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 (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.


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