‘JAY and SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK’ – On-Set Production Report
CORRECTION from WEEK FOUR report: The visual effects supervisor was incorrectly identified as being Charlie Belardinelli who is in fact the Special Effects Super. The Visual Effects Supervisor who is responsible for the CGI effects is in fact, Joe Grossberg.
WEEK FIVE – Halfway there…
February 12th through February 16th, 2001.
"Decisions, Decisions, Decisions" – Monday, Day 20
On stage today, filming takes place between Jay and Shannon’s character inside a van. The van is well gutted-out, seats and side doors removed to allow for the cameras to fit.
Divulging a little movie magic here now folks. Although the scene is being shot onstage, it also calls for the van to be moving. So to simulate the effect of driving, a long 2’ X 4’ beam is used underneath the front end, while a crew member pushes up and down on the beam resting center on a fulcrum, giving the van a rocking motion. Amazing this Hollywood magic!
Inside the van, Jay re-iterates to Shannon’s character as to why they’re on the journey they’re on, and explains just what the term "snoogans" means.
Once Shannon wraps, Jay has to act against some visual effects that will be added later in post. This is a bit trickier than it seems, as Jay has to find and match his eyeline to the visuals previously shot against the blue screen. To help Jay find his way, Kev sits behind the monitors and shouts out directions to Jay, out of view from the van, using a bullhorn.
There’s still a bit of difficulty here as Kev begins to playfully taunt Jay by saying, "Bring on the thunder, Mewes!" and threatening to direct him via the bullhorn throughout the rest of the movie.
Time runs short on getting just the right amount of coverage to work with the previous filmed blue screen shots, that Kev, Scott and Joe discuss editing decisions that can be made to make the shots work.
Time is crucial as Scott informs me that they can’t run over due to having to allow for the union crew to have proper "turnaround". Which essentially means that a union crewmember must have a certain amount of off hours before returning to work the next scheduled shift. Otherwise fees, penalties and overtime will accrue as well as having to push up crew call for the next day to compensate.
"QUICK STOP Déjà vu" – Tuesday, Day 21
Today I find myself somewhere in the valley, where cast and crew are shooting, in of all places – a convenience store. Where’s Dante and Randal?
Well they’re nowhere to be seen, but Jay, Silent Bob and the girls are. Inside space in confined and tight with all the cast, crew and equipment that it makes it difficult to move around in.
I ask Kev if this a little déjà vu to his shooting at the Quick Stop back in the days of ‘CLERKS’?
"Yeah, except with maybe 70 less people" he says.
Shooting finishes just in time as thunder and some wicked lightning herald the coming of some heavy rain.
Back on the lot, viewing yesterday’s dailies, Kev and Scott review plate shots of Jay filmed for the VFX. At one point something knocks out the projector midway, that the projectionist has to rewind and high speed through the film to the point left off. There’s something strange about listening to Jay at high speed, as if he inhaled large quantities of helium.
After dailies, Kev and Scott meet with the stunt coordinator and make-up effects guys, to discuss some props and stunts, which need to be readied by the following week, in time for Mark Hamill’s cameo.
"EAT AT MOOBY’S" – Wednesday, Day 22
Well I’m sure you would if you could, wouldn’t you? It’s V-Day today, the 14th, and red carnations are handed out to the ladies of cast and crew in recognition.
The girls, Jay and Bob are on hand shooting scenes in and out of Mooby’s. The menu designs by Scott Purcell and "Rat" are humorous and contain some clever gags, which in most likelihood won’t be completely captured and visible on film, but they’re amusing just the same.
Also shooting today is the very first scene where Jay encounters Shannon’s character, and falls helplessly in love. Who wouldn’t, right? Fitting day to shoot this scene.
I see Malcolm on set filming more stuff for the upcoming DVD documentary, and he soon asks if I’ve met Marilyn. "Marilyn? Marilyn who?" I ask. That’s when Malcolm turns me around and introduces me to ‘CLERKS’ very own Veronica Loughlin, Marilyn Ghigliotti. Malcolm soon leaves us and we talk for quite a while, about her experiences making ‘CLERKS’, riding the VA board, and what eventually brought her out to the west coast.
Familiar with Kevin’s board, I recall that her original ‘CLERKS’ script was recently auctioned off on "E-JAY" for I believe what was well over $100. I ask her why she’d let something so personal go, and she told me didn’t even know about it at first.
