‘JAY and SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK’ – On-Set Production Report
WEEK TWO – Part 1 of 2
SPECIAL GIANT-SIZED EDITION!
(So GIANT in fact that it can’t all fit into a single column edition! (Insert non-fanboy moans and groans here.) So for now this will be Part 1, with Part 2 to follow, hopefully this Friday morning.)
Whether you liked week one’s report or not (and you know who you are), you ain’t seen or read nothing yet! This week was by far the absolute best yet.
We gotta a lot to get to, so let’s get to it!
Monday, January 22nd through Thursday, January 25th 2001.
"IT’S GONNA BE A WET WEEK…" – Monday, Day 4
Or so they say, but lucky for us, its not today.
We’re not out of the woods just yet though, as whether folks are telling us that rain will indeed hit sometime during the middle to late week.
My day gets off to a late start - so late in fact, that I arrive on set after 4pm. We’re shooting outdoors today, which means once the sun is down, we’re done and down for the day.
4:28 pm - As I arrive at base camp, I park my car to find the lot sparse with cars. I gage my watch with the sun to find less than an hour of daylight before we can shoot no more. But some days like today have wrapped early so I have fears that I have indeed missed everything and will soon turn back around and leave disappointed, with nothing to talk about. I ain’t gonna let that happen folks! I mean, today was Day 1 with Shannon Elizabeth and Will Ferrell after all!
I soon recognize one of the shuttle vans pulling into the lot, dropping one person off. This is looking bad. I approach the driver named Don, and ask him if they’ve wrapped. He informs me that they haven’t and are about 10-15 minutes up the road. "Let’s go!" I say and jump in.
So we’re off to where they’re shooting, and as we head uphill, I notice a cavalry of motorcycle cops riding down just passing us, followed by two more shuttle vans. I see Kev and Scott and others of the crew packed inside riding just behind the cops. Directly in front of them is Will Ferrell driving a camera rigged car. This looks bad. Neither one of us are sure if they’ll be riding back up or just head down to their cars and leave, but Don thinks they’ll come back up, so he takes me to where the trailers and such are set up.
We get there and the place is dead. Nothing happening. I find the 1st AD, Heather whom I met earlier in the week and ask her what’s happening. She informs me this should be the final shot and that they’re shooting a driving scene, which runs about 2 _ miles, so it’ll be awhile until they get back. Well I guess I’ll just sit out here and wait. And wait I do.
5:17 pm – As the sun begins to disappear, and a chill hits the air, I notice the vans coming back up, but no sign of Kev and company. Heather informs me that they’re down the hill a short ways, so I begin walking down towards them.
Halfway up another van ambles just past me, and stops. The doors open and Kevin calls out for me to hop inside from the passenger window. We drive back up from were I just left, and Kev, Mosier and I soon bail out. We then meet up with Will Ferrell and Kev introduces me to Will. The meet is brief but Ferrell seems to be a likable enough guy, who clearly enjoyed his first day.
The three of us walked back to Mosier’s SUV and they offer to drive me back down to my car, to where I’ll meet them back on the lot a bit later to watch Friday’s footage with Day Two of Biggs & Van Der Beek, and more of Deitrich Bader.
Jay joins us at dailies, and afterwards we talk outside about hanging out this weekend and doing an interview of sorts.
"MONKEY TROUBLE and THE ARRIVAL OF WALT AND STEVE-DAVE" – Tuesday, Day 5
Today we’re shooting on location at Vasquez Rocks Park up in the Santa Clarita area. It is in fact the same location that was featured in previous episodes of ‘Star Trek’ as well as the location of Bedrock for Amblin’s ‘The Flintstones’.
It’s famous for their unique rock formation, which is prominently used as a backdrop for a scene involving Jay, Silent Bob, and Tango the orangutan as ‘Suzanne’. Will Ferrell and Judd Nelson are also on hand, and a diner set stands nearby. We also shoot another short chase sequence involving our heroes.
If you haven’t already, go and check out some exclusive photos of this scene, as well as some stuff from Week 1 over at NEWSASKEW.COM. They’re fairly non-spoilerish.
Next up is the day’s final martini shot, which just involves Jay & Silent Bob holding each of Suzanne’s hands in front of the diner, atop its steps.
Now this all sounds like it should be simple, and it would be if Tango weren’t more in the mood to play than act at the moment. Tango’s direction is just to stand there, but with a guard railing directly in front of him, he’d rather climb on it or swing through rather than just stand in front.
