Sunday, September 20, 2009

A day on the set of Friday Night Lights

okay, let's start here . . . for years i've had casting calls come in for NBC's Friday Night Lights . . . i thought about it . . . loved the book, liked the film . . . when i was coaching once got kinda yelled at because i did a documentary thing interview for, oddly enough, an NBC show, and the head coach thought i was doing a *Friday Night Lights* thing . . . anyway, back to the subject, i had pretty much dismissed the FNL casting calls because i don't watch TV, figured then i wouldn't *do* TV, even though i've done quite a few one-time shot things on talk shows etc over the years, but never narrative stuff . . . so i was only answering film calls, and not much of that lately either . . .

THEN, a good friend, we've done shows together, etc., Irec Hargrove, auditioned for and got a season-long role on the core football team, which means he's in every show, and has a constant filming gig . . . it's a big step for a guy with a ton of talent . . . and so this week when a casting call came in, i thought why not, i'll go be an extra for a day, and get to see Irec . . . so i called in . . . one of the things too about this casting call was that they were looking for the usual fans, but also for opposing team coaches and for press, and were looking for experience, and i've been both of those things in real life, sooooo . . . i called, and while they didn't say yes you will, they said that filming would be in San Marcos at a junior high (oddly enough, the old high school stadium, where i coached a few games against San Marcos) . . . and to come prepared . . . well, it's a complex thing in that you have to check a hotline a couple times leading up to the call time in case things change . . . and of course i was two and a half hours away, so last minute changes would be a problem . . . i go anyway, hoping for the best . . . so i walk in with a load of wardrobe choices and of course i was scheduled as a *fan* so didn't need any of it, but i guess up until the last minute i was a wait-list coach . . . but fan is what i had figured so it was okay with me . . .

so waiting in line to check in, and Jaime de la Rosa hollers at me . . . he was one of the guys in this summer's Beauty and the Beast here . . . and i sorta knew him from Tivy HS years ago, but he's gone on to work in quite a few films, and had a character role in FNL for a couple of seasons, and now is just picking up add work with them to keep his card current . . . anyway, also with him was Alan Zaizar, someone else i worked with here for years, and then Jared Manry popped his head around the corner, he's an ITM grad and who Irec is now sharing an apartment with in Austin . . . so we all were fans for the Rattlers for the night (yeah Purple!) . . . and we hung together for the night and had some fun . . . better than being solo at a shoot like this (if you go, go with friends . . . i knew from film work that you sit 90% of the time and get a few minutes of real action so i brought a book) . . .

well, we got singled out and told to do some *special* things . . . like be as far from the cameras as possible, ha . . . well, actually once we were right next to the camera, so close, like i could turn the knobs myself, that we were out of view . . . then they told us to run like the wind to the far end of the stadium and stand and cheer under the scoreboard . . . well, i ran like i was winded, and we stood there for thirty minutes and sorta looked like we were at a football game . . . half a mile from the cameras . . . funny people are - carloads of drunk friday night kids would drive by and holler thinking it was real game going on . . . ho ho ho . . .

then a guy strolls by and says "they said to go back where you were, this isn't working . . ." well duh, we were so proud in our black and purple shirts with purple snakes on them and then they send us away from the cameras . . . so we haul back to the concession stand . . . and . . . the camera's gone . . . so we get repositioned there a few times waiting for something important to happen, and then a guy comes by and says okay, thanks, now go back where you were in the stands . . . well, we'd never been in the stands, so we just go pick a place, and some lady gets on our case about the work they'd put in spacing everyone to cover the holes . . . and i'm thinking yeah, you witch, you're just hogging the camera . . . so we sit as a group right there anyway . . . and over the night we gradually end up yards and feet apart as people abandon us and we keep having to stretch out to make it look like the stands are full . . . Go Rattlers!

BUT . . . six hours later, we are finally in the action, the lights spin our way and we get to cheer and cheer for the Rattlers, like four thousand times . . . for the same four plays over and over and over . . . and the plays were pretty good, and i'd tell you what happens but see i am NOT going to be the spoiler for all you folks who watch the show . . . plus i don't remember signing a paper that says i have to keep it all secret, but maybe i just missed the small print somewhere, and i wanna work for these people again someday . . . so you'll just have to watch the show . . .

okay, so it's late in the night, around 10 and suddenly there's a news chopper circling . . . like they see the lights and are checking on a football game for the nightly broadcast . . . they probably looked everywhere to find out who was playing . . . probably thought they found a rogue game being played . . . and why they couldn't figure out it was saturday night and probably not a high school game . . . well local broadcasters you know, just can't keep up with us national TV show folks . . . loi

they brought us pizza in the stands at midnight . . . pretty cool . . . Gatti's . . . but we had to hide the boxes under the seats so it wouldn't show up on camera . . .

and then it was over . . .

we hung out to see Irec afterwards . . . i shook his hand . . . i haven't washed it yet . . . never will



Tags: , ,

Labels: , , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home