In Part Two, the Flashpoint crew was prepping to shoot a scene in SRU HQ. Here in Part Three, we get filmy — that’s a technical term accepted by the Language Society of Angelo. I’m not just the president…
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QUIET ON SET!
No one said, “Quiet on set!” I was vastly disappointed by this. It’s the standard cue for filming a scene whenever it’s depicted on screen. Apparently, the Flashpoint crew have opted to use these things called practice and professionalism. On the other hand, they did have the ubiquitous red lights throughout the studio so that things like construction on the ‘back lot’ were quieted. So, that was nice.
1235: TRINITY had advanced warning of the scene. I think they call this a ‘schedule’ or something. We don’t use such expensive technology on indie films. Well, we do but … that’s another story. Nonetheless, given the heads up, I was shifted to the hall which connects the men’s locker room and the women’s. The monitor station was set up there.
A monitor station is, as it sounds, where they place the monitors for the director, the d.o.p., etc, to see what’s being filmed on screen. They had set up four standard folding tall chairs for those key personnel to observe and Trinity placed us just behind them where we could see not only the monitors but also through the doorway and at the live action. I thought that was the best vantage to have. I would be proven wrong.
What was the scene?
It was actually the last part of Raf’s first scene with the full team. If you’ve seen “A Day In The Life”, you know that’s the scene where he chooses his locker. His first pick is gently ixnayed by Ed because it was Wordy’s locker and, practicality aside, that’s a no-go.
At some point around here, I think AURORA had to go attend to something which was likely far more important than babysitting an inquisitive yet somewhat shy (!) fan boy internally teetering on the brink of cognitive detonation. It could have been anywhere before, during, or after the following events. I’m a little foggy here because … well, you’ll find out. I was foggy and, as you’ll read, full of egregious self-recriminations.
YOU WANT ME TO WHAT…?
You may not have noticed but this is the first season Flashpoint is being filmed in high-definition. Extensive testing was done and the decision was not made until everyone was sure the transition would do nothing but add to the quality of the visual presentation. In the Flashpoint Team One group, I have seen comments regarding how the cinematography has once again improved this season. Part of that is undoubtedly the growing experience of all involved but, in the very least, it is also confirmation that the decision to go high-def was the right one.
Anyway, back to the scene.
Once a few takes were down, a gentleman who had joined us for a while during the set tour came over to me holding something in his hand. It was a wireless receiver/headset thingie (another technical term). He offered me the rig and then urged me to sit in the only empty chair at the monitor station to listen live to the scene as it was being recorded. The other people at the station included, director Jim Donovan, director of photography Stephen Reizes, and, um, Anne Marie La Traverse(!). I think even David Frazee was there, too, but I’m not entirely sure about that one. And also the thoughtful gentleman who had given up his seat and rig on my account, John Calvert, the series producer (to whom everyone in both the production office and the crew reports). He didn’t say anything effusive to me all day, nor shake my hand profusely, nor seem especially extroverted but that spontaneous gesture belied a gracious man of generous nature.
(I do not think I properly thanked him for it so, in retrospect, should any of his colleagues read this, please pass on my very genuine gratitude.)
Now, I help out friends in indie film and the physicality was nothing new to me (except we don’t use wireless audio headset thingies) but ‘sitting with the adults’ on the set of Flashpoint while they were filming a very important episode is an entirely different thing. As if I didn’t already feel like the boy who won the Golden Ticket! I mean, I’ve watched monitors during filming a hundred times but this was … different. Even Trinity raised her eyebrow in my direction as if to say, “Well, aren’t you a lucky devil?”
At various points during the takes, Jim Donovan and others offered comments about the day’s work and other tidbits regarding the show and this episode. Then, someone turned to me — and I honestly can’t remember who — and asked, “So, what did you think [of that take]?”
I answered, “It was good. I liked it,” or something similarly generic. What I was really thinking was, “How the hell should I know? I’m nuthin’ nobody nowhere. But this whole thing is [expletive deleted] awesome!”
WELCOME TO THE TEAM
After the takes for that scene were completed, some of the actors spilled out of the room. David Paetkau and Enrico Colantoni were chatting (and sadly I did not get to meet them that day). However, the man of the hour himself, Clé Bennett (Raf), came over. I believe, if memory serves — I was a little shell-shocked in the tall chair to take any valuable notes — he had come to meet Anne Marie La Traverse. Either way, the congenial actor was also introduced to me, as well. And, once again, my mouth operated without appropriate forethought and, as I shook his hand, I said, “Welcome to the team.”
I mean really…!
