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.:)
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.