Back on the lot again, we settle in for dailies and just as we do does the door open and lo and behold in walk Walt Flanagan and Bryan Johnson, View Askew’s very own super fans, Walt & Steve-Dave respectively.
Kev greets them, where they inform him that they’ve just got into town to do their cameos for Thursday. Apparently, they drove in from Jersey as Walt does not like to fly.
They hang in and watch dailies with us, and then we all huddle in to the editing room where Kev shows us footage from week one which he and Scott edited over the weekend.
I meet briefly with Walt and Bryan before we all go our separate ways: me home for some much needed rest, as they go off to The Golden Apple on Melrose to pick up Tuesday’s new comic releases.
"PARTLY CLOUDY, 82% CHANCE OF RAIN" – Wednesday, Day 6
Better make that 100% chance.
Same location, different day. Except for today is the day that nature choose to frown upon us with cloud cover, intermittent rain and even hail! Lucky though, today is interior stuff inside the diner rather than outside, but unpleasant to work in nonetheless.
Back at dailies, Bryan, Walt and Malcolm are trying to figure out what to do that evening for fun. But out here, anything after 9pm, outside of dinner and/or a bar on a weeknight are slim. Besides, Walt’s not much for bars, so Malcolm suggests either CityWalk or bowling. Bowling?!?!
"Yeah, you certainly can’t do that back in Jersey!" I say.
I’m out, because tomorrow’s the big day at the El Rey, which I’m on all day. Walt and Bryan don’t have call time until 4 or 5pm so they’re good to go.
We all exit to leave. Kev, executive producer Jon Gordon, and myself pile in one cart, while Jay, Walt, Bry and Malcolm jump in another, with Jay behind the wheel.
As Kev begins to pull away to the right, Jay quickly zooms past us, laughing manically as he speeds ahead. Crazy somabitch.
Kev drives me back to my car, we talk a bit about tomorrow’s shoot were in informs me, much to his disappointment that Ethan Suplee is unable to do his cameo because he (like Duchovney) is still tied up shooting ‘Evolution’ for Ivan Reitman. Bummer. So he’s off to go home and re-write to compensate for the change I assume.
"BIG DAY AT THE ‘EL REY’. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED" – Thursday, Day 7.
No way I’m gonna miss his day! This day promises to hold vast amounts of fun and surprises that I’m planning on holding out here ‘til the cold and bitter end!
Call time for crew and some of the cast is scheduled for 11am. I arrive on scene somewhat fashionably late at 11:25. As I get shuttled in from crew parking a mere 6-7 blocks away (Hey - I gotta save up my energy!), I’m dropped off at the trailers just around the corner from the El Rey.
There I see some of the extras huddled outside together, as well as an autograph seeker or two. Five minutes later I find Mewes expressing disappointment that more hot looking girls didn’t come out and represent. I heartedly agree. The female ratio was slight compared to the guys. As we talk a bit more some guy approaches Jay for an autograph. "Do you have a pen?" Jay asks. "Uh… ummm… no." the seeker says. People, when asking for autographs it’s wise to have a pen handy. I obliged him, and handed Jay my pen so the guy could get his signature. He grabbed his autograph and quickly ran off. "Your welcome brother!"
Twenty minutes later Malcolm runs up to me asking if I have my car here. "Yeah, it’s in the lot." I tell him. "Can you do me a huge favor?" Malcolm asks me, and soon, next thing I know is we’re off to the valley to grab something he needs back at the house.
I arrive back on set about an hour later, and go inside the El Rey where I find some of the cast and crew setting up. I catch Kev and Jay rehearsing some dance moves with Morris Day, that apparently was a last minute thing Kev wanted to try and do.
Outside, I run into Robert ‘Ratface’ Holtzman, production designer for the film, and express to him the coolness and cleverness of the outside posters and marquee. He urges me to stop by his office sometime and he’ll be more than happy to show me some more things he’s working on. Cool.
Back inside I’m quick to find that Walt and Bryan have showed up. Walt stands by himself for a while taking this scene all in. Once the scene quiets down, I stroll up alongside him, and we soon begin talking a bit about the character of Brodie Bruce in ‘MALLRATS’ (as played by Jason Lee), and how the character was a creation that Kev made based on him, which not so surprisingly leads into talks of comics.
MYSTERIO: So Walt, let’s talk about the character of Brodie. How much of that character’s traits are actually based on you, as opposed to just an exaggeration of your persona?
WALT FLANAGAN: Well, there are those little nuances like bagging and boarding my comics & me always carrying around a Dixie cup, but other than that…
MYSTERIO: So you’re not quite as verbose in person from that of the character, which would then be more of an exaggeration?
