam and I became friends while I was going on location shoots around the Philippines to film the Smart-DOT commercial. He flew into the city from Toronto to shoot the remaining scenes of the movie. He wanted his friends in the city to be extras in the movie, and since I have extensive experience as a model/actor, I showed up.

The earlier part of the evening was fairly uneventful. I showed up, greeted Yam, and he introduced me to the star of the movie—Jesse Bradford. That’s right. Cliff Pantone from Bring It On in the flesh. He was only about 5’8”, which wasn’t as tall as I expected, but he had a firm handshake and was pretty nice. And he was in Bring It On, so I respect the hell out of him. Also, he had a very hot girlfriend who was riding one of those old school bikes you see the girls from Newport Harbor riding around town.

From about 8-10pm, they filmed a scene of Jesse walking down the sidewalk across from the north side of the park and just east of 5th Avenue. The PA’s spent the better part of that time telling passers-by that this is not the Sex & the City movie and to stop taking flash photography because it would ruin the scene. We also kept staring at this huge pile of dog poop on the street that was stinking up the area. It also claimed several members of the crew as victims. They eventually put a couple cones over it.

What was I doing during this time? Mainly, I was avoiding the dog poop, listening to the jokes and eating chips & salsa, honey wheat pretzels and Almond Joy mini bars. (Side Note: I still do not understand the naming convention between Mounds and Almond Joy. Wouldn’t it have made sense to name the candy bar with protruding lumps, Mounds? They could’ve named the coconut bar something else like Coconut Joy.)

Finally, around 10:15, I and a group of the producer’s 30-something friends were summoned to be drunk partiers hanging out on the sidewalk after a long night of partying. I sincerely hope that the scene is set on a Thursday night because I don’t know too many people that go out on a Saturday night decked out in their business suits/skirts while lugging around large messenger bags. If you happen to see this movie when it’s released, and you see a sidewalk scene with drunk people dressed in suits and messenger bags, look for my metallic salmon button down and moss green Tumi bag.

Also, I want to point out that the 30-something friends knew Jesse Bradford not from Flags of our Fathers, but rather, Bring It On. They even invoked, “It’s already been brought-en.” I had to inform them that the line was actually from Not Another Teen Movie, but commended them on their fine choice of films.

It only should have taken about 15-20 minutes to get all the necessary takes for that scene, but a scuffle broke out. Some cabbie turning east from 5th Avenue was talking shit was some guy walking down the street. The cabbie stopped his car mid-turn and in the middle of the intersection, got out of the car, and was immediately knocked the fuck out by the guy on the street. I was about fifty feet away, but I saw the street guy wind up, land the punch and send the cabbie straight to the ground.

Within five minutes, a fire truck, ambulance and three police cars showed up. The cabbie was in terrible shape. He was convulsing and lying in a pool of blood. It was nasty. They actually had to open a fire hydrant to wash the blood away.

After the police took witnesses—luckily no one from the scene had to be taken—we continued filming and ended around 11pm. I grabbed a few final bites of chips & salsa, stuffed a few Almond Joy bars in my pocket for the walk home and said my farewell to the director.

On a somewhat unrelated note, I would like to point out that there are a ton of cute, attractive females walking around Washington Square Park on Thursday night. I’m not sure if they’re always there, or if they were just lurking in an attempt to get into a movie, but they were abundant.

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