Lights! Cameras! Action!

Posted on April 2, 2008 by Sara Hickman. | Comments Off on Lights! Cameras! Action!

Yesterday went swimmingly….especially when Ben, one of the cameramen, accidently fell into the lake upon arrival, so he had to shoot in wet pants the whole time and never once complained! smile
There’s my pun for the day! Swimmingly! Wet pants! Ay yi yi!

So, yesterday we were shooting “Down By The Bay”, a webisode written by Alan Luecke and yours truly! The webisode was about the Super Pal Universe kids turning
into super heroes to help clean up dirty water, littering, pollution, etc. The vibe was a mixture of a Japanese comedy show mixed with fun Saturday morning cartoons
and lots of LIVE ACTION!!! Woo-hoo!

Oh, before I forget…let me say this:

I looooooooooove directing, and I loooooooooove directing with Matt (of Make Media). We had such good synergy. He was the Director of Photography/head camera honcho.
he fact that he and I knew the script inside out made our working together really easy and fun cuz we could reference shots and knew exactly what we were talking about.
His crew was excellent, too. Again, let’s all give Ben a big round of applause for hanging in there!

Alice and Shayla, who we met through Austin Voices, came up with great handmade costumes…..A big shout out to them
for always stepping up and creating fun fashion for the SPU kids. Alice even got to be an extra in a scene with Rush! It is great having teens designing
clothes for teens. The whole idea behind Super Pal Universe is that kids can be creative…so, eventually, I hope to have kid camera crews, editors, directors,
recording engineers, writers, you name it. Then I can finally sit back and enjoy the show with a big smile on my face cuz the dream will be a total reality!

So, Evan (who plays Riff/lead guitarist/sings) made his own awesome recycling shirt for his super character, Magnet Man… I think he and Jeannie (or Mollie?) made the velcro cans to put on his shirt and it was HILARIOUS! We will have a reverse shot of cans falling from the shirt so it looks like they were “sucked” up by magnetic force to the shirt! He did a super pose as Magnet Man, too. Very Clark Kentish. Lily and iolana and Jacob’s brother and sister were all very funny extras who were caught by Magnet Man in the act of littering. Eek! Evan’s dad and Evan were taking pictures of the entire shoot, too, so kudos, again, to them for capturing the afternoon with pix.

Aubrey (who plays Julee/guitar/sings) looked like a sweet blue fairy/mermaid, sitting on a rock with a bottle of disgustingly filthy water. With her wonder filled smile, she was perfect for Clean Water Girl. The magic wand in her hand transformed the water to instant clean! Ping! Aubrey got her takes right away, just like the other kids. Everyone was so easy/helpful to work with. And Aubrey’s friends were really funny during LIvvy’s scene, too.

Jacob (Boris/keys/sings) was dead on…He sure can jump back far! He had to jump a LOT. He is our scientist who comes up with crazy solutions. He had a GIANT wand with a glowing, spinning orb.
He really got into bringing down his wand and yelling, “WORLD PEACE!”, which is where a lot of the jumping was occurring.
I wrote “DR. BORIS” on his lab coat, not that anyone will see it, really, but it added to the fun. His happiness is so contagious. Oh, and Jacob’s mom was an extra in Rush’s scene…She talks on the phone as if she has done it before…! Has she talked on a cell phone before? You tell me! smile

Rush (Sam/drummer) is a natural. He is so so funny because he can go over the top and, yet, he has a sense of timing that is just right. I had to cover my mouth so I wouldn’t laugh out loud. I can see him (well, actually, any of these kids!) on SNL years from now…He was spouting out numbers as Carbon Offset Man, right off the top of his head! Whew!

And Livvy (Nadia/bass/keys/singing) was perfect, too! She has the withering look down! (We all had a nice discussion at rehearsal the other day about the difference between “wilting” glance and “withering” glance. These things are good to know, my friends.) Livvy just captures what needs to be delivered in such a fast way. She’s on top of it and looked great as Activist Girl. I like that she thought to change into another costume; we were just going to have her “glance” be the comedy, but she looked great bouncing over in the outfit Alice and Shayla had created.

I re-wrote a few things on spot to make continuity and shots easier; Matt had some great ideas, too, so once again, it just made the flow fantastic. Matt and I were both really happy…about 3 hours to get it all done.

Also, Erika from KUT showed up and did very lengthy interviews with everyone. So, I’ll let you know when KUT broadcasts the interviews….

All the moms were there! Hooray for moms! Phil (publicist) and Mollie (my assistant) stayed the entire time. Hooray for Phil! And a big Hooray for Mollie getting it all together, even though she had been really sick with an ear infection last week!

J-Ro (marketing guru) had great suggestions and was nice to have there as support. Let me tell you, we had one fellow walk up during the middle of a scene who demanded to fish RIGHT THERE at THAT SPOT and would “be damned if I’ll move. I’ve already had to move because of dogs. I’m staying right here.”

After repeated requests by me to kindly find another fishing spot (to which he told me “F U”, even though I was being calm and courteous),
J-Ro stepped in and asked him if he’d be willing to sign a release. He said he wasn’t signing anything. J-Ro told him he’d end up on T.V. unless he signed the release, which got the rude fellow to move on down the lake. Still….He came back about thirty minutes later and plopped down in some reeds during a final shot, but we were shooting up and wide so it didn’t really matter. But thank God J-Ro got him to move during the first segment…it would have been ruined, otherwise!

To see what a webisode is like, go to

This will be a more sophisticated sequence when it is all edited together, plus some MAGIC sprinkled in….But now you are in the know.

Ah, hooray for an afternoon in the sun with friends, cameras and a strong script!

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