MYSTERIO: But you do have a mass comic book collection don’t you?
WALT: Yeah, I do.
MYSTERIO: Do you have them stored the same as Brodie did in his basement, all boxed up and such?
WALT: Yeah, it’s pretty much like that.
MYSTERIO: Do you keep everything categorized so that you can locate a pull a certain issue rather quickly?
WALT: Yeah, pretty much. Except often with newer stuff I tend to fall behind on so it just ends up in a pile until I find the time to sit down and organize them.
MYSTERIO: OK, how many comics do you imagine you have in your collection?
WALT: Oh, I don’t know. If I’d have to say, maybe in the tens of thousands since I started collecting in 1975, although I’ve never gone back into the Silver Age or ever felt the need to go back and collect the whole series of say, ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’.
MYSTERIO: OK, let’s say you we’re hard-pressed for cash. What’s the most valuable comic you feel you have in your collection to date?
WALT: I’d have to say my giant-sized ‘X-MEN’ #1.
MYSTERIO: How much do you think you could get for it?
WALT: If I was lucky enough, and had the right buyer, hmmm… maybe six to seven thousand.
MYSTERIO: Kevin’s got his own comic book store in Jersey that you often work at. Have you ever thought of opening your own comic book store?
WALT: No, not really.
MYSTERIO: How do you feel about Kevin ending the whole View Askewniverse?
WALT: Never say never. Who knows, if this thing makes enough money…
MYSTERIO: Besides, I guess Walt and Steve-Dave will live on in the comics.
WALT: Yeah, that’s right.
MYSTERIO: How weird will it be to see yourself portrayed in comic book form with the ‘Walt and Steve-Dave’ 1-shot comic that Kev’s planning to do?
WALT: Yeah, that will definitely be weird.
MYSTERIO: I’m sure you’ll be bagging and boarding that one for its collectable value in the future.
WALT: Yeah, I’ll probably get a few. Ya know I’ll keep a few all boarded up and sealed, and one reading copy to show around and such.
Soon after chatting with Walt I find Bryan Johnson and talk with him about sitting down and offering up his thoughts on the final film, the character of Steve-Dave and also the recently acquired feature film, ‘VULGAR’ which marks his debut as both writer and director, (which is also produced by Smith), scheduled for release sometime this summer. We arrange to try doing it this weekend, as today time is short and I know Johnson’s in town for just a short while.
I then bump into a hardly recognizable Shannon Elizabeth, (who was just named ShoWest Star of Tomorrow) and talk with her briefly about getting together later and talking about the film and such during one of her other less grueling days of shooting. She seems receptive to the idea, so hopefully we’ll get a chance to do a quick sit down, down the road.
As I play catch up back inside I find Kev’s wife, Jen standing by watching Kev and Jay dancing alongside Morris Day. "He’s really enjoying this, isn’t he?" I tell her. "You have no idea." She says. She goes on in detail about Kev’s love for music from the 80’s and how he, Jay and Malcolm will take trips together and sing 80’s love ballads in the car. "You mean like Chicago and Air Supply tunes?" "Oh definitely Air Supply!" Jen says much to her dismay. But the smile on Kev’s face right now says it all. He’s beaming, living out a fanboy’s dream come true - not just having Morris Day and the Time in your movie, but also having the chance of performing alongside them and capturing it all on film.
At about 2:10 we’re ready to begin to roll. Extras are moved in place, the usual suspects sit behind the playback monitors, DP Jamie Anderson double checks the framing and coverage of the ‘A’ and ‘B’ cameras. Kev jumps up onto the stage before the crowd of extras and thanks them for showing up, promising they’re in for a real good time and this should be some fun.
Hmmm… what’s Ali Larter doing here? Whatever, she looks quite fetching even sans the whipped cream outfit she wore in "Varsity Blues."
2:15 – Morris Day and The Time are announced to the crowd and take their places onstage.
"CUE UP SOME ‘JUNGLE LOVE’ BABY!"
Having never seen Morris Day and The Time perform, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but these guys rocked the house! The dance moves and chemistry between Day and his percussionist, Jerome was amazing. The choreography that these two did, with much fancy footwork, was a thrill to see. And take after take they exuded so much life and energy as if they were performing to the crowd for the very first time, every time.
But once Jay and Silent Bob took the stage alongside their musical heroes, the crowd of extras roared with delight. Seeing Jay and Silent Bob dancing in sync with Day and Jerome was just too cool for these words. And to those who were there and saw, once Kev got onstage, the acting stopped. That wasn’t acting folks! He was clearly stuck in the moment and having an absolute ball.