Welcome to the team? It’s not my team. I’m not even on it. Who am I to welcome him to the team? Nonetheless, he politely thanked me and expressed how happy he was to be there. Also, I should tell you, I mentioned to him what a very dedicated fan base we have — I’m thinking of you, members of Flashpoint Team One (or ‘Team Five’ if you liked that idea) — and how I was sure he’d eventually find out for himself. I wished him luck and, seeing they had called for lunch and Trinity said we should head back, I removed myself from the chair and divested myself of the wireless thingie (which I had convinced myself I would soon drop out of excitement or simply forgetting I had hands at all).
Feeling that everything was winding down, I developed a bit of tunnel vision which likely robbed me of any chance to meet Misters Paetkau or Colantoni. I needed to reconstitute my wits and return to some internal sense of normalcy. I had events and information to commit to memory so that I may recall them later when writing this article. As you can see from the above, I failed. Or rather, someone hacked through my personal firewall and played havoc with my plans. And who, of course, would do that hacking?
Sergio “Spike” Di Zio, of course.
IS THAT THE EXTENT OF YOUR POWERS, LITTLE ONE?
Sergio Di Zio walked by on his way elsewhere. In passing, he clapped me on the back and asked, “Everything okay? You having a good time?”
He totally interrupted my attempt to become cerebral and calm my emotions by … asking me how I was feeling. I’m trying to quiet the hyperactive kid inside me who is screaming with glee and just as I got Inner Child Angelo to put down the noisemaker, Sergio asks him how he’s feeling? Had I said anything immediate, it probably would have been the famous comment of Oedipus Rex who, upon discovering his previously unbeknownst tragedy, said: “Buh…?” In the moment, since Sergio was passing through, I instinctively swallowed my voice and — in a last ditch effort — merely offered a nod and a smile. Phew! Emotional footing preserved, right?
Yeah, um, no.
…because Sergio then slowed down and continued looking at me. He was waiting for an answer. Now, I’m sure from his point-of-view he was just being polite and giving me the time to answer before he turned the corner. From my perspective he was completely sabotaging my attempt at composure by forcing me to formulate an answer. I could have just said, “Great!” or even “Awesome!” or something normal (or perhaps even a complete sentence) but since, y’know, I’m a writer, I can’t just flip out some standard response. After all, I need to write about how clever I was walking among those we admire, right? So, I told my brain to come up with something clever and it spat, “Tremendous!” out of my mouth.
He smiled, offered something encouraging, and said something else like, “Alright, see you around!” Again, the memory … not so sharp in that moment. Or, perhaps, Memory was too busy looking at the rest of my brain and shaking its head. Also, Sarcasm was holding two thumbs up at everyone and saying, “Good job, genius!”
Tremendous. That was my clever alternative to great. A synonym … for great. I am such a superstar.
[Shut up, Sarcasm!]
Furthermore, that examination of my emotional state and the feeling that I had just slapped a giant “Stupid” sticker on my not-as-clever-as-all-that head left me still firmly internally scrambled. Where was the guy they hired to head up security for big celebrity events, or who managed to navigate his way through a slightly calamitous press junket with the eclectic Juliette Lewis and still get a round of applause from her? Why didn’t he show up today? Who was this buffoon in Angelo’s clothes?
THE TRIANGLE BECOMES A SQUARE
In any event, those around the monitor station offered farewells as Trinity told me we’d be heading back to the production offices. Well, you know, I guess I had my awkward moment. It was bound to happen. At least, at this point, I could laugh it off and get on with what remained without further incident.
And, as we headed for the passage to the production office, I realized how utterly wrong I was. I realized how one should never assume anything and always be at the top of your game. Sounds like something a commander would say. Or a coach.
Or a team leader.
Because it’s right around here that Hugh Dillon reappeared and, in effect, chased me off the set. And I know I said that this story would be in Part Three but, as it turns out, I’m approaching the 2000-word mark again and there is going to be a Part Four.
(…cuz I’m still a jerk.)
However, that’s it, folks. What was originally conceived as a single article, drafted as a two-parter, and then offered to you as a three-parter, will now be four-parts. Sorry for making you wait but, as evidenced by all of the above (and more which I cannot divulge), I have a propensity to grossly underestimate everything associated with Flashpoint. It is a lesson I am slow to learn but I think I’m getting better.
This time, however, I give you my word that Part Four will be the final in this series; self-imposed 2000-word cap be damned!
(To make up for my teasing and cliff-hangars, I will admit I also did not have the pleasure of meeting Amy Jo Johnson. So, if you’re only reading this because you’re a Jules aficionado, here’s your exit. For the rest of you, I bid you good night. There’s a friend in town I have to see but, dear readers, we shall meet again tomorrow. And then the madness will end.)
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Author’s Note: I admit to being a jerk but, I assure you, even I will only go so far for attention. Also, I’m missing my deadline here, so this is a first edit and probably rife with errors. For that, I apologize. They will be corrected overnight. Update: Final polish done. There were a dozen errors found, including the word [sic] ‘aplogize’ in this very paragraph. The comedy was unintentional.
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