Log in

Tue, Mar. 18th, 2008, 08:50 am
Exhausted, but awesome

2012 Edit:

Look at all the attention! This post was reblogged from the Doctor Horrible Fan page on Facebook this morning and I thought I'd just drop my contact info on here. :) Also- I do't have my old photo site any more so I'll see what I can do about getting pictures up and hosted elsewhere.:)


and here


End Edit!

Yesterday was exhausting and awesome.

**Note: This post and all related posts about my experience with the filming of Doctor Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog will be absolutely spoiler free (sorry kids). I saw every scene they filmed at my place and I have a few camera phone pictures but I will not be letting those out of my possession or posting them until the show goes live. No one asked me not to but I imagine that is because they believed me to a.) have half a brain and b.) not be a complete jackass. It's common courtesy. I will not put out any spoilers or any photos of anything they did at my house. I'm fine with putting up pictures of my house because I already have a billion of those floating out on the internet.

Okay, I'll post one photo...


**Ok, this feels weird. I want to say "Joss Whedon" because I don't want to come off sounding pretentious, like we're suddenly bestest pals. He knows my name, he introduced himself to me as Joss and I was quite literally working with or helping the film crew with various aspects of my house for most of the day. I talked with his kids who came to visit him on set. If I see him in the market I'll call him Joss and he *might* remember my name. But he's not coming over for dinner anytime soon and I'm not in his phone book. If they want make more of these, they are of course more than welcome to use my house again and it is certainly cheaper than building their own lair. So, I'm just going to call him Joss.

The same thing goes for Neil Patrick Harris as goes for Joss Whedon. He napped on my bed, chilled out in my room, I ate some lunch with him. I imagine he'd recognize me but probably wouldn't remember my name. I just like referring to him as NPH; I'm not sure why.

They (like most people who are famous, I guess) are just normal people who have to deal with making stuff that is so successful that they are nearly deified by the fanboys and fangirls worldwide. Can you imagine how that taints your interactions with other people? (Shudder). I'll pass.

Enough of me postulating and waxing philosophical.

Back the the meat of this:

Joss needed a lair for his Supervillain and I happen to *live* in one.. They (Joss and the production staff) were incredulous when my friend Otto told him that he knows someone who lives IN the exact place he needed.
My friend Otto is the AD on this film and was actually the reason they were shooting at my house. Joss wanted / needed an apartment that had been turned in to a Evil Super Villain Lair with a couch and place for a computer. They didn't really believe Otto when he told them that he knew someone with Just The Place. According to Otto, they thought perhaps he might have just known someone who had a lab bench set up in their living room or something. Oh no. When they saw the pictures taken by Gabe the location scout, they were *very* pleasantly surprised.

They arrived at my house last week for a tech scout and they were utterly blown away. I answered "Yes, it's always like this" several times.

I was in. They were very excited about using my house for this project and they all fell in love with my dog (who looks remarkably like Falcor from the Never Ending Story).

So- cut to they day of the shoot.

The film crew began arriving shortly after 7am and didn't completely leave ("Tail lights") until 11pm. This was an hour later than their estimate to me, but that seems to be about the norm. There was minimal fall out (as far as I was concerned) and they put everything back about as exact as someone *could*. They took pictures before they moved *anything* and put it all back exactly where they got it.

The load-in process was crazy. Everyone showed up over a 20 minute period. They set up the generator, dressing room truck, grip / lighting truck and craft services in 30 minutes. It was stressful for poor Amanda who forgot they were coming this early and she got up and fled the house as soon as she was able. We had to have the crew move a few things so she could get her car out of the driveway but it worked out just fine.

At one point I mentioned the Joss and NPH* when they were taking a look around "Ok, now you've seen my DVD collection. I've been outed as a geek."

"Right. (looking at my house) The DVD collection gave it away." (laughs) "We're all geeks, we just get to make this stuff!"

After that initial load-in it was an incredible flurry of activity that is both mundane (for the people who do it every day) and impractical to describe (for someone who doesn't do film production for a living (like me) and doesn't have the terminology). Sufficed to say the house was full of lights of all kinds, a steady cam, an A camera, a B camera, cables, cables, more cables. And people. Lots of people. Rocky was very happy.

I ran around and helped them turn on lights (which can be tricky, thanks to the Smart Home automation system installed by Monster House), showed them how the fiber optics worked, wrangled my dog. I worked various parts of my house, set up or handed them my science props and glassware, let NPH* nap in my bed (and at one point he took a nap next to Mindy which was pretty damn cute), and just seemed to be needed every so often or every 5 minutes depending upon what they were doing.

It was a great day. I realize that I am somewhat unique in that it is damn near impossible to overstimulate me. Where I (and too, my dog) am concerned, there is no such thing as too many people. No such thing as too much Shiny.

