Show me the money
Today was the two stunts scheduled to be shot. One to be done by Floyd solo and the other by as many as would be comfortable with doing it. Both were to be done in the afternoon session. I later learned some scheduling goals by the film industry. Specifically, they schedule the difficult stunts for last. Just in case they get injured, they can cut out a few stunts and still have a finished product.
First was Floyd riding down a set of stairs. The first set was long and steep and I was hesitant to see Floyd do it. He tried another set on the other side of the building and those were just as steep but few less steps. So, the overall distance was much less. It looked a bit schetchy as he rode them. So I told the stunt coordinator that I felt it was inappropriate. He said something to the effect that it was no big deal. It was as if he was just shy of giving a guarantee that it was a sure thing. To me, if I’m gonna guarantee something, I’ll put some serious coin on the table to prove it. If Floyd crashed, how would it affect his career as a pro cyclist? I asked the stunt coordinator to do it to show me it was “Easy” and he would not. What kind of guarantee is that?
Finally the director and the stunt coordinator settled on another set that was even shorter. Up until the moment Floyd hit the first step, I was nervous as hell for him. He did it safely and I was relieved. He did it a few times actually as is always necessary in the film industry. Go Floyd!
The second stunt was as many as possible jumping off a loading dock. That was about 4 feet or so high. They had planned on building a ramp that was 2 feet below the top to make it easier. Still conservative, I voiced my opinion and again challenged the stunt coordinator to do it for me to show me how “Easy” it is. Again he said nothing meaning he would not do it. This one was not as bad so I did not push it. The ramp will be out of camera range/angle so it will look pretty cool as it ended up being a relatively tame stunt.
The only downer was Pat McCarthy sliding out on the slick surface of the path leading to the loading dock jump. He was 4th of 4 in the line up. Being in the back with such a short run up to the ramp he had to accelerate hard and fast. Basically they had to ride about 12 feet, turn to the right, ride another 15 feet to the dock jump. Being in the back As he hit the turn at the 12 foot mark he then slid out and oddly got his wheels jammed under a chain link fence. This was actually Pats second crash as he clipped the Moto camera the first session on the very first day. Both times he got off relatively light with a few cuts and scuffs only. More pride lost than anything.
Like I said, the “Stunts” were done in the very last session. The morning session was a little more riding and also the only speaking session. In the commercial they used real Postal employees from a local branch. The speaking parts were to be done by Lance and a real branch supervisor who apparently they liked a lot for the part. This scene required the “Supervisor” to congratulate the riders on their great job. Unfortunately he did not realize his schedule conflict and was unable to do it at the last minute. So, they hired a “real actor” who could deliver (pun intended) the lines. No one famous, but someone who was familiar with the requirements of the director.
In the break between sessions, a crew member wanted me to meet a person who was also on the shoot staff. It was her Birthday my friend said. I told her that was really great. I then thought to myself “hey, mine is around this time/this weekend.” I thought some more……………., Damm, it’s today. So her and I share birthdays. She laughed as I showed her my drivers license to prove that we share a mutual day on the calendar. So, a shout out to “my Twin Sister” Kim from Mosca Films in Dallas, TX.
Last but not least is a story that is probably related to my age (and thus my degrading capabilities of hearing in relationship to getting old). We are completely finished with the commercial. A guy comes to the truck to ask if I am going to the party. “Going to the RAT party” he asks? I said sure. Where? He gave me an invite with the info. Later I though to myself “What does a RAT party have to do with the film industry?” It turns out that he asked if I was going to the “WRAP” party. As in “it’s a wrap” (end of shoot). Doesn’t matter cuz I’m going regardless. Got to relax after 3 days of all day sessions on the shoot. Tomorrow I get to fly home for turkey day weekend. I’ll leave the truck here at the hotel we will use for our Austin camp coming up in a few days.
Show me the money