Prospects Pilot

I’ll have posts coming up over the next few days on the whirlwind crazy last month that I’ve had. Time lies when you’re having very busy fun. (That sentence was meat to say “time flies….” but I’m keeping the typo.  There’s something spot on about it.)

Today I spent the day shooting on an indie pilot called Prospects. Christian Kelly-Sordelet and his sister Kaelan are co-directing the first episode of a hilarious show hat they’ve created. They asked me to do a day with them playing the bike-riding-hipster Ron. I was thrilled that they offered me a spot and was really excited to get on set with them. Christian had given me a hand shooting the Jones McCree trailer and I know first hand the excellence and joy he brings to his work.

I had to laugh at myself since this was the second project in a row that I’ve been cast in as a hipster. (more to come on that later) Christian and Kaelan have written a very funny script with a lot of great jokes.  That said, they were not precious at all with their words.  In fact, they were looking for improv and playfulness in the scenes. For me, it was a really nice opportunity to go out and have fun. I’ve been on a run of serious parts and it was a great change of pace to go out and be silly. The reality is that I should have that same silly playfulness with a dramatic heavy part. That must still be there, in the undercurrent of what is happening in a “dramatic” moment. But, that said, it’s a lot easier to hold on to that silliness when you’re being hit with a bag of garbage, dressed like an idiot, on a lowrider chopper bicycle.

Frankie Faison was also working on set today. This guy is a great actor.  Love him in everything I see him in.  And since I’m halfway through The Wire, I’ve been seeing him a lot. There was something very heartening in Frankie being there on this run and gun project. I asked him how he had gotten pulled on to the project and he said: “no matter where you’re at, you’re always looking for an exciting project with an exciting group of people.” Hearing that from an actor with his career just goes to show how attractive passion and drive in a group of collaborators can be.

The crew watching playback

Christian and Kaelan decided to shoot with two Canon 7D’s.  They, rightly, felt that they would be able to cut down on their set-ups by doubling cameras and move quickly using the DSLR’s.  It amazes me every time I look at the images that these cameras can produce.

2 cameras in action. Picking up shots from eye and foot level.

You can get a pretty good look at what the crew was working with camera wise. They’ve got two 7D’s, one on a tripod and one on ground level.  There’s also a steadicam rig dead center in the pic.  There’s a lot of movement and chase sequences in this episode and that rig is giving them the mobility they need. Gotta smooth out the DSLR picture or else the audience will get motion sick with its shakiness.

Frankie has Christian in a headlock.

Christian, while being a writer and co-director, was also taking on the role of Scorpiono, fellow hipster and Ron’s BFF.  You can see the steadicam 2nd camera team coming down the block as Derek runs in.

Frankie puts the hurt on Christian

Derek administers the ever-feared nostril pull

Frankie and Derek

Ron

That’s how I roll! And yes, that is the tightest t-shirt ever.  I brought it to set as a joke and we ended up going with it.  It’s my 5th grade graduation t-shirt from Craig Hill Elementary School. Don’t ask why I even still have that thing.

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