Call was at 7am, so we were up by 6 for breakfast at the hotel. But what about second breakfast? Thanks for asking, Pip, I was just about to get there. The next round of chow comes after we land at the ranch (metaphor, we drove) and hit the barn. There could be some serious square dancing in this place… needs to happen in the next episode.
Getting there is a 20-minute drive from Banning, CA into the little colony of Oak Glen, nestled in the countryside of southern California (not L.A.) for the biggest shooting day to date on Courage, New Hampshire. In case you still haven’t done your digging, it’s an independent mini-series named after a fictitious town in said state. It may not always appear East-Coast in every direction (see: last week’s photo), but turn your head and try again. What a range this place has. And that’s just sunrise.
Some of the Extras arrived even before we did. Total champs. Our DP Drew Ganyer has been time lapsing each week, click here to check it out! Hauling things here and there across the ranch in a golf cart is pretty fun, even though I should probably never be allowed to drive one again after The Essentials (luckily they still haven’t seen it).
One of the early ice breakers I run with Extras on set is always “Who’s from the farthest out?” which usually turns into a competitive race eastward from one person to another… up until someone drops Europe on the table. Always happens, never fail. Game over. After that, things were pretty tedious for a few hours while setting up and coordinating the ‘composite shot’, which is basically one giant Copy & Paste with video and people. It’s going to look straight out of Return of the King (give or take a few thousand riders). You’ll know what I mean when you see it.
I’ve noticed something this week: Having been in town (California / LA / West / Away) for still under a month now, with this hotel as my longest place of residence to date, it’s basically my home. I moved to Los Angeles and am living in a hotel. Things will surely get a lot less luxurious in the months ahead, but this has been a pretty cool acclimation to the state. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when I show up at the Santa Monica Promenade next week to sell sneakers, attempting to reclaim my job after a three week vacation. If any of you out there have some good suggestions or one-liners, this is definitely the time for them to be shared. I’m hoping a postcard might work:
We all had a blast. There was a huge crew and dozens of others helping out there as well; don’t let this photo fool you. At first I was a little reluctant about joining the production a few weeks back, but becoming a part of something this scope was undeniable.
Family reunions everyday on set could have gotten old really fast, but these folks are top notch. A lot of the set is actually crewed by two very close (and very large) farm families, along with the scores of others that work there. They’re living the ultimate alter-ego during the farming offseason. It feels good to have hands like these on your side, helping out for nothing else than the blind love of it. God bless ’em, they’re getting it done. I made a Homecoming wisecrack at one point… but that’s what they’re living each and every day here, which is pretty envious. This is a courageous project… pun intended.
Above you can see the greatest picture that I will ever take in my life. (Jim Tavare as Krepps in the show)
Oh, and I also made an appearance on-screen. See it in my NEW ACTING REEL: