The New Year started with a trip to Arizona for some “down home” eating, a little bit of snow, and returning to The Revenant.
Every time I thought The Revenant was over and done, it kept coming back into my life for the last two years.
I had gotten a call from Kerry. He had one more shot he wanted to work into a montage clip, and asked if I was free that evening. So off I went to his storage unit, where he houses the ’79 Camaro from the film.
Vegas is…. There are some very nice spots of Vegas. There are also some surprisingly industrial and somewhat scary parts as well. Guess where we went? We drove to a semi-lit parking lot to do a scene, and got chased out by an angry woman and her two thug employees. Haven’t had that experience in a while.
So in driving around, we found another place. Not as secluded as we would have liked, but we wanted the shot, so Kerry, George and I took a “Screw it” approach to getting caught, and shot the scene.
With Kerry playing David Ander’s (Bart) role, and I standing in for Chris Wylde (Joey), we ran in our “Vigilante Gunslingers” gear, each of us brandishing prop guns. It’s not often I get to brandish a shotgun and an uzi in public, throwing myself over a car, and could only imagine what would have happened had security come out during these takes.
Once in the car, Kerry looked at me and said: “Put your seatbelt on, and hang on. Oh, and keep your gun outside the window.” With that, he screeched the tires, and we shot into a series of wingdings. The first circle sweep, I thought for sure we were going to hit the wall in front of us, but in in order to keep the shot more in character, we did multiple peel outs and spins in one continuous take. The air was filled with screeching tires, thick smoke and the stench of burned rubber, as we left a solid black circle in the parking lot. “Okay. That was good. I think we need to leave now.” So we hopped out of the Camaro, threw the equipment in the van, and peeled out before anyone could find us.
And so, after two years of working on this film, I finally get a scene in it. And stunt work at that. The playback was hilarious. We wanted the scene to be as obnoxious as possible, and I don’t think it could have been any more so.
The three of us celebrated by going to the buffet at the Rio, where we gorged on as much food as we could. The beer and crab leg course was a particular favorite. It was a fun night, and I felt that little tinge of missing those days with the film.
Right after that was CES, the big consumer electronics show that takes place in Vegas every January. There’s always a litany of odd jobs to be performed around the convention, and I’m not (and never will be) a “booth babe”, there are still a few male oriented gigs to go with the show, such as handing out show dailies and the like.
As for the Museum, I was part of the tour circuit, showcasing the various galleries for grade school kids. There are some strange answers one gets when dealing with kids:
Me: “So where do you think we are?”
Me: “Correct, but which desert?”
Another kid: “Kali Desert?”
Me: “Not quite. Think more close to home. Where do you live now?”
Another kid: “Texas?”
Me: *face twitches*
As long as I remained an employee with the Museum, “Texas” became the most common other reply outside of the actual, real answer.
That’s nothing to be said of the dinosaur gallery, filled with a number of varied animatronic dinosaurs. I blew their minds when I mentioned that our dinosaurs were robots. They couldn’t get their head past the “robot” thing, and somehow, they got in their minds that dinosaurs descended from robots. I spent more time than needed doing “damage control”.
Me: “So how did we know that dinosaurs existed?”
Kid: “Because we made robots of them.”
Me: “What? No! Look, we all have to lay off the ‘robot’ thing, okay? No more robots. We’ll deal with that later. So, who can tell me what types of places the dinosaurs lived in?”
Another Kid: “In zoos!”
Me: *contemplated that unused Christmas flask of rum still on my desk that I got from a co-worker, now comprehending its intent*
Me: “Tell you what. Why don’t you all go look at the robot dinosaurs.”
All Kids: “YAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!”
I broke up work with finally getting to see one of my CSI: Las Vegas appearances from last Fall. I saw myself in the episode a few times: One running around in the background as the detectives were interrogating Carrot Top, another scene where I played that doorman at the Luxor. I also took a picture in that episode for some database, but I remember them saying that would be used in a later episode.
I had a few other projects lined up, such as a commercial shoot in San Diego, and I was starting the conversion of turning my home office into a heavily inspired room based off The Haunted Mansion from Disneyland.
2011 was starting slow, but February already looked to be getting busy….