Monday, April 13, 2009

method acting, curses from God, and gratitude

This week's episode of Hell Froze Over brings us to a culmination of over a year's worth of work, starting way back in February of 2008 with one weekend set aside to shoot the pilot episode, then various weekends scattered throughout the rest of the year to shoot three or four episodes at a time. I met some incredible people, got to travel to the East Coast to shoot some of the episodes, made some new friends and made some already existing friendships better. I've been drenched in blood (as you will see in this episode and as you probably noted at the end of the "Prude" episode), ate jello and hot dogs to my heart's content, thrown up in bathtubs, spent a few hours locked in a car trunk, spent a few more hours rolling around on a sofa bed with a guy wearing a monster mask on top of me, and generally had an amazing time with the first season of this series. I can't say thank you enough, even though I have tried continually in my weekly blogs to do just that.

With that, I give you the last episode of Season One of Hell Froze Over, "The Reckoning". It's meant to be playful, weird, and more than a little disturbing, which I feel is the tone that Misplaced Planet truly intended for the series as a whole to convey. With this episode, they do a marvelous job and end our first season with a bang... and a couple whimpers.

And let me just say -- when I'm on the date, that anger that you see flashing in my eyes as my date's um, curse from God, really gets going? Yeah, that's not acting. Poor Mark.

You guys remember Mark. He's the Drama Queen that gets a little too suicidal on a date, likes to smash coke bottles with his hands and play with guns? (And also does a mean Charlie Chaplin?) Well, Mark was our blood effects guy on this episode. And if you see the behind-the-scenes footage of him off to the side, squirting me in the face with blood...

I should back up at this point and just say that normally I am a fairly easy going person. If I'm cranky, it usually only makes me more quiet than normal, I don't really have temper tantrums, it's fairly hard to make me mad... but I really, really don't like water, or any other substance honestly, hitting me in the face. In fact, it's safe to say that it makes me very uncomfortable, physically. And while Mark was sitting there, prepped to hit me in the face with blood via a turkey baster, I knew I wasn't going to react well. I breathed in. Breathed out. They called Action, Mark sprayed me in the face, and because they could really only do one take, you will see my acting reflect what was really going on, which is, basically: a) me barely holding it together, and b) me saying my lines while filled with what I can only categorize now as apoplectic rage. Mark went really still, sort of like an animal that knows it's going to get slaughtered if it makes the slightest movement, and then everyone called cut and I calmed down a bit. But I was really, really close for a second to punching Mark in the throat. And he knew it.

Sorry Mark.

To add to the "not my most fun moment shooting Hell Froze Over ever", was the fact that nobody on set was 100% sure that the blood wouldn't stain my skin. It was some mixture of food coloring and something that was sickeningly sweet that I was trying really, really hard not to gag on, and now this was going to be sprayed on my face? And the crew was saying, "We're pretty sure it won't stain, but just in case, as soon as we yell 'cut,' you should run up to the shower and rinse it off just so it's not still there when you're forty." And I was all, "Um...thanks?"

Luckily, I can now report back to you that things worked out for the best, both in that episode (no Marks were harmed in the making of "The Reckoning", my face was not permanently stained) and in the series itself. I've had so much fun, it's been a wonderful ride, and I'm hoping that I get to do a Season Two if you guys, the viewers, really dig it and help us promote it and spread the word. I can't thank you enough for everything you've already done.

I hope you enjoy the last episode of Season One and that you stay tuned for more adventures in Jody's dating life. I think it's gonna be a blast. But not in a turkey baster spraying blood on my face kind of blast.

Or maybe that's a more accurate portrayal of the series than I thought. Hmmm...

Also, I invite you all to stick around as I get back to my regularly scheduled blog in the next few days. Now that I'm done plugging Hell Froze Over episodes for a little bit, I've got some new weekly features to add to my blog and a lot more things that I want to start blogging about in addition to keeping everyone updated on what projects I'm working on, and I think you'll enjoy reading about them.

Thanks for reading so far :)

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