My house was full of this creative organized chaos that is the synthesis of 35 really creative, handy people all coming together to accomplish a common goal. It was fantastic. It was tiring. I actually enjoyed watching them do the same scene ten times, watching Joss direct and seeing NPH act. It was a completely new experience for me and I really appreciated and enjoyed seeing the process (unlike, I'm told, the process for making hot dogs).

Some moments that stood out:

*Mindy napping in a Love Sac outside on the lawn under the big tree.

*Joss's kids visiting the set.

*everyone really loving my dog. He's totally unique looking and ultra friendly. He behaved so well. He didn't bark all day, he was okay with being crated when I had to crate him, he ran around outside, inside, everyone wanted to pet him. He may have made more friends than I did.

*Helping the cast tech guy get a working keyboard and mouse for the "needs to be functional" computer for Doctor Horrible. For the record, Doctor Horrible now uses an Ideazon ergonomic gaming keyboard (for Ganking the Newbz!) and an optical trackball.

*Helping to create prop science reactions for the camera

*Being put in the final scene (Mindy too!) as a thank you from Joss and Otto.

*The compliment that using my house doubled the production value of their show. They had almost no budget and didn't have the resources to build anything. My crazy house was perfect for their needs. With the exception of the theatrical lighting and moving some furniture, my house is exactly as portrayed in the film. They had to do nothing.

In some small way, I got to help someone I really admire make his show better. This, really, is the part that really sells it to me. This is the part that I get to be proud of.

*Everyone involved was so incredibly nice and fun. It was surreal (and awesome) to have Neil Patrick Harris come up to me and shake my hand and say "Hi- I'm Neil." My response to that was of course "Hi, I'm Jonathan. Glad to meet you. I saw you in Rent and I really liked it." Real people working, eating lunch, goofing off. Doing their thing. It was a lovely thing to be a part of even in the minimal way that I was.

So- I'm in the show at the very end. It's awesome. I can't wait.

If you have any questions you think I will actually answer, go ahead and ask.

Tue, Mar. 18th, 2008 05:28 pm (UTC)

Ok, I checked IMDB.

They aren't listed as working together currently...

Do was have a working project name, at least?

Tue, Mar. 18th, 2008 05:34 pm (UTC)


just Awesome

Tue, Mar. 18th, 2008 06:53 pm (UTC)

damn, babe, do you want to come to work with me? i hate watching the same scene over and over again.

Tue, Mar. 18th, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC)
lifeofreilly : They won't

They won't pay me enough :)
(Deleted comment)

Tue, Mar. 18th, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC)
lifeofreilly : Cool Kids?

This filming at my house does not make me one of the cool kids.

It makes me a (small) part of something potentially awesome, but cool?

I was cool a LONG time ago...

Tue, Mar. 18th, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC)
notnotabouthim : that house

I'm speechless. Dude, DUDE.

Man, if I ever thought I'd have a gf who'd let me get away with living like that... Wow. Unfortunately I have a knack for picking them to balance out rather than equal my geekiness. Heh.

Tue, Mar. 18th, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
lifeofreilly : Let me get away

What exactly do you mean by "Let me get away with living like that"?



Tue, Mar. 18th, 2008 10:12 pm (UTC)

Not just sleeping under the tree, sleeping under the tree for THREE HOURS.

When NPH came in and took a nap on the bed I totally just wanted to try to have a conversation with him but then I was like, "No, he's been working his ass off. He's in every scene. I know how tiring that is. Let him sleep. Don't type too loud either..."

Fri, Mar. 28th, 2008 05:39 pm (UTC)
lifeofreilly : You were

You were a tired woman. You needed that nap, and it was really quite idyllic. I may need to put the love sacs outside more often. :)

I mean, they fit in the back of my car and can go just about anywhere.


Thu, Mar. 27th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC)

Hey there

Someone was posting about the Sing A Long and I wanted to get your ok before I linked them to your post about it


Thu, Mar. 27th, 2008 04:16 pm (UTC)
lifeofreilly : Sure

Sure. Go right ahead :)

Thu, Mar. 27th, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC)

This is freaking awesome. I linked you on my comic, HijiNKS Ensue.


Congrats on the amazing geek experience.

Thu, Mar. 27th, 2008 05:40 pm (UTC)
lifeofreilly : It was indeed all kinds of awesome fun

It was a great experience. Seriously. It was exhausting, frantic, and wonderful to watch. But then, I'm a scientist and I enjoy watching how stuff gets made. :)

Oh, BTW, LOVE your web comic! It's on my list of daily reads. :)

Thu, Mar. 27th, 2008 05:16 pm (UTC)


If you want to come on our podcast to talk about the whole experience I think the listeners would enjoy it.


Thu, Mar. 27th, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
lifeofreilly : That sounds like fun

That sounds like fun. How do we manage that?

Thu, Mar. 27th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous): Prepare for the deluge

Great post - and thanks for sharing the info - and your spoiler-free vow is very classy.

