Day 5/6 on the Movie Set

To finish off my commentary on what happened during the movie shoot, I’ve decided to combine days 5 and 6 together. Day 5 was scheduled to be our day off, though it turned into a bit of a circus as we had to practice and finding a location was quite a hassle. Madison Miller from South Carolina flew down to be our 4th person in the routine. This was essential as any good double dutch routine requires good turners. I am quite happy she was flexible enough to make it down with such crazy last minute scheduling issues. She was quite adamant that it was no problem and who wouldn’t want a paid couple days on a cruise ship (I surreptitiously lifted my hand there as I’m not a fan of being on a boat…or a ship for that matter).

As soon as she got on board (which was a walk in the park compared to our 5 hour ordeal) she zoomed into the windjammer (buffet) to grab a bite. I took a look at the basketball court to see if we could practice there and it turns out…it was raining. Not good. We headed to the fitness center where we were told we couldn’t practice as they were doing walk throughs at that time. We went to a staff area to practice as much as we could, though we were quite limited due to ping-pong tables and a very low roof.

We took a break for the muster drill, headed back to the fitness center and started practicing again. We were very quickly told to stop by an employee because we were in the spin area and it wasn’t a proper area to practice (it was the only spot big enough in the room). She told us to go to the aerobics room, which happened to be blocked off by a security guy because one of the stars of the movie was doing a private spin class. No problem, but we still needed to practice. We decided to just have a go again in the spin area, a lady from acupuncture ran into the room and said we had to stop. We were as loud as a herd of elephants and were ruining her session downstairs (whoever thought it was a good idea to put a fitness center directly above a spa should be slapped).

So once again, we were kicked out of the fitness center, never to return. In total, I think we were asked to leave about 5 times. We still had a problem…we needed to practice and it was still raining. We had to have the routine down that night as our call time was 6 am the next morning and there would be no time to practice on the day of the shoot. We wandered aimlessly around the ship until we came across an outside area that was somewhat covered and we just took it over and practiced there. It turned into a joke very shortly that I would constantly say “one more time” or “let’s do it again”. Having done a ton of video work in the past I understand the process and how misses are not acceptable when things are rolling. They were all good sports about it, but I wanted to make sure things were as good as could be that night.

Day 6 started early, as I said, Stephen and I had a call time of 6 am. We went in and were unceremoniously shaved head to toe (I think I should clarify here that I mean face, arms, chest and legs). This was due to the fact that the main character we were doubling had been shaved and we had to match him. We then sat through makeup and I got a wig. It was an interesting experience and I’m sure people pay a lot of money for what I went through (especially with the top quality people they had doing it).

We headed out to set and as soon as I got there, they were ready to shoot. We started through our routine and found that the wind was blowing rather hard. If you’ve ever tried Double Dutch with a strong wind I’m sure you can appreciate the difficulty it poses. Basically, it causes your ropes to fall almost straight down instead of staying in a nice loop. This in turn causes a lot of mistakes and quite a few headaches. Madison and Cita worked their magic though and we got through most of the routine, though it was chopped up into a lot of sections as we couldn’t ever do the whole thing without a miss. This was due mainly to the wind.

About half way through the routine, they decided that was enough and started moving cameras around and wanted to do some closeups. I was a bit disappointed as the hardest (and best looking) part of the routine was the middle and end. Thankfully they eventually let us shoot the end of the routine, but sadly, we never got to do the hardest sequence we put together. It was a cool looking frog over push-up into a stack to a roll. Oh well, that’s how things go sometimes.

The principal actor came in and took Stephen’s spot and I got to work with him on some different sections of the routine that he could fake doing. We shot it without ropes to a click track and they will add the ropes in with CG once everything is cut.

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