Kudos to Amanda for landing her first national commercial. To say I am proud of here is an understatement.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Everyone though it was him but I knew better. The "talent" does not stand in front of the camera while the lighting is set up and rehearsal goes on. I knew it was Robert Downey Jr's stand in. I have to admit it sure looked like him from where we were standing. Then the shiny new black mini van pulled up and out came someone who must have been his bodyguard. Right behind him was Mr. Downey.
We were on the set of Joe Wright's new movie "The Soloist" starring Robert Downey Jr and Jamie Fox. This shot was being filmed under the 7th street bridge downtown LA. This was hollywoods version of skid row and from the pictures I've seen it looked pretty damn good. Throw in some real homeless people a couple of fires going and the fact that it was after midnight and you have yourself one realistic scary little scene.
The prop department handed out lighters and crack pipes to some of the extras and actually believed all would be returned.Yeah right!. You got to be kidding. At the end of the shoot everyone was lined up at the folding table to return the items. On the left a big pile of lighters and on the right a handful of crack pipes.
Posted by JohnnyD at 6:55 AM
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Wow, where does the time go. I can't believe it's been over 3 months since my last post. Well, lets see, I found out we are having a girl and we are trying to decide on a name right now.Miranda or Mia. April will be here pretty quick.We'll probably decide during delivery. Just finished working on a Sony Playstaion commerical.It was filmed at Petco Park because Dodger Stadium was having lighting issues. That was an all nighter but was really cool(actually it was freezing)because both of my sons signed up to be there. Met with an agent. Invested a lot in roof patching material. We have had a lot rain in good ol southern Cali and the doublewides roof just can't take it. Started selling blind parts on Ebay.The writers stike goes on like the Energizer bunny which makes work in tv and film extremly slow. Hopefully things will pick up soon. I was in the movie above "A Day Without a Mexican" as -you guessed it - a Mexican. I ended up with 3 other guys as car washers. This was an interesting movie. I don't think I have met anyone who was affended by it but I'm sure there are some who were. It's basically a story about all the Mexicans in Southern California disappearing and what happens to the economy. It has a certain documentary type feel to it. Defenately worth watching once.
Posted by JohnnyD at 9:31 AM
Thursday, October 25, 2007
My first time on a real set was in a TV movie starring Rob Estes and Pamela Anderson. It was the CBS Tuesday Night Movie "Come Die With Me: A Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer Mystery".Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to meet my fellow Canadian actress but It was still a fun experience. This was in the early 90's and I was working at Walmart unloading their trucks and stocking shelves on the graveyard shift. If I ever hear that Walmart cheer again, I'll shoot myself. I wanted to keep my days open for auditons but when I dozed off at the wheel one morning climbed an embankment and nearly took out a no stopping sign I decided it was time to quit.My wife was flipping burgers and the apartment we were in would eventually evict us because we couldn't get the rent in on time. Not the best of times but not the worst either. That would be when my 3 three year old ended up at Children's hospital for 2 months a paraplegic. That's going to be a tough post but I'll get to it someday. Ok, back to my first time. Casting director Sam Warren calls me and asks if I want to play the part of a waiter at the Del Mar Race Track for a TV movie. Sure I said and showed up promptly to stand in line with a bunch of other guys wearing black pants and white shirts. A short time later Sam is looking at his clip board checking everybody in and starts looking a little puzzled. You see, he forgot to hire someone to play a jockey. Since I was the shortest there, they rushed me in the wardrobe trailer and started putting a makeshift costume together. Red satiny vest, long black boots and a helmet with a pointy thing on top. A little embarrassing but hey its show business. The highlight of this day was when the director approached me and started giving me directions like I knew what he was talking about. Hit my mark. What mark? Oh, an X on the ground. Right. After the car smashes through the barrier I run after it. Ok, got it. I ended getting my first Taft Hartley on this movie. The other 2 came pretty quickly too. When ever I watch my performance on the vhs I have I get a little depressed. You see in the background they caught my sweet tricked out 1967 Chevy Camaro that I had to sell when times got bad. Oh well, gotta grow up some time.
Posted by JohnnyD at 1:15 PM
Monday, October 15, 2007
The guy hands me a gun and an id badge that said Detective Mundy. I was a cop on the set of "Top Dog" starring Chuck Norris. The gun was a prop of course and the guy who handed it to me looked just like - I kid you not - Rod Stewart. The hair, the accent, and even the outfit he was wearing screamed "Hey look at me I'm Rod Stewart!". Anyone who worked on this movie can back me up. It was uncanny.
Getting on this film was interesting. Apparently the first batch of cops to be in the scene were actors/models who were 6 foot plus. This made our leading man look small. Can't have that. So, enter the small guys. I usually miss out because of my small stature but this time I got in thanks to it. I will post later about landing the part of a jockey.
This movie was directed by Chuck Norriss' brother Aaron Norris and both of these guys were really laid back and mellow. I remember we were all sitting together between scenes and Chuck gets up to talk to the motorcycle cop that was helping with security. He apparently likes bikes and they start rambling on like they're best buds. I was a big karate fan in the 70's and thought Chuck Norris was cool especially when I found out he would train with Bruce Lee. Breaker,Breaker was a favorite movie of mine back then. I read he made a whopping $10,000 for that flick. I think he gets a little more these days. Another cool encounter was with a crew member who was involved with all the stunts in "Chips" starring Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox. Boy, I'm starting to feel old. The crew member ended up driving my car with me in the passenger seat in a scene which gave me a "car bump." That's extra pay for letting them use your vehicle.
It was fun working on this film not to mention the looks on my kids' faces when we went to the drive in and there on the giant screen was their pappy.
"Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't"
Posted by JohnnyD at 11:38 AM
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
So we're standing in the wardrobe trailer and this lady is telling us that the outfits we are about to get into are the same ones that were worn in Kevin Costner's "Dances with Wolves".Cool. They were too clean though and we were instructed to roll around in the ground to get them wrinkled and dirty. They also put movie dirt on us. Kinda like make up for your clothes. A rag with this black stuff on it. At the time this movie was being called Edwards and Hunt. They do that a lot. The working title being different than the finished product title.
Anyways, we were getting mucked up and just hanging out when I noticed Matthew Perry coming out of his trailer and sitting on the steps. He stared out and looked very distant. He also looked like he hadn't eaten in days. I mean this guy was very skinny. I later found out that this is when he started having drug problems. You wouldn't of noticed it watching the movie because of the extra weight that's added when you're on film. Chris Farley on the other hand didn't have a "skinny" weight problem. He was a riot. We shot at Blacks Beach -a nude beach- and he had this personal tent with I don't know how many people catering to his every need. Always laughing and acting like a big kid. I loved watching him on Saturday Night Live. The "Van down by the river" is probably my favorite skit. I don't think anybody had a clue this was his last movie and that we would die before it was released. Runs a chill down my spine as I write this. I guess there were a lot of people who knew he was going down the John Belushi road but didn't know when it was going to happen. Very sad
"Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine."
Posted by JohnnyD at 12:42 PM