You've been linked to on whedonesque (http://whedonesque.com/comments/15903) so prepare for the the Many Hits of Crashdom.


Thu, Mar. 27th, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC)
lifeofreilly : well, thank goodness

Thank goodness that I don't host LJ and that the picture I posted is hosted by Flickr. I should have everyone working alright.

This could be fun. :)

Thu, Mar. 27th, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC)

That sounds like an awesome experience. I had the immense pleasure of meeting Joss once, and he was absolutely as nice as I could imagine he would be. He even remembered my name several hours later. This'll be one (of I suspect many) story to tell the grandkids.

Thu, Mar. 27th, 2008 07:59 pm (UTC)

He's a sweet pie! We were drunk. Let's not mention the Serenity sign.

Does anybody know Jonathan's dogs' name?

Thu, Mar. 27th, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC)

I am super ultra mega jealous of you right now. That's so fucking cool!! I would have been freaking out. Joss Whedon! In your house! Filming a musical! It will be fun to see, that's for sure.

Thu, Mar. 27th, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC)
lifeofreilly : I have to say

I have to say, it was a singularly cool experience.

Thu, Mar. 27th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)

Someone who knows how to keep things low key and give respect? Wish more bloggers were like you. I mean, as much as I love spoilers and things of the like, I much prefer giving people space and again, respect.

Thank you for sharing your experience! And I can't want to hear/see more about it when the project comes out. Your place does look pretty kick-ass.
Mind if I friend you here on LJ to keep "up-to-date" and whatnot?

Thu, Mar. 27th, 2008 09:44 pm (UTC)
lifeofreilly : sure

Sure- go right ahead :)

Re: sure - (Anonymous) - Expand

Thu, Mar. 27th, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC)
missnormajean : Cool Beans!

I was fortunate enough to work on this and was featured in a very quick clip with Nathan (can't give away, sorry). I'd LOVE to see your pad sometime...wowie!!

Norma Jean

Fri, Mar. 28th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)
lifeofreilly : I usually

I usually have people over on Friday Night for Sci Fi Friday. Cocktails, food, Sci Fi and being social. Just because I'm a geek doesn't mean I have to be a *alone* when I do it. ;)

Sat, Mar. 29th, 2008 06:55 pm (UTC)

Man, that it just too damn cool! Being a geek and "Whedonite", myself, I am totally envious.

This project is potentially one of the coolest things ever! Joss Whedon, NPH, Nathan Fillion?! I can't wait!

Oh, and I added you to my friends list, not just because of this but... well, it's always good find a fellow "cool geek."

Mon, Mar. 31st, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous): official site



Tue, Jul. 1st, 2008 01:31 pm (UTC)

Here from Wil Wheaton's blog. May I say that you are one lucky bastard. :)

Thu, Jul. 17th, 2008 03:52 am (UTC)
(Anonymous): Why would you do this?

This.. this sickens me. To degrade and attempt to destroy the good doctors image like this. How dare you attempt to harm the good doctors name. Doctor Steel is a good man, and he deserves much much more respect than this horrid "Dr. Horrible" theft.


The true site, the original, the genius, the man who deserves the respect. The music is irritating, the script are poorly written

As a loyal member of Dr. Steel’s Army of Toy Soldiers, I will see to it personally that Dr. Horrible is destroyed. www.toysoldiersunite.com

Fri, Jul. 18th, 2008 03:41 pm (UTC)
lifeofreilly : anonymice

Anonymous comments are the venue for the cowardly.

Sat, Jul. 19th, 2008 04:05 am (UTC)

Too cool.

Sat, Jul. 19th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC)

Wow, I envy you!

Jed Whedon suggested in an interview that we should ask you if you hung your pots and pans to look like Serenity intentionally… So, did you?

Fri, Aug. 8th, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC)

*waits with bated breath*

Sun, Jul. 20th, 2008 11:33 pm (UTC)

Now that the show has aired, are you going to post the pics you took? Or are you offering them to the creators to bundle into the DVD?

Mon, Jul. 21st, 2008 12:21 am (UTC)

Excellent. Sounds like it was a funtime all around.

Mon, Jul. 21st, 2008 12:26 am (UTC)

You're making other geeks jealous, which is like, the fantasy of any other geek. So go you.

Mon, Jul. 21st, 2008 12:28 am (UTC)

Thanks for sharing this, I've always being curious of how the places tv shows are shot (don't know why).

Cute dog.

Mon, Jul. 21st, 2008 12:40 am (UTC)

Wow, that's awesome. Not only having a "Lair" but having it filmed! Squee!

I have but one question, related to one of the costumes NPH wears and am not sure if the answer to what I want to ask is going to make it onto the DVD.

What I would like to know is: What color are the pants and boots worn with NPH's "finale" costume at the end of Act III?

(If this is something you can't answer, that's OK!- we're just itching to know over in the costuming community drhorribledress , as many people are putting together costumes for San Diego ComicCon this weekend for the live show.)