As I watched some of Jay and Silent Bob getting their infectious grooves on, I was briefly distracted when in, from behind me, walks in none other than Joey Lauren Adams, looking amazing. She walked in quietly talking and laughing with Jen as they stood watching Kev do a rolling rehearsal. A look of glee soon fell across Joey’s face as she stood by herself and watched Kev dancing and having a good time. She soon finds Walt and Bryan and says, "Isn’t that the best?" remarking about Kev’s "moves".
Once Kev finishes, he goes to check the playback on the monitor. After taking a look, Jen brings Joey up to Kev, and both seem truly happy to see one another again, and Kev took the stage again for another take.
No sooner did I see Joey did I see ‘CLERKS’ very own Dante Hicks, Brian O’Halloran walking around the place, and just as quick, walked in Brodie Bruce/Banky Edwards himself, Jason Lee.
Kev soon found Lee and quickly motioned him to come up onstage in front of the fans. Lee without hesitation obliged and took the stage, standing there arms raised high above his head, commanding a stage presence not unlike the way that his ‘ALMOST FAMOUS’ character, Jeff Bebe would. The crowd went insane at this point and soon Lee and Kev exited offstage and out the backdoor, where I was soon found left standing next to Brian O’Halloran.
I introduce myself to him which much to my surprise he says, "Oh, you’re the one who wrote that column. Nice job." (It amazes me how many people are reading this thing, most actually even liking it!) "Thanks" I say and soon we begin to talk about the ‘CLERKS’ days where he explains how different it was back then to what it is now. Back then everyone had day jobs, and after hours would go work nights filming ‘CLERKS’ and catering was limited to what The Quick Stop had on hand.
We then discuss the successful ride that ‘CLERKS’ found in Sundance. "That was a complete surprise. I mean Jeff (Anderson) and I were up there and the shows were selling out to the point that people were actually scalping tickets! And Jeff would say, "Man, I’m surprised people actually bought tickets."
We then talk about "MALLRATS" to where Brian tells me, "On ‘CLERKS’ at the end of the day, we’d take our own clothes back home with us, which with ‘RATS" I quickly found wasn’t the case. On ‘RATS’ we had union people for the first time, and so after my first day wrapped, a wardrobe person came up to me and said "Oh, I’ll take that from you." I was like, "No, that’s OK, I got it." "No sir you don’t understand, you have to give it to me, you can’t take it with you." Brian was dumbfounded by the fact he wasn’t allowed to carry home his own wardrobe.
We then discuss the disappointment of the ‘CLERKS: TAS’ series that ended abruptly after only two episodes on ABC last summer. He tells me that that time was a dream come true for him, as he would grow up mimicking along to cartoon characters and doing voices. Plus it was good, and easy work that he enjoyed doing immensely. But hopes are still high as Brian is set to again lend his voice to the character of Dante for the animated ‘CLERKS’ feature film which Brian says will garner a hard ‘R’-rating, pushing the comedic edge as the ‘SOUTH PARK’ feature film did. And although characters from the View Askewniverse will no longer carry over into live-action projects, they will carry over into such projects as the comic books, and feature animated film.
"TOO MANY FOLKS TO INTERVIEW, AND TOO LITTLE TIME TO DO ‘EM ALL IN."
Soon Randal Graves himself, Jeff Anderson enters and Kev quickly greets him and gives him a big, welcoming hug. My god, at this moment I felt like I was clearly in the center of this whole View Askewniverse, a who’s who if you will, that as Scott Mosier puts it, "it’s kind of like a high school reunion of sorts with everyone gathered here together. But the bad thing is that I really won’t have any time to spend with any of them because it’s a pretty tight day, and most everyone is in and out after they shoot their scenes."
As I walk outside to the front of the El Rey, a striking female who asks if Jeff Anderson is inside approaches me. I walk her inside, and ask around, but it seems that he’s left for his trailer so he can get into makeup and wardrobe.
I ask her how she knows Jeff, and she informs me that she’s a friend of his. I inform her as to where the trailers are, but decide to walk her down myself as I’m headed that way anyways (yeah, right!). As craft service begins setting up dinner, Anderson soon finds us. I tell Jeff that as a ‘finders fee’ of sorts, I’d like to do a brief interview with him if he has some time to spare. He tells me sure, and to find him in a little while and we’ll do it.
And as Anderson and his friend walk off, Joey soon passes by me. I officially shake hands and introduce myself to her, and suggest that if she has a few quick minutes we gab a bit about the film.
To which she says…
TO BE CONTINUED IN PART 2