Tech. Travel. Nerd Culture.

Day 3 (11.04.07) – On The Set of "Hand To Hand"

I recall, prior to today’s shoot, Jino mentioning that he would never show a female getting hurt on screen. But, then he goes on to explain his enthusiasm of looking forward to creating the special effects for a male character getting his head blown off, as he described the blood splatter of brains spraying from the actor’s head. This great scene was shot today.

On the drive up to Pinole, where the latest scene settings are located, I was chatting with Jino – practically interviewing him about the road he traveled to making his first flick. If my memory serves me well – apparently, as a young child, he and some friends had fun making 8mm shorts (this is the story that all filmmakers love to tell). Then by a stroke of luck, he gained his first 15 min. of fame and won a contest where he appeared with a famous B-movie martial artist (the name escapes me again, sorry). That experience enlightened him to make movies.

I tend to joke with filmmakers and actors if they aim to win the Academy Award. I find that this joke that I make with the industry folks is getting old, as I am bored with myself for telling it. Anyways, I brought this attempt at humour up with Jino, and he’d responded,”I would rather win the MTV awards.” As much as I enjoy it every year, I realized watching the Oscars shouldn’t be so special. There’s no science to it, and, although most nominees are good (even great sometimes), I tend to disagree about the winners. It’s just a bunch of Hollywood big wigs having built a reputation to offer an opinion that people respect. We can all agree to disagree. At this point, Jino asked me if I had finished a screenplay yet. I said I need to revise it… Then he went into his speech about focusing on dreams before we die, because, he concluded,”How long is the average lifespan? 70 or 80 years? That’s not very long.” I want to win an MTV movie award as much as I want to win an Oscar.

PeteWe started the day with Peter Woodrow, pic to the left, who plays Jim. His character will be the homeless, crack-addict whose first scene involves his attempt to rob (or even kill) Ken (Jino’s character). Of course, a fight ensues where Jim is flipped to the ground. The mat that was provided wasn’t large enough to soften Peter’s landing; the PAs were lucky enough to find a beat-up old mattress in a nearby dumpster – such is the beauty of an improvised, resourceful film set. Peter’s performance reminds me of a young Larenz Tate. Peter is an actor who could of done Menace II Society, or even Paul Haggis’s version of Crash. I truly believe he has the potential to be that good. Don’t you love the references I make to other movies? It makes my experience on the set that much more authentic. =)

The mugging scene was being filmed in a quiet part of the town of Rodale. Or, that’s what we were assuming to believe. There were quite a few curious onlookers that lingered on to the set – a rambling old man who tried to explain his own experience with mugging, another man across the street speaking loudly and hosing his floor (behind a sign that says “Private Property”) oblivious to us filming a movie, a bunch of Hell’s Angels zooming by (the same group a number of times), a young child yelling into a phone with excitement,”They’re filming a movie!” from a 2nd story window… and the most peculiar one was a large truck parked across the street as we hear a loud male voice yelling at some other unseen person – “Fuck you! Bitch!” as the truck zooms off in a hurry. I have a feeling Jino is already taking mental notes of possible characters for the next screenplay.

I’ve had the pleasure of befriending two Production Assistants – Matt and Joy. Both have made short films, and I hopefully will be able to see them soon. A lot younger than me, but a lot more experienced than me. Who says they have no faith in the youth? They inspire me to not become a bitter old man. I will probably talk more of them in the next entries.

This movie is being shot in HD!

At night, after being entertained by Jino’s family’s Korean BBQ at Pinole Sportsmen’s Center, we shot the opening scene of the movie that involves four actors – Owen Thomas and Ariele Senara (who plays the parents of Jim) gets carjacked by a young Tokyo Joe (played by Mickey Casab) and a young Ken (played by Sung Min Park). I was looking forward to the shooting of the scene, as this is probably one of the most violent parts in Hand To Hand. *giggle, evil giggle*

BloodI learned how to make blood… fake blood, I mean. I was told it is a mixture of corn syrup, red dye, and water. But this production crew didn’t find the time make a batch, but instead, bought the pre-made stuff you see in the pic here. There’s one particular scene where Owen’s character get’s his brain blown out of his head (as I mentioned gleefully at the beginning of this entry.). It involved a long tube attached to the back of his head, some of the fake blood, and pieces of sponge that supposedly resembles pieces of brain. Cool! I’m gonna try this recipe at home some day. Well, we did about three takes of this, and I’m curious how this will turn out on screen… if I could tell it’s only sponge pieces while the audience gasp at the graphic scene. This makes it a rated “R” movie, woo-hoo!

And “Exhibit A” – the gun replica that blew out Owen’s brains:

Gun Replica

As I was freezing my ass off by llpm, I decided to sit inside the Sportsmen’s Center to warm myself while watching the actors (or listening, to be more descriptive) from near the doorway. Then I hear a loud smack and Mickey’s voice,”Oh shit! I’m sorry. You all right?” Then a stunned Sung responded,”Damn, I think you really hit me.” A fighting scene between them was being filmed. Apparently, their acting got too real.

There is a “Making Of…” being documented for this flick by Mickey Sattler. He is the guy you see in the pics and videos wearing the shorts, and the camera slung over his shoulder.

Anyways, started at about 12pm, and ended at about 12:45am the next morning… Groan… making a movie involves a lot of suffering. But, I can’t complain. It could of been worst. I could of ended up spending another typical weekend wondering what to do with my 70 to 80 year lifespan… See ya in less than 7 days…

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