Day Eight: July 25, 2006
Wardrobe, Part 2
There still seems to be this need to see the kids play Cosmic Catch before we shoot it. There are a couple of new kids and the kids from yesterday are coming back. It seems a bit much and more than a little overly cautious. If the kids can throw (they can) and catch (they can) that’s all we need. I’m thinking we should schedule overhand throwing at 11:30, followed by the subtle side arm toss. Then break for lunch. I thought this was driven by the client but it turns out that Super AD Benita Allen (http://imdb.com/name/nm0020298/) wanted to make sure the kids got the gist of the game and of the English they’ll need to know while playing. Well that’s okay then. Benita is a real pro. She’s great at what she does. And I’m afraid of her. The cool, unprompted cool thing was when the kids wanted to keep playing on their own after we were done with them. Morons.
I think I mentioned before that credit cards are relatively new here. Places that accept them are seriously outnumbered by places that don’t. Many of the restaurants that do request that all gratuities are left in cash. I paid for dinner the last two nights. But then I had to figure out the tip. Someone told me that 10-15% is customary. That doesn’t really sound right, unless the person who told me was my Grandpa Dave. I’ve been leaving 20% but in doing so, I may be causing a spike in the Romanian economy. If you like to invest, buy the Romanian Lei until I leave.
We’re driving to the studio for more wardrobe. Topher is on the phone, speaking with Super AD Benita Allen. The funny thing is that she’s in the van right next to us. This 2-foot call probably costs $7 a minute and had to be routed via satellite through London. Christian/Orlando just pulled towards the median of this road, rolled down the window and handed something to a guy in a black van. He said it was insurance. I’m telling ya, I think he’s still fighting the revolution, like those nutty Civil War reenactors.
Okay, I just saw the wardrobe for one of the cavemen in the Cosmic Catch commercial. Amazing. He looks like Mick Fleetwood, only crazier. Apparently, he’s some kind of minor celebrity. He’s been typecast as a caveman. The other day when we stopped at the gas station and Robert got his hot dog flavored chips, we saw this guy on a few billboards. He was dressed as a caveman. So he comes in all done up in traditional caveman garb. Except this particular garb was a bit too short for him. Someone mentioned this (it might have been me) and he proceeded to stomp around like a caveman. The skins flopped around and he helped the flopped by lifting it a little like a little girl would lift a skirt slightly. It was then that Robert and I got up close evidence that some cavemen wear striped jockey shorts. Robert switched seats, leaving me to deal with Conan the Exhibitionist.
After a week here, I haven’t noticed anything drastically different between Romanian men and myself. But why are the urinals so much higher than normal? It’s really a strange way to have to stand. And what to the shorter guys do? Maybe they just use the stalls. And while I haven’t seen any Romanian men with their pants off, I have to wonder if there isn’t some kind of Darwinian evolution going on. Have Romanian men evolved to have higher inseams?
Poor James. He hasn’t been up here all day. And when he finally does show up, it’s just in time to see the “Russian wrestlers” showing off their singlets for the commercial. Boy, those things are tight. And James is in the seat of honor. Poor, poor James.
I should go to imdb and look up “The Wind in the Willows.” A lot of the offices in this studio are taken up by people working on that film, including Bob Hoskins (http://imdb.com/name/nm0001364/) . I haven’t seen him but his office is right down the hall. What’s really weird is I referenced him a few days ago when I was talking about the guy at casting whom Skollar really wanted to call back. Tom keeps dropping his name: “yeah, I saw Bob Hoskins and I was telling him about what we were doing here.” I’m sure Bob Hoskins was fascinated by the tales of preproducing 5 Hasbro commercials.
Time for the Prop Show. This is when all of us go down to the stage and browse through all of the props. It’s kind of like touring a hurricane site if all of the random property got blown onto a long series of 8-foot tables. It’s kind of interesting except that the barely-competent art department has organized it.
And now for the preproduction meeting. Few things are more tedious in this life than repetition. This meeting is the final opportunity to explain everything to the client and all parties concerned. This after weeks and weeks of describing the storyboards to anyone willing to listen. But I will say this: if I have to repeat myself over and over, I’m glad it’s in a room like this one. It’s a really opulent conference room that resembles something the UN might have. And food! This is the first noshing I’ve done in days.
I think I mentioned the lack of ice in this part of the world. There also seems to be a lack of air conditioning. Oh, it’s available but it’s never on. I actually got up, moved a table across the floor, got up on it and turned on the AC. It’s just not human. But I guess I have a future in AC maintenance or something. It’s not the first time I’ve had to figure out how the AC works around here.
We presented that grandpa I want to use for Big Trouble. Remember the t-shirt? The suspenders? The posted odds for client acceptance? Well hold onto your tickets; the odds have just gone up. Christy didn’t flat out reject the guy but she was too busy having the heebie jeebies to approve him. So asked for wardrobe options. Stay tuned.
Okay, I have to be in the lobby at 6 am. It just ain’t fittin’.