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8:42 am - Sun 5/9/04
Captain Hoffmaster

Captain Hoffmaster

(The following is copied from my "book journal")

Sat 5/8/04 (6:52 p.m.)

(At Los Angeles Center Studios, on West 5th Street, downtown. The first day of the Time Warner Cable shoot. On a break, waiting for sundown, so we can do a "night scene")

I've been trying to write a blow-by-blow account of the shoot today, but once things got started, I really haven't had the time...

My call was for 11:00 a.m., but I got here about a half-hour early (It's maybe 2-3 miles from my apartment, and I left almost an hour early).

One plus to getting here early--I made it in time for breakfast (Bacon and eggs, melon, blueberry muffin, and coffee).

(Have I mentioned how much I love craft services?)

Happy news on two fronts...

Happy News Front #1: I'm actually getting paid more than JS first told me (He didn't have the info in front of him at the time). I'm getting $500 session fees each day, with a $500 buyout (So after JS's cut and before taxes, I'll get $1200. Not the "Getting Out Of Borders Express" I've been hoping for, but a damn sight better than the pocket change I make during a normal working day).

Happy News Front #2: When I was given my paperwork earlier, no one tried to get me to sign an "exclusivity clause".

They did that to me at the Hyundai shoot, and when I refused to sign, there was a little bit of tension (I never signed it, and it didn't end up being a problem).

(Long story short--When you do a union commercial, you can't do a commercial for a competing product for a set period of time--I think a year. But with non-union commercials paying comparatively little, with no residuals, they can't ask for exclusivity. They aren't paying for it. And if they do want exclusivity, it has to be in the breakdown, which makes sense--An agent would have to know that in order to negotiate a higher price for his client.)

Doing a couple things today...

What we just finished doing--on the 6th floor, where I am now--was a scene where I bust out of my office yelling "Cranberry Lane! Let's go Guys!", with the squad springing into action.

That seemed to go pretty smoothly. We got that in less than an hour, then the extras were dismissed.

Before that, we shot the scene of me in the office, doing the "We get a lot of calls about the dish" stuff. That took longer, because they had to set lights and cameras and such (That part was pretty boring; I look forward to the future, when I'll have my own stand-in). Then we did a lot of takes--Sometimes they "glitched", sometimes I "glitched", and sometimes nobody "glitched", and the director just wanted to try some different things. But again, I think it went fairly smoothly (At least that was my perception of it).


The last thing we did yesterday was pretty friggin' cool; We rode around the downtown area in a squad car (With an escort of two retired motorcyle cops), while Michael--the director--filmed me from the back seat (Hardy, the A.D., was driving). I think it was "challenging" for everyone concerned, but I got a big kick out of it.

(We were doing a lot of the same lines I did in the "office scene". All the stuff about "It's always some poor guy who bought an HDTV...". They'll decide later, when they edit things, where they want those lines to take place.)

I got to see some of the playback of the stuff in the car, which was interesting (I said "I look like Sipowicz's younger brother!", which cracked everyone up).

It was a long day--Call was at 11:00 am, and we wrapped just before 10:30 p.m.--but it was a "walk in the park" compared to the Hyundai shoot.

And what can I say? It was way more satisfying and fun than anything I've done so far (I mean, who fantasized about being a "Watercooler Association President" or "Car Wash Vacuum Guy" when they were a kid?).

On Monday, I'll be doing my first "overnight" shoot. We'll be doing the bit where I'm trying to talk the guy down off the roof (The guy who's beating the hell out of his satellite dish).

Other than my profound concern about fatigue, I think it'll be a lot of fun--I've already gotten the bulk of my lines out of the way, and Michael said a lot of what he'll be doing with me will be "reaction shots".

Man, I really needed this--The first thing I've done out here where I'm getting paid, and it's actually fun to do.

Onwards and upwards...

(Oh, I forgot--I wanted to explain the title of this entry: Much to my amusement, the nametag on my uniform, as well as the nameplate on the desk in my office, identify me as "Captain Hoffmaster". And they're going to let me keep the nametag when the shoot's over.)


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