Saturday, June 04, 2011

Can't spell 'thespian' without 'ESPN' ... or 'Ian'

Hollywood, here I come!

OK, that’s a stretch. But it’s not a stretch to say that I spent my Friday evening playing football for a scene in a movie. A movie with a director and actors and cameras and everything.

Yes, I portrayed a football player. Yes, I know it’s supposed to be acting and that sounds exactly like my real life. Just roll with it.

Comparison via Venessa Lewis and everyone else.
I applied for the role on Wednesday after stumbling upon an article about the film at theadvertiser.com (which happened to be written by a friend of my sister’s). The deadline for submitting a head shot and measurements was just two hours away, so I submitted the required info without overthinking it. And that’s probably why I actually did it. I’m glad I did. Within an hour, I was approved for a roster spot. At 6 p.m. yesterday, I grabbed my cleats and headed to Teurlings Catholic High School.

This may surprise you, but I’ve never been in a motion picture before. I was once cast as the star of an indie film my friend was going to shoot back in 2007, but I had to move a month before full production and it never got made. I still feel bad about that. Both for him and for me. But hey, you can’t stop destiny.

This new film is titled “The Daisy Chain.” It’s a comedy-drama that takes place in Louisiana and involves the fortunes of a Cajun family. And that’s where the piss streaker comes in.

The scene we shot — the last in a monthlong shoot, we were told — is intended to be a viral video within the film. As you might expect with any football team on which I play, we’re in the state championship game. I’m still not sure if we’re supposed to be high school, college, semi-pro or pro. I like to think we transcend those confines with our awesomeness.

Here’s what we shot: We’re kicking off to start the second half, when an old guy runs on the field wearing little more than a yellow cape and a speedo (it’s a crucial plot point). He runs around willy-nilly, at one point pissing into a cup (another plot point). The director asked us to react the way we would if this happened in a real-life championship situation. But he then clarified, don’t hit the man. That deflated a lot of hopes. Mainly, we were supposed to gasp and point and dodge, which was a lot of fun. We’re told that potentially famous announcers will comment on the situation. Note to Chris Berman: It’s pronounced E-N.

We rehearsed and ran the play maybe six times, as a camera crew caught the action from a crane. I’m proud of myself for weathering the heat and a snug helmet as well as I did. I was equally proud of myself, as no doubt many of the other guys were, for fitting into the high school uniforms borrowed for the film. I wore a North Vermilion Patriots uniform, while the red team donned what I assume was a Teurlings Rebels outfit, but which I called the Crawfishes.

UPDATE: I've since been told the red uniforms are courtesy of the Abbeville High Wildcats. Which totally explains the crawfish.

If wishes were crawfishes, the world would be a helmet. Or something like that.
As so often happens in football, I was assigned to the safety position in the kickoff formation. The casting agent designated me as number 23 on the white team. But when I went to grab my jersey, number 23 was nowhere to be found. After some sifting through the bin, the crew found only two numbers suitable for defensive backs — 21 and 40. The 21 jersey was assigned to another guy, but 40 was open.

If you’re religious, you could say this was a sign from God. Hell, I’m not even religious and I'm saying it. You see, 40 was my football number in high school. And I saw about as much field time for Lafayette High as I did filming half a dozen takes yesterday.

I've certainly moved on in the past 14 years.
The only thing was, the woman in charge of the jerseys was apparently told (by a referee) that defensive backfield numbers ended at 39. So she set out to turn the 40 into the number 30 with tape. She did a good job with the piece she did, granted. But I hate when I know something’s wrong, and there isn’t a league in the country that doesn’t recognize 40-49 as D-back numbers. After my plea to the director that I’d played the same position with the same number in high school, and assent from a pro player on set, I was allowed to wear the 40. Cosmic!

In New Orleans Saints/double-entendre terms, if I’d had the number 23 jersey, I would have been the Lucky Pierre in the Daisy Chain. (Don't feel obligated to look that up.)

We took group and team pictures after wrapping. I can’t wait to get my hands on those.

The film is slated for a September festival release. If it gets picked up by a distributor, it could see a wider release. I’ve heard Mary Kay Place is attached. I’ve been invited to the red-carpet premiere. You know I’m going.

Key quote: “You’re getting paid in pizza and socks.” Not quite. I had to return the socks.

Oh, and the camera malfunctioned. So we’re doing it all again this evening.

6 comments:

Becca said...

Can people come and watch filming? I'd love to see this behind the scenes (and of course, to see you too!)

Ian McGibboney said...

I saw some people watching today, so I don't think it's a problem. Just tell them you're a fan.

Becca said...

What time should I pop in, then? And where to park? (And where is Teurlings again? Is that the one off on Pinhook?)

Ian McGibboney said...

It's at 6 p.m., exactly where you said. There's only one place to park, so you'll see it.

Becca said...

Fabulous!! See you tonight, then!

Kelli said...

This is no charge for awesomeness...or attractiveness. - Po