She goes on to inform me that during the days when Kevin and Scott were looping ‘CLERKS’ neither of them remembered to bring a copy of the script for the other actors to read after Marilyn. So they asked if they could borrow hers. She obliged, and asked that it be returned by weeks end. Well, turns out when Marilyn later called, they told her they misplaced it and couldn’t find it. Fast-forward all these years later, when suddenly, lo and behold, her script is now being sold on "E-JAY" much to her surprise.
The buyer shells out over $100 for it and sends it to Marilyn to sign. But it’s not an unhappy story altogether as the buyer sent along a copy of her script for her as well. So even though she’s without her original copy, she’s content to now have a copy of her original script.
Marilyn also mentions that she’s familiar with me from reading the weekly production columns, and seems to enjoy them and the fan enthusiasm. It amazes me every time I learn of someone outside of you true fans, who are reading this column. Mind blowing this whole Internet thing is!
Back on the lot, I get to see a rough assembly of what VFX artist Joe did in composing the 2-shot vehicle explosion (from last week) into one, near seamless take. Even with slightly different focal lengths, it looks so good that you wouldn’t even know it was two shots unless you freeze-framed through in the DVD.
"Who Shot Jay and Silent Bob?" – Thursday, Day 23
Well no one. But I can tell you that Sirhan Sirhan shot Bobby Kennedy in ’68 and shooting is now taking place today at the very same place where he was assassinated, at The Ambassador Hotel. It’s also the same place where JFK allegedly had an affair with Marilyn Monroe in the hotel’s "Crystal Room".
But sadly this hotel has been closed for some time due to asbestos found within the structure, so now it lies vacant and is primarily rented out for movie shoots such as this one.
The décor is left pretty much the same as it was in the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s. Furnishings from the era can still be glimpsed though broken windows. It’s a bit eerie to think what this hotel must’ve been like back in it’s hey days, but now rests decrepit and dead.
Bungalows were later added onto the rear of the hotel, where shooting is actually taking place. The girls are scantily clad in their underwear for their scenes today, which features Marvel editor-in-chief (and former ‘Daredevil’ artist), Joe Quesada doing an on-screen cameo.
The bungalows are set dressed to resemble themed rooms. Two being used are dressed as a "tiki" themed room with an island flavor, and the other more of a late-sixties, or the "2001" themed room, as "Rat" refers to it.
The "2001" room even features honest-to-god grass sod, placed down on the floor instead of carpet.
"Another Two Ride The Bus" – Friday, Day 24
This day proves a little slow as the major portion of the day is spent filming Jay and Silent Bob boarding a bus headed for LA. ‘CLERKS: TAS’ (just released on DVD) co-writer, and co-writer for the upcoming animated feature film as well, Dave Mandel, is on hand to do a small cameo today.
Back on lot, Kev goes off to rehearse a fight sequence with the stunt coordinator, while the rest, head to dailies. Jen has even brought little Harley with her tonight. Everyone plays with her until she eventually tires all out with the newfound energy that a baby, such as her, has.
Once Kev returns, he runs the previous days dailies. Harley seems to approve of her mommy’s acting and daddy’s writing and directing as she laughs and smiles in just about all the right places.
I guess this is a film for the whole family after all.
"The ‘J&SBSB’ Midway Party" – Sunday Night
On Sunday, was the View Askew, ‘Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back" Midway Party held at the Gotham Pool Hall down at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.
The entrance was small, and somewhat secluded had it not been for the TV monitors inside and outside, giving away the location by showing ‘Clerks’.
A good time was had by all there, including the likes of yours truly, Scott Mosier (who’s quite a hustler on the pool tables I tell ya), Kev, Jen and Harley, Malcolm Ingram, Jason Mewes, Ali Larter, Brian Lynch, Scott Purcell, "Rat", Paul Dini, and crashing my scene, one Harry Knowles who snuck under radar as a guest unbeknownst to me.
And here’s what y’all have been waiting for… another one of Mewes’s musings. Take it away Jay.
"Head down, ass up, that’s the way Mewes likes to fuck."
Jay and Silent Bob pay Holden McNeil a visit, spread a little "good will", and I, make a trip to the Bluntcave!