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10:43 pm - Tues 8.04.2009
Shooting \"Mad Men\"

Shooting Mad Men

The Mad Men shoot was yesterday.

(I wrote a bit on the set, which I'll share with you now, followed by any additional observations that occurred to me afterward...)

Mon 8/3/09 (1:10 p.m.)

(On the set of Mad Men, at LA Center Studios.)

I'm made up, trimmed up ($12.00 I now don't have to spend on a haircut - Yay!), and in wardrobe.

I've been shown how to work the thing my character is supposed to know how to work...but I'm still hoping to not have to work too much with it.

And I've had lunch - A big chicken breast, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, two forkfuls of fettucini, and a Diet Coke.

So at this point, all the remains is to actually do the thing.

There's a four-page scene, then I have to do a voiceover after that.

Since we're now moving toward 1:30, I don't think I'm going to make the Southland producer session (I've called Brett to alert him of this possibility/probability). Disappointing, to be sure - I was hoping to snag another booking there - but what are ya gonna do?

They shoot Numbers on this lot as well, and were shooting an outdoor action scene earlier, so there have been periodic bursts of automatic weapon fire (Which I got a big kick out of).

Earlier, when I was in hair and makeup, John Slattery came in and occupied the chair next to me.

It was fun listening to him talk about some awards show he'd attended recently with Matt Weiner (The series creator) and Jon Hamm - Mr S. is a pretty funny guy.

(If you don't know the show, and don't konw who J.S. is by name, you'd probably recognize him immediately if you saw him - He's a good looking guy with white hair, who's been around for awhile now, and he's had notable turns on Desperate Housewives and the late-lamented Ed, amongst other things.)


(1:40) Just got the word - My scene's up in about 15 or 20 minutes.

(1:55) On the set. Probably a few minutes away from my scene.

And we were: We started a moment or two after I wrote that last sentence, and wrapped shortly before 6:00 p.m.

It's an interesting thing, shooting a scene on a tv show...

I was excited to be there, to be sure - it's beyond cool to be on the set of a show you up till now have only experienced as a fan, to be not only exactly where you want to be, but exactly where a lot people would like to be - but paradoxically, it's also kind of tedious (I've said it before - so far, doing this stuff feels like rehearsal back in my community theater days, except that, instead of eventually having an "opening night", they just film the best parts of the rehearsal and show that instead).

We went over the scene a few times for blocking, then started shooting.

I was mildly nervous, but more about certain technical considerations than about my acting - One nice thing about the level I'm at right now, as an actor, is that, by and large, once I audition and get the part (In a commercial or a costar role on tv), I've already "performed" the whole part in front of the director, and they liked what I did, so I don't worry over-much about my "interpretation of the role".

I've said it before - One of the main ways I gauge "success" on a shoot day is if I didn't "gum up the works" and cause a lot of reshooting or anything like that.

And by that standard, I was a big success.

After the scene was shot, we recorded my voice-over bit, and a couple of "wild lines" from the two other actors in the scene (The other guys do the heavyweight acting in the scene - By comparison, I'm something of the "comic relief").

("Wild lines", for the uninitiated, is when the sound guy "covers his bases" by recording some lines where there might have been a sound issue while the scene was actually being shot.)

For some reason, I thought the voice-over was going to be very involved, but they put a boom mike on me, the director gave me three different ways to do the line, I did it, and that was that.

I won't completely know how I feel about what I did till I see the actual show, but by and large, I'd say it went well.

Very well indeed.

And now, on to The Mentalist on Thursday...


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