Posted 27 March 2012 - 07:04 PM
I'm the one that put the bomb in the oven! Seriously....
I'm from the Pittsburgh area and have worked on 9 movies over the last couple of years as an extra, driver, stand-in, and body double. Apparently, due to a big tax credit, the studio (production company?) gets a LOT of money back for shooting in Pennsylvania. Also, no one gets excited about the Pirates. Ever. You guys commented on the extras a lot, and you certain'y WEREN'T wrong. The extras casting call for this was huge, but like 90 percent of the people that turned out for it were teenage girls that just wanted to see Taylor Lautner and scream his name. Guess who they DON'T want on a movie set? Teenage girls that just want to scream every time they see Taylor Lautner. Anyway, the agency that got used for this film wasn't one of the loca casting agencies that usually handles the bigger productions. Instead, Singleton used the same people he uses for when he shoots movies in L.A. or New York (Winsome Cinclair, or something like that), where you have a MUCH bigger pool of available people, and they were very opposed to re-using people, even if they hadn't appeared on camera and been "established". Often, they'd put out an APB on Facebook on the day of, including the original day that they shot at PNC Park (the Pirates' stadium), and stil come up short. I worked the day of the hospital scene and wasn't used, but when I'd call and tell them that, that I'd be happy to work, they wouldn't let me. Fuckers. I ended up being a last minute substitute twice and got to work some more anyway, which brings me to...the bomb in the oven.
Around 10 o'clock the night before, a message went up on Facebook (because God forbid they try to CALL any of the thousands of people that went to the casting call) looking for a white male between 5'10"-6', 170-185 lbs. (me, basically), and they wanted pictures of hands. I e-mailed them my resume and pictures, and they called me back, asking if I'd like to be a body and hand double the next day, and that they'd call me in the morning with a time. They didn't. I had an address and an APPROXIMATE time, so I hauled ass over there and ended up being 2 hours early. I was sent to wardrobe, which is where I found out I'd be doubling for Jason Isaacs. They were wrapping things up, doing some second unit pick-ups and close-ups and stuff, so there were lots of PARTS of sets, including the garage where Jason Isaacs was doing his late-night metal work. I filmed several scenes where I was creeping around with a pistol, loading it and putting a silencer on it while walking through the garage. I also did some similar scenes where I'm walking along the outside a mock-up of the side of the house doing the same thing. None of this was used (it popped up in the trailer though), but it made it seem like it would be more suspenseful than it played out in the film, like it was going to be a surprise that the figure with the gun was the dad. Maybe they scrapped that idea when they gave it all away anyway in the trailer.
There was also a mock-up of the kitchen. What WASN'T there though was someone to fill in for the bald actor that Taylor fights in the house, probably due to the fact that no one matching his description was checking out Facebook for casting notices in the middle of the night. What they did, since the only "actors" there were Taylor and Lilly (who were re-shooting some of the bedroom stuff before filming some of the train scene on green screen) and myself, was put ME in the guy's wardrobe and had me be the guy to put the bomb in the oven. Of course, the original actor was much bigger than me, so there was some trickery to make it look like the clothes fit me, even though all you'd see is my shoulder and hand. I had to open the oven door, put the bomb in, set the timer (4 minutes), and slam the door shut. I nailed it in like 3 takes and was actually complimented on my bomb-placement abilities by the second unit director. There's a skill that I never thought would come in handy...
Fast forward a year, and I'm checking out this movie at the theater that I manage. I'm waiting, waiting, waiting to see if I make it in. After seeing Jason working in the garage, my hopes were high, but rather than stealthily moving inside the house, he comes in with guns blazing. That's OK, because the bad guys were there, and they HAD to plant the bomb in the kitchen, right? The parents get killed, and the bad guys search the place, but i notice that no one ever goes to the kitchen. Taylor shows up, fights happen, then dude says there's a bomb in the oven. Like idiots, the kids check the oven instead of run directly out of the house, and the world is left wondering "where did that fucking bomb come from?". Well, there you go. I put it there.
In addition to being Taylor's dad and the mystery bomber, I also got to be one of Alfred Molina's agents investigating the scene after the guy gets thrown off the train, and I'm also running for my life outside of the Pirates game when the bad guy starts shooting. THAT was filmed a few months later, during what I can only assume was Dermot Mulrooney's only day on set. I basically had to walk circles around him for a while while they filmed him (filmed the lower half of his face anyway) talking on the phone. The agency that handled the extras casting for the re-shoots WAS one of the local agencies, and they had no trouble finding people and getting them there on time.
Anyway, I love the podcast, and it's awesome to hear you talk about an awful, awful movie that I actually have quite a bit of firsthand personal experience with. I'm not sure that anything else I've worked on even charts on the "what the fuck"-titude scale, but I'd be happy to tell you how awesome it is to get paid to check out Katherine Heigl's ass all day and listen to John Leguizamo and Sherry Shepperd talk about Larry Fishburne's daughter's sex tape on the set of "One For the Money"...
Leonard Part 6: A Film Without Equel