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Over this past summer, my friend Wes filmed his senior thesis for SCAD.   As I have mentioned before, I met Wes during my first SCAD film “Sharp”.  He had asked during a project in between if I would like to be in his film.  Without hesitation, I said yes!  He told me it was a film noir-esque with some comedy.  I thought it was a great idea.  I asked him if I would be the private eye and he said no.  He wanted me as one of the thugs working for “the Boss”.  I didn’t really care what he wanted me to do, I was just happy to be a part of his film.

We went over the script and I had brought up a line that I thought fit in with my character and he loved it.  I asked him if we could put it in there and he had to check with the script writer.  He did, and she said it would be fine.  I can’t say the whole line, but I can tell you I mention that “there are two types of people in this world…..” it gets a little profane after that.  Anyway. filming took place over 4 days.

Even though I was not a lead, I was on set for most of the filming, as I love being on the set and watching the behind the scenes.  Wes’ parents catered the set and they did an amazing  job!  For the budget they were on, it was amazing.  At the same time I was an extra on CBGB and I said this then, and I’ll say it now- in direct proportion to the size of the 2 sets, Doug and Marianne did as awesome as major film caterer.  I couldn’t stop going on about how great the food they made was.  It was certainly one of, if not, the best catered sets I have been on yet.

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Most of the filming was done in a warehouse where it was over 100 degrees.  Thankfully, as on any set, there was plenty of water for everyone.  I have to say the crew Wes put together was nothing other than patient and professional.  Wes as a director, was very organized and knew what he wanted. He was very patient in working with the actors, especially in that heat.  It didn’t really bother me, I like the heat.  But then again, I wasn’t in a suit ;)  The chemistry between the actors was also excellent.  I hadn’t met anyone of the actors before this and again, I have maintained a friendship with some of them.

There was a joke one of the guys wanted me to play on the 1st Assistant Director.  We checked with Wes and he said it was cool.  I pretended to flip out and ask why everything was taking so long and could we please just finish up!  I got into it with Wes and then he couldn’t hold back laughing and I laughed and look over at the 1st AD.  He didn’t like it.  He told me sit down and get back to work. I got a little nervous about that and later I went to apologize and he was cool.  He was definitely a great sport about the whole thing.  He never saw it coming and the crew members who didn’t know about it, thought it was real.  The looks on some of their faces were awesome.

“Ace in the Hole”  is about a private detective who is kind of not all there.  He has trouble solving cases and when an old flame hires him to find her cat, he witnesses a crime.  He got on the case instantly and finds their hideout.  In doing so he solves the greatest case of his career.  Their is some humor, their is some drama and there is some fun.  As I mentioned earlier I was not a lead in this film, but I am very involved.  I got to do some voice over work for the trailer which is posted below and you can watch.  I also get to play on the soundtrack which we are recording this week.  I am very proud of this film and proud of my friend for pulling off this great film.  I am also grateful for the opportunity to have such a big part on this film.   If you live in the Savannah area, “Ace in the Hole”  will be premiering at the SCAD showcase on November 15th 2012, at the Trustees Theater on Broughton St.   See you there!

http://vimeo.com/52043103?action=share

I answered a post on facebook to be an extra for a day, it was actually a few hours.  It was a very simple shot where myself and two others were looking at a paper and being shocked at the headlines.  While we were doing it, a man came over to tell us what to do and he had a cigarette in one hand and a lighter in the other.  I asked him if that was for me, since I was just leaning up against the machine on a corner.  He gave it to me and lighted it and we did two takes and that was over.  Not knowing who he was, I went over to thank him for the smoke.  We started talking for a couple of seconds and he told extras casting director to bring me back the next day for a birthday party scene.  We talked for a few minutes and found we had a few things in common and clicked instantly.

Still not knowing who he was when I showed the next day on set, I walked right up to him and started talking to him saying thank you for bringing me back.  We talked for a few minutes, then it was time to get busy.  I found out a little later on, he was Rutiger Von Spies, the Director.  The scene was for an Ambassador’s birthday party so we were all dressed to the nines.  The other extras, who came on for the day were really wonderful people.  When we all showed up at basecamp that morning, we all got to know each other a little bit.  This is one of my favorite parts of doing these.  Whether they be SCAD films or being an extra in a feature film, you always get to meet all kinds of interesting and wonderful people.  With any luck, you also get to maintain friendships with them.  I have been fortunate enough to have been able to do that with several of the people I have met.

We were in the backyard of this beautiful house filming nice party scene and Rusty Joiner was going around greeting everyone. One of the extras, Abbie, and I were “just married” and I was introducing her to Rusty’s character.  Between shots, he was just a cool guy talking with everyone on a one on one basis.  He told me his favorite quote for my next project I am doing- “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice”  He didn’t know who said it, but with a little help from Dorothy(another extra) we discovered it was Zig Ziglar.  In fact, I got a lot of quotes from my new  friends,  and I am looking forward to making that next project.  I am grateful for all of the quotes I got that day! But that is another story.  When we moved out to the front porch of the house, Pete Kasper was there as well as Patrick Bauchau and some actors from Savannah who are doing quite well- Jackson Morgan and Anthony Paderewski.  All of them were just super cool!  Pete Kasper’s first words to me were “I love that suit!” Then he introduced himself.  Later on he was telling me and Pepi (another extra) jokes and stories.  He also walked around greeted and talk to everyone else. Patrick Bauchau introduced himself and we talked for a few minutes.  He also commented on my suit and while we were talking he mentioned Sonny Rollins.  I told him how I met Sonny Rollins in that suit.  During the shooting of this front porch scene Rusty is bringing his girlfriend to meet his father, Patrick.  I am talking to (I think, one of his ex-girlfriends) played by Lidia Pearl, and then she goes over to talk to Rusty.  There is a little confrontation between Pete and some other guests and he asked to leave.  I don’t want to give too much away so I will stop there.

During lunch, I was getting coffee at the same time Rutiger was and we went back to his table.  He started talking about the day before to the other two ladies at the table. He is quite an interesting gentleman.  His German accent is very thick, so one really has to pay attention when he is talking.  He, like everyone else in the cast that I met, had no problem taking pictures and just sitting back talking with everyone. He brought up learning Italian, (because of my last name) and later on the set, came over and gave me advice on how to learn it.  It sounds daunting, but I would like to give it a try.

The atmosphere on this entire set was so laid back.  I must say the actors and actresses (at least the one I met) were all very cool and sweet, as were the crew.  It was really cool to see my friend Nikita on the crew.  He was DP on the first SCAD film I did, where I met him.  They weren’t all about them, they wanted to know about you and what you do.  There were a few of them that went to a play Pepi, was talking about.  Pete and Patrick told me they heard me playing in the Square a few nights before.  I saw Pete several days later on the town.  He remembered who I was and after a few minutes of conversation,  said “I don’t have a quote yet, but I will.”  This experience was just awesome all the way around.   I want to say a huge thank you to Rebecca, the extras casting agent, for bringing me in on this project.  I met some awesome people and had a wonderful time!

 

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